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Supportive palliative care integrated into lung transplant program at Baylor Dallas

At the point a patient with advanced lung disease is considered for transplant, he or she is severely ill. While all transplants are challenging, patients who undergo lung transplant can face a particularly rough road. To gain a more in-depth understanding of the patient under consideration, Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas (Baylor Dallas), part of Baylor Scott & White Health, has embedded supportive palliative care into the lung transplant program.

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BSW researcher co-authors paper in JAMA Oncology examining Hypofractionated Image-Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) for non-small cell lung cancer patients

Concurrent radiation therapy and chemotherapy, known as chemoradiation, is a common treatment for locally advanced cancers. Adding concurrent chemotherapy can improve the effectiveness of radiation therapy but can also enhance the appearance of toxic side effects. This means that some cancer patients, especially those with comorbidities or poor health status, are ineligible for concurrent chemoradiation. Researchers at Baylor Scott & White Research Institute (BSWRI) are contributing to critical clinical trials to improve the effectiveness of radiation therapy for cancer patients, including those who are not eligible for concurrent chemoradiation.

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Translational research fuels discovery at Baylor Scott & White Research Institute

Baylor Scott & White Research Institute (BSWRI) is well known for its diverse research portfolio. The program actively maintains nearly 2,000 active and enrolling projects across more than 50 medical specialties each year, including initiatives supported by its translational research program. The program is focused on driving innovation by working with clinical teams across the Baylor Scott & White Health System to develop new medicines and diagnostic tests. The translational research team’s approach to discovery of “bench-to-bedside- and- back-to-bench” allows BSWRI to continue to be a major contributor to advancements in medical science.

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Baylor Scott & White researchers link allergy and achalasia

Achalasia is a serious motility disorder of the esophagus that impacts more than 5,000 people in the US each year. Patients with achalasia experience damage to muscle and nerve cells in the esophagus, resulting in a loss of the peristaltic activity that normally pushes food through the esophagus into the stomach, and failure of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax with swallowing, which further blocks the transit of food. Thus, achalasia patients experience severe swallowing difficulty that adversely impacts their quality of life. Because the etiology of achalasia is not known, current therapies do not cure the disease and only address its symptoms. Exciting new research from Baylor Scott & White Research Institute (BSWRI) shows that LES muscle in achalasia exhibits profound mast cell degranulation, a hallmark of allergy-induced inflammation. This work adds support to the novel hypothesis developed by BSWRI researchers that achalasia might be an allergic disorder.  

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It is again a great honor and pleasure to introduce this latest issue of the Baylor Scott & White Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute Abdominal Transplant Update.

For 40 years, our abdominal transplant team has delivered innovative and compassionate care to patients with progressed disease in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and the Southwest region. We are dedicated to providing advanced therapeutic options that not only save lives, but also improve the quality of life of patients. We are proud to be leaders in the transplant world. Most recently, our physician-researchers played a prominent role sharing their knowledge and insights at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) The Liver Meeting in November 2023 and at the American Society of Transplant Surgeons Winter Symposium in January 2024.

Please let us know how we can be of service to you and your patients, or if you have any questions.

Giuliano Testa, MD, MBA, FACS
Chairman and Chief of Abdominal Transplantation,
Baylor Scott & White Annette C. and Harold C. Simmons Transplant Institute