MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Pelvis reconstructed from patient’s amputated leg. Doctors rebuilt a cancer patient’s lower body using titanium surgical implants and parts from his own body.
A team of oncologists, urologists, neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons and general surgeons at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center successfully reconstituted a man’s pelvis with autographs from his own amputated leg, reports medtech blog MegGadget.
The procedure is being hailed as the first of its kind surgery in the United States.
"Even more remarkable than the sheer engineering complexity of the pelvic device is the fact that the patient, now considered a cancer survivor, is almost able to walk without any assistance," the publication wrote.
According to MedGadget:
Mike Prindle was an Ohio mail carrier who developed a chondrosarcoma tumor on his pelvis and sacrum that necessitated the removal of the malignant part of his pelvis, and the amputation of his left leg. However, instead of discarding the amputated limb, doctors kept the femur, fibula, and their surrounding blood vessels, muscles, and skin, which were unaffected by the cancer. They then engineered a custom device consisting of the salvaged leg bones, two large [titanium] rods and a couple of smaller rods fixed to the pelvis and spine with 14 screws to help provide support.
The surgery on Prindle is called an “En Bloc” procedure, which translated from French means "as a whole, or in mass." For such a procedure, a surgeon removes an entire tumor intact. Surgeries for bone tumors of the pelvis usually feature artificial parts or cadaver bones to reconstruct the pelvis and patients are often confined to wheelchairs because their pelvises do not heal strongly enough to support their body weight using a prosthetic leg, according to OSUCCC.
Republicans seek multi-year doc fix, casting doubts on cost control. The annual scramble to prevent next year’s scheduled pay cut for doctors who treat Medicare patients kicked off Thursday. The issue – known as “the doc fix” – is the residue of a law enacted by Congress in the late 1990s that sought to limit the growth of Medicare spending. The law limited physician pay increases to same growth as the overall economy, which became known as the sustainable growth rate or SGR. Since health care spending over the last decade grew twice as fast as gross domestic product, implementing the SGR would dramatically shrink physician pay as a share of overall Medicare spending. Every year members of the American Medical Association and specialty societies bombard Capitol Hill with demands to restore the old system. And every year, Congress voids the SGR-mandated cuts. But that means that every year the size of the scheduled pay cut under the original law grows larger, writes health care journalist Merrill Goozner.
State-by-state data on health reform benefits opened to public. The Obama administration today unveiled an online tool allowing people to track the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s benefits for retirees. The tool is aimed squarely at highlighting the law’s benefits for seniors as Democrats assail House Republicans’ proposal to replace Medicare with subsidies for private insurance, writes The Hill.
Heart Rhythm Society comments on industry connections. Professional medical societies may be looking long and hard at how they disclose industry ties in response to an article published by ProPublica (and USA Today) entitled: "Financial ties bind medical societies to drug and device makers." The report examines the medical conference trade and the associated funding sources, focusing on the Heart Rhythm Society 2011 meeting now underway. The report’s authors also organized the responses of 33 other prominent medical societies to an inquiry of Sen. Charles Grassley’s (R-Iowa) regarding funds they receive from the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. There is much for the public to learn here.
But what should not go un-noticed, however, is the Heart Rhythm Society’s willingness to "bear all" about their practices. In fact, they answered, head-on, questions posed to them by the ProPublica reporters. In this respect, they should be commended for pulling back the curtain on the sources of funding for these scientific sessions and their operations, writes cardiologist blogger Westby Fisher.
Athersys plans to commence first stroke study by close of 2011.Stem cell therapy developer Athersys (NSDQ:ATHX) plans to begin the first clinical study of its MultiStem technology in stroke patients by the end of the year. The planned double-blind, placebo-controlled study could involve as many as 150 patients, CEO Gil Van Bokkelen said in a conference call with analysts and investors after announcing the Cleveland-based company’s first-quarter financial results. Finally beginning a clinical study of stroke patients is significant for Athersys because stroke is likely the most promising application of MultiStem, an off-the-shelf stem cell treatment derived from the bone marrow of adults or other nonembryonic sources, acccording to MedCity News.