Irving-based Company Predicts Smaller (But Still Sizable) Increase In Drug Prices Next Year

Vizient released its drug price forecast for 2019, and the data-driven company says it expects prices to increase 4.92 percent during 2019. But the prediction comes with a caveat for health systems to latch onto: The percent of price inflation is down nearly three percentage points—from 7.61 percent last year—which Vizient says could signal the beginning of a change in the trend. For now, the specialty pharmacy industry continues to drive up the prices, Vizient says: Although the rate of price increases is projected to slow, the specialty pharmacy market is expected to continue its rapid pace of growth, which… Full Story

UT Southwestern Tests Single-Dose Radiation Treatment For Breast Cancer

When 81-year-old Marilyn Gibson was first diagnosed with stage one breast cancer, the Arlington resident—who limits her driving—was looking at undergoing 15 radiation treatments. Instead, as a part of a UT Southwestern Medical Center clinical trial, Gibson underwent just one treatment, completing all required radiation in no more than 45 minutes. UT Southwestern is testing a single, highly focused radiation treatment on breast cancer patients. The treatment, stereotactic partial breastal radiation (S-PBI), is a high-dose form of stereotactic ablative radiotherapy concentrated only on the area of the tumor. The clinical trial is ongoing, but it’s shown positive results so far.… Full Story

UT Dallas Center for BrainHealth Founder To Be Honored As 2018 Woman of the Year

Le Femmes du Monde will recognize the founder of University of Texas at Dallas’ Center for BrainHealth at its 2018 Woman of the Year Gala in October. Dr. Sandra Chapman will be presented the honor. Chapman is a cognitive neuroscientist who holds the Dee Wyly Distinguished University Chair at UT Dallas. She’s also the chief director of the Center for BrainHealth, which she founded in 1999, and has more than 40 funded research grants and 200-plus publications. Kay Bailey Hutchison (1997), Laura Bush (’98), Margaret McDermott (2014), and Nancy Hunt (2016) are among the past winners. The gala is set… Full Story

A Tale Of Genetics And Questionable Science

The last thing Molly Bray told me before we ended our call was the sort of quote that pops out of the receiver and floats right onto the page. The no-nonsense Bray, a geneticist at UT Austin who has studied the intersection of genetics and weight management, was on the phone to discuss a Dallas company I’d been talking to called Genetix Health Institute. She offered this: “Their team is really solid, and I think they’re probably giving solid advice about weight loss,” Bray tells me before we hang up. “Whatever they’re doing in terms of genes—it’s not founded in… Full Story

Checking In On The First Joint Healthcare Campus From the Texas Health, UTSW Partnership

The alliance between Texas Health Resources and UT Southwestern Medical Center is moving toward a new milestone. The two sides have a $270 million collaborative hospital and medical office building in the works in Frisco, the first facilities resulting from the partnership known as Southwestern Health Resources. It’ll be jointly owned and operated. Construction on the complex started last summer. On Tuesday, the two sides invited people out to mark the halfway point. When all is said and done, in one chunk of land at Cobb Hill and North Dallas Tollway will be: Texas Health Hospital Frisco, a 325,000 square… Full Story

UT Southwestern Develops System To Identify Genetic Anomalies Connected To Cancer

Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center have developed a system to identify genetic anomalies connected with a childhood cancer, a step toward developing treatment as well as discovering genetic influences on other cancers. The exact role the anomalies play in contributing to the cancer is still hazy, but UT Southwestern says the experimental system can help researchers begin to decipher the meaning. The process involves predicting which genes might be associated with the cancer using Bayesian inference, a statistical technique for measuring probability, and verifying these predictions by isolating genes through Crispr-Cas9, a gene-editing tool. After analyzing data from 290… Full Story

UT Southwestern Immunologist Receives $300,000 Research Grant

Dr. Tiffany Reese, a UT Southwestern Medical Center immunologist, received the Pew Scholar award in Biomedical Sciences to investigate maternal inflammation during pregnancy and how it alters the immunity of the developing fetus. Funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Scholars Program, the award allows Reese a 4-year grant for $300,000 to conduct her studies as one of 22 recipients chosen across the country. The program is targeted toward early-career scientists tackling some of the world’s most pressing health problems. “These awards are very difficult to get and I know there’s a lot of stiff competition out there, so I was… Full Story

The Story Of A Dallas Doctor And A Brain In A Bucket

I know I’ve already pointed you toward one big ol’ magazine story today, and I know you don’t have time to sit around reading 5,000-word story after 5,000-word story, but if I may, this is another you’ll want to store away until the next time you can dive in (maybe now!). Written by Jessica Pishko, it is the tale of a brain that came from a cadaver at UT Southwestern Medical Center, perhaps not under correct protocols, and allowed a doctor here in Dallas to strengthen his testimony in a New Zealand murder case. The verdict came back guilty. That’s… Full Story

New Research Says Discouraging Continuity Of Care Could Be A Mistake

These days, thanks to the intertwined factors of regulation and consolidation, long-lasting patient-physician relationships are fewer and farther between. But recently, a few researchers have set out to quantify the positive effects of care continuity. One of those researchers is right here in Dallas. Southern Methodist University’s Vishal Ahuja, an assistant professor of operations management, looked at a massive swath of Veterans Affairs data related to Diabetes patients. He analyzed how care continuity—in other words, long-term relationships between patients and doctors—impacted hospitalizations, length of stay, and 30-day readmissions. “In all three cases, what I found was: the better the care… Full Story

UT Southwestern Tops List For High-Quality Research Output

UT Southwestern Medical Center sits atop a new Nature Index list for high-quality research output among academic medical centers. Dallas-based UT Southwestern tops Columbia University Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, which come in at No. 2 and No. 3 on the list, respectively. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston sits at No. 7. The Nature Index is a product of the scientific journal Nature, and it looks at research article output among 82 high-quality science journals (which are chosen by a panel of scientists that are independent of Nature). The index’s top 100… Full Story