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GITES Research Activities

The Division of GI, Tumor and Endocrine Surgery focuses on clinical based research in several areas:

Christina Finlayson, MD - Breast
Dr. Christina Finlayson (Breast) is the designated Institutional Principal Investigator at the Cancer Center for the following: * Sentinel Node biopsy for T1-2 breast cancer, with bone marrow aspiration. Early study that confirmed SNBx as an appropriate staging procedure for early breast cancer. Bone marrow aspiration results not conclusive. Currently in long-term patient follow up. * Randomized study of axillary node dissection vs. observation for patients with a positive SNBx. Did not accrue well nationally, so closed early. Results of those who did participate published, suggest that axillary node dissection is not required in all patients with a positive sentinel node biopsy. Still in long-term follow up. * Sentinel node biopsy after neoadjuvant chemotherapy for patients with positive axillary LN at presentation. All patients after neoadjuvant chemotherapy had sentinel biopsy followed by axillary dissection. Question asked is if a SNBx done after chemotherapy provides sufficient axillary staging information to avoid an axillary dissection if the SN is negative. Enrollment completed and currently in long-term follow up. Dr. Finlayson carries out a number of collaborations involving tissue procurement with faculty in Pathology, Endocrinology, Medical Oncology, and Veterinary Sciences.
Robert McIntyre, Jr., MD - Endocrine
* A Phase III, randomized, multicenter, double-blind, double dummy, parallel-group, comparative study to determine the efficacy, safety and tolerability of Ceftazidime Avibactam plus Metronidazole vs Meropenem in the treatment of complicated intra-abdominal infections in hospitalized adults. * A Novel Pulse Oximetry Parameter in a hospital setting: This study consists of measuring parameters related to respiration in patients in a hospital setting on the general care floor. The primary objective is to assess equivalency, performance and accuracy of Respiration Rate V1.0 algorithm that extracts respiratory information froma pulse oximetry system. Dr. McIntyre's mentoring of our research residents results in papers selected for presentation at national scientific meetings, as well as accepted for publication in peer reviewed journals.
Christopher Raeburn, MD - Endocrine
* Notch signaling in thyroid cancer. Examining the role of Notch1 in human thyroid cancer cell lines. * Role of vitamin D deficiency in post-thyroidectomy hypocalcemia. * Parathyroid venous sampling for localization and treatment of hyparathyroidism. Joint project with Inerventional Radiology. * A multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of intravenous Ulimorelin administered post-operatively to accelerate recovery of gastrointestinal motility in subjects who have undergone partial bowel resection.
Paul Montero, MD - Endocrine
* SAGES electrosurgery project: With Matthew Fox, MD interrogation of electrosurgical ("bovie") generators to document and analyze the settings and power modes used. This project was accepted for poster presentation at SAGES 2012. Stance: electrosurgical technology is underused. * SERF surgical curriculum deficiencies project: Part of Surgical Education Research Fellowship with the Association of Surgical Education - needs assessment involving electronic surveys sent to 4 residency programs which has identified surgical topics that residents feel are not taught well in the curriculum, text book, journals or on the job training. The next step is to create educational modules on these topics. *AEF ergonomics project: An AEF grant was obtained to carry out a project involving FLS simulators, laparoscopic suturing and ergonomics.
Jonathan Schoen, MD - Endocrine and Bariatric
* Mechanisms of improvement of Type 2 Diabetes mellitus following Bariatric Surgery. * Sleeve Gstrectomy as a primary weight loss procedure. * Mediated weight loss on expressible and inducible cytokine production including the use of proteomics. * Neuronal responses to effective weight loss maintenance strategies. * Nonalcoholic fatty liver among obese patients undergoing bariatric surgery.
Thomas Robinson, MD - Endocrine and Geriatrics
* A placebo controlled trial of LTryptophan supplementation on posoperative delirium in older adults undergoing major elective operations. Aim: To determine if post-operative supplementation with L-Tryptophan reduce the incidence and/or duration of post-operative delirium. * Evaluation of a geriatric specialty pre-operative risk assessment strtegy for prediction of post-operative complications, institutionalization and cost. Aim:Determine the diagnostic accuracy of geriatric specialty pre-operative evaluation in predicting post-operative adverse events. * Defining clinical complication profiles of novel monopolar radiofrequency energy coupling pathways in the operating room. Aim: Determine if antenna coupling of radiofrequency energy occurs and whether this phenmena can create thermal injuries in common operating room scenarios.
Nicole Kounalakis, MD - Surgical Oncology
* Study the significance of RET proto-oncogene in desmoplastic melanoma primary tumors. * Investigate the effects of neoadjuvant systemic treatment on surgical outcomes in stage III melanoma patients. The objective of this trial is to examine if the combination of bio-chemotherapy and regional lymphadenectomy can be delivered in a safe and effective manner.
Martin McCarter, MD - Surgical Oncology
* Co-operative group - Institutional PI for cancer trials for GIST and Pancreas & GI surgery trials for colon and rectal cancer. * Industry - PI for ongoing studies investigating post-operative Ileus (Helsinn); PI for Coloprint early stage colon cancer recurrence risk assessment (Agendia); PI for Phase II 5 year Imatinib therapy for high risk GIST (Novartis). * Basic Science - Basic and translational research investigating the immunosuppressive effects of melanoma on normal immune cells.

Clinical Trials are medical research studies conducted to evaluate a new option for treatment, prevention or screening.  While they may involve new medicines, they can test the effectiveness of new devices or therapies.                                                                        

Research Publications