Brain Tumour Survivor

A site dedicated to leading edge treatment for brain tumours
It is currently Tue Dec 12, 2017 7:09 am

All times are UTC + 10 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 70 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
Author Message
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:20 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Way to spot breast cancer years in advance

A genetic test could help predict breast cancer many years before the disease is diagnosed, experts hope.

Ultimately the findings, in the journal Cancer Research, could lead to a simple blood test to screen women, they say.

The test looks for how genes are altered by environmental factors like alcohol and hormones - a process known as epigenetics.

One in five women is thought to have such a genetic "switch" that doubles breast cancer risk.

The scientists from Imperial College London analysed blood samples from 1,380 women of various ages, 640 of whom went on to develop breast cancer.

And they found a strong link between breast cancer risk and molecular modification of a single gene called ATM, which is found on white blood cells.

Predicting cancer

They then looked for evidence of what was causing this change. Specifically, they looked for a chemical effect called methylation, which is known to act as a "gene switch".

Women showing the highest methylation levels affecting the ATM gene were twice as likely to develop breast cancer compared with those with the lowest levels.

In some cases the changes were evident up to 11 years before a breast tumour was diagnosed.

Dr James Flanagan, of Imperial College London, who led the new research, said: "We know that genetic variation contributes to a person's risk of disease.

"With this new study we can now also say that epigenetic variation, or differences in how genes are modified, also has a role.

"We hope that this research is just the beginning of our understanding about the epigenetic component of breast cancer risk and in the coming years we hope to find many more examples of genes that contribute to a person's risk.

"The challenge will be how to incorporate all of this new information into the computer models that are currently used for individual risk prediction."

It is not yet clear why breast cancer risk might be linked to changes in a white blood cell gene.

These women could then be closely monitored and offered pre-emptive treatment, such as surgery.

Baroness Delyth Morgan of the Breast Cancer Campaign, which funded the work, said: "By piecing together how this happens, we can look at ways of preventing the disease and detecting it earlier to give people the best possible chance of survival."

Laura Bell of Cancer Research UK said: "This study gives us a fascinating glimpse of the future and the promise that the emerging field of epigenetics holds. But it's too early to say exactly how these particular changes might affect our ability to detect who is likely to develop certain types of cancer.

"With further studies, scientists will increase our knowledge of how genetic switches like this interplay together to affect breast cancer risk, with the hope that one day this could lead to a blood test that could help predict a woman's chance of getting the disease."

Epigenetics

The focus is on targeting cancer-causing errors in the way the body reads DNA code, rather than errors in the genetic code itself
A series of chemical switches determine whether genes are turned on or off, and ultimately what the cell will look like and how it will function
Alterations in this "epigenetic" control can lead to cancer
Environmental factors like hormones can act as triggers for these errors
Scientists are working on new drugs that can regulate gene expression and effectively solve epigenetic problems
But the team envisage that a blood test could be used in combination with other information about breast cancer risk, such as family history and the presence of other known breast cancer genes, to help identify those women at greatest risk of developing the disease in the future.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17905601


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 6:39 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Study questions quality of medical evidence found in clinical trials

(CBS News) Most major medical studies that guide doctors and lead to new treatment advice are not as sound as patients might expect, a new study finds.

The largest analysis of clinical trials to date looked at nearly 41,000 studies and found many fall short when it comes to producing meaningful evidence that should guide medical decision-making.

"Our analysis raises questions about the best methods for generating evidence, as well as the capacity of the clinical trials enterprise to supply sufficient amounts of high quality evidence to ensure confidence in guideline recommendations," study author Dr. Robert Califf, vice chancellor for clinical research at Duke University Medical Center and director of the Duke Translational Medicine Institute in Durham, N.C. said in a university news release.

For the study, published in the May 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, Califf and colleagues reviewed studies found on the website ClinicalTrials.gov that were downloaded in September of 2010. The site is a database managed by the National Library of Medicine to maintain past, current and planned clinical research studies and contains specifics on the study's methodology.

The impact of results found in clinical trials range from changing treatment guidelines for diseases such as cancer or heart disease, or determining how medical devices may help people with certain conditions. Ideally they are randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that randomly assign participants to receive a treatment or an alternate treatment (often a placebo) and control for factors that could bias the study.

The researchers looked specifically at trials related to cardiovascular, mental health, and cancer studies, and found 96 percent of the trials had 1,000 or fewer participants, while over 60 percent had 100 or fewer participants. What's more 66 percent of studies were conducted on a single site as opposed to at multiple research locations, the researchers found.

"There are 330 new clinical trials being registered every week, and a number of them are very small and probably not as high quality as they could be," Califf told HealthDay.

Cancer trials in particular were flagged by the researchers. They found cardiovascular trials, for example, were typically twice as large as cancer trials, with mental health trials falling in the middle. Additionally, a majority of cancer trials don't randomize their patients. Califf questioned to HealthDay if 65 percent of cancer studies don't randomize their participants compared with 26 percent of heart studies, should cancer research be done differently?

Dr. Kay Dickersin, a professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Drummond Renie, deputy editor of JAMA, commented on the findings in an accompanying editorial, saying more engagement is needed among everyone involved with clinical trials - including the test subjects, who should ask for a copy of the results.

"If all trial investigators and sponsors, as well as the regulators, were equally engaged, this might help further the universal adoption of trial registration," they wrote. It might "restore the public's confidence in investigators, sponsors, and the clinical trial enterprise."

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162- ... al-trials/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 7:29 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Why clinical research should be freely exchanged

In 1976, teenager Bill Gates wrote an open letter calling the programmers who had copied and shared the paper tape of his BASIC program code thieves. Unsurprising perhaps, since the code had earned the young programmer a lot of money.

At a time when open sharing of computer programs was commonplace, Gates’ letter signalled a new era of corporate secrecy that underpinned the birth of the modern software industry. The few programmers who shunned the fat pay packets and share options and chose to hang on to the old world went on to become software pirates and hackers.

Fast forward 35 years and the hackers have come in from the cold. Thanks to the open source software movement, we can now download for free such mainstream programs as the Android operating system that powers many of our phones and the widely used Firefox web browser.

The ability to look at, improve and re-use the code behind this software sets it apart from its closed-source counterparts. So open source has transformed into a thriving $300 billion-a-year business, supported by a programmer community that believes all information should be ‘‘free’’.

The situation is very different in healthcare. Doctors and consumers rely heavily on evidence-based research to guide their decisions. Yet the clinical trials that generate research findings happen mainly behind closed doors – or more accurately behind the corporate walls of pharmaceutical companies.

Perverse industry incentives mean that many clinical trials are designed to market drugs rather than answer the questions that doctors and patients rightly ask. Trials that do not produce the expected positive results often remain unpublished. When clinical trials are published, conclusions are sometimes massaged and the raw data that would reveal that – the result of treatment for individual patients – stays locked up.

Yet clinical trial data is a potential goldmine for us all. If researchers, doctors and patients were able to re-analyse and pool this data, there would be a whole host of questions that could start to be answered.

One “hacker” solution is for the data to be pirated, but no one wins in this scenario. However, everyone could be a winner if clinical research data went open source.

Building a community where people freely exchange the “source code” of clinical trials should help close many of these gaps in research evidence, and this scenario may not be that far away.

In the past year, we have seen major research publishers such as Elsevier reluctantly agree that research papers should be moved from behind publishing pay walls and made more freely available. The next step is to make the data that accompanies these papers and that is owned by the pharmaceutical industry also ‘‘free’’ – as well as the data for all those trials that pharmaceutical companies don’t seem to want to talk about.

In Australia, the National Health and Medical Research Council will soon ensure that the published results of all government-funded research will be made freely available. Clinical trial registers such as clinicaltrials.gov in the US have begun the process of collecting high-level summary information about clinical trials that are planned or under way.

It is many years since Bill Gates railed against the sharing of software code, and he is now devoting his considerable energy and finances to solving some of the great health challenges of the world, such as curing malaria. He has to do this because while the rich, developed world gets pills for every kind of minor condition, major diseases such as malaria are left neglected because the big drug companies don’t see a profit.

We hope the good-hearted Mr Gates might today side with the hackers, at least when it comes to the medical research data that can save millions of lives.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion ... z1u7wsWxS2


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 7:20 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Open Trial for Brain Cancer Treatment

Glioblastoma is a very aggressive grade of brain cancer, and attempts at treatments so far have met with limited success. But as researchers proved, sometimes you have to cheat to win.

Treatment with chemotherapy strong enough to make significant progress against the cancer sometimes weakens the patient too much. With a little genetic engineering, researchers may have found a way around that.

Ask your doctor about local clinical trials available to you.

Similar to storing some of your blood a few weeks before your surgery, doctors in one small cancer trial took samples of the stem cells in the bones of patients, where blood and immune cells are produced, and enhanced them.

While similar ideas have been tried before, this time doctors enhanced the stem cells to be extra resistant to chemotherapy.

While there were only three patients in the trial, two lived nearly 22 months, double the average survival time. The third patient is still alive three years after the treatment.

Chemotherapy is based on the idea of giving a strong enough dose of a drug to kill the cancer, without killing the patient. In this version of chemotherapy, the transplanted cells are enhanced by including the antidote, giving transplanted cells a copy of a gene called P140K to protect the immune system from the drugs used in chemotherapy.

The type of glioblastoma studied in this clinical trial was a specific mutated form where the gene MGMT is mutated, and the toxic drug benzylguanine has to be included in chemotherapy.

Necessary to treat this form of glioblastoma, including the benzylguanine in the chemotherapy is the last straw for an already weakened immune system.

"This therapy is analogous to firing at both tumor cells and bone marrow cells, but giving the bone marrow cells protective shields while the tumor cells are unshielded," said Jennifer Adair, Ph.D.,

The study was published May 9, 2012 in the journal Science Translational Medicine. No conflicts of interest were disclosed by researchers.

http://www.dailyrx.com/news-article/gli ... 18965.html


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 10:05 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Environmental group warns of sunscreen ingredients leading to skin cancer

(CNN) - Twenty-five percent of 800 tested sunscreens are effective at protecting your skin without the use of potentially harmful ingredients, according to the 2012 Sunscreen Guide released Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group.

"The results are slightly better than previous years, but it continues to surprise us that we can recommend such few products," said Nneka Leiba, an Environmental Working Grou senior analyst.

To make the watchdog group's safe list, sunscreens must be free of oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate (a type of vitamin A), not have SPF above 50 and protect against UVA and UVB sunrays.

Toxic ingredients?

The Environmental Working Group says 56% of beach and sport sunscreens contain the chemical oxybenzone. The primary function of oxybenzone is to absorb ultraviolet light, but some research shows oxybenzone can be absorbed through the skin.

The Environmental Working Group and other toxicology experts believe that oxybenzone is linked to hormone disruption and potentially to cell damage that may lead to skin cancer.

The American Academy of Dermatology says oxybenzone is safe.

"Oxybenzone is one of the few FDA-approved ingredients that provides effective broad spectrum protection from UV radiation, and has been approved for use since 1978," said Dr. Daniel M. Siegel, president of the academy.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved oxybenzone in sunscreen for use on children older than 6 months.

"We will continue to push for better options every year. We're trying to fill the gap where the FDA has failed," said Leiba.

The Environmental Working Group also warns consumers to avoid retinyl palminate.

Government-funded studies have found that this particular type of vitamin A may increase risk of skin cancer when used on sun-exposed skin. However, these reports have been in mice and evidence has been inconclusive for humans.

"Consumers get frustrated when there are no alternatives, but the point of this is that you don't have to be completely disheartened, because there are products on the market that don't contain these chemicals," said Leiba.

The Environmental Working Group report found that fewer sunscreens - about 25% - contain retinyl palmitate, compared to 33% in last year's study. The Environmental Working Group says this ingredient does not make sunscreen more effective, and until definitive research is available, consumers should avoid sunscreen products containing retinyl palminate.

Broad spectrum

Most dermatologists agree with the Environmental Working Group's recommendation that consumers use products labeled broad spectrum.

Broad spectrum means the product protects against both UVB rays that cause sunburns and also UVA radiation that causes premature skin damage and aging.

"Evidence has shown the best sunscreens are the ones that block UVB and UVA," said Dr. Ariel Ostad, a clinical assistant professor in the department of dermatology at New York University Medical Center, and not affiliated with the Environmental Working Group report.

"The majority of these companies that market sunscreen products, they try to make people more aware of the SPF."

Last year, the FDA announced tighter regulations on how manufacturers label products. The changes, aimed to cut down on consumer confusion, require sunscreen labels to identify if they provide broad spectrum coverage on the front label. Brands also won't be able to claim products as sweat-proof or waterproof.

However, don't expect to see these changes on store shelves this summer. Last week the FDA announced it is giving manufacturers six additional months from their original deadline to meet the new requirements. Look for the new labeling in December.

Numbers game

The Environmental Working Group said consumers should not purchase sunscreens with SPF greater than 50. SPF (sun protection factor) works by absorbing, reflecting or scattering the sun's rays on the skin.

"It is very misleading to put high SPF numbers on labels because it gives consumers a false sense of security and doesn't offer a lot more protection," Leiba said.

They are right. While SPF 85 may sound like a lot more protection than SPF 30, the higher the number doesn't always give a high return.

Studies show that sunscreen with SPF 15 can block about 93% of all incoming UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97%. SPF 50 blocks 98%.

"The protective factors plateau from there. A product with SPF 100+ blocks about 99.1 percent of the UVB rays," Ostad said. "You don't really need a high number. They end up being expensive and don't offer more protection than SPF 50."

Keep in mind, SPF protects only against UVB rays.

Bottom Line

It's easy to get overwhelmed with the sunscreen options on store shelves.

Here's a quick guide to find the best products to protect your family from the sun:

--Use a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 and a maximum of SPF 50;

--Make sure labels list UVA and UVB (or broad spectrum protection);

--Avoid products containing oxybenzone and retinyl palminate if you're concerned about potentially toxic chemicals;

--Choose lotions versus spray sunscreens for a more evenly distributed protection.

Remember to apply at least 2 ounces of lotion (about a shot glass full) and reapply often. The sun breaks down the ingredients in sunscreen that protect your skin. Experts recommend reapplying every two hours, or after swimming or heavy sweating.

http://www.news10.net/news/article/1934 ... kin-cancer


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:51 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
US experts question prostate cancer test

A US taskforce has recommended a common test for detecting prostate cancer in healthy men be abandoned, regardless of their age, igniting debate among Australian doctors and public health experts as to whether this country should do the same.

Many prostate cancers detected by the PSA blood test, which is used around the world, went on to cause problems in a patient's lifetime, the US Preventive Services Task Force said in its final recommendation, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine yesterday.

Many men worried unnecessarily after being diagnosed, and had undergone treatment with surgery, hormones or radiation therapy, the taskforce found.

However, thousands of men suffered health problems, including impotence and incontinence, after receiving unnecessary treatments, said a professor of public health, Simon Chapman, at the University of Sydney.

A push towards early detection of the disease, along with campaigning from prostate cancer survivors, had led to about two-thirds of Australian men, aged from 40 to 74, being screened, said Professor Chapman.

''But everyone, including doctors, agree the test is imperfect and cannot detect which cancers will be life threatening.

''It leads to an unacceptably high number of men having surgery which affects their lifestyle and for the majority of those men, treatment would have been unnecessary.''

Professor Chapman said it was time for Australian guidelines to be reviewed.

But the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia described the US recommendation as unhelpful and urged men to speak to their doctor about testing if they were over 50 years of age, or over 40 years of age if they had a family history of the cancer.

''A recent European study reaffirms that testing reduces deaths from prostate cancer,'' said the foundation's chief executive, Anthony Lowe.

''People say it is an old man's disease and people will die with it, not of it. But it is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in men.''

While a more reliable test and research into testing was needed, Dr Lowe said, ''for now we have to work with what we've got''.

No clinical guidelines for prostate cancer testing currently existed, he said.

In a statement, the president of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand, Stephen Ruthven, urged men not be deterred from testing, which is now covered by Medicare.

http://m.smh.com.au/national/health/us- ... 1z39x.html


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:37 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
As long as you've got your health

AFTER years of being overshadowed by resources and banks, listed health companies are in something of a sweet spot.

The healthcare sub-index is up 16 per cent for the year to date, versus a flat benchmark index. The standouts are private hospital operator Ramsay Health Care and blood plasma giant CSL, which have been among the top 20 best performers over the past one, three and 12 months.

Healthcare's reputation as a haven during uncertain economic times underpins the sector's good fortunes.

''Ten years ago, I argued with a rem [remuneration] committee chairman that the best way for me to get a bonus would be for there to be a recession,'' recalled industry veteran Robert Cooke.

''And as it turns out, I actually was right,'' Mr Cooke, managing director of private hospital, pathology and medical centre company Healthscope, said this week.

''Because, I said to him at the time, I'm not a bank and I'm not a mine.''

As last week's better than expected economic figures show, Australia is far from being in a recession. Still, the country and the sharemarket remain unable to shake off fears about the global economic outlook.

Don Williams, founder and chief investment officer at Platypus Asset Management, said the healthcare sector's outperformance was kicked off by CSL's solid result in February.

''It's a defensive sector that has growth,'' he said.

''In the last 12 months, the healthcare index has traded at near-record highs, whereas obviously the market is nowhere near it. It has outperformed by about 30 per cent since the GFC started. We'd argue it's a good long-term place to be overweight because there is growth that is consistently higher than the market, and they're generally better quality businesses than the industrials.''

Adding to healthcare's appeal is the recent fall in the Australian dollar to below parity against the US dollar.

''A big reason for the outperformance recently is the fact that the growth of these companies is much less affected by the currency looking forward then it has been over the past two fiscal years,'' Mr Williams said.

''In fiscal 2010, 2011 and the first half of 2012, the currency headwind was circa 10 per cent for most of the large healthcare companies, and that's now dissipating.

''So, I guess you've got the combination of people buying it for safety, and also the fact that the growth in Aussie dollars is not being hindered by currency.''

On the analyst side, Goldman Sachs last week lifted its 12-month target price for CSL by 6 per cent and updated its earnings-per-share estimates, in line with the weakened local currency.

It retained a ''neutral'' rating on the company, although the $39.80 price target is higher than Friday's close of $39.24.

''The outlook for CSL remains positive given efficient plasma economics, [rival] Baxter's capacity constraints, and strong growth from CSL's market-leading subcutaneous Ig [immunoglobulin] product,'' it said.

But Morgan Stanley was more cautious on CSL. While it lifted its earnings-per-share estimates and price target, the revised $36.28 target is still below CSL's current price.

''The stock remains an FX and balance sheet play in our view,'' analysts Sean Laaman and James R. Rutledge told clients.

''We believe CSL is in a transition phase from a high-growth beneficiary of industry consolidation to a steady business with risk to longer-term margins as competition in the market for coagulation factors intensifies.''

Similarly, Macquarie this week ''refreshed'' its view of condom manufacturer Ansell on the back of US and European Union manufacturing data, as well as industry feedback.

''While Ansell is not immune to the current slowdown, we still see it delivering 12 per cent earnings-per-share growth this year - testament, we believe, to the strength and resilience of its business model and competitive positioning,'' analysts Craig Collie and Amron D'Silva said in a note to clients.

But those looking for further capital gains may have left their run too late.

As Tim Montague-Jones, senior equity analyst at Morningstar, put it: ''There's a lot of hot money in the healthcare sector.''

''It's a great sector and they've all done extremely well, but there has to be a time when you need to take some profit. We wouldn't be buying into it now,'' said Mr Montague-Jones, who runs the Morningstar Australia Growth Portfolio.

As soon as the market stabilised and there was a ''vision'' of global economic growth, money would be pulled from the sector, Mr Montague-Jones predicted.

He added that although all healthcare stocks were now overvalued, he was favourable on liver cancer treatment company Sirtex Medical.

Another company attracting interest is the medical centre, radiology and pathology company Primary Health Care, which has missed out on the recent boom in healthcare stocks. Shane Storey, healthcare analyst at Wilson HTM, said the market's polarised position on the company actually presented an opportunity for investors.

His ''buy'' rating - and price upgrade to $3.42, 65¢ above Friday's close - is built on expectations that recoveries in Primary's three major divisions will lead to a re-rating of the company later this year.

Medical centre earnings will become a prominent feature of Primary's results over the next two years, Dr Storey said, and Medicare data suggests that Primary's other divisions, pathology and radiology, should also report solid results for the second half of 2012.

http://www.theage.com.au/business/as-lo ... z1xQOjcD45


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:42 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Cancer can't stop Nick Tedesco's courage

HE IS not the sort of person who gives up easily, so when Nick Tedesco was diagnosed with the blood cancer acute lymphoblastic leukemia he saw it as a challenge.

"It was a shock when I first found out," the Cobram teen said.

"I was in the middle of doing my first year of VCE and was busy with life. I was scared, not of dying, but of how it would affect the people around me after I was gone, if that happened."

Nick, 18, said leadership courses he had done helped him face the challenge of a potentially life-threatening illness.

His mother, Joanne, said she was proud of the man he had become in defiance of his illness.

When Nick was diagnosed in June 2010, he was also about to take part in a debutant ball and was preparing to set sail on the Young Endeavour - a scheme that provides the opportunity to sail a square-rigged vessel while developing teamwork, leadership and communication skills.

It was a perfect fit for Nick, who hopes to become a teacher.

That year he returned from a camp feeling more tired than usual.

Later, tests revealed he had cancer and Nick said though he was told it was one of the most common childhood cancers - and one of the most treatable - he felt like everything was going downhill.

"Within a week I was making the trip to Melbourne for treatment at the Royal Children's Hospital," he said.

"I had to let my debutante partner know I would not be available, but her brother stepped in and I had to pull out of the Endeavour trip."

His family - parents Joanne and Dominic and big sisters Brianna, 26, and Annelise, 24 - have supported Nick through a tough journey of treatment.

It has meant he missed about 30 per cent of classes as he prepared for his final VCE exams last year.

"(But) I had a lot of mates from school who helped me and the school was really good," he said.

A proud Mrs Tedesco said Nick had still managed to sit all his exams and gain a university place.

She has nominated him for the Pride of Australia Courage Medal.

Mrs Tedesco said her only son was a bright student who enjoyed being involved in school and community events.

"He's just a terrific kid," she said.

"He missed all these things; instead, his life became endless trips back and forward to Melbourne for treatment."

She said her son still had a year of treatment to go, but his future was looking good.

"From the outset Nick has maintained a positive mental attitude and inspired us and others with his determination to beat this insidious disease," she said.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/specia ... 6397607163


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:12 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Stroke victim waits hours for treatment

A stroke victim in Newcastle says he had to wait 24 hours to be treated in a hospital that had specialist brain surgeons.

Ryan Brooks, 38, suffered an apparent stroke while walking along Merewether Beach on Monday morning last week.

Ambulance paramedics took him to Calvary Mater Newcastle hospital, before transferring him to John Hunter Hospital shortly before 11pm (AEST) that evening.

Mr Brooks has told Fairfax Media he had to wait almost 24 hours to receive proper treatment.

"I thought I was going to die. I just kept waiting for the lights to go out completely. It was terrifying," he told The Newcastle Herald.

Michael Symonds, the general manager of the Greater Newcastle Acute Hospital Network, said ambulance paramedics made an "appropriate decision" to send Mr Brooks to Calvary Mater, which does not have brain surgeons, because it was the closest hospital.

"Once the patient was diagnosed at the Mater, he was transferred to John Hunter Hospital's neurosurgical facility for observation," he said in a statement.

Mr Symonds also said Mr Brooks was "closely monitored" by neurological-surgical specialists within 15 minutes of arriving at John Hunter Hospital shortly before 11pm on June 25.

Deputy opposition leader Linda Burney, who took legal action against NSW Health in 2009 over her husband Rick Farley's hospital death in 2006, said Health Minister Jillian Skinner needed to explain why it took 24 hours for Mr Brooks to receive proper emergency care.

"I was with my late husband Rick when he suffered a stroke," she said in a statement.

"An ambulance arrived immediately and there was no mucking around.

"By contrast, the system has failed Mr Brooks, and he and his family are right to be furious and demanding answers."

Ms Skinner declined to comment.

"The minister doesn't get involved in that level of operational matters," a spokeswoman said.

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/health/84929 ... -treatment


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2012 6:35 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
FDA approves KRAS gene mutation test for colorectal cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first genetic test that can help some colorectal cancer (CRC) patients and their doctors determine if the drug Erbitux (cetuximab) would be an effective treatment based on the absence of a gene mutation.

The therascreen KRAS RGQ PCR Kit can provide information about the KRAS gene mutation in patients whose CRC has spread to other parts of their body (metastasized). Studies have found that Eribitux is not effective in those who have the mutation.

CRC is the third leading cause of cancer death in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, there were more than 141,000 new CRC cases in 2011, and nearly 50,000 deaths resulted from CRC.

Erbitux targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) on the surface of CRC cells. When certain chemicals in the body bind to EGFR, the receptor starts a complex chain of biochemical reactions inside the cell that signals the cancer cell to reproduce. Erbitux blocks EGFR, interrupting a signal to reproduce which can stop the growth of CRC cells. However, when CRC cells have a mutation in the KRAS gene, they continue to reproduce even when Erbitux blocks EGFR.

The FDA first approved Erbitux in 2004 to treat EGFR-expressing late-stage colorectal cancer after patients stopped responding to chemotherapy. In 2009, the FDA approved updated recommendations for Erbitux, based on studies that found the drug is not effective in patients whose tumors have a mutated KRAS gene.

"This test helps clinicians determine whether this specific treatment is an effective option," said Alberto Gutierrez, Ph.D., director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostic Device Evaluation and Safety in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

To support the approval of the test, tumor samples from patients in clinical trials used to support the approval of Erbitux were evaluated. The benefits of Erbitux were limited to patients whose tumors did not have one of the seven KRAS mutations detected by the test.

Among those whose tumors did not have a KRAS mutation, median survival was 8.6 months for those receiving Erbitux compared with five months for those who did not. Among patients whose tumors had a KRAS mutation, median survival was similar between those who received Erbitux compared with those who did not (4.8 months and 4.6 months, respectively).

http://www.news-medical.net/news/201207 ... ancer.aspx


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2012 6:48 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Measuring Life in Years, Not Months

Brain cancer is never a good diagnosis. People who learn they have glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) usually live a bit longer than a year after diagnosis.

One subtype of the disease offers patients a better, longer outlook.

Using a new method to classify GBM tumors, researchers have discovered that patients with the CNP subtype of glioblastoma can live for years after diagnosis.

This discovery could lead to new target drugs.

John Kuo, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurological surgery and human oncology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, led the study.

The research describes a new method of sub-typing GBM tumors according to the proteins they have (express).

Having the CNP protein may mean the cancer is less aggressive, so that patient's lifespan is measured in years, not months.

To learn this, the research team grew the tumor lines from five human patients in the lab. The scientists then identified the biomarkers for each of the lines.

This tissue was then transplanted into the brains of mice that had weak immune systems.

In addition to this animal study, the researchers also looked for the CNP subtype in 115 human patients and observed how long they lived.

Some of the patients with the CNP protein lived for years -- as long as 10 years after diagnosis.

Dr. Kuo said that "when we looked at samples of human tumors, remarkably, we also found that the less invasive tumors expressed the CNP protein."

He goes on to say that this method of sub-typing could be simpler than existing methods and provide GBM patients with a more accurate prognosis.

Most hospitals can already test for the presence of proteins, according to Dr. Kuo.

The paper was published early online May 15 in the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute, the Wisconsin Partnership Program, the Center for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the HEADRUSH Brain Tumor Research Professorship and the Roger Loff Memorial Fund for GBM Research.

http://www.dailyrx.com/news-article/gli ... 19682.html


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 5:25 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Record numbers taking HIV drugs

MORE than eight million people - a record number in low- and middle-income countries - are now taking antiretroviral drugs to treat HIV, according to data released Wednesday by UNAIDS.

The rise in drug coverage in 2011 was accompanied by a dramatic 31 percent drop in deaths from AIDS-related causes in sub-Saharan Africa, the area of the world most ravaged by the disease, compared to the peak of the epidemic in 2005.

In all low- and middle-income countries, the availability of antiretroviral drugs grew by more than 20 percent in just one year, over the latest figure of 6.6 million people covered in 2010, said the report.

Now, more than half (54 per cent) of the estimated 14.8 million people in need of antiretrovirals in those countries can access them, according to the figures released in Washington ahead of the International AIDS Conference next week.

The report said the advance "puts the international community on track to reach the goal of 15 million people with HIV receiving treatment by 2015," an aim unanimously agreed by UN member states.

"But access (to treatment) is not universal. We still have a problem with access in Asia, in Eastern Europe, Central Asia so we need to redouble the effort," said UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibe.

Those parts of the world are seeing deaths and new infections rise "in a very alarming way," he said.

More governments have stepped up funding to help those suffering within their own borders, with 81 countries increasing their domestic investments for AIDS by more than 50 percent between 2006 and 2011.

Overall, low- and middle- income countries invested $8.6 billion in responding to HIV/AIDS last year, an increase of 11 percent over 2010. International funding remained flat at 2008 levels of $8.2 billion.

Total worldwide investment in HIV totaled $16.8 billion last year, an 11 percent rise from 2010, but still far short of the $22-24 billion needed by 2015, the report said.

Nearly half (48 per cent) of all international assistance for HIV response last year came from the United States, which is hosting the July 22-27 scientific meeting expected to draw 25,000 people.

US AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby said reducing the impact of AIDS worldwide was a "priority" for the US government and called for nations to step up their involvement in local AIDS programs.

"If we do not aggressively move to work with our colleagues in country to expand their capacity to manage, oversee, monitor and evaluate these programs, regardless of resources we will fail," he said.

Reacting to the UNAIDS report, Doctors Without Borders also made a plea for faster pace in treatment and a boost in worldwide funding.

"Globally, we're finally past the half-way mark with HIV treatment, but that still means almost one in two people don't have access to the medicines they need to stay alive," said a statement by Eric Goemaere, the group's senior HIV/TB adviser in southern Africa.

"If we're going to reach all people who need treatment, we have to double the pace of scale-up and double the funds."

Other highlights of the UNAIDS report included the drop in the costs of antiretrovirals, from $10,000 per person in 2000 to less than $100 per person in 2011 for the least expensive WHO-recommended regimen.

Fewer children were infected with HIV in 2011 - about 330,000 worldwide - down 24 percent from 2009.

But a staggering 3.4 million children under 15 were living with HIV last year, 91 per cent of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

The statistics were alarming for young women, too, with HIV named as the leading cause of death in women of reproductive age globally and those aged 15-24 facing infection rates that are double those of males the same age.

An estimated 1.2 million women and girls were newly infected with HIV last year, according to the report.

It also hailed studies showing that treatment with antiretrovirals could reduce the risk of transmission from an infected person to a healthy partner by 96 per cent.

The report described a "significant reduction" in transmission to uninfected people who are at high risk through sexual activity and who take the drugs as a preventive measure, though it noted a "major challenge" in adhering to daily therapy.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/wo ... 6429664448


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:57 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Neuroscience Research Brings New Rehabilitation Therapy for Stroke Patients

Though, video games are ever since their introduction used by children and elders for fun and entertainment. A study newly presented at the Brisbane’s international conference of the Society of Electrophysiology and Kinesiology reveals something that is beyond imagination of such fun-loving people.

As per the findings, Neuroscience Research Australia researchers have developed such a pioneering technique that can easily and effectively cure stroke patients. Not only the team, but participants of a trial for the therapy as well are convinced with its efficiency and benefits.

Nintendo Wii is being claimed to treat patients not only suffering stroke since a month, but equally have positive effects on those who suffered it 21 years back. It has been told that the intensive rehabilitation therapy is a training programme that goes long for two weeks.

It includes allowing patients of stroke to play games, thereby activating their limbs’ muscles and nerves. Though, only arms and hands are used while playing any sports games, they tend to activate other muscles too, when require shifting between their legs to move.

The new method is better over all previous therapies as well as cost-effective. "Everyone notices improvements not just using the Wii, but in activities they do every day, such as opening a door or using a fork”, said neurophysiologist Penelope McNulty.

http://topnews.ae/content/212427-neuros ... e-patients


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:34 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Vanderbilt researchers receives new $2.1M grant to develop microbrain bioreactor

Take a millionth of a human brain and squeeze it into a special chamber the size of a mustard seed. Link it to a second chamber filled with cerebral spinal fluid and thread both of them with artificial blood vessels in order to create a microenvironment that makes the neurons and other brain cells behave as if they were in a living brain. Then surround the chambers with a battery of sensors that monitor how the cells respond when exposed to minute quantities of dietary toxins, disease organisms or new drugs under development.

Creating such a "microbrain bioreactor" is the challenge of a new $2.1 million research grant awarded to an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Vanderbilt University, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the Cleveland Clinic and Meharry Medical College. The award is one of 17 that are being issued by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health as part of a $70 million "Tissue Chip for Drug Testing" program. The five-year program is a cooperative effort on the part of NIH, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the FDA.

The reason for microfabricating organ simulators containing small populations of human cells - generally known as organ-on-a-chip technology - is to bridge the formidable gaps that exist between the tools that researchers currently use to develop new drugs - cell cultures and animal and human testing. These gaps not only add substantially to the difficulty and expense of developing new drugs but also contribute to the large number of experimental drugs that aren't effective or have unacceptable side effects when they are finally tested on people.

The brain is a particularly difficult target for drug development because it is surrounded by three barriers that protect it from molecular or cellular intruders. The most formidable of these is the blood-brain barrier (BBB). It surrounds the blood vessels that service the brain and allows the passage of compounds that the brain needs while simultaneously blocking the passage of other types of molecules, both foreign and domestic. The two other barriers protect the neurons from contaminants in the cerebral spinal fluid and protect the cerebral spinal fluid from contaminants in the blood. Not only do these barriers block potentially harmful molecules, neuroscientists have also discovered that they occasionally alter the chemistry of some of the compounds that they let through.

"Given the differences in cellular biology in the brains of rodents and humans, development of a brain model that contains neurons and all three barriers between blood, brain and cerebral spinal fluid, using entirely human cells, will represent a fundamental advance in and of itself," said John Wikswo, the Gordon A. Cain University Professor and director of the Vanderbilt Institute for Integrative Biosystems Research and Education (VIIBRE), who is orchestrating the multidisciplinary effort.

Wikswo and his collaborators argue that this new type of brain model should provide new insights into how the brain receives, modifies and is affected by drugs and disease agents. By replicating the forms of chemical communication and molecular trafficking that take place in the human brain, the device will allow them to test the effectiveness of various drug and nutritional therapies designed to prevent both acute injuries like strokes and chronic diseases like obesity and epilepsy, as well as uncovering the potential adverse effects of experimental drugs.

http://www.news-medical.net/news/201207 ... actor.aspx


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2012 5:24 am 
Offline
Registered User
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 4:03 pm
Posts: 18130
Location: Australia
Aussies 'thalidomide guinea pigs'

AUSTRALIAN women were used in world-first trials of morning sickness pill thalidomide before it was tested on animals.

Documents from thalidomide distributor Distillers Company (Biochemicals) show Australian women were used in trials of its drug Distaval in 1960, Fairfax reports.

Trials took place on pregnant women at Sydney's Crown Street Women's and Royal Prince Alfred hospitals from May 1961, with other trials in Melbourne and Adelaide, although it's unclear if pregnant women in those cities took part, the report says.

A 1962 letter written by a Distillers executive also confirms that "no tests were carried out in pregnant animals before Distaval was marketed", it says.

In 1961, malformed babies were born in Australia as a result of the trials, as well as over-the-counter sales and prescription sales, which began in 1960.

The documents also show Distillers kept promoting the drug to GPs and pushing to include it on Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme despite warnings from a Sydney obstetrician, who said patients of his who'd been taking thalidomide had produced malformed or dead babies, the report says.

The files are contained in an affidavit lodged in the Victorian Supreme Court by law firm Slater & Gordon as part of a compensation claim by Melbourne thalidomide victim Lynette Rowe.

http://www.news.com.au/news/aussie-wome ... 6436271505


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 70 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next

All times are UTC + 10 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.120s | 15 Queries | GZIP : Off ]