Dr Evi Kalodiki wins best oral prize

Evi Kalodiki receiving her award and certificate from Professor Mark Whiteley, president and founder of The College of Phlebology.

Congratulations to Dr Evi Kalodiki (Josef Pflug Vascular Laboratory) who has won first prize as a result of an outstanding presentation entitled: The discord outcome analysis as a method of reporting clinical trials in superficial venous interventions.

In her presentation, Dr Kalodiki recommended that all clinical studies should report discord outcomes, which is when one assessment measure is not in agreement with another assessment measure. This is required to provide transparency and prevent the over-interpretation of success. Currently, outcomes are all reporting on individual methods of assessment, which does not give a clear picture of the overall effect of an intervention on that patient.

Dr Kalodiki picked up her prize at the 2nd International Veins Meeting, held at the College of Phlebology, on behalf of her team led by Christopher R Lattimer and her co-authors, Mustapha Azzam and George Geroulakos.

Rubbing shoulders with Nobel laureates

Congratulations to Giacomo Corleone, final year PhD student in Luca Magnani’s Lab, who has been selected to attend the 68th Nobel Laureate Meeting taking place in Germany this June. The meeting brings Nobel Laureates together in Lindau to meet the next generation of leading scientists, including undergraduates, PhD students and post-doc researchers from across the world. The meeting aims to foster the exchange among scientists of different generations, cultures, and disciplines. Giacomo shares below how he got involved and what he’s looking forward to. 

I’m really pleased to have the chance to attend this memorable meeting with over 600 selected scientists and the 46 Nobel Prize Laureates in Medicine and Physiology. I heard about this annual meeting several years ago and promised myself to apply when my experience was enough to have a chance to be selected. The selection process is based on motivation, CV and research experience and being a Marie Curie funded student helped give me an International/European profile to my application, I also received a lot of support from my PI, Luca and the whole group. 

I’m looking forward to attending extraordinary motivational talks, getting the opportunity to speak with the Nobel Laureates and possibly having the chance to give a short talk about my research in front of some of the Laureates, which would be a great achievement and a milestone in my career. Furthermore, I’m sure I’ll meet some super smart colleagues working in medicine and have the opportunity to discuss our research and aim to initiate some collaborations or joint publications. I truly believe that the Lindau Nobel laureate meeting will be the greatest chance to extend my scientific network.

Giacomo will be sharing his experiences after the event on the Faculty of Medicine blog so we look forward to hearing what he gets up to. 

EMcision Limited announces that it has been acquired by Boston Scientific Corporation

In 2001, Professor Nagy Habib formed a spin out company, EMcision Limited, from Imperial College London Innovations. The company was funded by a small DTI grant arranged by Innovations to develop medical devices powered with radiofrequency energy to provide additional treatment options for patients with liver and pancreatic cancer.

In 2005, with collaboration from the Department of Engineering at Imperial College London, the first device, the HabibTM 4X, was launched and approved for use by the FDA and was awarded a European CE mark. The HabibTM 4X is bipolar radiofrequency surgical tool that provides near bloodless resection during liver and pancreas surgery. The device provides a superior method of performing liver surgery because it leads to a decrease in blood loss, a decrease in blood transfusion requirement, a decrease in tumour recurrence and improved survival.1  The technique allows the patient to be recovered in the ward rather than ICU which is a cost and resource saving measure. Imperial College Healthcare Trust was an early adopter of the device and Professor Habib believes that the device is a major contributory factor to Imperial College Healthcare Trust providing the best 1 year, 5 year and 10 year survival in England for patients with liver and pancreatic cancer and that a higher percentage of patients in Trust have surgery as a  first treatment (the gold standard of HPB care) than other Trusts in England.

The device was subsequently acquired by Rita Medical (now AngioDynamics Inc) under an exclusive licence. 70,000 units have been sold worldwide. This income has provided the company the opportunity to develop other devices.

Another medical problem that Professor Habib and the engineers wanted to tackle was palliation of patients with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is a miserable disease and accounts for nearly a million deaths annually worldwide with limited treatment options.2   While an early diagnosis improves the likelihood that a patient can meet the criteria for surgical removal of a tumour,3 currently only 40 percent of patients with cholangiocarcinoma and 20 percent of patients with pancreatic cancer are candidates for surgery at the time of presentation.4,5 

So, the HabibTM  EndoHPB, a bipolar radiofrequency endoscopic probe was developed. The probe is inserted at the same time as the patient has a biliary stent placed and radiofrequency energy is applied to palliate the tumour.  The device was pioneered by the Endoscopic Department at Hammersmith Hospital in a non-randomised clinical trial.  The results showed not only safety and ease of use of the device, but suggested that it improved survival. More recently a randomised controlled trial in patients with cholangiocarcinoma confirmed the Hammersmith’s findings that the EndoHPB does significantly improve survival.6

In March 2018, Boston Scientific acquired EMcision Limited to market the HabibTM EndoHPB more effectively.  Boston Scientific is a leading developer and marketer of medical devices with a worldwide salesforce and recognised the potential of the probe. This partnership will mean that the products developed at Imperial College London and first used at the Trust will be available to a much larger number of patients.

Animal Research Communications Workshops

This summer, Understanding Animal Research will be running five communications workshops. Each workshop focuses on a different area of communications: debating, media, public engagement, and online communications. These workshops will take place in London (The Francis Crick Institute) and Scotland (University of Stirling). There are 4 free places for Imperial staff. If you are interested in a free place, please contact societal_engagement@imperial.ac.uk by Monday 16 April 2018. Otherwise places will be charged at the non-member rate of £325 + VAT per person.