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Dartmouth Medicine Winter 2004

Dear Reporter, Editor, or News Director:

In the Winter 2004 issue of Dartmouth Medicine, read about:

A vaccine trial that produced "stunning" results: Worldwide, 230,000 women a year die of cervical cancer. A new vaccine against two strains of human papillomavirus that cause 70% of cervical cancer boosted immunity of subjects in a clinical trial to 80% to 100%. A member of the Dartmouth faculty, who was the lead author of the paper reporting the results, called them "stunning." See page 4.

Getting radiation to the right spot: Dartmouth-Hitchcock is one of only a few centers nationwide that are making effective use of a new technique called radiation pulsing—which times the delivery of radiation therapy to a patient's exact breathing pattern, so the radiation beam hits only the tumor and doesn't damage adjacent normal tissue. See page 13.

Early identifiers for Alzheimer's: Advanced imaging technologies are making it possible to identify earlier than ever before cognitive defects that can lead to Alzheimer's and other dementias—early enough, perhaps, to intervene and delay their onset. See page 6.

Crunching numbers: Just as meteorologists crunch numbers relating to wind speed, air and ocean temperature, and so on in an effort to forecast hurricane landfalls, Dartmouth's new director of bioinformatics uses supercomputers to analyze complex interactions among genetic and environmental factors in an effort to forecast disease. See page 11.

Brrring . . . : Two Dartmouth faculty members led a national collaborative—one as cochair and one as vice chair—that developed a new model for treating depression. The core of the model, which proved both effective and cost-effective, is regular check-ups with patients by phone. See page 9.

Rock on, baby!: In a big institution, educating computer users about Internet-browsing dos and don'ts can be a thankless task. Unless the educator is rock 'n' roller Randy White of Dartmouth-Hitchcock—then the lessons get embedded in entertaining and original songs. See page 20.

Achieving a "good death": A national leader in palliative care is on the Dartmouth faculty. One of the features in this issue explains his approach to helping patients and families "die well," and then includes two personal accounts of deaths achieved in this manner. See page 43.

Rigorous research on medical education: As medical knowledge has advanced, many medical schools have just added new subjects to their curriculums without truly assessing the best way to train new doctors. Dartmouth is a national leader in the growing effort to bring real rigor to evaluating medical education. See page 7.

Using ultrasound to achieve better pain relief: Dartmouth-Hitchcock has offered ultrasound-guided nerve blocks for the past year and is one of only a few institutions researching the technique—which results in less pain for patients undergoing surgery, meaning they can go home sooner. See page 12.

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


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