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About the Webcast

Tuesday, May 1, 2007 at 6:00 pm EDT

The Vascular Anomalies Center at Children’s Hospital Boston cares for the largest clinical volume of patients with vascular anomalies in the world, with more than 1200 patients evaluated annually. During the team’s weekly Vascular Anomalies Conference physicians, nurse practitioners and a social worker from 17 different specialty areas review medical histories, photographs, radiographic images and biopsies of cases sent by patients, families and physicians from across the country and around the world. More than 400 cases are evaluated annually in this conference.

In this Webcast, the VAC team will evaluate patients and try to provide accurate diagnoses and treatment recommendations. They will also answer questions e-mailed to them from physicians and families live. Types of problems reviewed may include infantile hemangioma, kaposiform hemangioendothelioma (KHE), venous malformation , lymphatic anomalies, arteriovenous malformation (AVM), Blue rubber bleb nevus syndrome, Proteus Syndrome, Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome and other rare disorders.

Co-directors of the Vascular Anomalies Center at Children’s Hospital Boston, John B. Mulliken, MD, and Steven J. Fishman, MD, and will lead the conference and answer e-mail questions from viewers during the live broadcast. They will also direct questions to their colleagues on the VAC team.

Dr. Mulliken, director of the Craniofacial Center, plastic surgeon at Children’s and professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, is the internationally recognized forefather of the field of vascular anomalies, which developed following his classification system. He and his colleagues in genetics have discovered three genes that cause familial vascular malformations.

“Broadcasting our Vascular Anomalies Conference on the Web allows us to share the combined expertise of an experienced team of specialists,” says, Dr. Fishman, general surgeon at Children’s and associate professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fishman specializes in vascular anomalies of the internal organs with a focus on developing evaluation and intervention techniques including innovative operative procedures for the treatment of visceral vascular anomalies.

The Vascular Anomalies Center conducts research focused on the development of new, more effective therapies and ways to prevent these anomalies. Basic research in angiogenesis (new blood vessel formation) is conducted in the laboratories headed by M. Judah Folkman, MD, the Vascular Anomalies Center’s Scientific Director and the Julia Dyckman Andrus Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Investigators are focused on the cause--the trigger mechanism--that initiates the growth of infantile hemangiomas. Dr. Folkman, a participant in the Vascular Anomalies Conference, will also be an integral part of this Webcast, available to answer questions from viewers live.

Clinical research has resulted in new more effective treatments. For example, the center's investigators were the first to use interferon in the treatment of children with large life- or vision-threatening hemangiomas. Interferon and other chemotherapeutic and antiangiogenic drugs are used by the hematologist/oncologist on the VAC team, Dr. Giannoula Klement. Dr. Mulliken has described a simple technique for removal of hemangiomas leaving a smaller scar than with conventional methods. In addition, Dr. Fishman has developed novel approaches to control intestinal bleeding caused by certain intestinal vascular malformations, such as blue rubber bleb nevus syndrome.

Many other members of the Vascular Anomalies Team will be participating in this Webcast including Interventional Radiologists Ahmad Alomari, MD, Darren B. Orbach, MD, PhD, and Horacio Padua, MD; Orthopedic Surgeon-in-Chief James R. Kasser, MD, Gastroenterologist and director of the G.I. Endoscopy Unit Victor L. Fox, MD; Oncologist Giannoula Klement, MD; Pathologist Harry P.W. Kozakewich, MD; Radiologist Harriet J. Paltiel, MD; and Nurse Practitioners Erin Ryan, RN, MS,CPNP, and Mary Beth Sylvia, MS, CFNP.

To learn more about the Vascular Anomalies Center (VAC) at Children’s Hospital Boston visit www.childrenshospital.org/vac.

Founded in 1869 as a 20-bed hospital for children, Children’s Hospital Boston today is the nation’s leading pediatric medical center, the largest provider of health care to Massachusetts children, and the primary pediatric teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School. In addition to 347 pediatric and adolescent inpatient beds and comprehensive outpatient programs, Children’s houses the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center , where its discoveries benefit both children and adults. More than 500 scientists, including eight members of the National Academy of Sciences, nine members of the Institute of Medicine and 11 members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Children’s research community. For more information about the hospital visit: www.childrenshospital.org/newsroom.

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