A University of Nebraska Medical Center scientist is the first Nebraskan to win a grant through an Affordable Care Act-created research agency.
Dr. Monirul Islam, a physician in the College of Public Health, won an approximately $1.6 million contract from the federal Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The Affordable Care Act devised the agency to spur research that helps patients and medical practitioners compare various treatment regimens and make better decisions.
“We are very lucky and blessed that we landed on this one,” Islam, an assistant professor of epidemiology, said of his project. Only 76 projects have been funded out of 902 applications for a success rate of 8.4 percent. PCORI announced awards totaling $129 million in two funding rounds, the first round in December and the second this week.
Islam intends to study what patients with stage four lung cancer, which generally kills within 18 months, consider successful treatment. Patients may desire a chemotherapy regimen that doesn't cause insomnia, for instance. Or they might accept just three more months of life without chemo if the chemo would come with pain and other side effects and result in only six more months of life.
Islam's study will investigate whether oncologists factor patient wishes into the chemotherapy regimen and whether they would change the treatment if they knew the patient desired it.
Ryan Carnahan, a University of Iowa assistant professor of pharmacy, was the only scientist in Nebraska or Iowa to win an award in December. Carnahan's project will examine whether activities and more thorough medical workups for dementia patients might reduce the use of anti-psychotic drugs. No Iowans won PCORI grants this week.
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