Media Spotlight

“War encourages a singular, unified effort against an enemy and encourages sacrifice of unnecessary indulgences to support the cause. This is an incredibly effective strategy and metaphor for cancer research, which is expensive, time-consuming, and mentally and emotionally draining,” wrote Suneel Kamath, MD, chief fellow in Hematology/Oncology in a commentary. “However, cancer for patients is not a war because cancer by its nature is a form of ourselves. Cancer forms from our own cells by hijacking normal pathways to make tumor cells that live longer and multiply faster. … The war metaphor also implies incorrectly that surviving cancer is mostly about toughness, fighting hard and staying positive. While a good attitude certainly helps, the greatest predictors of cancer survival are how aggressive the cancer is and the stage.”

Treating Teen Depression Might Improve Mental Health of Parents, Too

NPR, The Atlantic

When a teen’s symptoms of depression improve as a result of treatment, it’s more likely that their parent’s mood lifts, too, new research shows. Graduate student Kelsey Howard and her advisor, Mark Reinecke, PhD, chief of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, analyzed data from a 2008 study that followed more than 300 teenagers getting treatment for depression over the course of about nine months. Before the kids started treatment, about a quarter of parents were experiencing high levels of depression, but their symptoms improved over the course of the study. “We exist in families, we exist in social networks. And a lot of our well-being, a lot of our highs and lows might come from these relationships,” explained Howard, who presented the results of the research at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

Diet and Exercise May Stem Weight Gain of Pregnancy, but Should Begin Early

The New York Times

More than half of all pregnant women in America are overweight or obese when they conceive, putting them and their children at a higher risk of developing health problems. Starting a diet and exercise program around the beginning of their second trimesters helped many of these women avoid excess weight gain during their pregnancies, according to a study published in Obesity. But it did not lower their rate of gestational diabetes, hypertension and other adverse outcomes. “We are going to have to start talking to women who are overweight or obese even before pregnancy and explain to them the risk of that weight on a potential pregnancy,” said lead author Alan Peaceman, MD, chief of Maternal Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Helping Nature: Inducing Labor Avoids Cesarean for Some Moms

AP, The New York Times, Washington Post, NPR

First-time moms at low risk of complications were less likely to need a cesarean delivery if labor was induced at 39 weeks instead of waiting for it to start on its own, found a big study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Their babies fared better, too. The results overturn the longtime view that inducing labor raises the risk for a C-section, and prompted two leading OB-GYN doctor groups to say it’s now reasonable to offer women like those in the study that option. William Grobman, MD, MBA, ’97, ’00 GME, the Arthur Hale Curtis, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, led the research, which was also featured in the Spring 2018 issue of Northwestern Medicine magazine.