Media monitor

Is science shortchanging patients with brain cancer? In an editorial in last week's Journal of the American Medical Association, Paul Fisher, MD, associate professor of neurology and neurological sciences, voiced concern that there's too little research being done into the causes, risk factors and treatments of the disease. "Neuro-oncology requires a major paradigm shift and substantial changes in treatment and research involving malignant gliomas," Fisher and a co-author wrote. The Associated Press ran a story on their piece.

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Many doctors consider Camran Nezhat, MD, head of the Society of Laparoendoscopic Surgeons and adjunct professor of surgery, to be the father of laporoscopy. Now he's extended his skills to another technology, using the da Vinci surgical system to treat women with severe endometriosis.

Last week CBSMarketWatch ran a story for which a reporter watched Nezhat and his team use the multi-armed robot to operate on a woman. According to the story, Nezhat moved between the robot's master control console in the corner of the room to the patient on the table, guiding the team through the procedure to remove the woman's cervix and uterus and one of her ovaries. With an ultrasound device known as a harmonic scalpel, he also removed endometrial scar tissue.

"The robot was the star of the show," the article said, "with Nezhat performing like the wizard behind the curtain in 'The Wizard of Oz.'" While use of the robot is growing, the story noted, "Stanford is taking it to new heights to treat the primary causes of female infertility."

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Pope John Paul's bout with a respiratory infection set reporters and producers scrambling for experts to comment on his condition. Two Stanford physicians contributed their expertise: Jaimie Henderson, MD, clinical associate professor of neurosurgery, and Ramona Doyle, MD, associate professor of medicine (pulmonary and critical care medicine). Henderson was quoted in an Associated Press article, which appeared in papers throughout the country. Doyle was interviewed for NBC's "Today Show". Despite her rapid response—from clinic to studio in less than 20 minutes—the program opted for a physician in New York who could appear live on the set. Kudos to Doyle for a valiant effort.