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Dartmouth Medicine Fall 2004

Dear Reporter, Editor, or News Director:

In the Fall 2004 issue of Dartmouth Medicine (to request a printed copy, call 603-653-0772 or e-mail DartMed@Dartmouth.edu), read about:

Pointless Paps: As many as 10 million women may get a Pap smear needlessly, according to a recent study by a Dartmouth researcher. And if those unnecessary tests weren't done, doctors could then spend more time on things that do make a difference. See page 3.

A better breast image: The mammogram has long been the gold standard of testing for the presence of breast cancer. But if a Dartmouth radiologist and engineer have their way, one of several new spectroscopic methods may not only prove better at finding tumors but won't expose patients to ionizing radiation or require painful compression of their breast tissue. See page 5.

Microcoils instead of seeds: A pair of Dartmouth researchers have been instrumental in developing a new twist--quite literally--on treating prostate cancer: a palladium microcoil. Human trials with the new technique began in May, and Dartmouth-Hitchcock is still the only medical center in the world implanting the microcoils. See page 9.

A beneficial box: Two Dartmouth health-policy researchers have proposed that all direct-to-consumer drug ads include a simple, clear box containing information about the benefits of the drug --information that is now conveyed in vague terms, if at all. See page 10.

Guests from Germany: When a team of top German cancer specialists decided to visit an American comprehensive cancer center, to better integrate their own clinical and research functions, they chose to come to Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center. See page 15.

Cycling for clinical trials: Dartmouth oncology nurse Brian Highhouse was one of 19 experienced cyclists nationwide selected to ride in a coast-to-coast bike relay--led by six-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. The goal of the project is to promote clinical trials. See page 19.

Fifty-two years in the lab: Betty Ward has been working in Dartmouth-Hitchcock's clinical labs since 1952. She saw the transition from glass to plastic petri dishes. She's considered a "higher authority" on puzzling microscopy questions by a professor of microbiology. And, at age 80, she still goes hiking regularly--though now with a pack that weighs "only" 30-some pounds instead of 48. See page 21.

A threat to babies and pregnant women: The malpractice crisis poses a serious threat to the care of pregnant women and their newborn babies, argues an ob-gyn who is a Dartmouth Medical School alumnus. The nation's medical liability system must be reformed, he says. See page 31.

A big impact: It now seems like ancient history, but the saga of finding a cure for polio--the mid-20th century's most pressing health problem--and of the key role played by a Dartmouth graduate may contain some lessons for today's public health challenges. And it's a great story, too. See page 52.

To pursue any of these stories, contact:

Deborah Kimbell, media relations manager, at 603-653-1913 or MedNews@Dartmouth.edu.

Dana Cook Grossman


Geisel School of Medicine at DartmouthDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterWhite River Junction VAMCNorris Cotton Cancer CenterDartmouth College