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Dartmouth Medicine Winter 2009

Dear Reporter, Editor, or News Director:

In the Winter 2009 issue of Dartmouth Medicine, read about:

Better endings: After studying more than 300 patients with advanced cancer, a team led by DMS assistant professor Marie Bakitas found that those enrolled in a program of palliative care reported better mood and higher quality of life than those not enrolled. The researchers published their results in the Journal of the American Medical Association. See page 3.

Size matters: Pregnant women weigh more on average than their counterparts did in the 1980s, and their babies may be paying the price. A Dartmouth neonatologist found that obese mothers are more likely to give birth to infants needing medical attention. See page 7.

A call for closure: Palliative-care specialist Ira Byock reflects on the personal, political, and moral examples that the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy set while dying of brain cancer. See page 21.

Fighting cancer with . . . mythology?: Collaborating with a graduate student in his lab, a Dartmouth Medical School immunologist has developed a strategy of sending in nanotechnological "Trojan horses" to reprogram cells that help ovarian-cancer tumors grow. See page 5.

Countering drug counterfeiters: With sales of fake drugs expected to reach $75 billion worldwide in 2010, a Dartmouth graduate student is devising a system that allows consumers in some parts of the world to use their cell phones to detect counterfeit medications. See page 16.

An overdiagnosis of prostate cancer?: After analyzing statistics regarding prostate cancer over a 20-year period, a DMS researcher and his collaborator concluded that for every man saved by the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, between 20 and 50 have undergone unnecessary diagnosis and treatment. See page 4.

Heavy metal is unsound: DMS researchers have found a link, in mice, between the regular consumption of low levels of arsenic-which can be present in well water-and slower rates of recovery from the H1N1 flu virus. See page 8.

Kid-size breaths of life: A DMS pediatrician is seeking better ways to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) on children. See page 7.

Marathon recovery: Reflecting on the challenge of his comeback from a near-fatal bout with pneumonia, a veteran distance runner uncovers lessons for patients and practitioners alike. See page 44.

Hearing aids: There's gold-and widespread hearing loss among many miners and their families-in the hills of northeastern Nicaragua. Toxic pollution from the methods used to recover the gold, noisy workplaces, and a lack of sufficient health care have drawn Dartmouth-connected alumni, researchers, and clinicians to provide humanitarian aid to the region. See page 26.

To pursue any of these stories, contact David Corriveau, media relations manager for Dartmouth Medical School, at 603-653-0771 or David.A.Corriveau@Dartmouth.edu.

Dana Cook Grossman



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