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  • R&E Inspire-Innovate-Invest Campaign Nears its $17.5 Million Goal

    RSNA’s R&E Foundation hopes to finish strong in raising funds for critical grants in research and education. By Mary Henderson


    October 1, 2017

    As the Research & Education (R&E) Foundation’s Inspire-Innovate-Invest Campaign draws to a close at the end of the year, the Foundation has raised more than 90 percent of its $17.5 million goal. Launched in 2014, the Campaign will help the Foundation continue funding critically needed grants in radiologic research and education. By donating to the Campaign this fall, supporters have an opportunity to affect the way the specialty is practiced in the not-too-distant future, from the development of new disease-related biomarkers to novel therapeutic interventions.

    “Typically when you become a benefactor of medical research, you can expect it to take 10 years or more for that research to reach clinical practice,” said Richard L. Ehman, MD, RSNA president and former R&E Foundation grant recipient. “But in imaging and radiology, the research translates much sooner.”

    Case in point: 2016 Cook Medical Cesare Gianturco/RSNA Research Seed Grant recipient Mubin I. Syed, MD, recently published results of a pilot study that may help pave the way for a new minimally invasive treatment for morbid obesity. His GET LEAN (Gastric Artery Embolization Trial for the Lessening of Appetite Non-surgically) study collected safety and efficacy on the new procedure, which targets a condition that has become a worldwide epidemic.

    “Our results are exciting,” said Dr. Syed, lead investigator of the study conducted at Dayton Interventional Radiology. “I really think this procedure will change the world.”

    In the study, four patients underwent a catheter-based procedure in which the left gastric artery is embolized with particles to block blood flow to the area of the stomach where the appetite-stimulating hormone ghrelin is produced. No serious adverse events occurred and the four treated patients experienced an average weight loss at six months of 20.3 pounds and an average excess body weight loss of 17.2 percent.

    Dr. Syed’s study was one of the first of its kind to be conducted in humans and authored an FDA supervised Investigational Device Exemption study on his experience with the procedure. Earlier animal studies showed significant ghrelin suppression and weight loss following the procedure and a retrospective study conducted at Harvard University demonstrated that patients undergoing the procedure to combat hemorrhaging experienced significant ghrelin suppression and weight loss.

    “Radiologists are the vanguard for this procedure, which I believe will be proven effective and become the standard of care for obesity,” said Dr. Syed, who will soon embark on Phase II of the GET LEAN study. “R&E Foundation funding is critically important because it allows us to begin research and win additional funding to finish our work.”

    As research funding becomes increasingly difficult to secure from national sources, the R&E Foundation is able to grant awards to approximately 30 percent of proposals, giving early career researchers a solid start. In 2017, the R&E Foundation awarded $4 million to grant recipients for the second year in a row, including Eduardo M. Barbosa Jr, MD, assistant professor of radiology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.

    Dr. Barbosa, who received the 2017 Fujifilm Medical Systems/RSNA Research Seed Grant, will conduct a pilot study using high-resolution CT to develop and validate biomarkers for fibrotic interstitial lung diseases.

    “The biology of chronic fibrotic lung disease is not completely understood and diagnosis is challenging,” he said. “Using quantitative CT imaging data correlated with relevant clinical information and patient outcomes, we hope to better understand the course of the disease and recommend interventions that are more effective for individual patients.”

    The two-stage retrospective study will enroll approximately 300 patients and use both commercial software and advanced custom-made texture recognition and quantification algorithms to correlate CT data with subjective imaging assessments, multidisciplinary diagnosis and clinical/functional parameters.

    “R&E grants allow researchers to do work that has more risk but that offers potentially high rewards,” Dr. Barbosa said. “An R&E grant is a crucial step in creating and validating methods to support new techniques and interventions.”

    Help the Campaign finish strong by making a donation at RSNA.org/Donate. For more information, contact Ashley Koman, Manager, Fund Development, at akoman@RSNA.org.

    Inspire-Innovate-Invest Campaign Co-Chairs

    Bradely 
    Bryan 
    Levin 

    Campaign co-chairs pictured left to right: William G. Bradley, Jr, MD, PhD, R. Nick Bryan, MD, PhD, and David C. Levin, MD.




    Ehman
    Ehman

    Syed
    Syed

    Barbosa
    Barbosa




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