Kudos for June 2014



Mark Tyndall published article in The Ottawa Citizen entitled ‘Reducing harm with electronic cigarettes.’ Dr. Tyndall wrote “ E-cigarettes are the ultimate harm reduction intervention as they allow people who are unable or unwilling to quit smoking to greatly reduce the health impacts….. While more research is certainly needed, the elimination of the toxins in tobacco smoke is the primary goal and e-cigarettes do just that.” [June 4th]

Mark Clemons interviewed in an Ottawa Citizen article entitled: The end of chemotherapy? The article was published May 22nd and then updated on May 30th.  Dr. Clemons was quoted as saying: “The ability to get the same outcomes with less chemotherapy is the biggest recent development in breast cancer treatment.” Personalized treatment can be tailored to individual patients rather than being a one-size-fits-all model of chemotherapy.

Curtis Cooper featured in a CTV National story about an unfunded drug. Dr. Cooper noted that discussions needed to happen between government, pharma companies and clinical experts and not just government alone. [May 23] Interview entitled Hepatitis C drugs sow promise, but price is too high for most patients. Drugs Sovaldi and Galexos offer a revolution for patients with the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Jose Pereira interviewed by CBC on May 21st – Palliative sedation creating debate over end-of-life treatment. Dr. Pereira has used palliative sedation and said it is an important and useful option that is used only when symptoms such as pain, breathlessness or delirium are intolerable. Dr. Pereira also said that the symptoms must be refractory, meaning all other drugs that have been tried have failed to control the symptoms.

John Bell featured in news articles that appeared in Minneapolis Star Tribune and Globe & Mail about recent research published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings that showed a large dose of the measles vaccine sent blood cancer into remission. He was also interviewed by CBC May 23rd.

Swapnil Hiremath has moved the discussion of nephrology into the social media sphere by co-founding a new Twitter-based Journal Club focusing on kidneys and kidney disease. The journal club’s hashtag is #NephJC and their website is www.nephjc.com

Jeffrey Turnbull, Medical Director of Innercity Health, interviewed by CFRA on June 3rd in regards to TED program.


1900 TOH supporters, including 10 Hospital teams, ran in the Tamarack Ottawa Race Weekend and raised $353,235 for research and care at The Ottawa Hospital through Run for a Reason. Some of the money raised will be used to purchase a new bioreactor system for Dr. John Bell’s  team so they can manufacture oncolytic viruses that fight pancreatic cancer.  Michael Schlossmacher, David Grimes and David Park all participated as part of the Parkinson’s Research group.

Shawn Aaron lead a group of Canadian researchers who were part of a US National Institutes of Health and CIHR study entitled STATCOPE. The study has been published in NEJM and is entitled: Simvastatin for the Prevention of Exacerbations in Moderate-to-Severe COPD.

Gerard J. Criner, M.D., John E. Connett, Ph.D., Shawn D. Aaron, M.D.,et al. for the COPD Clinical Research Network and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. May 18, 2014DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1403086. The study highlights the benefits of international, multi-site clinical research collaborations.

Duncan Stewart is partnering with a new national stem cell network called CellCAN, a new company based in Montreal whose mandate is to increase access to stem call driven medical treatments.

Shawn Aaron is co-lead on a research project into chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that has been awarded $1.1 million over 3 years by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care.

Jeremy Grimshaw has been awarded $1 million from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care to study different ways to get people who have suffered a heart attack to continue rehab and take their meds. The study is based out of Women’s College Hospital in Toronto and is co-lead by Dr. Noah Ivers.

Deb Zimmerman and Kevin Burns lead a clinical trial which shows that fewer medications are needed to control blood pressure just as effectively as when patients undergo daily two-hour hemodialysis sessions. Details can be found in Plos One 2014; 9(5):e97135 – ‘Short Daily versus Conventional Hemodialysis for Hypertensive Patients: A Randomized Cross-Over Study.’


Marc Carrier has published a study in Thrombosis Research which provides evidence that it is safe and effective to escalate doses of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) in patients with cancer-associated thrombosis. This approach had been suggested as a potential treatment option for patients with recurrent cancer-associated thrombosis but it was never substantiated by a clinical study.

Mark Freedman part of a Stem Cell Update presented at MS Conference for Healthcare Professionals, May 28-31 2014. The educational opportunity will provide insight on the various types of stem cells, the trials taking place, as well as where the stem cells field is heading in terms of treating MS in the next 5 years.

Curtis Cooper co-authored a NEJM paper that evaluated ground-breaking treatment for people who suffer from Hep C. The study showed that a 12-week treatment using a combination of antiviral medicines provided Hep C cure rates of between 97 and 100%, depending on the virus strain. Paper entitled: ABT-450/r–Ombitasvir and Dasabuvir with or without Ribavirin for HCV

Peter Ferenci, M.D., David Bernstein, M.D., Jacob Lalezari, M.D., Daniel Cohen, M.D., Yan Luo, M.D., Ph.D., Curtis Cooper, et al.  N Engl J Med 2014; 370:1983-1992May 22, 2014DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1402338

Mark Clemons and Demetrios Simos have published a study examining women’s attitudes and expectations when it comes to diagnostic imaging. Paper is entitled ‘Patient perceptions and expectations regarding imaging for metastatic disease in early stage breast cancer.’ SpringerPlus 2014, 3:176  doi:10.1186/2193-1801-3-176.

Carl van Walraven and colleagues have published a study in Medical Care that shows patients who underwent elective surgery between 2002 and 2012 on the weekend were nearly twice as likely to die within 30 days than people who underwent the same procedure during the week. Paper is entitled: ‘Elective, Major Noncardiac Surgery on the weekend: A population-based cohort study of 30-day mortality.’ Med Care 2014 (June) 52(6):557-564.

Rehabilitation Centre is using an adjustable staircase that allows physiotherapy patients to successfully climb stairs. Louis Goudreau and team from Rehab Engineering developed the adjustable staircase.  Patents are pending in both the US and Canada.

Jonathan Angel has an article published in The University of Ottawa Journal of Medicine (UOJM) May issue. Paper is entitled: ‘The Clinician Investigator Program at the University of Ottawa’.  UOJM 2014; 4(1): 28-30


Derek Jonker and his 20 member team have been awarded the Early Drug Development Team Award by the National Cancer Institute of Canada for their work on Reolysis (Investigational New Drug) Trial involving metastatic colorectal cancer patients. The award recognizes the research team’s outstanding contribution toward the number of enrolled study patients, ethics compliance, timeliness of data entry and overall team work. Reolysin is a cancer-fighting virus therapy that is in Phase II clinical trials.

Gregoire Le Gal received an Ontario government Early Researcher Award for $150,000 over 5 years to build his research team.