Our great stories can become your next great story when you learn about the exciting, world-class medicine that is being developed and delivered at the University of Maryland Medical Center!

Check this page often for timely updates about the most current life-saving medical advances and treatments happening at UMMC. And then reach out to a member of the media team to help you schedule interviews and video for your next great story.

A More Targeted Approach to Diagnosing Prostate Cancer

Advanced Imaging Helps Doctors Identify Aggressive Tumors that Require Treatment

In a standard biopsy, doctors take 12 random tissue samples from throughout the prostate, guided by ultrasound. A newer, more targeted approach uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), fused with real-time ultrasound images, to precisely pinpoint areas of suspected cancer that can be biopsied and analyzed. This method increases the chances of identifying aggressive tumors that require immediate treatment and not overtreating slower-growing cancers that may never prove deadly.

“This has really revolutionized the confidence that we have in a diagnosis of prostate cancer, in understanding the true burden of disease that the patient has,” says Dr. M. Minhaj Siddiqui, Associate Professor of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of Urologic Oncology and Robotic Surgery at the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. “If we want to take a more conservative approach, one that is less likely to cause complications, we can do it.

Dr. Siddiqui has co-authored several studies about MRI-targeted prostate biopsy as a collaborating member of a National Cancer Institute (NCI) research team. The latest study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in March, found that using this newer approach, combined with standard biopsy, is significantly more likely to detect the most aggressive prostate cancers than standard biopsy alone.

With increased confidence in the diagnosis, doctors are able “to offer a wider variety of treatments in a more personalized way to treat the tumor in a less aggressive way or a more aggressive way than we otherwise would have done,” Dr. Siddiqui says.

Options include surgery to remove the prostate; focal therapies to treat only the cancer, such as cryoablation (freezing); hormone therapy to thwart cancer growth: and active surveillance to monitor for progression.

More than 200,000 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer each year. September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Additional Resources for Reporters

Soundbites

Addition of MRI-Targeted Biopsy Leads to more Reliable Diagnosis of Prostate Cancer / Press Release


Safety never blinks: Eye checkups during COVID-19

Ophthalmologist, engineer team up to make eye exams safer

Media Contact: Bill Seiler bseiler@umm.edu

It is not lost on Roni Levin, MD, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences and Pediatrics at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, that an ophthalmologist working in Wuhan was one of the first victims of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The coronavirus has not stopped the need for eye exams. As a practicing ophthalmologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center, Dr. Levin continues to see patients with eye emergencies, babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital born prematurely and at risk of eye problems, and patients with retinal disease who need monthly injections to prevent blindness.

At the same time, Dr. Levin sees the need to reduce the risk of infection for both patient and doctor during a microscopic eye exam, as they face each other just inches apart.

Dr. Levin turned to a network of friends and colleagues on social media for ideas and one caught her eye. A college friend she had not seen in 20 years said her husband, an engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, could help. Blake Schreurs had access to the APL’s Maker Center, filled with a number of tools, including a laser cutter, freely available to employees to make what they want on their own time.

The video shows their solution.

Additional Resources for Reporters:

  1. Complete video with CGs
  2. No CG Version
  3. APL media contact
  4. Photos


University of Maryland Medical Center and City partner to establish the future of healthcare in Baltimore by bringing healthcare to home

First year sees decrease in re-admissions to ED and EMS utilization, improved patient health

An innovative community-based program to support the health of individuals in Baltimore City launched last year and is making a big impact on patient health and the healthcare system. Through a comprehensive, free, multidisciplinary care model for patients which provides care outside the hospital setting, and which is designed to reduce health disparities, decrease emergency department visits, and prevent hospital re-admissions, Mobile Integrated Health – Community Paramedicine has resulted in reduced emergency department visits, reduced readmission to the hospital and improved community health.

The University of Maryland Medical Center, the City of Baltimore and Baltimore City Fire Department, and the University of Maryland, Baltimore partnered to launch the new healthcare delivery model for selected areas of Baltimore City in an effort to advance patient centered care in the community and to incorporate a holistic approach focused on the improvement of patient outcomes. The goal is to meet the health care needs of our community members and to improve health disparities. It is a community-based, cost-effective and designed to provide effective and efficient care to patients outside of the hospital. Social and economic factors, weaknesses in primary care infrastructure, and lack of access to treatment for chronic conditions contribute to a high rate of potentially avoidable health care utilization and emergency medical service (EMS) responses in West Baltimore led to the program’s implementation.

At the inception of the program, more than 80% of Baltimore City Fire Department (BCFD) 911 responses are for EMS incidents, presenting a significant strain to the system. And, it is estimated nationally that 15% of persons transported to emergency rooms could be treated safely in non-urgent settings. Today, readmission rates are down, ED visits are down, and the health of those enrolled in the program is improved.

Learn more about how MIH-CP is transforming healthcare in Baltimore.


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