Craig Hullett, Post Grad Trainee

Craig Hullett, MD

Clinical Assistant Professor

Department of Human Oncology

Education

Intern, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Medical/Surgical (2014)

MD, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Medicine (2013)

PhD, Michigan State University, Communication (2000)

MA, Wake Forest University, Communication (1996)

BA, Augustana College, Communication (1992)

Academic Appointments

Associate Professor, Department of Communication, University of Arizona, (2006)

Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Arts, University of Wisconsin–Madison (2001)

Assistant Professor, Dept. of Communication, North Carolina State University (2000)

Selected Honors and Awards

Gold Humanism Honor Society (2013)

Student Address at University of Arizona College of Medicine Convocation (2013)

Outstanding Achievement Award, University of Arizona College of Medicine (2013)

  • A Multi-Institutional Experience of MR-Guided Liver Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy. Adv Radiat Oncol
    Rosenberg SA, Henke LE, Shaverdian N, Mittauer K, Wojcieszynski AP, Hullett CR, Kamrava M, Lamb J, Cao M, Green OL, Kashani R, Paliwal B, Bayouth J, Harari PM, Olsen JR, Lee P, Parikh PJ, Bassetti M
    2019 Jan-Mar; 4 (1): 142-149
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      Purpose: Daily magnetic resonance (MR)-guided radiation has the potential to improve stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) for tumors of the liver. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) introduces unique variables that are untested clinically: electron return effect, MRI geometric distortion, MRI to radiation therapy isocenter uncertainty, multileaf collimator position error, and uncertainties with voxel size and tracking. All could lead to increased toxicity and/or local recurrences with SBRT. In this multi-institutional study, we hypothesized that direct visualization provided by MR guidance could allow the use of small treatment volumes to spare normal tissues while maintaining clinical outcomes despite the aforementioned uncertainties in MR-guided treatment.

      Methods and materials: Patients with primary liver tumors or metastatic lesions treated with MR-guided liver SBRT were reviewed at 3 institutions. Toxicity was assessed using National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events Version 4. Freedom from local progression (FFLP) and overall survival were analyzed with the Kaplan-Meier method and χ2 test.

      Results: The study population consisted of 26 patients: 6 hepatocellular carcinomas, 2 cholangiocarcinomas, and 18 metastatic liver lesions (44% colorectal metastasis). The median follow-up was 21.2 months. The median dose delivered was 50 Gy at 10 Gy/fraction. No grade 4 or greater gastrointestinal toxicities were observed after treatment. The 1-year and 2-year overall survival in this cohort is 69% and 60%, respectively. At the median follow-up, FFLP for this cohort was 80.4%. FFLP for patients with hepatocellular carcinomas, colorectal metastasis, and all other lesions were 100%, 75%, and 83%, respectively.

      Conclusions: This study describes the first clinical outcomes of MR-guided liver SBRT. Treatment was well tolerated by patients with excellent local control. This study lays the foundation for future dose escalation and adaptive treatment for liver-based primary malignancies and/or metastatic disease.

      View details for PubMedID 30706022
  • Beyond 'charting outcomes' in the radiation oncology match: analysis of self-reported applicant data. Med Educ Online
    Jang S, Rosenberg SA, Hullett C, Bradley KA, Kimple RJ
    2018 Dec; 23 (1): 1489691
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      The Charting Outcomes resource is useful in gauging an applicant's competiveness for a given specialty. However, many variables are not reported in Charting Outcomes that may influence an applicant's ability to match. A significant proportion of applicants record their experiences in an anonymous, self-reported applicant spreadsheet. We analyzed factors associated with a successful match using this dataset to test the hypothesis that research productivity and high academic performance correlates with success rates. A retrospective analysis of "RadOnc Interview Spreadsheet" for the 2015, 2016, and 2017 radiation oncology match was performed. Data were accessed via studentdoctor.net. Board scores, research characteristics, Sub-I participation, and interview invitation rates were available. Mann-Whitney U, Kruskal-Wallis, and chi-square tests were used for statistical analysis. When possible, results were compared to those reported in the National Residency Match Program's "Charting Outcomes" report. A total of 158 applicants were examined for the applicant characteristics. Applicants applied to a median of 61 programs and received a median of 14 interviews. The mean step 1 score was 248 (range: 198 to 272) and most were in the highest grade point average quartile (68.3%). 21.7% participated in additional research year(s), and 19% obtained a PhD. The majority of applicants took three radiation oncology electives (48.7%). On multivariate analysis, alpha-omega-alpha (AOA) honors society status (p=0.033), participating in a research year (p=0.001) and number of journal publications (p=0.047) significantly correlated with higher interview invitation rates. In summary, this study identifies important considerations for radiation oncology applicants that have not been previously reported, such as induction into AOA and number of journal publications.

      View details for PubMedID 29943670
  • A New Era of Image Guidance with Magnetic Resonance-guided Radiation Therapy for Abdominal and Thoracic Malignancies. Cureus
    Mittauer K, Paliwal B, Hill P, Bayouth JE, Geurts MW, Baschnagel AM, Bradley KA, Harari PM, Rosenberg S, Brower JV, Wojcieszynski AP, Hullett C, Bayliss RA, Labby ZE, Bassetti MF
    2018 Apr 04; 10 (4): e2422
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      Magnetic resonance-guided radiation therapy (MRgRT) offers advantages for image guidance for radiotherapy treatments as compared to conventional computed tomography (CT)-based modalities. The superior soft tissue contrast of magnetic resonance (MR) enables an improved visualization of the gross tumor and adjacent normal tissues in the treatment of abdominal and thoracic malignancies. Online adaptive capabilities, coupled with advanced motion management of real-time tracking of the tumor, directly allow for high-precision inter-/intrafraction localization. The primary aim of this case series is to describe MR-based interventions for localizing targets not well-visualized with conventional image-guided technologies. The abdominal and thoracic sites of the lung, kidney, liver, and gastric targets are described to illustrate the technological advancement of MR-guidance in radiotherapy.

      View details for PubMedID 29872602
  • The role of radiation therapy in the treatment of Stage II endometrial cancer: A large database study. Brachytherapy
    Wojcieszynski AP, Hullett CR, Medlin EE, Taunk NK, Shabason JE, Brower JV, Chen S, Bekelman JE, Barroilhet LM, Bradley KA
    2018 Jul - Aug; 17 (4): 645-652
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      PURPOSE: The optimum adjuvant treatment for Stage II endometrial cancer patients is unknown. External beam radiation therapy (EBRT) is often considered the standard of care; however, retrospective series suggest that brachytherapy (BT) alone may be sufficient for selected patients. As randomized data are lacking, we used a large database to explore this question.

      METHODS AND MATERIALS: The National Cancer Data Base was queried for patients with pathologic International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics Stage II disease. Demographic, clinic-pathologic, and treatment details were compared between patients. Multivariable analysis was used to determine factors associated with receiving radiation therapy (RT). To account for imbalances between groups, a matched-pair analysis was completed.

      RESULTS: Eight thousand one hundred forty patients were included. RT was associated with overall survival (OS), with EBRT (hazard ratio [HR] 0.64), BT (HR 0.47), and combination (HR 0.54) showing increased OS on univariate analysis. Facility, urban location, diagnosis year, hysterectomy type, and chemotherapy did not reach significance. On multivariate analysis, RT was associated with OS, with EBRT (HR 0.69), BT (HR 0.60), and combination (HR 0.54) showing benefit. Using propensity-score matching, RT continued to show improved OS regardless of type: BT (82% vs. 73% 5-year OS) and EBRT (77% vs. 71%). BT as compared to EBRT had equivalent survival (81% vs. 79%, not statistically significant).

      CONCLUSION: This study of over 8,000 patients demonstrates that adjuvant RT confers a survival benefit in Stage II endometrial cancer and supports the continued use of RT in these patients. BT alone may be reasonable in carefully selected patients.

      View details for PubMedID 29691149
  • Impact of prone versus supine positioning on small bowel dose with pelvic intensity modulated radiation therapy. Adv Radiat Oncol
    Gonzalez VJ, Hullett CR, Burt L, Rassiah-Szegedi P, Sarkar V, Tward JD, Hazard LJ, Huang YJ, Salter BJ, Gaffney DK
    2017 Apr-Jun; 2 (2): 235-243
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      PURPOSE: To report the results of a prospective study that compares small bowel doses during prone and supine pelvic intensity modulated radiation therapy.

      METHODS AND MATERIALS: Ten patients receiving pelvic radiation therapy each had 2 intensity modulated radiation therapy plans generated: supine and prone on a belly board (PBB). Computed tomography on rails was performed weekly throughout treatment in both positions (10 scans per patient). After image fusion, doses to small bowel (SB) loops and clinical target volume were calculated for each scan. Changes between the planned and received doses were analyzed and compared between positions. The impact of bladder filling on SB dose was also assessed.

      RESULTS: Prone treatment was associated with significantly lower volumes of SB receiving ≥20 Gy. On average, prone on a belly board positioning reduced the volume of SB receiving a given dose of radiation by 28% compared with supine positioning. Target coverage throughout the treatment course was similar in both positions with an average minimum clinical target volume dose of 88% of the prescribed prone dose and 89% of the supine (P = .54). For supine treatment, SB dose was inversely correlated with bladder filling (P = .001-.013; P > .15 for prone). For 96% of treatments, the volume of SB that received a given dose deviated >10% from the plan. The deviation between the planned and delivered doses to SB did not differ significantly between the positions.

      CONCLUSIONS: Prone positioning on a belly board during pelvic IMRT consistently reduces the volume of SB that receives a broad range of radiation doses. Prone IMRT is associated with interfraction dose variation to SB that is similar to that of supine positioning. These findings suggest that prone positioning with daily image guided radiation therapy is an effective method for maximizing SB sparing during pelvic IMRT.

      View details for PubMedID 28740937
  • Dosimetric Comparison of Real-Time MRI-Guided Tri-Cobalt-60 Versus Linear Accelerator-Based Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy Lung Cancer Plans. Technol Cancer Res Treat
    Wojcieszynski AP, Hill PM, Rosenberg SA, Hullett CR, Labby ZE, Paliwal B, Geurts MW, Bayliss RA, Bayouth JE, Harari PM, Bassetti MF, Baschnagel AM
    2017 Jun; 16 (3): 366-372
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      PURPOSE: Magnetic resonance imaging-guided radiation therapy has entered clinical practice at several major treatment centers. Treatment of early-stage non-small cell lung cancer with stereotactic body radiation therapy is one potential application of this modality, as some form of respiratory motion management is important to address. We hypothesize that magnetic resonance imaging-guided tri-cobalt-60 radiation therapy can be used to generate clinically acceptable stereotactic body radiation therapy treatment plans. Here, we report on a dosimetric comparison between magnetic resonance imaging-guided radiation therapy plans and internal target volume-based plans utilizing volumetric-modulated arc therapy.

      MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ten patients with early-stage non-small cell lung cancer who underwent radiation therapy planning and treatment were studied. Following 4-dimensional computed tomography, patient images were used to generate clinically deliverable plans. For volumetric-modulated arc therapy plans, the planning tumor volume was defined as an internal target volume + 0.5 cm. For magnetic resonance imaging-guided plans, a single mid-inspiratory cycle was used to define a gross tumor volume, then expanded 0.3 cm to the planning tumor volume. Treatment plan parameters were compared.

      RESULTS: Planning tumor volumes trended larger for volumetric-modulated arc therapy-based plans, with a mean planning tumor volume of 47.4 mL versus 24.8 mL for magnetic resonance imaging-guided plans ( P = .08). Clinically acceptable plans were achievable via both methods, with bilateral lung V20, 3.9% versus 4.8% ( P = .62). The volume of chest wall receiving greater than 30 Gy was also similar, 22.1 versus 19.8 mL ( P = .78), as were all other parameters commonly used for lung stereotactic body radiation therapy. The ratio of the 50% isodose volume to planning tumor volume was lower in volumetric-modulated arc therapy plans, 4.19 versus 10.0 ( P < .001). Heterogeneity index was comparable between plans, 1.25 versus 1.25 ( P = .98).

      CONCLUSION: Magnetic resonance imaging-guided tri-cobalt-60 radiation therapy is capable of delivering lung high-quality stereotactic body radiation therapy plans that are clinically acceptable as compared to volumetric-modulated arc therapy-based plans. Real-time magnetic resonance imaging provides the unique capacity to directly observe tumor motion during treatment for purposes of motion management.

      View details for PubMedID 28168936
  • Radiotherapeutic management of vestibular schwannomas using size- and location-adapted fractionation regimens to maximize the therapeutic ratio. Pract Radiat Oncol
    Slane BG, Goyal U, Grow JL, Morrison C, Hullett CR, Gordon J, Sanan A, Stea B
    2017 May - Jun; 7 (3): e233-e241
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      BACKGROUND: We evaluated and compared the radiographic and clinical outcomes of patients with vestibular schwannomas treated with single fraction stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), 5 fractions of hypofractionated stereotactic radiation therapy (hSRT), or 25 to 30 fractions of conventionally fractionated stereotactic radiation therapy (cfSRT).

      METHODS AND MATERIALS: Fifty-six patients treated with LINAC-based SRS (median, 12.5 Gy), hSRT (25 Gy), or cfSRT (median, 54 Gy) were retrospectively reviewed. Fractionation was based on the size of the tumor, proximity to the brainstem, and potential risk of neurological sequelae. Median follow-up time was 55.2 months.

      RESULTS: The pretreatment median tumor diameter was significantly smaller for SRS (1.14 cm) compared with hSRT (1.7 cm) (P = .03) and cfSRT (2.0 cm) (P < .001). The overall local tumor control was 96.4%: 100% SRS, 100% hSRT, and 90% cfSRT (P = .19). Tumor regression was observed in 53.3% of SRS, 76.2% of hSRT, and 90% of cfSRT (P = .05). There was less transient expansion of tumors treated with cfSRT (5%) than with SRS (53.3%) or hSRT (28.6%) (P = .005). The median time to regression was 13.8 months for SRS, 14.2 months for hSRT, and 5.5 months for cfSRT (P = .34). There was a 3.6% incidence of grade 3 trigeminal neuropathy, but there was no grade 3 facial neuropathy.

      CONCLUSIONS: All 3 regimens demonstrated similar excellent local control with minimal toxicity; however, the ability of hSRT to treat larger tumors with comparable outcomes to SRS and greater patient convenience when compared with cfSRT suggest that hSRT may offer the optimal treatment approach.

      View details for PubMedID 28089525
  • Readability of Online Patient Educational Resources Found on NCI-Designated Cancer Center Web Sites. J Natl Compr Canc Netw
    Rosenberg SA, Francis D, Hullett CR, Morris ZS, Fisher MM, Brower JV, Bradley KA, Anderson BM, Bassetti MF, Kimple RJ
    2016 Jun; 14 (6): 735-40
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      BACKGROUND: The NIH and Department of Health & Human Services recommend online patient information (OPI) be written at a sixth grade level. We used a panel of readability analyses to assess OPI from NCI-Designated Cancer Center (NCIDCC) Web sites.

      METHODS: Cancer.gov was used to identify 68 NCIDCC Web sites from which we collected both general OPI and OPI specific to breast, prostate, lung, and colon cancers. This text was analyzed by 10 commonly used readability tests: the New Dale-Chall Readability Formula, Flesch Reading Ease scale, Flesch-Kinaid Grade Level, FORCAST scale, Fry Readability Graph, Simple Measure of Gobbledygook test, Gunning Frequency of Gobbledygook index, New Fog Count, Raygor Readability Estimate Graph, and Coleman-Liau Index. We tested the hypothesis that the readability of NCIDCC OPI was written at the sixth grade level. Secondary analyses were performed to compare readability of OPI between comprehensive and noncomprehensive centers, by region, and to OPI produced by the American Cancer Society (ACS).

      RESULTS: A mean of 30,507 words from 40 comprehensive and 18 noncomprehensive NCIDCCs was analyzed (7 nonclinical and 3 without appropriate OPI were excluded). Using a composite grade level score, the mean readability score of 12.46 (ie, college level: 95% CI, 12.13-12.79) was significantly greater than the target grade level of 6 (middle-school: P<.001). No difference between comprehensive and noncomprehensive centers was identified. Regional differences were identified in 4 of the 10 readability metrics (P<.05). ACS OPI provides easier language, at the seventh to ninth grade level, across all tests (P<.01).

      CONCLUSIONS: OPI from NCIDCC Web sites is more complex than recommended for the average patient.

      View details for PubMedID 27283166
  • Management of leptomeningeal metastases: Prognostic factors and associated outcomes. J Clin Neurosci
    Brower JV, Saha S, Rosenberg SA, Hullett CR, Ian Robins H
    2016 May; 27: 130-7
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      Limited data are currently available to direct treatment recommendations in the management of leptomeningeal metastases (LM). Here we review treatment modalities clinicians should understand in order to manage patients with LM. We first describe our institution's experience with the treatment of LM and use this dataset to frame the discussion of LM management. Between 1999 and 2014, 1361 patients with central nervous system metastases were reviewed, 124 (9.1%) had radiographic evidence of LM, and these patients form the cohort for this analysis. Mean age at diagnosis of LM was 52years. Median survival for the entire cohort was 2.3months. The most common primary malignancies were non-small cell lung cancer (25.8%), breast cancer (17.7%), small cell lung cancer (16.9%) and melanoma (8.9%). Univariate analyses demonstrated that greater Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS) (p=0.001) and administration of systemic chemotherapy (p<0.001) resulted in improved median survival. Multivariate Cox analyses revealed that receipt of chemotherapy and a complete course of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) (median dose 30Gy in 10 fractions, range 24-40Gy) were predictive of longer survival, (p=0.013 and 0.019, respectively). These data suggest that there is a group of patients with good KPS who may experience significantly longer median survival than expected. Multivariate analysis from this single institution retrospective study demonstrated a benefit for WBRT and chemotherapy in individuals with good KPS. These findings provide contemporary data from a large cohort of LM patients, which may be utilized to guide treatment recommendations, assist in patient counseling and direct future investigations into optimization of treatment regimens.

      View details for PubMedID 26778048
  • Gadoxetate for direct tumor therapy and tracking with real-time MRI-guided stereotactic body radiation therapy of the liver. Radiother Oncol
    Wojcieszynski AP, Rosenberg SA, Brower JV, Hullett CR, Geurts MW, Labby ZE, Hill PM, Bayliss RA, Paliwal B, Bayouth JE, Harari PM, Bassetti MF
    2016 Feb; 118 (2): 416-8
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      SBRT is increasingly utilized in liver tumor treatment. MRI-guided RT allows for real-time MRI tracking during therapy. Liver tumors are often poorly visualized and most contrast agents are transient. Gadoxetate may allow for sustained tumor visualization. Here, we report on the first use of gadoxetate during real-time MRI-guided SBRT.

      View details for PubMedID 26627702
  • Pan-HER Inhibitor Augments Radiation Response in Human Lung and Head and Neck Cancer Models. Clin Cancer Res
    Francis DM, Huang S, Armstrong EA, Werner LR, Hullett C, Li C, Morris ZS, Swick AD, Kragh M, Lantto J, Kimple RJ, Harari PM
    2016 Feb 01; 22 (3): 633-43
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      PURPOSE: Aberrant regulation of the EGF receptor family (EGFR, HER2, HER3, HER4) contributes to tumorigenesis and metastasis in epithelial cancers. Pan-HER represents a novel molecular targeted therapeutic composed of a mixture of six monoclonal antibodies against EGFR, HER2, and HER3.

      EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: In the current study, we examine the capacity of Pan-HER to augment radiation response across a series of human lung and head and neck cancers, including EGFR inhibitor-resistant cell lines and xenografts.

      RESULTS: Pan-HER demonstrates superior antiproliferative and radiosensitizing impact when compared with cetuximab. The mechanisms underlying these effects appear to involve attenuation of DNA damage repair, enhancement of programmed cell death, cell-cycle redistribution, and induction of cellular senescence. Combined treatment of Pan-HER with single or fractionated radiation in human tumor xenografts reveals a potent antitumor and regrowth delay impact compared with Pan-HER or radiation treatment alone.

      CONCLUSIONS: These data highlight the capacity of Pan-HER to augment radiation response in lung and head and neck cancer models and support investigation of Pan-HER combined with radiation as a promising clinical therapeutic strategy.

      View details for PubMedID 26420857
  • Assessment of alcohol withdrawal in Native American patients utilizing the Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment of Alcohol Revised Scale. J Addict Med
    Rappaport D, Chuu A, Hullett C, Nematollahi S, Teeple M, Bhuyan N, Honkanen I, Adamas-Rappaport WJ, Sanders A
    2013 May-Jun; 7 (3): 196-9
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      BACKGROUND: The Clinical Institute Withdrawal Assessment of Alcohol Revised (CIWA-Ar) is a commonly used scale for assessing the severity of alcohol withdrawal syndrome in the acute setting. Despite validation of this scale in the general population, the effect of ethnicity on CIWA-Ar scoring does not appear in the literature. The purpose of our study was to investigate the validity of the CIWA-Ar scale among Native American patients evaluated for acute alcohol detoxification.

      METHODS: A case series of all patients seen for alcohol withdrawal at an Acute Drug and Alcohol Detoxification facility was conducted from June 1, 2011, until April 1, 2012. The CIWA-Ar scores were recorded by trained nursing staff on presentation to Triage Department and every 2 hours thereafter. At our institution, a score of 10 or greater indicates the need for inpatient hospital admission and treatment. Ethnicity was self-reported. Age, sex, blood alcohol concentration, blood pressure, and pulse were recorded on presentation and vital signs repeated every 2 hours. Patients were excluded from the study if other drug use was noted by history or initial urine drug screen. A multivariate logistic regression model was utilized to identify statistically significant variables associated with admission to the inpatient unit and treatment. The relationship of CIWA-Ar scores and ethnicity was compared using analysis of variance.

      RESULTS: A total of 115 whites, 45 Hispanics, and 47 Native Americans were included in the analysis. Native Americans had consistently lower CIWA-Ar scores at 0, 2, 4, and 6 hours than the other 2 ethnic groups (P = 0.002). In addition, Native Americans were admitted to the hospital less often than the other 2 groups for withdrawal (P < 0.001).

      CONCLUSIONS: The CIWA-Ar scale may underestimate the severity of alcohol withdrawal syndrome in certain ethnic group such as Native Americans. Further prospective studies should be undertaken to determine the validity of the CIWA-Ar scale in assessing alcohol withdrawal across different ethnic populations.

      View details for PubMedID 23579238
  • Using functional theory to promote HIV testing: the impact of value-expressive messages, uncertainty, and fear. Health Commun
    Hullett CR
    2006; 20 (1): 57-67
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      This study tests the utility of the functional theory of attitudes and arousal of fear in motivating college students to get tested for HIV. It is argued from the perspective of functional theory that value-expressive appeals to get tested for the purpose of taking care of one's own health could be effective if that goal is desired by message targets who are sexually active and unaware of their sexually transmitted disease status. As part of the process, the effectiveness of these appeals is increased by the arousal of uncertainty and fear. A model detailing the mediating processes is proposed and found to be consistent with the data. Overall, messages advocating testing for the self-interested reason of one's own health were more effective than messages advocating testing for the goal of protecting one's partners.

      View details for PubMedID 16813489

Contact Information

Craig Hullett, MD

600 Highland Avenue,
Madison, WI 53792
Email