Here are some more stories from our newsmakers!

CAR-T Cell Therapy

For some cancer patients who have failed to respond to other therapies, treatment with their own genetically modified immune cells can mean the difference between life and death.

Says Chip Baldwin, whose cancer is now in remission, “I don’t think I would be here today if it wasn’t for CAR T.”

Diagnosed with an aggressive blood cancer that was growing into a major blood vessel in his chest, Mr. Baldwin was running out of treatment options when he was referred to the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCCC), a regional leader in CAR T-cell therapy.

In this video, he talks about his cancer journey and life after receiving this FDA-approved immunotherapy in April 2018.

His oncologist, Dr. Aaron Rapoport, director of UMGCCC’s Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, calls CAR T-cell therapy “one of the most exciting new developments in cancer therapy.” He talks about UMGCCC’s robust clinical and research program and the promise of using CAR T-cell therapy to treat more types of cancer.

Additional Resources


GammaPod

GammaPod is a new treatment option for early stage breast cancer invented here at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Targeted radiation treatment is delivered in less treatments and spares radiation exposure to other organs including the heart and lungs.

The University of Maryland Medical Center Downtown Campus in Baltimore is the first place in the country to offer this innovative new treatment.

Learn more about GammaPod:


MRI-Guided Focused Ultrasound

With the potential to transform the treatment of many medical disorders by using ultrasonic energy to target tissue deep in the body without incisions or radiation, focused ultrasound is an early-stage, non-invasive therapeutic technology offering new hope to patients.

University of Maryland Medical Center physician scientists are pioneering the use of MRI-guided focused ultrasound to become a new standard of care for treating many common and devastating brain diseases including Parkinson's, essential tremor, neuropathic pain and glioblastoma, an often deadly type of brain cancer.


Stem Cell Research

Dr. Sunjay Kaushal in his lab

Can adult stem cells derived from bone marrow benefit children with the congenital heart defect hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS)?

That is what Sunjay Kaushal, MD, PhD, professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director, pediatric cardiac surgery, University of Maryland Children’s Hospital, is leading research to find out.

In HLHS, the left ventricle does not develop completely during a critical growth period just prior to birth. The hope is that the stem cells improve the heart’s pumping ability.


The Spirit of Thanksgiving: When a transplant surgeon’s medicine becomes personal

As the 11-year-old girl entered the operating room to get a kidney transplant, she declared she’d be a transplant surgeon when she grew up.

The transplant was a success, the girl actualized her dream, and today UMMC transplant surgeon Silke V. Niederhaus, MD, assistant professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shares her firsthand perspective to help patients navigate the organ transplant process.

Two themes describe her approach to patient care:

  • Thankfulness for all those who have donated organs
  • Advocacy for living organ donation

Those themes came together recently, when her transplanted kidney began to fail after lasting a long time, 30 years. In late 2018, she began looking for a living organ donor, doing what she tells her patients to do – ask family, friends, even strangers to become an organ donor.

In this video, Dr. Niederhaus describes the steps she went through to find a living donor and her thankfulness for the donor whose kidney she received through a paired kidney exchange. The experience has also given Dr. Niederhaus a new appreciation of the difficult challenges thousands of people endure as they wait for an organ transplant. What she learned could provide new hope for her patients.

Video Assets for Reporters:

  1. Complete version with CGs, music
  2. No CG, No music version
  3. CG List