Open Mics With Doctor Stites 8-3-22

Media Resources

Bob Hallinan

Executive Producer

Office: (913) 588-7284

Cell: (913)-481-7329


    The University of Kansas Health System is treating a total of 51 COVID patients today, up from 44 Monday. Other significant numbers:

  • 29 with the active virus today, 28 Monday
  • 4 in ICU, 4 Monday
  • 1 on ventilators, 2 Monday
  • 22 hospitalized but out of acute infection phase, 16 Monday

Key points from today’s guests:

Dr. Raed Al-Rajabi, medical oncologist, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Discussed breakthrough treatment for advanced rectal cancer using an immunotherapy drug called dostarlimab
  • Clinical trial showed 100% complete response rate in 14 patients
  • Current standard of care for rectal cancer is chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, with only 30 to 40% of patients having their cancer disappear
  • Thinks this is a very good step in the right direction toward curing rectal cancer

Dr. John Ashcraft, surgical oncologist, The University of Kansas Health System

  • Noted that rectal cancers are targeting younger and younger patients, but it’s not clear why this is happening
  • Need to point out that this trial was on a limited number of patients, all young. More research needed to see if it will have the same effect on older patients
  • There’s still a long way to go, with many studies needed before this is approved as the standard treatment for rectal cancer
  • Tremendously excited at the potential of this science in its infancy. “Could potentially put me out of work.”

Dr. Dana Hawkinson, medical director Infection Prevention and Control, The University of Kansas Health System

  • If you use a home COVID test and it’s negative, you may have to retest a couple of days later if you have symptoms
  • It appears most schools will have masks optional this fall
  • Need to have a larger rollout of monkeypox vaccine as the disease doesn’t always stick with the demographics of who is getting it most often
  • Preventive measures such as screenings and vaccines are vital to good health

Dr. Steve Stites, chief medical officer, The University of Kansas Health System

  • New treatments such as dostarlimab make doctors who have spent a career battling the disease feel it was all worth it
  • More and more treatments such as this are using immunotherapy, or personalized medicine, custom made for a specific patient
  • COVID heat map for the U.S. has been pretty stable for the last few weeks
  • Thinks a lot of people are out there with COVID and we may be in the highest surge of the pandemic


Friday, August 5 at 8:00 a.m. is the next Morning Medical Update. We go live to war-torn Ukraine to see a healthcare system pushed to the brink. We’ll show you how one local organization is doing more the just putting a band aid on the problem.

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