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Expanding Male Contraceptive Options: Study Investigating A New Contraceptive Gel

Talk recorded by CureTalks on January 15, 2021, 10:00 am EST

Men who wish to control their fertility currently have limited options. They have to rely on their female partner using contraceptives, use condoms, undergo vasectomy, or abstain.

In this CureTalk interview the Director, Women’s Health Clinical Research Center at University of Pennsylvania and Principal Investigator of the study at Penn Fertility Care Dr. Kurt T. Barnhart and Director of Operations, Elizabeth Steider discuss a male contraceptive study testing a gel as a possible new method for male family planning.

Stem Cell Therapy for COVID-19-related Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

Talk recorded by CureTalks on July 21, 2020, 8:48 am EST

Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a very serious complication for many patients suffering from COVID-19, and is believed to account for about 80 percent of the deaths in ventilated patients. There is no proven or FDA-approved treatment for it, other than oxygen therapy and fluid management.

In this CureTalk interview, Nimesh Desai, MD, PhD, Director of the Thoracic Aortic Surgery Research Program, explains the study he is leading to investigate the effectiveness of stem cell therapy in treating COVID-19-related ARDS.

Drug Repurposing for COVID-19 with CORONA Registry

Talk recorded by CureTalks on Jun 24, 2020, 6:30 am EST

The COVID-19 pandemic and urgent need to identify effective therapeutics prompted David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc and his research team to create a database that tracks every off-label and experimental drug being used to treat COVID-19 patients. In this interview, Dr. Fajgenbaum discusses how the registry is helping researchers identify treatments that deserve to be more fully examined in clinical trials.

COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Study

Talk recorded by CureTalks on June 4, 2020 at 1:30 pm EST

Katharine Bar, MD discusses two studies that she is leading at Penn Medicine, using convalescent plasma therapy to treat severely and moderately ill COVID-19 patients. Convalescent plasma therapy involves the transfusion of plasma collected from a donor who has recovered from COVID-19 to a patient with an active infection.

Evolving Treatment Landscape of Psoriasis. More than Skin Deep.

Talk recorded by CureTalks on September 4, 2019 at 3 pm EST

Psoriasis is one of the most common skin ailments, affecting about 2 percent of the population, across gender, age or socioeconomic status. The impact of this autoimmune skin condition goes much deeper with raised cardiovascular risk, inflammatory arthritis and other immune system related conditions. The severity of the condition determines the treatment approach ranging from topical treatments to phototherapy. We are discussing Psoriasis treatment approaches with dermatologist Dr. Joel M. Gelfand.

Understanding the FDA-approved New Drug, Selinexor, and Its Use in Multiple Myeloma

Talk recorded by CureTalks on September 4, 2019 at 3 pm EST

The FDA recently approved a new cancer drug called Selinexor, which has been successful in treating multiple myeloma in patients who have exhausted all other existing treatment options.

In the following CureTalks interview, Dan Vogl, MD, MSCE, who lead studies on Selinexor, explains how the drug works, how it should be used, potential side effects and who should consider using it.

Understanding and Treating Atopic Dermatitis

Talk recorded by CureTalks on June 19, 2019 at 1 pm EST

Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin condition that affects 10 to 20 percent of children but often appears in adults as well, particularly the elderly. Also known as eczema, atopic dermatitis has no known cure, though flare-ups can nearly always be minimized and sometimes prevented. Recent research has identified factors involved in the development of atopic dermatitis, which may lead to new treatments to control it more effectively.

Zelma Chiesa Fuxench, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, explains different types of atopic dermatitis and discusses their unique causes, symptoms and treatments.

Managing Endometriosis Leading to Infertility

Talk recorded by CureTalks on April 10, 2019 at 4 pm EST

Endometriosis is a debilitating condition in which tissues similar to uterine tissue are found outside of the uterus, most often in the pelvic cavity and on surrounding organs. The condition can cause chronic pelvic pain, infertility, and many other symptoms. The relationship between endometriosis and infertility has been debated for many years.

About 25 percent to 50 percent of infertile women have endometriosis, and 30 percent to 50 percent of women with endometriosis are infertile. Research shows that the natural capability to produce offspring is lower in women with endometriosis when compared to women without the condition. In addition, endometriosis is associated with a lower live birth rate.

Suneeta Senapati, MD, MSCE, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, discusses the impact of endometriosis on women’s fertility and how it can be managed better to reduce the burden of infertility.

Unraveling Castleman Disease

Talk recorded by CureTalks on February 14, 2019 at 11 am EST

Each year, roughly 5,000 people of all ages in the United States are diagnosed with Castleman disease, a rare disorder that activates the body’s immune system, releasing excess inflammatory proteins that can shut down the liver, kidneys and bone marrow.

David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc, associate director of patient impact at the Penn Orphan Disease Center, was diagnosed with the disease nine years ago and founded the Castleman Disease Program at Penn. Dr. Fajgenbaum discusses the current understanding of the disease, symptoms and treatment options, along with new trials and research that may benefit patients.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Its Relationship to Metabolic Risk Factors (Obesity, Diabetes, Hair Growth and more)

Talk recorded by CureTalks on December 19, 2018 at 10 am ET

Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems that may lead to obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, infertility, endometrial cancer and more.There is not a complete cure, but at Penn Medicine, research studies are underway to compare the effects of medications on metabolic risk factors such as weight, blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol levels in overweight/obese women.

Penn's Anuja Dokras, MD, PhD, Director the PCOS Center, as well as Anastassia Amaro, MD, and Kelly Costello Allison, PhD from the Center for Weight and Eating Disorders, take a deep dive into the nuances of weight, nutrition, psychology and related effects on PCOS and its management.

Hepatitis C Infected Organ Transplant Offers Hope

Talk recorded by CureTalks on November 13, 2018 at 2 pm ET

Of the nearly 100,000 people waiting for a kidney transplant in the US, many will never get one. Meanwhile, hundreds of Hepatitis C infected organs are discarded because of the infection.

Penn Medicine's David Goldberg, MD, and Peter Reese, MD, led a study that successfully showed that it is possible to transplant Hepatitis C infected kidneys into a patient and treat the disease in the recipient -- thereby, saving his or her life. In the following interview, Drs. Goldberg and Reese discuss how the treatment works and how they are expanding the process to transplant hearts and other organs.

Alzheimer's or Dementia. What's the Difference?

Talk recorded by CureTalks on August 8, 2018 at 3 pm ET

Alzheimer’s Disease and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are two of the most common neurodegenerative conditions in the United States, but they are often misdiagnosed for each other. In reality, they are two different diseases that have varying effects on behavior and require different therapies.

In the following interview, Penn Medicine neurologists Murray Grossman, MD, EdD, and David Wolk, MD, discuss the similarities and differences between Alzheimer’s and FTD, along with related risks, diagnostic tests, progression stages, treatments and clinical trials.

Reversing Blindness with New FDA Approved Retinal Gene Therapy

Talk recorded by CureTalks on June 12, 2018 at 1 pm ET

In December 2017, the FDA approved the first ever DNA-altering gene therapy that can reverse an inherited form of progressive blindness. The gene therapy, called Luxturna, was developed by Jean Bennett, MD, PhD, and Albert M. Maguire, MD, spouses and co-directors of the Center for Advanced Retinal and Ocular Therapeutics at Penn Medicine.

In the following interview, the couple discusses the 25 years of work that went into the therapy and how the treatment is able to improve lost vision. 

Beating Leukemia with Groundbreaking CAR-T Cell Therapy

Talk recorded by CureTalks on April 25, 2018 at 3 pm ET

Listen to Stephan Grupp, MDdiscuss CAR-T cell therapy, an immunotherapy treatment that uses a patient's own genetically altered immune cells to fight cancer.

Dr. Grupp was part of the team that treated the first child, Emily Whitehead, with CAR-T cell therapy. Emily had end-stage leukemia and is now more than five years cancer free. Her father, Tom Whitehead, also discusses CAR-T and his family's experience during the chat.

Dr. Carl June's CAR-T Cell Journey and the Cancer Treatment Revolution

Talk recorded by CureTalks on November 15, 2017 at 1 pm ET

FDA approval of the breakthrough CAR-T cell therapy for cancer brings the first approved gene therapy treatment to the United States. It reprograms the body's own immune system to recognize and kill cancer cells.

Carl June, MD, is one of the pioneers of CAR-T cell research and leads the Penn Medicine team responsible for the historic FDA approval. Listen to Dr. June discuss the nuances of the treatment and what the future may hold for cancer patients.

How Will New Imaging Techniques and Genomic Tests Help In Diagnosis and Management of Prostate Cancer?

Talk recorded by CureTalks on February 9, 2016 at 6 pm ET

In this CureTalks interview, David Lee, MD, FACS, Chief of Urology at Penn Medicine, talks about recent advances in prostate cancer that have led to the discovery of new imaging and genomic tests. These tests and techniques can help patients make more informed decisions regarding their prostate cancer diagnosis, treatments and management options.

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