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Radiation a risk factor for brain tumors in young people, study finds :Dr Vikram Prabhu

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In people under age 30, radiation is a risk factor for a type of brain tumor called a meningioma, a Loyola University Medical Center study has found.

Researchers analyzed records of 35 patients who were diagnosed with meningiomas before age 30. Five had been exposed to ionizing radiation earlier in their lives. They include two patients who received radiation for leukemia at ages 5 and 6; one who received radiation at age 3 for a brain tumor known as a medulloblastoma; and one who received radiation for an earlier skull base tumor that appeared to be a meningioma. The fifth patient had been exposed at age 9 to radiation from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster in Ukraine. Twenty years later, he was diagnosed with a meningioma.

In the five patients, the average latency period for the tumors was 23.5 years.

The study was published in the online journal Neuroscience Discovery.

"The results of this preliminary study have prompted us to look closely at radiation's effects on the brain," said Loyola neurosurgeon Vikram Prabhu, MD, first author of the study. Dr. Prabhu specializes in treating brain tumors.

A meningioma is a tumor, usually benign, that arises from the meninges -- the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Meningiomas comprise about one-third of all primary brain tumors, but are rare in children and young adults. It is one of the commonest brain tumors treated at Loyola by Dr. Prabhu and his team. They are doing a follow-up study on patients of all ages who have been treated at Loyola for meningiomas. In collaboration with Dr. Omer Iqbal, from the Department of Pathology, they are analyzing the genetics and biology of tumor samples to find how they differ from samples of tumors not linked to radiation.

Loyola oncologist Kevin Barton, MD, a co-author of the study, said: "It is important to compare and contrast these post-radiation meningiomas with de novo meningiomas, both clinically and biologically, in order to further define optimal therapy."

Researchers so far have identified 14 meningioma patients who were exposed to radiation earlier in their lives. They include three patients who were exposed to Chernobyl radiation and 11 patients who received therapeutic radiation for such conditions as leukemia, medulloblastoma tumors and fungal infections of the scalp.

Dr. Edward Melian, a radiation oncologist at Loyola and co-author of the study, said patients generally have done very well with radiation treatments. "Although we have identified radiation as a risk factor for meningiomas, radiation remains an important part of the treatment regimen for certain lesions, and is helping us obtain good results for our patients."

Dr. Prabhu said physicians have become more judicious in using radiation for therapeutic purposes. For example, radiation no longer is used to treat fungal scalp infections.

"We have become more aware of the tumor-inducing properties of radiation," Dr. Prabhu said.

People who have been exposed to large doses of radiation to the head face a small risk of later developing brain tumors. If such a person experiences symptoms associated with brain tumors, including headaches, seizures, vomiting and blurry vision, he or she should see a doctor, Dr. Prabhu said.

Dr. Prabhu is a professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. Dr. Melian is an associate professor in the departments of Radiation Oncology and Neurological Surgery. Dr. Barton is an associate professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology. Other co-authors are Loyola biostatistician Rong Guo, PhD; Douglas Anderson, MD, a professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery; and Edward Perry, MD, who completed a residency in neurological surgery at Loyola.



The study is titled "Intracranial meningiomas in individuals under the age of 30; Analysis of risk factors, histopathology and the recurrence rate."


Painting By Dr Danny George

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Santorini - Acrylic on Canvas.

For me this is about keeping my word. I did rekindle an old habit at the turn of New Year this year. Now, 6 months and 2 exams later, I finally managed to finish this painting. 

Santorini is an island off the mainland of Greece. This picture is iconic. I set about doing this painting because of its striking colours - brilliant blue and white. I thought it would be simple, just blue and white, right? But it became an arduous task trying to get all 50 shades of white correct! Then came a moment when the technique crystallized and from then on, it was rather smooth sailing. Added a few details for the roving eye to pick up.

And thus was completed my first painting in 8 years! 


High Mast Floodlights dedicated by Director

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Father Paul Parathazham, Director of the St John’s National Academy of Health Sciences dedicated the high mast floodlights installed on the Sarjapur Road in front of St John’s Hospital on Monday evening in presence of residents, representatives of various RWAs in Koramangala and adjoining areas as well as officials from the BBMP Streetlight wing. Later sweets were distributed.
Similarly the newly installed floodlights were switched on by former Block Congress President Narayana Gowda at the Beauty Spot Park in Koramangala 5th Block.
Koramangala Ward President Govardhan Reddy, Congress leaders Radhakrishna, Ashok Reddy, Raghuram Reddy, Koramangala 4th Block RWA President G M Shetty, Secretary Cherian, Ejipura New Extension Residents’ Association (ENERA) President Ravindra Kumar, Koramangala 3rd Block RWA Secretary Reggie Thomas, Nitin Seshadri, Dr Umeshwara from 5th Block, Narayana Gowda, Venkatesh Jetty, Kishan Naik, Krishna, from Jakkasandra Extension, Murugesh from 7th Block, BBMP official Sandeep, Kudremukh Colony residents and others were present


Dr Paul Thuluvath's New Book

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Hepatitis C A Complete Guide for Patients and Families


The liver is the body’s workhorse. It makes proteins and bile, processes fats, and detoxifies drugs and alcohol. The liver is a resilient organ, but it is susceptible to damage from a number of sources, including viral infections. Such infections cause inflammation of the liver, called hepatitis. This book is a comprehensive guide to hepatitis C, which affects about 3 percent of the world’s population—3 to 4 million people in the United States alone. Some people with acute hepatitis C infection will be cured without any treatment, but when hepatitis C becomes chronic it may cause cirrhosis, liver cancer, and death.

Hepatitis C is transmitted from an infected person to an uninfected person by sharing drug-injecting equipment, snorting cocaine, having sex, or getting a blood transfusion or organ transplant. It can be spread by getting a tattoo with unsterile equipment. In rare cases, women with hepatitis C transmit the virus to their infants.

World-renowned gastroenterologist and liver specialist Dr. Paul J. Thuluvath provides detailed information about the disease and its diagnosis and management, including dramatically improved treatments that have recently emerged. Dr. Thuluvath answers common and uncommon questions about hepatitis C and liver disease, including

· How is hepatitis C spread? · Who should be tested—and what tests diagnose hepatitis C and other liver diseases? · What are the symptoms of acute liver disease? · What are the symptoms and complications of chronic liver disease? · What are the complications of cirrhosis (scarring of the liver)? · How does hepatitis C affect other organs in the body? · What treatment options are available, and what side effects might they have? · How is early liver cancer diagnosed and treated?· When is liver transplantation needed, and how does it work?

Dr. Thuluvath provides the latest information on new interferon-free regimens, which have shown a cure rate of more than 90% in people with specific genotypes—and which avoid the distressing side effects of interferon therapy. He discusses hepatitis C in children as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Published while revolutionary changes are taking place in the treatment of hepatitis C, this authoritative guide will become the preferred reference for people with hepatitis C and their families.


Paul J. Thuluvath, MD, FRCP, is a professor of medicine and surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the director of the Institute of Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

"Superior to similar guides. Incredibly thorough and well-written, the book provides novel information for patients and providers alike."

"A highly readable, up-to-date and comprehensive book for people who have Hepatitis C. Dr. Thuluvath superbly explains this common and often poorly understood condition in an invaluable resource for patients and families in understanding Hepatitis C and its complications and management."


Dr. Anthony Pais delivers Alfred Mascarhenhas Memorial Oration

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Dr Anthony V Pais, professor and head of the department of Surgery (Academic Affairs) and senior consultant surgical oncology, Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Center, Narayana Hrudayalaya Hospital, Bangalore was honored by the department of Surgery, St John’s Medical College, Bangalore with the prestigious Professor Alfred Mascarenhas Oration on June 19. 

On the occasion, Dr Pais spoke on ‘A Century of Technical Evolution in Breast Cancer Surgery’. 

Prof Alfred Mascarenhas served this institution in many capacities continuously and with dedication for 29 years. He was the head of the department of Surgery, Medical Superintendent of St John’s Medical College Hospital and the principal of St John’s Medical College when he retired in 1995. Thereafter he continued to be the Emeritus professor of Surgery. 

He taught and trained many medical students from 1966 till he retired. He was instrumental in starting the postgraduate masters degree (MS) course in General Surgery in this institution in 1982 and many young surgeons who trained under him now occupy senior positions in several prestigious institutions in India and abroad. 

When he passed away, we lost a good friend and a great teacher, mentor and administrator. The Department of Surgery established this oration in his memory in 2002 and since then it has been conducted as a part of our annual Continuing Surgical Education Programme (CSEP) in May–June. 

The department of Surgery selects one eminent surgeon from the country or abroad every year. He /she should have contributed immensely to the field of surgery academically and the community. We have had the honor of having many eminent surgeons deliver this oration including past presidents of the Association of Surgeons of India. 

List of orators is as follows: Dr ArunB Kilpadi (2002), Dr Lucito D’Souza (2003), Dr Ashely D Cruz (2004), Dr Philip Thomas (2005), Dr H Ramesh (2006), Dr C Palanivelu (2007), Dr Ananthakrishnan(2008), Dr Srimurthy (2009), Dr Krishna Rau MS (2010), Dr Mohan Rao (2011), Dr Ananthram (2012), Dr Matthias W Hoffmann (2013), Dr S Vittal (2014) and Dr Anthony Pais (2015).
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