Dr. Mary Scanlon of Penn Medicine said the COVID-19 pandemic has caused her organization to limit its number of on-site trainees, maximize the number of radiologists who can read images from home, set up virtual morning conferences with residents, develop wellness initiatives and adopt physical distancing measures for their workstations. Meanwhile, Dr. Lilja Solnes of Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions said her organization also reduced its number of on-site residents and re-created the image reading experience through virtual rooms, which allowed faculty members to teach residents and monitor their progress. Dr. Pamela Johnson of Johns Hopkins University added, "Educational innovation went even beyond the residency training."
A five-year mobile mammography program deployed by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center was able to perform more than 9,000 imaging exams in the Houston area, most of them on Hispanic women who were at least 50 years old, and resulted in more than 1,600 abnormality-related recalls, which included 11 invasive malignancies, while the inclusion of multilingual technologists in the mobile unit staff reduced errors, boosted efficiency and improved patient satisfaction, according to a study in Academic Radiology. "These findings support the need for the development of similar programs in other areas in the United States with a mission to care for the underserved community," researchers wrote.
Human resources, especially radiologic technologists, made up the highest cost for operating MRI scanners, accounting for 35% of the total cost of ownership, compared with purchasing an MRI that will be used for 10 years on average, which only accounted for 17% of TCO, according to a study presented at the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine virtual annual meeting. Radiology departments can reduce costs by adopting centralized remote scanning that can also benefit staff members who may be at risk for developing COVID-19, researcher Dr. Elizabeth Jones said.
Individuals with cancer and confirmed COVID-19 who received immune checkpoint inhibitors had similar mortality risk, compared with the general cancer population, according to a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's virtual annual meeting. The findings were based on data involving 113 patients treated across 19 hospitals in North America, Australia and Europe.
Researchers found that a gesture-based augmented reality interface allowed wireless MRI scanner control and 3D image visualization while maintaining direct sight of patients. The approach, detailed at the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine virtual annual meeting, also proved to be reliable and intuitive for radiologic technologists and physicians.
A breakthrough artificial intelligence model that has a classifier for predicting tasks and a "rejector" to identify whether it or a human expert should complete tasks yielded 8% improved performance in diagnosing collapsed lung and enlarged heart in chest X-rays, compared with human readers or AI alone, according to findings published on arXiv.org. "We hope that our method will inspire machine learning practitioners to get more creative in integrating real-time human expertise into their algorithms," said researcher David Sontag.
Researchers found that hearing impairment correlated with tau neurofibrillary degeneration among older adults with normal cognition and had a positive link with microinfarcts, but it was inversely tied to neuritic plaque density and not associated with Braak stage, gross infarcts or neocortical Lewy bodies among those with dementia. The findings in Neurology also showed an association between hearing loss and neocortical Lewy bodies among those with cognitive impairment at nearly four years' follow-up, but impaired hearing wasn't tied to non-tauopathy frontotemporal lobal degeneration.
People with stage III to stage IVB nasopharyngeal carcinoma undergoing conventional fractionated radiotherapy who received induction-concurrent chemotherapy had significantly better five-year progression-free survival and slightly improved overall survival, compared with those who were given a concurrent-adjuvant chemotherapy sequence, researchers reported in the journal Cancer. An accompanying editorial attributed the benefit of induction to the "salvage role of adding further chemotherapy to a slight underdosing of radiotherapy rather than a lack of benefit from accelerated fractionation in itself," while another editorial said a comparison between induction chemotherapy succeeded by concurrent chemoradiation against adjuvant chemotherapy is needed to determine the best treatment for nasopharyngeal cancer.
FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn assured the public that any potential COVID-19 vaccines will be reviewed by an outside advisory panel in accordance with regulatory and legal standards. "Given the widespread potential use of a COVID-19 vaccine, transparent discussion at FDA's Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will be needed," Hahn and other FDA officials wrote in JAMA.
The FDA has approved the oral treatment Evrysdi, or risdiplam, developed by Roche and PTC Therapeutics as a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy in adults and pediatric patients ages two months and older.