Interview with an Author: Dr. George Rodrigues

We recently had a chance to speak with Dr. George Rodrigues, primary author of “Integration of Stereotactic Ablative Radiotherapy in the Management of Pulmonary Metastases from Salivary Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma,” and a key contributor to the Cureus journal with several papers published thus far.

urlGeorge is a Clinician Scientist and Radiation Oncologist at the Lawson Health Research Institute and London Health Sciences Centre. He has consulted on and provides radiation treatment for patients with genitourinary and thoracic cancers as well as brain metastases since 2001, when he graduated from the University of Toronto Radiation Oncology Residency Program. He is also a former award-winning Residency Program Director and is the Chair of the Genitourinary Multidisciplinary Disease Site.

C: Tell us a bit about the research you published with us.

GR: In the context of a case report, we use the example of a woman with pulmonary metastases from parotid gland adenoid cystic carcinoma to illustrate the sequencing of stereotactic radiotherapy in the context of other treatment options such as surgery and ablative technologies. A brief review of the literature and discussion is included in the manuscript. The conclusion of the case report suggests that SABR can be an effective tool in conjunction with other techniques for the treatment of pulmonary metastases in ACC, however, its use should be ideally directed to tumors not amenable to other techniques (i.e. central lesions or high-risk surgical cases) given the limited safety data in using SABR for more than three pulmonary lesions.

C: What’s the one thing you’d want people to know if you only had 30 seconds to sum up your article?

GR: The main point of the case report was to highlight the fact that management of pulmonary metastases from head and neck adenoid cystic carcinoma can be complex. Multidisciplinary care is necessary to sequence surgical, radiation, and ablative therapies appropriately.

C: Where might you go from here and what’s next in your research?

GR: Not sure at this moment. The study of this patient population is very challenging given the rare nature of this disease entity. Prospective studies are generally absent in the literature. Perhaps population-based data can be used to further investigate hypotheses related to this interesting patient population.

C: How did you first hear about Cureus, and what persuaded you to submit to us?

GR: I first heard of Cureus from a colleague. I submit manuscripts to Cureus because of its open access nature, efficient peer review system and low cost.

C: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us and submitting another great article to Cureus!

Boston Clinic Helps Children Thrive

Boston Clinic Helps Children Thrive

Dr. Deborah Frank, Founder and Director of the Grow Clinic for Children at Boston Medical Center, took time to communicate with Cureus about the work that she and her team have been involved in for well over twenty years.

Since 1984, Dr. Frank’s Boston area specialty clinic has been treating children diagnosed with “Failure To Thrive (FTT).” Children with FTT do not achieve expected height and weight milestones for their age. As a result, they are at high risk for various difficulties including increased vulnerability to illness, delays in the development of language, learning, attention and motor skills, continued growth failure, and emotional problems.

The Grow Clinic for Children at Boston Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics, provides multidisciplinary services to children with FTT and their families. Dr. Frank’s team consists of faculty physicians, social workers, nutritionists, and outreach workers, all of whom are strongly committed helping children who have been diagnosed with FTT. The clinic serves a particularly vulnerable population in which all of the children are moderately to severely malnourished. Approximately 10% of the children live in shelters or are homeless, most of the children and families served by the clinic have public health insurance, and 68% live below the poverty level.

The Grow Clinic team approaches malnutrition as a medical as well as a social/economic condition. In order to address their patients’ needs, the Grow Clinic provides services to patients in the clinic as well as in other environments in which they are fed. This includes homes, day cares, shelters and schools. The team collaborates in order to assess the nutritional, social service, and emotional needs of each child and family. In addition to the nutritional needs of the child, their outreach program addresses issues such as housing, food, clothing, and transportation. Dr. Frank’s passion and dedication to this work, along with the incredible commitment of her team, has allowed them to improve the health of over 1700 children.

According to Dr. Frank, similar clinics exist in Baltimore, Little Rock, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia, and other Massachusetts locations. Dr. Frank’s clinic is considered the flagship, as they are unique in the amount of outreach, home visits, and concrete supports (such as high chairs, food vouchers, assistance locating housing) that they provide. When asked what she feels helps families the most, Dr. Frank said “We don’t just jaw bone them. We facilitate doing what is needed.” This includes assistance such as giving families a high chair, helping them fill out Head Start applications, distributing food and supermarket cards, writing advocacy letters to homeless shelters, and many other things. Dr. Frank stated that the clinic could not function without the philanthropic support they receive, which allows them to purchase items for families and also maintain their staff.

In addition to the Grow Clinic, Dr. Frank is also the Founder and Principal Investigator of Children’s HealthWatch. Her research interests include child health and development as it is influenced by cumulative risk factors such as food, energy, and housing insecurity.

For more information about The Grow Clinic for Children click here.

Cureus People: Rabia Zafar, PhD – University of Central Florida College of Medicine

Cureus People: Rabia Zafar, PhD – University of Central Florida College of Medicine


Rabia Zafar Phd.

Team Cur&#275us talked with Rabia Zafar. She received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Florida – in 2010.

Her entry for the Cur&#275us Fall 2012 International Poster Competition received 1st place in the Neurology category.

Rabia is currently a second year medical student attending the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando.

Cureus People: Matthew LaVelle, Wayne State University School of Medicine

Cureus People: Matthew LaVelle, Wayne State University School of Medicine


Matthew LaVelle

Team Cur&#275us talked with Matthew LaVelle, Wayne State University School of Medicine. His entry in the Healthcare Technology category won the Grand Prize in our Cur&#275us Fall 2012 International Poster Competition.

Matthew worked at Columbia University as both a research assistant in the field of cardiothoracic surgery and as a perfusionist with the heart and lung transplant team. He hopes to leverage his ongoing passion for the development and institution of medical technology into a career as a surgeon.


Cureus People: Shawna Bellew, University Of Central Florida

Cureus People: Shawna Bellew, University Of Central Florida


Shawna Bellew

We met with Shawna Bellew, a fourth year med student from the University of Central Florida. Her submissions for the OB/GYN and Internal Medicine categories both won 3rd place in the Cur&#275us Fall 2012 Poster competition.

The OB/GYN poster compares traditional laparotomy to robotic techniques in treating endometrial cancer. Her Internal Medicine entry explores acute pancreatitis and its connection to eating disorders, specifically bulimia in young females.

Growing up in a family of doctors the decision to go to med school came easy, although not obviously. She started her studies as an art major, and even though she switched tracks she still remains a passionate artist.

In 2010 she won first prize at an art competition sponsored by the American Medical Association. Her entry “The Standardized Patient” received top honor in the “Empathy” category.

Watch the whole video here.

Cureus Editorial Board Feature: David I. Hoffman, M.D.

Cureus Editorial Board Feature: David I. Hoffman, M.D.



The Cur&#275us team stopped in to meet with David I. Hoffman, M.D. a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Specialist working alongside a team of infertility physicians at the IVF Florida Reproductive Associates since 1989.

A native of Pennsylvania, Dr. Hoffman completed his under graduate work at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, before attending medical school at Temple University. He completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology and his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology at the University of Southern California.

With over 25 years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility, Dr. Hoffman currently serves as a Voluntary Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Florida International University as well as a Voluntary Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine.

Dr. Hoffman has published over 70 abstracts, articles, and book chapters and is a well-known presenter both nationally and internationally — he joined Cur&#275us as an Editorial Board member earlier this year.

Cureus People: Bowen Jiang, Stanford University

Cureus People: Bowen Jiang, Stanford University

Bowen Jiang won the neurology category with his entry on 3-D Rotational Angiography in the Cur&#275us 2012 Fall Poster Competition. He’s currently working in a rehab center for veterans.

Team Cur&#275us stopped by the Stanford University campus to meet with Bowen who describes himself as an “aspiring neurosurgeon-scientist-innovator” in his profile.

Bowen is currently in is last year of medical school.


Cureus Editorial Board Feature: Alejandro Badia M.D., F.A.C.S.

Cureus Editorial Board Feature: Alejandro Badia M.D., F.A.C.S.



The Cur&#275us team dropped by the Badia Hand To Shoulder Center in Doral, Florida and talked with renowned hand and upper extremity surgeon, Alejandro Badia, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Dr. Badia studied physiology at Cornell University and obtained his medical degree at NYU, where he also trained in orthopedics.

He runs an active international hand fellowship, serves on the editorial board of two hand journals, and organizes a yearly Miami meeting for surgeons / therapists that is devoted to upper limb arthroscopy and arthroplasty.

Dr. Badia maintains an intensely academic practice in order to “effect change and make care more efficient.” Dr. Badia joined Cur&#275us as an Editorial Board member earlier this year.

Cureus Editorial Board Feature: Jason Pozner, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Cureus Editorial Board Feature: Jason Pozner, M.D., F.A.C.S.


Jason Pozner, M.D., F.A.C.S., is the founder of the Sanctuary Plastic Surgery and co-owner of Sanctuary Medical Aesthetic Center in Boca Raton, Florida.

The son of a successful health spa and diet center physician in New Jersey — Dr. Pozner graduated from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York with a Distinction in Research. He trained for five years in an intensive general surgery residency at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

Our video team stopped in to talk with Dr. Pozner who joined Cur&#275us as an Editorial Board member earlier this year. Dr. Pozner is a highly respected authority on both surgical and non-invasive plastic surgery techniques.

Cureus People: Austin Nakatsuka, University Of Hawaii

Cureus People: Austin Nakatsuka, University Of Hawaii

Team Cureus spoke with Austin Nakatsuka, about his poster research on redesigning football helmets, his spearfishing adventures and passion for helping underserved communities both at home and abroad.

Austin is second year med student at the University of Hawaii-John A. Burns School of Medicine and volunteers at a rehab clinic working alongside his father for the past year at the Salvation Army Ola Kino Clinic in Honolulu.

Mannequin gets helmet on helmet action in Austin’s experiment.

One of the posters that caught the attention of Cureus members was Austin Naktsuka’s Redesigning Football Helmets To Reduce Concussion Risk. Not only is football the most popular sport in America, concussions have become a hot button issue for the NFL. The union and the league are both trying to find ways to change the culture of concussions from the grass roots up.

“It’s a really big issue going around the NFL right now,” Austin told us. “Especially because you find out more information on concussions, preventing concussion risks, and then we were wondering if it’s modifications to the helmet or modifications to the rules that needs to happen.”

His conclusion is that adding a soft exterior layer of foam onto helmets can actually reduce the potential of concussion injuries on the football field. While we’re sure that the NFL is not going to return to leather helmets of old, as Austin would suggest, it will be interesting to follow how and if the league will make significant changes to their helmet design.

Even though he called himself more of “an NBA guy” than a football fan, it was interesting to learn that Austin is very passionate about spearfishing. It’s one of the things that kept him sane through the rigorous program at the John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii.

While he tries to get out two or three times a week, his favorite time to go spearfishing is Friday afternoons after his anatomy lab because “It gets the smell of formaldehyde off.”

My friends and I in med school would go on Fridays after anatomy lab around  4pm or so and we’d go for maybe two to three hours,” said Austin. “The nice thing is it’s a sort of an escape or release because you’re finding fish and focusing on the environment.”

We asked Austin what else he’s passionate about. He told us that “serving underserved” communities is a big part of what he does as a student with his father who set up a program for the Salvation Army which serves as a drug rehab center for the homeless as well as recently released prisoners. In fact, serving the underserved was one of the reasons he went into medical school.

Austin washes the formaldehyde off with a vigorous spearfishing session.

“I realized that medicine was a really great avenue mainly because you kind of have this unlimited potential to help people. I wanted to have as many skills and abilities as I could to serve people around the world,” Austin told Cureus.

“But I do want to be more established in my community and serve Hawaii, especially because we currently have a shortage of doctors in Hawaii and it’s growing and especially because I’m highly connected here and I know the people — you know I grew up here.”

Austin admitted that volunteering at the clinic has been a great way to stay connected with the community and do what he’s most passionate about — helping people.

“It’s a good teaching ground for me on how to practice medicine. I see the patients, perform medical exams, present it to my Dad, write up a history and things like that.”

Team Cureus asked Austin what he would want friends and colleagues to know about the John A. Burns School of Medicine.

“We’re given a lot of clinical experiences. We do a type of learning called, “Problem Based Learning,” Austin said. “We base our learning around specific cases about patients that they have and so we can associate our learning to those cases. Our school does a really great job with that.

“They also do a really great job of facilitating team work within, between classmates — kind of dampening down the competitive atmosphere and focusing more on an integrated togetherness sort of feel that I really like”. Austin added.

“We’re moving toward the trend of doctors joining up in groups and having to partner together and we’re kind of gearing more away from that single doctor kind of thing.”

Austin Nakatsuka is one of the 10,000+ members of our online Cureus medical publishing community. Check out his profile and the poster on football helmets he authored for our Fall 2012 Poster Competition.