News from Ohio State University

Staff Reports

11 Ohio State graduate programs ranked in top 10 by U.S. News & World Report

Magazine ranks all programs in this issue as best in Ohio

COLUMBUS – According to the U.S. News & World Report 2018 edition of America’s Best Graduate Schools, The Ohio State University offers a vast array of top graduate and professional programs, with 11 ranked in the top 10 and one ranked best in the nation.

Top-10 graduate and professional programs include technical/vocational education (1), legal dispute resolution (2), social psychology (3), student counseling and personnel services education (4), nursing (5), doctor of nurse practitioner (DNP) (5), business supply chain/logistics (5), curriculum and instruction education (7), international politics (8), elementary teacher education (9) and part-time MBA (9).

Ohio State has a graduate and professional enrollment of more than 13,000 students in 128 programs.

“Ohio State’s graduate programs continue to be recognized among the very best in the nation,” said President Michael V. Drake. “This recognition reflects our founding mission to provide students with an education that is both excellent and affordable.”

U.S. News’ ranking of graduate and professional programs cover just a small portion of the programs offered at Ohio State. This year, in addition to annual rankings in business, education, engineering, law, medicine and nursing, the magazine offers new rankings for programs in humanities and social sciences.

U.S. News & World Report 2018 rankings of Ohio State graduate programs:

· Education: ranked best in Ohio and 18th nationally out of 379 graduate education programs. Specialty programs in vocational/technical education rank first in the nation, counseling/personnel services ranked fourth, curriculum/instruction ranked seventh, elementary teacher education ranked ninth, educational psychology and educational administration/supervision ranked 11th, secondary teacher education ranked 14th, higher education administration ranked 17th and special education ranked 21st.

· Business: ranked best in Ohio and 27th nationally among 471 institutions with MBA programs. The specialty programs in supply chain/logistics ranked fifth, the part-time MBA program ranked ninth, production/operations ranked 11th, accounting ranked 14th, finance ranked 18th and management ranked 23rd.

· Engineering: ranked best in Ohio and 31st nationally out of 214 engineering programs that grant doctoral degrees. The specialty program in biological/agricultural engineering ranked 11th, nuclear engineering ranked 12th, industrial/manufacturing/systems engineering ranked 15th, aerospace/aeronautical/astronautical engineering ranked 17th, electrical/electronic/communications engineering ranked 18th, materials engineering ranked 19th, chemical engineering ranked 23rd, mechanical engineering ranked 24th, civil engineering ranked 36th and biomedical engineering ranked 39th.

· Law: ranked best in Ohio and 30th in the nation out of 194 accredited law schools. The specialty programs in dispute resolution ranked second and legal writing ranked 11th.

· Medicine: ranked 31st among 140 accredited medical schools in research and 27th in primary care. The specialty program in pediatrics ranked 15th.

· Nursing: ranked fifth overall among 532 accredited nursing schools for master’s programs and fifth for its DNP program.

· Humanities and social sciences: ranked best in Ohio, with specialty programs in political science ranked 15th, sociology ranked 17th, psychology ranked 24th, history ranked 27th, economics ranked 29th and English ranked 30th. Specialty programs in social psychology ranked third, international politics ranked eighth, political methodology ranked 11th and American politics ranked 14th.

A number of Ohio State programs earned high marks in previous years and the magazine reprints rankings from previous years in some fields.

OSU medical students ready to celebrate future residencies

Today (March 17), nearly 200 senior medical students from The Ohio State University College of Medicine will finally put to rest years of anticipation when they tear open their envelopes to learn where they’ll spend the next phase of their medical careers.

National Residency Match Day is the traditional day senior medical students across the country learn where they’ll go for specialty training in their chosen field. Throughout their senior year, medical students have interviewed for positions in residency programs at hospitals of their choosing. The students and hospitals rank each other in order of preference with a computer choosing the final “matches.”

Long-Term Anti-Inflammatory Drug Use May Increase Cancer-Related Deaths for Subset of Endometrial Cancer Patients

Researchers stress other factors – such as weight loss, a healthy diet and ceasing to smoke – remain the top risk-reduction strategies both for developing cancer and premature cancer-related deaths

Regular use of over-the-counter non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen is associated with an increased risk of dying in patients diagnosed with Type 1 endometrial cancers, according to a new population-based study led by The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute (OSUCCC – James).

In this observational study, a multi-institutional team of cancer researchers sought to understand the association of regular NSAID use and the risk of dying from endometrial cancer among a cohort of more than 4,000 patients.

They found that regular NSAID use was associated with a 66 percent increased risk of dying from endometrial cancer among women with Type 1 endometrial cancers, a typically less-aggressive form of the disease. The association was statistically significant among patients who reported past or current NSAID use at the time of diagnosis, but it was strongest among patients who had used NSAIDs for more than 10 years in the past but had ceased use prior to diagnosis. Use of NSAIDs was not associated with mortality from typically more aggressive, Type 2 cancers.

“There is a increasing evidence that chronic inflammation is involved in endometrial cancer and progression and recent data suggests that inhibition of inflammation through NSAID use plays a role,” says Theodore Brasky, PhD, co-lead author of the study and a cancer epidemiologist with the OSUCCC – James. “This study identifies a clear association that merits additional research to help us fully understand the biologic mechanisms behind this phenomenon. Our finding was surprising because it goes against previous studies that suggest NSAIDs can be used to reduce inflammation and reduce the risk of developing or dying from certain cancers, like colorectal cancer.”

Researchers point out that information about specific dosages and NSAID use after surgery was not available in the current study, which represents a significant limitation.

“We are continuing to analyze the biologic mechanisms by which inflammation is related to cancer progression in this specific cohort of patients,” adds Ashley Felix, PhD, co-lead author of the study and cancer epidemiologist with the OSUCCC – James and College of Public Health.

They report their findings in the Dec. 16, 2016, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

“These results are intriguing and worthy of further investigation,” says David Cohn, MD, gynecologic oncology division director at the OSUCCC – James and co-author of the study. “It is important to remember that endometrial cancer patients are far more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than their cancer so women who take NSAIDs to reduce their risk of heart attack — under the guidance of their physicians — should continue doing so. While these data are interesting, there is not yet enough data to make a public recommendation for or against taking NSAIDS to reduce the risk of cancer-related death.”

Cohn says any woman concerned about the risks of long-term NSAID use should consult with her physician.

Study Design and Results

For this study, researchers analyzed information from 4,374 endometrial cancer patients who previously participated in a national clinical trial (NRG Oncology/GOG 210). All of the women were eligible for surgery and had not undergone prior surgery or radiation at the time of enrollment. Participants were followed for an average of five years after enrollment.

Study participants were asked at the beginning of the study to complete a questionnaire prior to surgery to capture information about previous and current NSAID use including aspirin, non-aspirin NSAIDs (ibuprofren, naproxen, indomethacin, piroxicam, sulinadac) and COX-2 inhibitors. Researchers collected information about duration of use — ranging from less than one year to more than 10 years — and whether that use was previous or current. Daily frequency of NSAID use, NSAID dosage, and use after surgery were not available.

Researchers also collected clinical data (cancer stage, pathology, and treatment), demographic data (age, race, annual income, education) and information about established endometrial cancer risk factors, including body weight/height, reproductive and menstrual characteristics, history of hormone therapy, smoking status and other medical conditions.

Researchers used regression models to statistically account for the influence of these additional factors on the association between NSAID use and endometrial cancer mortality.

Funding for this research comes from grants to the NRG/Gynecologic Oncology Group (CA 27469, CA 37517, 1 U10 CA180822 and U10 CA180868); National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health.

Additional collaborators in this study include Louise A. Brinton, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute; D. Scott McMeekin, MD, and Joan Walker, MD, of the University of Oklahoma; David Mutch, MD, and Premal Thaker, MD, Washington University School of Medicine; William Creasman, MD, Medical University of South Carolina; Richard Moore, MD, Women and Infants Hospital/Brown University; Shashikant Lele, MD, and John Boggess, MD, University of North Carolina; Saketh Guntupalli, MD, University of Colorado Cancer Center; Levi Downs, MD, University of Minnesota; Christa Nagel, MD, Case Western Reserve University; Michael Pearl, MD, State University of New York; Olga Ioffe, MD; University of Maryland; and Shamshad Ali, Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Scope of Endometrial Cancer in the United States

More than 60,000 women are diagnosed with endometrial cancer in the United States annually, making it the fourth most common cancer in women and sixth leading cause of cancer death. The cancer begins in the lining of the uterus and grows outward to surrounding organs. Type 1 tumors are less aggressive and are typically confined to the uterus at the time of diagnosis, whereas Type 2 tumors tend to be aggressive and are at greater risk of spreading. The disease is most common in women over age 60. Aside from aging, excess body weight, diabetes, certain hormone therapies, a family history of endometrial cancer or personal history of endometrial hyperplasia, breast cancer or ovarian cancer are associated with increased risk of the disease.

About The OSUCCC – James

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute strives to create a cancer-free world by integrating scientific research with excellence in education and patient-centered care, a strategy that leads to better methods of prevention, detection and treatment. Ohio State is one of only 45 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers and one of only four centers funded by the NCI to conduct both phase I and phase II clinical trials on novel anticancer drugs. As the cancer program’s 306-bed adult patient-care component, The James is one of the top cancer hospitals in the nation as ranked by U.S. News & World Report and has achieved Magnet designation, the highest honor an organization can receive for quality patient care and professional nursing practice. At 21 floors with more than 1.1 million square feet, The James is a transformational facility that fosters collaboration and integration of cancer research and clinical cancer care. For more information, please visit

Study Finds Knee Surgery Holds Even in Heavier Patients

Meniscal repairs are one of the most common orthopedic surgeries in the U.S., but about 15 percent of them fail, requiring the patient to undergo a second surgery. Many have assumed that an increased body mass index (BMI) is a good predictor of whether a meniscal repair will fail, since more weight translates to more pressure on the knee joint.

However, a new study from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center shows that BMI has no effect on whether or not meniscus repair surgery will fail. The results, published in The Journal of Knee Surgery, found success rates were similar for those with average and higher BMI.

“This tells us that surgeons should not consider weight as a factor when deciding if a patient is a good candidate for meniscal repair surgery,” said Dr. David Flanigan, lead author of the study and orthopedic surgeon at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “If a meniscus is repairable and surgery is appropriate for that patient, you can do the surgery and they would have the same success as someone who is not as heavy.”

The study, published in The Journal of Knee Surgery, followed 410 patients who underwent meniscal repair surgery from 2006 to 2012. The results showed there was no significant difference in the rate of failures in those with a normal BMI (less than 25) and those with an elevated BMI of 25 or higher.

Ninety percent of patients who were monitored had BMIs under 35, so it’s unclear whether more severe obesity contributes to meniscal repair failure, but the study did prove that an increase BMI of 25 to 35 made no difference in whether the repair remained intact.

Surgeons often use risk factors like weight, activity level, type of meniscus tear and stability of the knee to determine which type of surgery to perform on a patient with a torn meniscus. If there is a good chance of the repair failing, the surgeon may opt to do a meniscectomy, a removal of part or all of the meniscus, which often leaves the patient with a less stable knee that is unable to withstand much activity and can lead to joint degradation.

Flanigan said research shows that repairing the meniscus whenever possible, as opposed to removing it, actually prevents knee issues in the future.

“That structure is so vital to the knee and provides a cushion to the joint,” Flanigan said. “Repairing it can prevent some of the arthritic changes from progressing in the knee. So if a meniscus is repairable, I’m very aggressive to perform that procedure.”

Heart drug improves or stabilizes Heart Function in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Researchers at The Ohio State University Ross Heart Hospital and Nationwide Children’s Hospital have shown early treatment with the heart failure medication eplerenone can improve heart function in young boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and stabilize heart function in older boys with the disease.

The results of their study are published in Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases.

The scientists examined the safety and efficacy of longer-term therapy with eplerenone, a diuretic used to treat high blood pressure and heart failure. This directly followed their 12-month study of the drug, published in the Lancet Neurology, which showed it slowed the progressive decline in heart function among DMD patients, compared to placebo.

Eleven boys and young men, ages 7 to 25, from the original 12 month study went on to participate in this 24-month trial extension during which all participants received 25 mg of eplerenone daily to treat DMD heart disease.

Over two years, researchers examined a sensitive measurement of heart function known as strain. It starts becoming abnormal long before symptoms or other signs of heart disease appear.

“We saw significant improvement in left ventricular systolic function among the younger boys who were newly treated with eplerenone. The older patients who continued eplerenone therapy from the previous trial to this one remained stable,” said Dr. Subha Raman, a cardiologist and professor at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and lead author on the study. “Recognizing that cardiopulmonary failure remains the leading cause of death in this disease, this tells us we should strongly consider early use of this medication in boys with DMD in order to gain the greatest cardiac benefit.”

Additionally, the research team reported no one experienced any adverse effects from the drug, such as elevated potassium levels.

DMD is a genetic disorder in which the body lacks dystrophin, a protein that helps keep muscle cells intact. It causes the skeletal and heart muscles to rapidly degenerate and weaken. DMD predominantly affects males. A majority of patients develop heart or respiratory failure, surviving into their 20s or 30s.

“It’s important to remember that the heart is a muscle too. If we’re to achieve long term improvements in duration and quality of life for patients with DMD, we must strive to understand the associated heart muscle disease better. This trial is one small piece of that big puzzle,” said Dr. Linda Cripe, a pediatric cardiologist and co-investigator at Nationwide Children’s.

This research was inspired by 30-year-old Ryan Ballou of Pittsburgh, a young man with DMD who, along with his father, started BallouSkies to raise awareness and funding for Raman’s research of heart disease in muscular dystrophy patients. BallouSkies and the Parent Project for Muscular Dystrophy financially supported the study.

Other members of the research team include Dr. Kan Hor, Dr. Sharon Roble, Dr. John Kissel, Suzanne Smart, Beth McCarthy, Dr. Wojciech Mazur and Xin He.

Staff Reports