UAMC Surgery Team Removes 47-pound Tumor in Tucson Woman in High-Risk Procedure

In a complex, 10-hour operation, surgeons at The University of Arizona Medical Center successfully removed a 47.5-pound tumor from a Tucson woman. The team of surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses brought Marcey DiCaro successfully through the surgery, despite her suffering a cardiac arrest during the procedure.

Three years prior to surgery, DiCaro noticed her belly getting bigger, but attributed it to weight gain. She was experiencing transient pain in her upper right quadrant, and eventually the pain remained constant.

DiCaro, who had no health insurance at the time of diagnosis, had a scan that revealed a large tumor in March 2012. With preexisting conditions, finding insurance was very difficult, but DiCaro eventually found a plan she thought would cover the procedure. Surgery was scheduled in 2013, but her operation was cancelled the night before because of more issues with her insurance coverage.

Finally, in 2014, DiCaro was able to acquire insurance coverage that would cover preexisting conditions through the Affordable Care Act. She underwent...

[read more]

Life-Size 3D-Prints by UA Surgeon Dr. Nicholas Giovinco Blur the Line Between Art and Science in ‘Design for Social Impact’ at the Museum of Design Atlanta

The line between art and science is blurred in the work of foot and ankle surgeon Nicholas Giovinco, DPM, of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson. Dr. Giovinco’s 3D-printed templates created using CT scans of foot and ankle deformities are featured in “Design for Social Impact,” an exhibition at the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) May 25-Aug. 3.

Based on the idea that design is a way of looking at the world with an eye for changing it, the MODA exhibition offers a look at how designers, engineers, students, professors, architects and social entrepreneurs use design to solve the problems of the 21st century. The featured projects were selected for their in-depth understanding of the users, which led to affordable, adaptable and sustainable solutions.

Dr. Giovinco’s work, created in collaboration with the hacker space Freeside Atlanta, uses CT scans to create life-size 3D-printed templates of complex foot and ankle deformities to help surgeons prepare for surgery. The 3D templates have led to better patient outcomes and care, and less surgeon stress. Dr. Giovinco is working with other surgeons to implement 3D...

[read more]

‘Camp Scrubs’ Gives Middle-Schoolers Insights on Clinical Careers

Twenty seventh- and eighth-graders will get firsthand knowledge of what it takes to be a nurse or doctor via Camp Scrubs, which is in its 11th year at the University of Arizona Medical Center - University Campus. Activities include first aid and CPR training, active shooter orientation and tours of the ER bay, helipad, OR, Mother & Baby Ward, Pivorotto Wellness Center, ASTEC Simulation Lab and Artificial Heart Lab, which showcases UAMC as a leader in cardiac assist device technology. Click here to see the week’s schedule. You can also view photos from last year’s Camp Scrubs here


Twenty Tucson middle-school students will learn what it takes to be a registered nurse from June 9-13 at the University of Arizona Medical Center’sCamp Scrubs.”
This is the 11th year...

[read more]

Regents Approve New UA Downtown Phoenix Project

The Arizona Board of Regents on Thursday approved plans to construct a 10-story, 245,000-square-foot research building on the campus of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.

The Regents, at their meeting in Flagstaff, endorsed plans for the , which will be built immediately north of the Health Sciences Education Building near 7th Street and Fillmore in downtown Phoenix.

“In this building, partnerships will be forged in which our scholars and researchers will be looking for the answers of some pretty daunting questions,” Ann Weaver Hart, president of the University of Arizona, said in announcing the project. “This is critical and central to the core plans of the Never Settle commitment at the University of Arizona. It will advance the interests of health care, it will nurture the best new science and the translation of that science into specific treatments. It will provide a setting where partners can find ways to increase not only our effectiveness but also the economic development of our broader community by tapping into the biomedical sciences.”

Under the plan passed by the Arizona Board of Regents, ground would be broken on the $136...

[read more]

Nationally Noted Physician-Scientist, Health Administrator Dr. Andrew S. Kraft Named Director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center

Andrew S. Kraft, MD, a nationally recognized prostate cancer physician-scientist and cancer center administrator, has been named the Sydney E. Salmon endowed chair and Director of the University of Arizona Cancer Center and Associate Vice President for Oncology Programs for the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. In addition to his Cancer Center leadership role, Dr. Kraft joins the University as tenured Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology and Senior Associate Dean for Translational Research in the College of Medicine.

Dr. Kraft is scheduled to begin his new leadership role in September. He replaces Anne E. Cress, PhD, who has served as interim director of the UA Cancer Center since July 2013.

Recruited to the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in 2004, Dr. Kraft led the Hollings Cancer Center’s efforts to become a National Cancer Institute- (NCI) designated Cancer Center. Under Dr. Kraft’s leadership, Hollings attained NCI Cancer Center status in 2009, a distinction shared by only 67 other cancer centers in the United States.

An accomplished prostate cancer researcher and...

[read more]

UA Sarver Heart Center: Getting to the Heart of Men’s Health

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for men (and women) and 1 of 8 men over age 40 will be victims of sudden cardiac arrest. This makes June – which is both National Men’s Health Month and CPR & AED Awareness Month – a good time to revisit ways to prevent heart disease.

Charles Katzenberg, MD, a cardiologist with the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center who emphasizes a healthy lifestyle as the best prevention against heart disease, offers these tips:

Eat a healthful diet. “People should eat as close to a whole-foods, plant-based diet as possible,” said Dr. Katzenberg. Minimize meat and dairy, since these are associated with heart disease. Also, minimize calorie-dense oils, including olive oil, which contains 15 percent saturated fat and 1 percent omega-3, compared to canola oil, which contains 7 percent saturated and 11 percent omega-3. Dr. Katzenberg notes that the first Mediterranean Diet study, called the Diet Heart Study, used canola oil, not olive oil. Avoid trans fats, added salt and added sugars.  Learn to read food labels. Avoid weight gain. While a normal Body Mass Index (BMI) is in the 18.5 – 24.9 range, the 25-30... [read more]

Nursing is a Family Affair for Sisters Pursuing Their Doctor of Nursing Practice Degrees through UA

A two-and-a-half year age difference is one of the few things that separate sisters Kim and Jill Krmpotic. They live together, work as registered nurses at the same Phoenix hospital and are both pursuing their Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees online through the University of Arizona College of Nursing.

“Kim is my best friend,” said Jill, 26. “We have our ups and downs as all sisters do, but she’s someone I know will always be there. It’s really nice to talk to someone about my day who knows exactly what it’s like to be in a doctoral program and work full time.”

Jill and Kim say their nursing careers were inspired by their mother, a former oncology nurse who earned her master’s degree in nursing administration and moved into management.

“I’m even more passionate about nursing because I am sharing this experience, not only with my sister, but my mom,” said Kim, 28. “She is really involved in supporting us and always encourages us. She even proofreads our papers.”

Kim and Jill were drawn to the ...

[read more]

UAMC Reactivates Heart Transplant Program

The University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus has reactivated its Heart Transplant Program after receiving approval from the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS).

UAMC temporarily suspended the program in December to recruit for – and strengthen – its highly specialized transplant team. 

The reactivation follows the recent recruitment of Scott D. Lick, MD, professor in the UA Department of Surgery, Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, and director of UAMC’s Heart Transplant Program, and Nancy K. Sweitzer, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the UA Sarver Heart Center and chief of the Division of Cardiology.

Dr. Lick specializes in adult heart surgery, heart and lung transplantation and mechanical circulatory support. Dr. Sweitzer is an advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist and physiologist, specializing in heart failure, mechanical circulatory support and heart transplant patient care.

Drs. Lick and...

[read more]

For the Love of Benny: Students at Miller Elementary School Raise Funds for the ‘Louise Thomas Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research’ at the UA Steele Children’s Research Center

Students at Miller Elementary School held a “Hat Parade” and raised $221 for the “Louise Thomas Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research” at the UA Steele Children’s Research Center.

The “Hat Parade” was coordinated by the school’s community representative, Amy Petz.

Amy’s son Benny passed away on June 27, 2006, at the young age of 5 from neuroblastoma—a pediatric solid tumor cancer of the nerve tissue.

Students each donated $1 to wear a hat at school on Tuesday, May 13, and then they held a hat parade.

“The kids were happy to support the cause of children’s cancer research,” said Amy. “We’re planning on doing this fundraiser again next year as well.”

The Petz family presented the check from the school’s fundraiser on Tuesday, May 27, to the UA Steele Center.

“This was really meaningful for me, as Benny would have celebrated his 13th birthday on May 26,” said Amy.

When Benny was alive and being treated at what was then UMC (now Diamond Children’s), he participated in a phase 1 clinical trial,...

[read more]

UA Researchers Identify Viral Genes That Control Human Cytomegalovirus Reactivation

University of Arizona researchers have found genes within the human cytomegalovirus (CMV) that control whether it remains latent (inactive) or actively replicates (multiplies). The discovery could lead to targeted therapies that prevent disease caused by reactivation of the virus, which nearly everyone carries.

Most people are infected with CMV early in life and have no symptoms or even knowledge of the infection. The virus remains in the body in a latent state that can later reactivate, causing life-threatening problems in people with compromised immune systems. Further, a baby infected prior to birth can have devastating birth defects.

Felicia Goodrum, PhD, associate professor in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson Department of Immunobiology and UA Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and a member of the UA BIO5 Institute, researches the latency of CMV. In two recent papers – one a spotlight article – in the Journal of Virology...

[read more]