Physician's Weekly Podcast

Herpes Virus Causes MS; First Pig Heart Transplant into Human

January 20, 2022 Physician's Weekly Season 2 Episode 34
Physician's Weekly Podcast
Herpes Virus Causes MS; First Pig Heart Transplant into Human
Show Notes

Welcome to this episode of Physician’s Weekly Podcast. My name is Dr Rachel Giles, from Medicom Medical Publishers, in collaboration with Physician’s Weekly.

There was a lot of interesting medical news this last week. For example, there was the first transplant of a genetically modified pig heart into a human (the recipient was David Bennet Sr), and at the time of this recording he is still doing well. However, Mr Bennet’s criminal past stirred up ethical questions about who deserves access to the scarce supply of human organs in the US.

There was also a paper published in the journal Science which garnered attention, after over 50 years of research, since the very first paper in 1972, which finally answered the question about whether infection with Epstien-Barr virus, or EBV, which causes mononucleosis, places people at a much higher risk of multiple sclerosis. 

The answer is yes, it puts people at a 34-fold higher risk, and to put that into perspective, smoking only puts people at <30-fold higher risk of lung cancer. Later in this episode, we interview the lead study author, Professor Alberto Ascherio, at Harvard University, and he describes how they had to screen 10 million young adults to prove that infection with EBV ALWAYS precedes MS. 

Also in this episode of Physician’s Weekly Podcast, we speak to our regular contributor, who goes by the pseudonym, Dr MedLaw about what “standard of care” means in the courtroom, and how clinical guidelines can be used.  

But first, Physician’s Weekly speaks with Dr. Manali Kamdar, from the University of Colorado, about the results of the TRANSFORM study, which demonstrated that CAR T cells are an effective and safe therapy for the second line in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.  She presented the interim results as a Late-breaking abstract at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting a few weeks ago. She does a great job introducing herself. 

Enjoy listening!

 More reading: 

 Bjornevik K, Cortese M, Healy BC, Kuhle J, Mina MJ, Leng Y, Elledge SJ, Niebuhr DW, Scher AI, Munger KL, Ascherio A. Longitudinal analysis reveals high prevalence of Epstein-Barr virus associated with multiple sclerosis. Science. 2022 Jan 21;375(6578):296-301.