Medical Breakthroughs from Penn Medicine-logo

Medical Breakthroughs from Penn Medicine


Medical Breakthroughs features the newest medical advancements in the areas of oncology, cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, and genetics featuring America's leading physicians and medical researchers from Penn Medicine.

Medical Breakthroughs features the newest medical advancements in the areas of oncology, cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, and genetics featuring America's leading physicians and medical researchers from Penn Medicine.
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Medical Breakthroughs features the newest medical advancements in the areas of oncology, cardiology, neurology, orthopedics, and genetics featuring America's leading physicians and medical researchers from Penn Medicine.




Are VADs the Answer to the Heart Failure Epidemic?

Host: Jennifer Caudle, DO Guest: Eduardo Rame, MD Following a successful ventricular assist device clinical trial, Dr. Jennifer Caudle is joined by Dr. Eduardo Rame, Medical Director of the Ventricular Assist Device Program and Associate Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, to discuss how this innovative technology is improving survival rates and decreasing the risk of adverse effects, such as stroke, gastrointestinal bleeding, and infection, in heart...


FDA-Approved Gene Therapy Reverses Blindness in Children & Adults

Host: Jennifer Caudle, DO Guest: Jean Bennett, MD, PhD Guest: Albert Maguire, MD Power couple Drs. Jean Bennett and Albert Maguire discuss how their new therapy for the RPE65 gene, which causes retinal blindness, was recently approved by the FDA to become the first gene therapy treatment for a genetic disease in the United States and the first worldwide treatment for inherited blindness. Not only do they delve into the mechanics of the corrected gene injection, but they also explain...


When Your Patient Has a Spinal Deformity: Clinical Priorities

Host: Barnett Mennen, MD Guest: Comron Saifi, MD Spinal deformity places strain on the vertebrae and supporting muscles, tendons, ligaments, and tissues supporting the spinal column. The treatment and management of this condition becomes centrally important to maintain patient quality of life through functional mobility and activity levels. Host, Dr. Barry Mennen and Dr. Comron Saifi discuss the leading assessment and treatment options for spinal deformity. Dr. Saifi is an Assistant...


Pancreatic Cancer: Associated Signs, Symptoms, Risk Factors and Treatment Approaches

Host: Jennifer Caudle, DO Guest: Major Kenneth Lee, IV, MD, PhD Though a relatively rare disease, pancreatic cancer remains at the forefront of clinical discussion due to its highly aggressive nature. Dr. Major Kenneth Lee, Assistant Professor of Surgery at Penn Medicine, estimates that pancreatic cancer will become the number 2 cause of cancer death by the year 2020. This projected rise in mortality is largely due to the need for better advancement in treatment options. Join host Dr....


4 Latest Advances in Epilepsy Treatment at Penn

Host: Jennifer Caudle, DO Guest: Kathryn Davis, MD, MTR Guest: Timothy Lucas, MD, PhD According to the epilepsy foundation, epilepsy is the 4th most common neurological problem in the U.S. – only migraine, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease occur more frequently. The average incidence of epilepsy each year in the U. S is estimated at 150,000, or 48 for every 100,000 people. Host Dr. Jennifer Caudle talks with Doctors Kathryn Davis and Timothy Lucas about advances in treatment for epilepsy...


Groundbreaking Child Bilateral Hand Transplant

Host: Shira Johnson, MD For the first time, Penn Medicine surgeons were able to complete a bilateral hand transplant on a child. The surgical team successfully transplanted donor hands and forearms onto 8-year-old Zion Harvey who, several years earlier, had undergone amputation of his hands and feet and a kidney transplant following a serious infection. Host Dr. Shira Johnson sits down with Dr. Scott Levin, who led the surgical team and is Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery...


Complex Aortic Disease: Sussing Out a Silent Killer to Save Lives

Host: Jennifer Caudle, DO Guest: Nimesh Desai, MD Complex aortic diseases, feared by clinicians and the general public alike, are often labeled "silent killers" due to their unnerving pattern for developing insideously prior to presenting as acute crises. Even more concerning, the symptoms of aortic diseases are typically vague and difficult to diagnose without a high degree of clinical suspicion. For these reasons, the speed of diagnosis and treatment can determine whether patients live...


The Science of Making Tumors Glow: Innovations from the Center for Precision Surgery

Host: Shira Johnson, MD Guest: Sunil Singhal, MD The clinical ramifications for adding special flourescent features to tumors at various stages of malignancy and penetration are enormous. But how do surgical, oncologic, and radiological specialists create these glowing tumors, what impacts do such markers have on clinical care, and which patient populations benefit most from this approach? Host Dr. Ashira Johnson welcomes Dr. Sunil Singhal, Director of the Thoracic Surgery Research...


Hepatocellular Carcinoma: Clinical Priorities from Detection to Liver Transplantation

Host: Barnett Mennen, MD Guest: Maarouf Hoteit, MD Hepatocellular carcinoma is one of the top ten causes of cancer death in the United States, and is the most rapidly increasing cause of cancer death in men. What's more, incidence rates are on the rise. For these reasons, understanding the nuances of early liver cancer detection, and treating underlying liver diseases prior to cancer development, have been more urgently needed. Joining Dr. Barry Mennen to discuss diagnostic, medical, and...


How The Tommy John Surgery Revolutionized Elbow Injury Rehabilitation

Host: Jennifer Caudle, DO Guest: G. Russell Huffman, MD, MPH Host Dr. Jennifer Caudle welcomes Dr. G. Russell Huffman, Associate Professor and Director of the Shoulder and Elbow Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Huffman provides an overview of the various types of elbow injuries, treatment options for athletes at all levels, and special considerations for those who require surgery. Dr. Huffman focuses in particular on updated techniques in ulnar collateral ligament...


The Nuts & Bolts of Treating Articular Cartilage Defects

Host: Jennifer Caudle, DO Guest: James L. Carey, MD, MPH What happens when articular cartilage is damaged? And what are the differences between focal cartilage defects and arthritis? Joining Dr. Jennifer Caudle to discuss current mechanistic understandings of articular cartilage is Dr. James Carey, Director of the Penn Center for Cartilage Repair and Osteochodritis Dissecans Treatment; and, Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Penn Medicine


Orthopaedic Trauma: Healing Bones & Restoring Function

Host: Brian P. McDonough, MD, FAAFP Guest: Samir Mehta, MD Patients of all ages can be affected by a traumatic injury. These injuries can be complex to treat and may involve multiple parts of the body. And, in traumatic situations, decisions need to be made quickly. Host Dr. Brian McDonough welcomes Dr. Samir Mehta, Assistant Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine; and, Chief of the Orthopaedic Trauma and Fracture Service at the University...


The Path to Lung Transplantation: Roles of Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO)

Host: Jennifer Caudle, DO Guest: Christian A. Bermudez, MD Christian A. Bermudez, MD is the Surgical Director of Lung Transplantation and ECMO, Director of Thoracic Transplantation, and Associate Professor of Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Bermudez discusses current technologies used in lung transplantation, including mechanical support as a bridge to oxygenation during the procedures themselves. He also reviews the role of Extracorporeal Membrane...


Complex Retrieval of Embedded Inferior Vena Cava Filters in Interventional Radiology

Host: Jennifer Caudle, DO Guest: Scott O. Trerotola, MD, FACR, FSIR Is there a way to predict complex removal of inferior vena cava filters, and if so, what is the success rate? Dr. Scott Trerotola adresses these and other questions in details. Dr. Trerotola is Stanley Baum Professor at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Chief of Vascular and Interventional Radiology and Vice Chair for Quality of the Department of Radiology at the University Of Pennsylvania Medical Center.


Applications of Proton Therapy for Breast Cancer

Host: Jennifer Caudle, DO Guest: Gary M. Freedman, MD Proton therapy is currently used to treat brain, spinal and prostate cancers, as well as many other tumors. Another potentially significant application is the treatment of breast cancer. Dr. Gary Freedman, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, discusses advances in proton therapy in breast cancer in association with a national study currently underway at Penn Medicine. Click here...


Modernizing the Mitral Valve: Advances in Robotic and Minimally Invasive Cardiac Repair

Host: Jennifer Caudle, DO Guest: Pavan Atluri, MD What are the latest advances in minimally invasive & robotic operations? And, which patients are candidates for robotic procedures? Host Dr. Jennifer Caudle welcomes Dr. Pavan Atluri, Assistant Professor of Surgery; Director of the Cardiac Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Assist Program; and, Director of the Minimally Invasive and Robotic Cardiac Surgery Program in the Division of Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of...


The Role of Technology in Precision Medicine

Host: Frank Russomano There are far too many diseases that do not have proven means of prevention or effective treatments. As such, health care providers must gain better insights into the biology of these diseases to make a difference for the millions of patients who suffer from them. Precision medicine is an emerging approach for treatment and prevention that accounts for individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle. Host Frank Russomano welcomes Brian Wells, Associate...


Innovations in Facial Reconstruction

Host: Lee Freedman, MD When a patient's facial structures are severely impacted by trauma or disease, the physical and psychological tolls are devastating. What are some of the latest advances in facial reconstruction? Joining Dr. Lee Freedman are Dr. Steven Cannady, Assistant Professor of Clinical Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery, and Dr. Oren Friedman, Director of Facial Plastic Surgery and Associate Professor of Clinical Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery, both at...