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Dartmouth Medicine Winter 2005

Dear Reporter, Editor, or News Director:

In the Winter 2005 issue of Dartmouth Medicine, read about:

Once a radical idea, now a national model: The concept of supported employment for patients with severe mental illness began in Dartmouth's backyard in the 1980s and since then has been championed and studied by a member of the Medical School faculty. See page 3.

A new cancer protocol: Oncologists and surgeons at Dartmouth appear to have identified a better way to treat pancreatic cancer, an almost-always-lethal form of the disease. They first give patients radiation and chemotherapy to shrink their tumors, and then perform surgery. See page 13.

Lost in space: Hearing loss has been a problem for some astronauts on the International Space Station. Now, a former astronaut who is on the Dartmouth Medical School faculty has developed a way to test their hearing as a first step toward understanding what's causing the loss. See page 8.

A guiding light: The chief of cardiothoracic surgery at Dartmouth is a strong proponent of guided imagery-turning the mind into a healing power. It's a technique that used to be on the fringes of respectability but that's gaining mainstream converts daily. See page 15.

Taking genes into account: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center became the first institution to offer a new genetic screening test to patients. It's part of a growing movement to tailor drug dosages to each patient's individual genetic profile. See page 14.

Creating a chimeric cell: A researcher at Dartmouth has combined parts of two different immune cells to create a chimeric cell that shows promise as a cancer-killer. See page 10.

A 20-year quest: Dartmouth's Dr. Diane Harper has been researching cervical cancer for 20 years. The fact that not one but two vaccines against the disease will be coming on the market this summer is, she says, nothing short of "incredible." See page 16.

Studying stents: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center has a powerful tool for improving patient care-a database of all 30,000 patients treated in its cardiac catheterization lab since 1993. Ongoing analysis of the data means that patients with complex heart disease today are benefiting from the experiences of those who have gone before them. See page 9.

Physicians who write poetry: Two members of the Dartmouth clinical faculty find that writing, and reading, poetry gives them deeper sensitivity to their patients' travails. See page 46.

A new way that race matters: A health economist on the Dartmouth faculty has found that blacks and whites who go to hospitals that treat mostly blacks have worse outcomes than do patients of either race who go to hospitals that treat mostly whites-suggesting a new target for improving racial disparities in health outcomes. See page 4.

To pursue any of these stories, contact the Dartmouth Medical School/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Media Relations Office at 603-653-1969 or MedNews@Dartmouth.edu.

Dana Cook Grossman

Editor

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