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Pediatric Specialty Updates

March 2015 - Surgery

Pediatric oncology research group reports on an anti-cancer therapy

Researchers affiliated with University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital have released findings supporting the use of attenuated Salmonella in delivering anti-cancer therapies. The findings are part of a collaborative pediatric oncology research effort led by Daniel Saltzman, MD, PhD, called Project Stealth. The project leverages the ability of Salmonella to colonize solid tumors as a novel method for delivering immunemodulating proteins to the tumor microenvironment. These alterations facilitate immune-mediated tumor destruction by the host immune system. Articles detailing the project’s latest research can be found in the November 29, 2014 online issue of Current Microbiology and in the journal Anticancer Research in the coming months.

Pediatric surgeon honored

Pediatric surgeon Robert Acton, MD, has received the Association for Surgical Education’s Excellence in Innovation Award. The award recognizes Acton’s work developing a curriculum linked to SimPORTAL (Simulation PeriOperative Resource for Training and Learning), a technological platform that gives students virtual surgical practice with visual and tactile feedback. Unlike traditional student practice on an animal or cadaver, the technology and the curriculum allows residents to practice key skills many times.

Unique approach to destroying infection-causing biofilms

Pediatric surgeon Donavon Hess, MD, PhD, MBA and colleagues recently announced the discovery that the natural surfactant glycerol monolaurate acts to eliminate antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus biofilms. Matrix-embedded bacteria (i.e., “biofilms”) easily develop within tubing used in administering many types of chemotherapy or antibiotics, causing dangerous catheter-acquired infections. Glycerol monolaurate acts synergistically with gentamicin and streptomycin, but not ampicillin or vancomycin. The research appears in “Antibacterial Synergy of Glycerol Monolaurate and Aminoglycosides in Staphylococcus Aureus Biofilms” (Hess DJ, et al. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2014;58(11):6970-6973).

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March 2015 - Surgery

Multidisciplinary Approach Improves Pediatric Surgery Outcomes

Birth defects are the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in children. Advanced surgical options and a team approach have improved quality of life for children with these conditions.

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March 2015 - Surgery

Child with Persistent Cloaca Able to Attend School, Swim after Procedures

After procedures to restore fecal and urinary continence, a 4-year-old girl with a persistent cloaca experienced a dramatic improvement in quality of life. She was able to attend school and to swim at the local pool.

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