Prenatal COVID Exposure & Neurodevelopmental Issues

The Miraculous Journey, an installation by Damien Hirst outside the Sidra Medical & Research Centre in Doha, Qatar.

“Infants born to those who tested positive for COVID-19 during pregnancy may have neurodevelopmental issues after birth, according to new preliminary findings from two separate studies out of the U.S. and Spain.

The peer-reviewed U.S. study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open on June 9, looked at 7,772 infants delivered during the pandemic between March and September 2020 at six hospitals in Massachusetts, 222 of whom had prenatal exposure to SARS-CoV-2. Results showed that the latter group of infants were more likely to receive a neurodevelopmental diagnosis in the first year after birth.

Separately, a small Spanish study compared 21 cases where the parent tested positive during pregnancy and 21 babies who had no exposure during pregnancy at the Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital in Santander, Spain. Analysis showed that infants who were exposed in utero demonstrated more motor skill difficulties six weeks after birth, findings that were presented at the 30th European Congress of Psychiatry in early June.”

More on Prenatal COVID exposure affects babies’ motor skills, speech, studies find via CTV News.

Scholar Day 2022: Procedural Skills

Procedural skills are a fundamental part of family medicine; however, there is no formal curriculum for teaching these skills during residency. Our objective was to assess whether new graduates from the University of British Columbia (UBC) Family Medicine program feel that they are proficient in all core procedures identified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC) and to explore their learning experiences with the described procedures.

Learn more here.

#ScholarDay #UBC

Virtual Introductory Summer Course in Ophthalmology (VISCO)

Residents interested in learning more about ophthalmology should check out the Virtual Introductory Summer Course in Ophthalmology (VISCO), which is a free virtual course on Sunday afternoons this summer that aims to provide increased accessibility to high quality ophthalmology teaching. The first session on Sunday June 19, 2022 3-5pm ET is case-based and focuses on common emergency presentations which your residents may encounter in clinical practice. 

The course is composed of two parts:

  1. Six weekly workshops presented by ophthalmology faculty and residents across Canada, and
  2. A high-yield structured reading guide using curated resources that is meant to provide background knowledge to supplement the workshops.

During the course, you will have opportunities to win prizes and learn ophthalmology from incredible teachers.

The content and objectives of this course are based on a curated list of learning objectives endorsed by Canadian Undergraduate Medical Education Leads in Ophthalmology and reference resources from the Association of University Professors in Ophthalmology (AUPO) and the Medical Council of Canada (MCC).  

These sessions are also eligible for Royal College Section 2 CME credits. 

More information and links to register can be found here.

Safety & Antitumor Activity of Dostarlimab

Background: Dostarlimab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that binds with high affinity to PD-1, resulting in inhibition of binding to PD-L1 and PD-L2. We report interim data from patients with endometrial cancer (EC) participating in a phase I trial of single-agent dostarlimab.

Methods: GARNET, an ongoing, single-arm, open-label, phase I trial of intravenous dostarlimab in advanced solid tumors, is being undertaken at 123 sites. Two cohorts of patients with EC were recruited: those with dMMR/MSI-H disease (cohort A1) and those with proficient/stable (MMRp/MSS) disease (cohort A2). Patients received dostarlimab 500 mg every 3 weeks for 4 cycles, then dostarlimab 1000 mg every 6 weeks until disease progression. The primary endpoints were objective response rate (ORR) and duration of response (DOR) per RECIST V.1.1, as assessed by blinded independent central review.

Results: Screening began on April 10, 2017, and 129 and 161 patients with advanced EC were enrolled in cohorts A1 and A2, respectively. The median follow-up duration was 16.3 months (IQR 9.5–22.1) for cohort A1 and 11.5 months (IQR 11.0–25.1) for cohort A2. In cohort A1, ORR was 43.5% (95% CI 34.0% to 53.4%) with 11 complete responses and 36 partial responses. In cohort A2, ORR was 14.1% (95% CI 9.1% to 20.6%) with three complete responses and 19 partial responses. Median DOR was not reached in either cohort. In the combined cohorts, the majority of treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) were grade 1–2 (75.5%), most commonly fatigue (17.6%), diarrhea (13.8%), and nausea (13.8%). Grade≥3 TRAEs occurred in 16.6% of patients, and 5.5% discontinued dostarlimab because of TRAEs. No deaths were attributable to dostarlimab.

Conclusion: Dostarlimab demonstrated durable antitumor activity in both dMMR/MSI-H (ORR 43.5%) and MMRp/MSS EC (ORR 14.1%) with a manageable safety profile.

More on Safety and antitumor activity of dostarlimab in patients with advanced or recurrent DNA mismatch repair deficient/microsatellite instability-high (dMMR/MSI-H) or proficient/stable (MMRp/MSS) endometrial cancer: interim results from GARNET—a phase I, single-arm study via Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer.

Analgesic Effects of Interferential Current Therapy: A Narrative Review

Le Violon d’Ingres, 1924, Man Ray

“Background and Objectives: Transcutaneous electrical stimulation of low- and medium-frequency currents is commonly used in pain management. Interferential current (IFC) therapy, a medium frequency alternating current therapy that reportedly reduces skin impedance, can reach deeper tissues.

IFC therapy can provide several different treatment possibilities by adjusting its parameters (carrier frequency, amplitudemodulated frequency, sweep frequency, sweep mode or swing pattern, type of application (bipolar or quadripolar), time of application and intensity). The objective of this review article is to discuss the literature findings on the analgesic efficacy of IFC therapy.

Conclusions: According to the literature, IFC therapy shows significant analgesic effects in patients with neck pain, low back pain, knee osteoarthritis and post-operative knee pain. Most of the IFC parameters seem not to influence its analgesic effects. We encourage further studies to investigate the mechanism of action of IFC therapy.”

More on Analgesic Effects of Interferential Current Therapy: A Narrative Review via Medicina (Kaunas). 2022 Jan; 58(1): 141.

International Conference on Residency Education (ICRE): Art Submission

The Body Electric was launched at ICRE 2014. An inspiring selection of visual art, in a range of media – photography, drawing, painting, sculpture and film – explored the conference theme of medical technology from new critical and artistic angles.

This year, The Body Electric jury is looking for visual art submissions on the theme Art as Coping, Art as Community in Healthcare, to reflect the ICRE 2022 theme, Together Again: A Community Redefining Residency Education.

You are invited to approach the theme broadly to consider these themes from various experiential and critical perspectives, such as:

  • Art as coping
  • Art and community
  • Art and compassion

Visual art can be submitted in any medium; but will be represented digitally.


Learn more here.