Health Research Related News

A new PD-1 Inhibitor Cemiplimab found to be active in B-Lymphoid Malignancies

According to latest research presented at 2017 ASH Annual Meeting, Cemiplimab in combination with the monoclonal antibody REGN1979 showed good clinical activity in patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL) and Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) in a phase I study. In the cemiplimab arm, the ORR was 50% in patients with HL and 11.1% in patients with B-NHL. The ORR was 8.3% among patients with B-NHL receiving the combination. This is an ongoing multicenter study; with 62 patients in the monotherapy cohort, including 36 patients with B-NHL and 26 with HL. The B-NHL group had 18 patients DLBCL, 11 with FL, and 7 with other B-NHLs. Also there were no dose-limiting toxicities. 

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Keytruda grabs speedy FDA review in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)

We know that Merck’s quest to further Keytruda into blood cancer research hit a hurdle over the summer, but now, it’s back on the track. FDA accepted the drug maker’s application for the immuno-oncology star drug in the treatment of previously treated primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), a subtype of NHL. The approval was based on the results from Merck’s Keynote-170 trial, that showed Keytruda could result in a response in 41% of patients and a complete response in 24% of them. The results were presented Sunday at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting.

FDA Approves once weekly Ozempic, Novo Nordisk’s New Type 2 Diabetes

USFDA approved Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic, a GLP-1 receptor agonist, as an adjunct to diet and exercise to improve glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes. This once-weekly semaglutide has been approved for use in two therapeutic dosages: 0.5 mg and 1 mg, and will be launched in the Ozempic pre-filled pen. It could be taken any time of the day, with or without meals. The approval was based on data from the SUSTAIN Phase 3a trial, which followed a positive recommendation from the agency. Novo Nordisk expects to launch OZEMPIC in US in early 2018, with an objective of ensuring broad insurance coverage and patient access.

Every fourth hospital patient is suffering from diabetes, study finds

According to a new study conducted by researchers including 3733adult patients, in Tübingen of the German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD) and Helmholtz Zentrum München, one in each four patients was found to be suffering from diabetes (22%), and again as many suffer from pre-diabetes (24%). Study further says that patients with diabetes showed prolonged hospital stays and a higher risk of other complications. Also patients with diabetes required treatment in the hospital approximately 1.47 days longer than patients without diabetes or pre-diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes is increasing in Germany.

Building muscles can reduce the risk of diabetes

A recent research says that building high muscle mass through tough trainings can lower the risk of developing diabetes. Higher muscle mass is associated with improved insulin sensitivity and lower risk of pre-diabetes. Here the concern is not the total body weight rather what proportion of the body is made up of muscle mass. Body mass decrease with the age and also due to more sedentary life styles in today’s busy life. Healthy muscle mass is important because muscles use the sugar that we consume and which better controls the blood sugar level.

Global shortage of insulin pump due to high demands

A global shortage of insulin pumps has forced people to use older methods to test their blood sugar levels. Insulin pump delivers insulin 24 hrs a day through catheter placed under the skin giving diabetic patient a little more flexibility in comparison to traditional injections. The device know better that how much and how often to release the insulin. Medtronic, a Dublin-based medical technology development company, said a global surge in demand for their glucose sensor has lead to a “temporary disruption” in supply. 

Rise in number of type 2 diabetes in children in UK

A new report by Riyal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) showed that the number of young kids with type 2 diabetes has drastically increased from 545 (in 2014/15) to 600. To control the issue, Department of Health in UK has already put in place sugar tax which will hit the food and drink companies in near future. But this is not sufficient some advocacy groups also demand to ban the junk food advertisements before 9 pm.

A new diagnostic test can detect cancer at early stages

A researcher team led by Lin at a biotech company Natera, claim to have progressed in development of a cancer detection test which measures traces of DNA in blood. It can detect all type of cancers. They published in finding in the journal Nature. The study showed in 24 patients that test picked the right DNA in 93% of the patients and produced no false positive. Lin’s team plan to do study on larger sample size and not convinced with the results yet.

Google invest in cancer-testing start up and built a dedicated lab

Verily, arm of Google has invested in Freenome, a start-up building technology to detect early-stage cancers. Around $65 million has been invested in the startup so far by March 2017. “We are providing office space to Freenome to fasten the collaboration between the two companies,” a Verily spokesperson said.

Shocking growth in kidney cancer rates in Canadian population

As per the latest reports, around 6,000 Canadians will be diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2017. Experts predict from 2012 to 2020, kidney cancer will increase globally by 22%. “Populations are aging, known risk factors like obesity and high blood pressure are increasing, and smoking continues to be prevalent in many parts of the world,” says Dr. Michael Jewett, one of authors of “The global burden of kidney cancer: a call to action”.

FDA has just launched a new online system for safety reporting (SWS)

The FDA has just launched an online reporting system called Safety Watch System (SWS), which would enable health professionals to report on safety issues related to drugs, vaccines and other regulated products. SWS system can be used by all including patients and the pharmaceutical industry to report safety issues on the side effects. About 700 health workers are being trained nationwide on how to use the system.

Even after tight FDA regulations, supplement wildly unreliable

According to latest reports, levels of active ingredients are not consistent in supplements. Few scientist tested one such supplement which is used to treat high cholesterol “red yeast rice:” from various stores and analysed the amount of monacolin K, the main ingredient. It was observed that the level was found to be widely different. All this happened after FDA 2007 supplement regulations. The study was published in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

FDA has approved a new drug to prevent the blood clots

The U.S. FDA on Friday has just approved a new drug Portola Pharmaceuticals which can be used to prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms in patients undergoing surgery. The drug, BevyxXa, is the first oral treatment of its kind. Around 200,000 patients in the US are affected with DVT each year and approximately 40,000 patients die of pulmonary embolism, caused when a blood clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs, blocking blood flow.

FDA to stop pharma companies from playing with generic drug system

The U.S. FDA moved step forward in last week to prevent pharmaceutical companies from “gaming” the system to delay entry of generic drugs. The move comes after President Donald Trump and the lawmakers in Congress are searching for effective ways to lower the cost of prescription drugs. Representatives of the pharmaceutical industry were not immediately available for comment.

Roche new combo (Herceptin + Perjeta) is too pricey and does not beat old drug Herceptin

According to the latest reports, Roche’s new combo Herceptin + Perjeta is not able to outperform gold standard therapy Herceptin, as per recently conducted trials. The findings were recently presented in Chicago conference. Experts already warned that it would be difficult to top Herceptin which has revolutionized the treatment of aggressive forms of breast cancer which are HER2+. Roche introduced Herceptin in 1998. The combo would cost patients $6,100 on monthly basis without much benefits.

IBM Watson is doing great job in creating new treatment plans

According to latest reports, IBM’s Watson has progressed a lot in recent time. The new data was presented at ASCO meeting. It showed that cancer treatment prediction by the system is often in-line with physician’s recommendations. The software is being used in nine medical centers around the world. Watson’s treatment prediction were in agreement with physicians, 96% time for lung cancer, 93% for rectal cancer, and 81% for colon cancer.

An important molecular research in Bengaluru offers a great hope for Parkinson’s disease

Scientist at JNCASR research center in the Bengaluru city, have recently found a new molecule named 6-Bio which can be a great hope for Parkinson patients. The drug increases the efficiency of autophagy process in the brain which reduces their degeneration, the cause of disease. Scientists have started the process for patenting the drug. Autophagy is new promising area and in fact Noble prize was awarded to a Japanese researchers Yoshinori Ohsumi for his impactful work in autophagy.

Study says that Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Huntington’s diseases share key features

Researchers at Loyola University Chicago, have discovered that abnormal proteins present in brains of Parkinson, Alzheimer, and Huntington patients have similar capability to do the damages when they enter the neurological/brain cells. The key finding of the study is that treatments for one disease should be effective in other two diseases and also in other neurological disorders.

No physical exercise for 2 weeks can raise risk of type 2 diabetes and other heart problems

Findings from a study conducted on 28 healthy people, showed that risk of type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases including heart problems is greatly increased after 14 days of physical inactivity. The results of the study were presented at European Congress on Obesity (ECO). Physical inactivity results in decreased skeletal muscle mass and increased fat levels.

According to White House diabetes don’t deserve insurance

Donald Trump’s budget chief argued that some diabetic simply do not deserve health insurance because of how they have developed the disease. Mick Mulvaney, director of OMB, highlighted that people who sit at home, eats poorly and gets diabetes don’t deserve insurance protection. However The Affordable Care Act covers such people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes. Currently 9.3% of the US population is suffering from diabetes.

Miracle eight year old children Blue Tobin cured of cancer

For the first time doctor tried a treatment which was approved in acute myeloid leukaemia in a 8 year old child who failed the standard treatment twice. Miracle happened and the kid was cured. Dr Mike Potter saved the child when he suggested the treatment to his parents. Mum gave the go-ahead at the Royal Marsden Hospital in South London to try the treatment earlier used for only adults.

AstraZeneca shares up on positive lung cancer drug outcome

AstraZeneca shares rose by 5% after its anticancer drug Imfinzi showed good results in late stage lung cancer patients. The drug significantly reduced the disease worsening or death. It was tested on patients who did not respond to conventional chemotherapy. The disease has affected 100,000 patients in the G7 countries. Half of these patients can’t be treated by surgery.

CDC mapped out the cancer patients location in US

We know that the cancer is second leading cause of death in US and worldwide. However the rate has fallen over the last decade but some type of cancers are still deadly and there is no improvement like liver cancer. CDC mapped the cancer incidence in US to have a better look at this and to make plans accordingly. The darker the color, higher the rate.

Poxel shares jumped 40% after diabetic drug passes the trial

Poxel’s anti-diabetic drug Imeglimin met the primary outcome in phase2 study which resulted in 40% rise in share price. The company is excited and preparing for the phase 3 trial to start by the end of this year. This is good news for the diabetic patients as well. The study was conducted on 299 Japanese patients. Patients received the treatment twice a day for 24 weeks and the primary endpoint was glycated hemoglobin A1c.

Nanovaccine can be a potential immunotherapy in future for cancer patients

For the first time scientist from the University of Texas Southwestern (UTSW) Medical Center in Dallas, have shown that using a nano forms of vaccine can effectively slow down the growth of tumors and prolong survival in mouse models. They described it as a mixture of a tumor antigen and nano-particle. These medicines can be expensive and also might have potential side effects as well. Nanoparticles are increasingly being studied because they allow to control the cells from inside.

UK GPs generally fail to identify the symptoms of cancer

According to a study recently published in British Journal of General Practice it was found that GP in UK are failing to pick up the early symptoms of cancer. The study was conducted in around 5000 patients who were diagnosed with any form of cancer and it was found that 41% of them had visited GPs up to 3 times in past before the cancer was diagnosed.

Cancer survival improving drastically and not a death sentence anymore

 According to new reports from American Cancer Society (ACS), CDC, NCI, NAACCR, cancer is no longer a deadly disease and patients can live longer now. As per the latest studies, incidence rates are still similar but survival rate has increased from 50% in 1977 to 67% in 2012. Particularly the rates have improved in pediatric patients in last decades. Authors further told that the improvements have been due to increased medical facility which results in early detections and better treatment.

Obesity causes cancer and also makes screening and treatment difficult

According new research obesity not only causes stroke, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders but also may increases the chances of cancer. It further makes screening and treatment even harder. Strong evidence says that it can cause various types of cancers (liver cancer, gall bladder cancer, bile duct, pancreatic cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer, multiple myeloma and many more). There are many complex ways through which it causes all types of cancers.

Unethical stem cell treatments happening across India for Autism

Some authors in India recently published a paper which raises question about whether the research was peer reviewed. Researchers claimed that they were able to treat autistic children with the help of stem cells extracted from bone marrow of kids aged 4-12 years. The procedure was carried out under anesthesia and as per laws this should only be carried out if medically justified –especially child aged 4 years.

Amul recently launched milk that can boos the student’s memory

India’s largest milk brand has come up with a special brand of milk product with ancient ayurveda that will boost student’s brain power and also would reduce anxiety and stress level. Exam’s stressful days are up so it might be good news for the students who are taking lots of burden in coming weeks. The milk is priced at Rs 30 per 200-ml per bottle. Even if the milk contains herbals, it does not smell like medicine.

Another monster from trump administration to take away Medicaid from patients

Brain Kline who is earning less ($11.66/hour) work as a retail worker whose life was saved because of Medicaid existence has raised concerns over the future of Medicaid. He has asked Tom Price why he wants to take away Medicaid from cancer patients like him who can’t afford such expensive drugs. Price promised that they are not going to take away such facility from anyone. In fact they are going to make it much better. Government would pay direct to patients and it’s their choice what they want to do with this.

Air pollution can make the bacteria present in respiratory tract antibiotic resistant

Researchers from University of Leicester in UK discovered that bacteria which infect the respiratory tract are affected by the pollution and become treatment resistant. Polluted air contains the black carbon that forms the biofilm in respiratory tract which helps bacteria to grow well and to develop resistant against antibiotics and other treatments.

Scientist from Turku has found a link between breast cancer and autism

According to scientist at Turku centre for biotechnology have recently observed that a protein known SHANK which prevents the spread of breast cancer and also its absence or mutation in it also causes autism. The protein controls the ability of cancer cells to migrate and invade other areas and also their power to adhere to the environmental tissue. The reasons pave way for the development of new targets to treat the cancer.

WHO says that half a million Africans die from cancer every year

According to WHO report 6% of total cancer death occurs in Africa annually. The leading cancers include breast, prostate, and cervix. Top two reasons are weakened immunity and HIV which increases the chances of HPV. Other main reasons are failure to diagnose cancer in early stages and high cost of chemotherapy. WHO also has provided advices to countries to control cancer rate.

Study find that intake of excess sugar may be responsible for Alzheimer’s disease

A new study conducted at University of Bath has suggested that there is a risk of Alzheimer disease associated with high intake of sugar diets. Excessive sugar causes rapid degeneration of the neurons which might cause various brain disorders including Alzheimer. High level glucose causes glycation and inhibits activity of an enzyme called as MIF (macrophage migration inhibitory factor) which plays an important role in insulin regulation. The work has been published in Scientific Reports.

Periodontitis is an early warning of type 2 diabetes

A recent research published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care has suggested that gum issues and periodontitis can be early signs of presence of type 2 diabetes. The findings were based on a study conducted on 313 patients from a dental clinic in Netherlands. The study was observational and more robust trials are needed to confirm the finding however one having gum problems should get immediate check-ups for the diabetes.

A clinic in India claims it used stem cells to treat Down’s syndrome

A clinic in India has claimed that they have used stem cells to treat Down’s syndrome in 14 people. This is unclear to Down’s experts how stem cells can treat this disease which is caused by having an extra chromosome. For them use of such cell does not make any biological sense instead may place kids at high risk of side effects. A patent held by Geeta Shroff in 2007; also suggest stem cells can be helpful in the treatment of over 70 types of such conditions.

People living at high-altitude are at lower risk of diabetes

According to a new study conducted in Spain, geographic area where you live contribute to your risk of developing diabetes. It found that people living between 457 to 2297 metres have lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome than those who live at sea level. Metabolic syndrome is the a term used for high blood pressure, abnormal sugar and cholesterol levels, as well as excess body fat around the waist, and contributes to serious health issues.

Big jump in prostate cancer diagnosis in decades

According to a research published in Lancet, the biggest leap has been made in years in terms of prostate cancer diagnosis. A new scanning device has been developed and tested on 576 patients. The study showed that more than 25% patients did not need any biopsy at all. Biopsy has certain disadvantages like it can cause serious infections and erectile dysfunction and also can miss the cancer presence in some cases. NHS is already reviewing the possibility of introducing the technology widely.

A study says that people who are thin and had diabetes have most risk of dying with liver problems

According to a new research conducted in Singapore, if you are thin and have diabetes then you are at a greater risk of dying from fatty liver disease compared to obese diabetic patients.  The study was conducted by researchers at Duke-NUS Medical School and Singapore General Hospital (SGH). Around 63000 patients were included in the study. The study proved that thin diabetic patients were 5.5 times more likely to die from fatty liver issues.

Expert panel sponsored by NIH has issued new clinical guidelines for the prevention of peanut caused allergy

An expert panel sponsored by NIAID, part of NIH, recently issued clinical guidelines to aid physicians in early introduction of peanut-containing foods to kids to prevent further development of peanut allergy. Peanut allergy is a health problem for which no treatment or cure existing as of now. The new addendum guidelines provides three separate sections for infants at various levels of risk for developing peanut allergy and is targeted to a wide variety of health care providers, including pediatricians and family practice physicians also.

FDA to face challenges to align with the new Trump government future plans

Trump government has already promised people in the election that they would speed up the drug approvals and would broadly reduce government regulations. But now the issue is that it is unclear to FDA how would they change their instance on everything from medical testing to clinics. Also how Trump administration would deviate from the past practices and from guidelines proposed while Obama administration.

US researchers are worried about new restrictions on fetal-tissue related research

US House of Representatives have recently announced that restrictions can be implied on the research associated with fetal tissues. They reason, the research using such human fetal tissues is of little use to medicines. The panel added NIH should develop a system to determine the feasibility of using tissues from stillborn and preterm infants instead. If this looks viable government should stop funding experiments which uses fetal tissues.

Burning more fat and less glucose may lead to diabetes 

Making muscles burn more fat and less glucose may increase exercise endurance but simultaneously cause diabetes, a new study has warned. Mouse muscles use glucose (carbohydrate) as fuel when the animals are awake and active and switch to fat (lipid) when they are asleep. Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in the US discovered that disrupting this natural cycle may lead to diabetes but, surprisingly, also can enhance exercise endurance.  More at:

Being Overweight Changes Your DNA, Increasing Risk Of Diabetes For Offspring

Recently, researchers revealed that obesity is able to cause epigenetic changes to our DNA which could have adverse health consequences for our future offspring. In what is being called the biggest study yet on the effect of body mass index (BMI) on DNA, researchers uncovered that  significant changes were found in the expression of genes responsible for lipid metabolism and substrate transport and in gene loci related to inflammation in the DNA of individuals with high BMIs. Ultimately, the team was able to identify epigenetic markers that could predict the risk of type 2 diabetes. More at:

Hormonal contraception is safer than expected for women with diabetes

Strokes and heart attacks are rare for women with diabetes who use hormonal contraception, with the safest options being intrauterine devices (IUDs) and under-the-skin implants, new research published in Diabetes Care shows. The study, one of the first to evaluate hormonal contraception and health outcomes in women with a chronic condition, should encourage physicians to include implants and IUDs in birth control discussions with diabetic patients. “Clinicians need to get beyond the idea that birth control just means ‘the pill,’” said study senior author Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, professor of internal medicine at UC Davis Health System. “There are options that are safe and effective for all women, including those with diabetes.” More at:

A Paleo diet may help reduce future risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease

A Paleolithic-type diet may help obese postmenopausal women lose weight, improve their circulating fatty acid profile and lower their future risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease, new research reports. The study results were presented at ENDO 2016, the annual meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Boston. “Eating a Paleolithic-type diet without calorie restriction significantly improved the fatty acid profile associated with insulin sensitivity, and it reduced abdominal adiposity and body weight in obese postmenopausal women,” said lead study author Caroline Blomquist, a doctoral student in the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine at Umeå University in Umeå, Sweden. More at:

Flu Shots Are A Must for Those With Diabetes

Researchers from Madrid, Spain looked at influenza vaccination uptake among people with diabetes to find characteristics that would predict uptake. They also examined reasons for adherence and non-adherence. Their work, published in the journal Vaccine, indicates that we have room for improvement when it comes to vaccinating people with diabetes. The team used data from the MADIABETES Study, a primary care–based cohort study conducted in 2013 that married computerized clinical records with results of a telephone survey. The team selected outpatients with type 2 diabetes. Among study participants, 65.7% were immunized with an influenza vaccine in 2013. More at:

Now graphene can even help hunt down cancer

You know graphene, that thin, strong and wonderfully versatile material that might help produce drinking water on the cheap, turn carbon dioxide into liquid fuels and build better batteries? Well, a team of scientists at the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) say cancer detection can be added to its list of potential applications, after discovering that it is capable of revealing cancerous cells in the brain. Consisting of a one-atom thick layer of carbon atoms connected to one another in a honeycomb pattern, graphene boasts a set of properties that most materials would die for. Incredibly strong, flexible and light, and highly conductive of heat and electricity, its possible uses extend far beyond the examples offered above, raising the prospect of everything from stronger motorbike helmets to high-performance speakers. More at:

UK cancer death rates to fall by 15% by 2035 due to advances in research

Death rates from cancer in the UK will fall by 15% by 2035 thanks to advances in research, diagnosis and treatment, with more Britons living longer after their diagnosis, the charity Cancer Research UK predicts. Breakthroughs will prevent more than 403,000 deaths from the disease by 2035 that would have happened otherwise, according to an analysis from the charity. More at:

Groundbreaking fMRI study finds 4 distinct neurological subtypes of depression

New research from Weill Cornell has isolated four distinct neurotypes of depression. But its knock-on effects are much wider in scope. The work establishes biomarkers for depression, and it sheds new light on the physical underpinnings of psychological disease. The study captured fMRI brain scans from more than a thousand participants, in order to answer a question: What’s different between the brains of healthy people and those with depression? What it found is that within the umbrella category of “people who have major depressive disorder,” there exist (at least) four distinct neurotypes, each with its own cluster of associated symptoms. And the neurotypes aren’t random. They align with their symptom clusters along two major axes: anxiety and anhedonia (anhedonia refers to the inability to feel pleasure). The authors refer to the axes as a shared pathological core, by which we can understand the relationship between brain connectivity and the symptoms of depression. These newly discovered patterns of abnormal connectivity are biomarkers for depression: something neuroscience has been chasing for a long while, without much success. More at:

Depressed patients less responsive to chemotherapy: Study

A brain-boosting protein plays an important role in how well people respond to chemotherapy, according to new study which found that cancer patients suffering from depression are less responsive to cancer drugs and less tolerant of their side-effects. Low mood is common among cancer patients, especially the terminally ill. Researchers found that cancer patients suffering from depression have decreased amounts of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in their blood. BDNF is essential for healthy brain function and low levels have already been linked with mental illness. More at:

Causal links between cannabis, schizophrenia: New evidence

People who have a greater risk of developing schizophrenia are more likely to try cannabis, according to new research, which also found a causal link between trying the drug and an increased risk of the condition. The study from the University of Bristol comes on the back of public health warnings issued earlier this year by scientists who voiced concerns about the increased risk of psychosis for vulnerable people who use the drug. Those warnings followed evidence to suggest an increased use of particularly high potency strains of cannabis among young people. However, experts cautioned that the risks should not be overstated given the need for greater research into links between mental health and illicit drugs. More at:

Brimonidine May Have Potential As Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment

Brimonidine, a drug which is used to treat open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension, may have potential as a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, say researchers from University College London. The common eye disease open-angle glaucoma occurs when optic nerve damage results in a progressive loss of the visual field and increased pressure in the eye. In trials on rats, brimonidine (marketed under the brand names Alphagan and Alphagan-P), has been found to reduce the formation of amyloid proteins in the retina, which are believed to be linked to Alzheimer’s. Because amyloid plaques can be seen in the retinas of people with Alzheimer’s, the researchers say the retina can be viewed as an extension of the brain that provides an opportunity to diagnose and track progression of Alzheimer’s. Source:

Bone loss may be linked to Alzheimer’s disease

Fewer than 5 percent of cases of Alzheimer’s disease have a clear genetic cause, making it hard to predict who will develop the devastating brain-wasting disorder. There is an urgent need to develop biomarkers and early treatments before the symptoms of decline take hold and destroy lives. Now, using a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers discover a link between early bone loss and brain degeneration that may begin to address this need.          The researchers – from Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) in Rootstown – reported their findings in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Source:

Biogen trial data boosts hopes for its Alzheimer’s drug

Biogen Inc. lifted the hopes of Alzheimer’s patients and their families last year when early-stage clinical trial results showed an experimental drug slowed the mental decline of a small number of patients. New data scheduled to be released last week should bolster that optimism. The Cambridge biotech will say that more than 100 patients who kept taking the drug showed a continued slowing of cognition declines and a reduction in Alzheimer’s-related brain amyloid plaque. Source:

Flickering LED lights could treat Alzheimer’s disease

Twinkling lights aren’t just pretty — if they’re flickering at a specific frequency, they could also treat Alzheimer’s disease. A group of researchers have tested the effectiveness of LED lights flashing at 40 hertz as a treatment for Alzheimer’s on mice genetically engineered to develop the condition. They found that exposing mice in the early stages of Alzheimer’s to the lights for an hour lowered the beta amyloid protein levels in their brains. Beta amyloid accumulates to form plaques that interfere with normal brain function. Further, when they used the same technique on mice already in the advanced stages of the disease for seven days, they found that the method “markedly reduced” the plaques in their brains. Source:

Despite failed trials, experts believe we’ll have an Alzheimer’s drug by 2025

The results of recent trials that tested much-anticipated Alzheimer’s disease drugs dashed the hopes of patients with the debilitating condition. The most recent disappointment came from the large trial for solanezumab, by Eli Lilly, announced last month. But experts across the field say hope is not lost. They believe we will have some form of drug against the disease by 2025, albeit most likely a pilot version that will need to be upgraded. This target, in less than a decade, is the goal set by world leaders at the G8 dementia summit in 2013. Researchers believe there are enough competitors in the race to get at least a few to the finish line on time. Source:

Platypus venom paves way to possible diabetes treatment

Platypus venom could pave the way for new treatments for type 2 diabetes, say Australian researchers. The males of the extraordinary semi-aquatic mammal – one of the only kind to lay eggs – have venomous spurs on the heels of their hind feet. The poison is used to ward off adversaries. But scientists at the University of Adelaide and Flinders University have discovered it contains a hormone that could help treat diabetes. Known as GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1), it is also found in humans and other animals, where it promotes insulin release, lowering blood glucose levels. But it normally degrades very quickly. Not for the duck-billed bottom feeders though. Or for echidnas, also known as spiny anteaters – another iconic Australian species found to carry the unusual hormone. Both produce a long-lasting form of it, offering the tantalising prospect of creating something similar for human diabetes sufferers. More at:

Here Are the States with the Lowest & Highest Diabetes Rates

Diabetes is on the rise in the United States, and a new poll looks at where the disease is most and least common. In the poll, from Gallup-Healthways, researchers surveyed a nationally representative sample of more than 176,000 Americans in all 50 states in 2015. The participants were asked whether they had ever been diagnosed with diabetes in their lifetime. The three states with the lowest rates of diabetes were Utah, Rhode Island and Colorado. In these states, 7.5 to 8 percent of the survey participants said they had diabetes. In contrast, Alabama and West Virginia had the highest rates of diabetes, with about 16 percent of the participants in those two states saying they had been diagnosed with the disease. More at:

Diabetes breakthrough: Insulin-producing cells formed using malaria drugs

Diabetes currently affects 29 million Americans. For decades, researchers have been trying to replace the insulin cells of the pancreas that are destroyed by the disease. Groundbreaking research may have found a way to genetically transform alpha cells into insulin-producing beta cells. Researchers have attempted to replace destroyed beta cells with new ones using stem cells and adult cells. Although the results have looked encouraging, they have yet to succeed. Now, researchers from the CeMM Research Center for Molecular Medicine in Austria seem to have found the missing link, giving hope of a cure for type 1 diabetes. More at:

With help of Indian doctors, Google teaches its AI to detect diabetes eye problems

Google on Tuesday said that it has trained its computers to recognise the early signs of diabetes-related eye problems. If it works the way Google is says it does, the company’s new methods may help doctors save millions of people from blindness. Diabetes related retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness in adults across the world. Google said that it has worked with a number of doctors and researchers, including doctors from three eye clinics in New Delhi, to figure out a way through which its AI has learned to identify the early signs of retinopathy. More at:

Platypus venom could hold key to diabetes treatment

Australian researchers have discovered remarkable evolutionary changes to insulin regulation in two of the nation’s most iconic native animal species – the platypus and the echidna – which could pave the way for new treatments for type 2 diabetes in humans. The findings, now published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, reveal that the same hormone produced in the gut of the platypus to regulate blood glucose is also surprisingly produced in their venom. The research is led by Professor Frank Grutzner at the University of Adelaide and Associate Professor Briony Forbes at Flinders University. The hormone, known as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), is normally secreted in the gut of both humans and  animals, stimulating the release of insulin to lower blood glucose.More at:

30% to 60% of lung cancer patients in Bengaluru are non-smokers: Doctors

Radha, 54, complained of a sudden hoarseness in her voice and chronic cough only to be diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Her family was devastated and shocked in equal measure. A doctor herself, Radha led a healthy lifestyle and was a non-smoker. A year later, she succumbed to the killer disease. When Karthik, 45, a software engineer and a fitness freak, visited a city hospital with pain in the right side of his chest, radiology reports revealed water accumulation in his right lung. The biopsy report threw up a shocker — the techie had adenocarcinoma and the cancer had progressed to its third stage. “His survival chances are only 30% and he may not live beyond five years,” said the oncologist treating Karthik, also a non-smoker. More at:

Stopped hearts need more research to start: Review shows lack of cardiac arrest studies

Hundreds of thousands of times a year in this country, a heart stops suddenly, when the electrical signals that keep it beating go tragically haywire. It’s called a cardiac arrest, and only one in 10 people survive it, whether it happens on a city street, a golf course or a hospital floor. But despite the fact that cardiac arrest kills ten times more people than breast cancer, new research shows a huge lack of studies aimed at improving care and survival. Over the last 20 years, a University of Michigan-led team found, only 92 gold-standard clinical trials have been done on the immediate treatment of cardiac arrest. They report their results, which are based on an exhaustive review of the medical literature, in a paper published online in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. The randomized clinical trials that have been done on cardiac arrest involved just over 64,000 patients. Less than five studies a year have published their results. More at:

0% of Cancer Deaths Are Due to Smoking

About a third of cancer deaths in American men and a quarter in women are linked to cigarette smoking, finds a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of death from cancer and other diseases, yet there are still 40 million smokers in the U.S. Researchers from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta calculated the percentage of cancer deaths among Americans 35 years and older due to cigarette smoking in 2014, state by state. They found that nearly 29% of cancer deaths were because of smoking. For men, the percentage of smoking-related cancer deaths in the U.S. ranged geographically, from about 22% in Utah to nearly 40% in Arkansas. In every state except for Utah, it was at least 30%. For women, it was much lower: at least 20% in all states except Utah, California and Hawaii. Women in Utah were the least affected by smoking-related cancer deaths, at 11%, and Kentucky women were the most, at 29%. More at:

75-year-old man with cancer completes 100th marathon

Don Wright, 75, completed his first, and what he thought would be his last marathon. A few weeks after the race, he went to see his physician about what he thought was benign back pain. It turned out to be something much more serious. His doctors diagnosed him with a rare blood cancer called multiple myeloma — and told him he had less than five years to live. Multiple myeloma is a cancer formed by malignant plasma cells. According to the American Cancer Society, about 30,330 new cases of multiple myeloma will be diagnosed this year. The lifetime risk of getting multiple myeloma is about 0.7 percent. More at:

Does frequent sex increase your risk of prostate cancer? – Not at all in fact it lowers the risk

Studies have shown more frequent ejaculations may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. A large study of more than 30,000 men followed up over 18 years showed that men who ejaculated more than 21 times a month were less likely to develop prostate cancer than men who ejaculated less than 4 times a month. Don’t worry if you ejaculate less than 21 times a month! The study showed that while more frequent ejaculation lowered the risk of prostate cancer the most, even ejaculating a few times a month is likely to be beneficial. More at:

Unhealthy lifestyle leads to rise in mouth cancer rates up to 68% in last 20 years

Rates of mouth cancer have risen by 68 per cent over the past 20 years, with unhealthy lifestyles to blame. Cancer Research UK data shows mouth cancer is on the rise for men and women of all ages. From 1993 to 1995, there were eight cases of mouth cancer per 100,000 people, rising to 13 cases per 100,000 people between 2012 and 2014. For men under 50, the rate has jumped by 67 per cent. Twenty years ago there were around 340 cases per year in this age group, rising to around 640 now. More at:

Consumption of polyphenols improves heart health in type 2 diabetes, says study

Older adults with type 2 diabetes could improve their heart health by consuming greater quantities of foods or beverages containing polyphenols, research suggests. Polyphenols are compounds found in natural plant food sources such as fruits, vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, tea and wine. In this new study, the effects of polyphenols were tested on 2,753 adults with type 2 diabetes aged 50 to 75 years. Scientists at the University of Naples Federico II evaluated the association between the total intake of polyphenols and polyphenol classes with the major cardiovascular risk factors (heart risk factors) among the type 2 population. More at:

Sex-crazed Kim Jong-il ‘ate lion’s penis to make him better in the sack’

FORMER North Korean leader Kim Jong-il ate the penis of a LION to boost his sexual prowess, a defector from the totalitarian state has claimed. The deviant despot is said to have been so obsessed with his performance in the sack he forced scientists to gather traditional medicines from around the world in a bid to maximise his libido. Kim Hyeong-soo, who escaped the brutal regime in 2009, worked for years at the country’s top secret Longevity Institute, which is dedicated to ensuring the health of the ruling Kim family. He told the Daily Star: “Kim asked to boost his sexual performance because he believed that in order to live longer, he had to maximise it. “So he asked diplomats and high-ranking officers to get exotic foods from overseas to help to boost sexual performance. More at:

Vitamin D is the best thing, even for breast cancer

Apart from maintaining healthy bones, higher levels of vitamin D in the blood may also significantly improve survival in one-third of women diagnosed with breast cancer — the most common form of cancer in women, a study has found. A deficiency in the vitamin D levels — commonly found in sun exposure, fatty fish oils, vitamin supplements, and fortified milks and cereals — has been associated with the risk for several cancers, the study said. “We found that women with the highest levels of vitamin D levels had about a 30 per cent better likelihood of survival than women with the lowest levels,” said Lawrence H. Kushi, Research Scientist with the Kaiser Permanente — a not-for-profit health care company in California, US. More at:

Saudi researcher: Gold could be the cure to cancer

Gold has been known to be a symbol of wealth, power and beauty – but now, according to what a Saudi researcher says, it may become a symbol of health. Dr. Saeed al-Jaroudi, who has been researching and testing gold compounds as a treatment for cancer in Saudi Arabia, told Al Arabiya English that “the use of gold compounds for the treatment of cancer in the near future looks very promising.” Jaroudi explained that the idea of using compounds of gold to fight cancer has been researched for the past 20 years, which he has continued and aimed to develop. “We have experimented on cancer infected rats, and the results so far are incredible,” Jaroudi said, which came after three years of research and experiments. He conducted laboratory experiments which are considered the first phase for approval to accept the compound as treatment. There are two other phases he explained which are animal testing and testing on human subjects. According to Jaroudi this may take from 10 to 15 years. More at:

21,000 cancer cases ‘could be prevented if nobody drank alcohol’… but half of Brits don’t know its deadly risks

The World Cancer Research Fund says 21,000 cases could be prevented a year in the UK if nobody drank. Booze raises the risk of tumours in the bowel, breast, liver, mouth, throat and stomach and is the biggest cause of the disease besides smoking and obesity. But more than 10million of us still drink more than the Government’s new recommended weekly limit. Men and women should not drink more than 14 units a week — seven pints or a bottle-and-a-half of wine. When the guidelines were issued, Britain’s top doctor warned there was a risk of cancer every time we had a drink.More at:

Early rheumatoid arthritis treatment may prevent rapid bone loss

Early and aggressive treatment for rheumatoid arthritis may help protect against progressive bone loss, researchers concluded in a recent study. Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term immune disorder that attacks the joints, resulting in acute swelling and pain. In a review published in the journal Osteoporosis International, researchers at the International Osteoporosis Foundation concluded one of the disease’s most harmful effects is best halted with early treatment using disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs, or DMARDs. More at:

How an Experimental Virus Therapy Helps Kill Brain Tumors

Glioblastoma is the most aggressive kind of cancerous brain tumor. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are standard treatments for this type of tumor. Many times, however, the measure of survival time is months, not years. For decades, scientists have been looking at whether viruses may hold the key to treating brain tumors. An early-phase clinical trial at Cleveland Clinic is investigating the use of an engineered virus to treat brain tumors. So far, the therapy is showing some signs of success, says neurosurgeon Michael Vogelbaum, MD, PhD. More at:

Chemo is no longer killing my cancer. Here’s why I still have hope

Tom Marsilje, cancer researcher and patient, at a recent speaking engagement. “As a currently incurable Stage IV cancer patient I know that the chemotherapy I am currently taking will not last forever.  My tumors will become resistant.  When they do, absent a successful clinical trial, I will die of cancer in my 40’s. I know this but I have not accepted this as inevitable.  I have absolutely no intention of dying in my 40’s, not if I have any say in the matter. So it all comes down to clinical trials.” More at:

‘Herbal’ doc dies after consuming his own medicine in a Tirunelveli village; two patients also dead

Three men who consumed ‘herbal’ medicines for diabetes and blood pressure died today, one after another, at a village near Tenkasi town in Tirunelveli district located in southern Tamil Nadu. One of them was the medicine man himself. According to police sources, one Muthupandi, aged 50, who had been practicing traditional medicine in the villages had given a herbal concoction to a few persons in the Alagappapuram village this morning. He had claimed the medicine was a cure for diabetes and blood pressure. Muthupandi also consumed the medicine himself. But soon Muthupandi and two others swooned. They were taken to the Tenkasi Government Hospital where all three died within a few hours. More at:

Ionizing radiation may be confounding factor in Alzheimer’s disease, study suggests

More humans than ever are exposed to higher levels of ionizing radiation from medical equipment, airplanes, etc. A new study suggests that this kind of radiation may be a confounding factor in the neurodegenerative disease Alzheimer´s. Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause for dementia in the elderly, and its global prevalence is supposed to increase dramatically in the following decade – up to 80 million patients by 2040. It is crucial that we investigate the potential factors behind this disease, says postdoc Stefan J. Kempf, University of Southern Denmark. His research focuses on possible connections between radiation and cognitive impairments. In a new study, he and an international consortia involving colleagues from Italy, Japan, Germany and Denmark show that low doses of ionising radiation induce molecular changes in the brain that resemble the pathologies of Alzheimer’s. The study has been published in Oncotarget. Co-authors are from Institute of Radiation Biology/Institute of Pathology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health and Institute for Environmental Sciences in Japan. More at:

New treatment may reverse Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers have created a new drug in the hopes of both preventing and reversing the signs of Alzheimer’s disease. According to The Alzheimer’s Association, nearly 5 million people in the United States are currently living with the disease. A majority of these patients are over 60-years old, and the disease is one of the leading causes of death in the States. The disease creates inflammation in the brain, damaging the ability of the brain cells to function: Thus, memory loss. But scientists at the Cleveland Clinic in Chicago are striving to stop that with an experimental medicine called NTRX-07. By controlling the brain’s swelling and preventing neuron damage, the medicine will hopefully “target the cause of the disease, not just the symptoms, explained lead researcher Mohamed Naguib. More at:

FDA Approves US Trial of Cuban Lung Cancer Vaccine

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a US clinical trial of a lung cancer vaccine developed in Cuba. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the approval on October 26 at a press conference at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, where the trial will be conducted. The vaccine, CimaVax, was developed for non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and has been available in Cuba since 2011. The newly approved study will be phase 1/2 trial of CIMAvax in combination with the anti-PD1 checkpoint inhibitor nivolumab (Opdivo, Bristol-Myers Squibb) in patients previously treated for advanced NSCLC. Roswell Park anticipates that the trial will take 3 years to complete and will enroll 60 to 90 patients. CimaVax targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is overexpressed in approximately 40% to 80% of NSCLCs. EGFR overexpression is associated with poor prognosis, lower survival, and resistance to therapy in cancer. The vaccine’s mechanism of action is to prevent binding of the endogenous epidermal growth factor (EGF) to the receptors, thus denying tumors the growth factor. More at:

Does baby powder cause cancer? Another jury says yes

For the third time, Johnson & Johnson has been hit with a multimillion-dollar jury verdict over whether the talc in its iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene. Late Thursday, a St. Louis jury awarded $70.1 million to Deborah Giannecchini of Modesto, California, who was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in 2012. Giannecchini, then 59, said she had used Johnson’s Baby Powder for more than 40 years to keep her genital area dry, as many women do. She blamed it for her cancer and accused J&J of negligence. Two other jury trials in St. Louis reached similar outcomes earlier this year, awarding the plaintiffs $72 million and $55 million. But in J&J’s home state of New Jersey a judge recently threw out two other cases, ruling there wasn’t reliable evidence talc causes ovarian cancer, a relatively rare disease. More at:

Health warning over using Halloween contact lenses

Those Halloween contact lenses might look freaky as hell, but it turns out the accessory might be causing real damage to people’s eyes. A warning has been issued against using decorative lenses as part of fancy dress costume this Halloween as they could cause blindness, eye scratches, infections and other eye problems. One 16-year-old, Leah Carpenter, went partially blind in her right eye after damaging her cornea wearing zombie eye contact lenses last year. The non-prescription contact lenses can be bought in many outlets across the UK as well as online for as little as £5 a pair. But health experts in the US have warned that use of the lenses can increase the risk of an infection called keratitis by 16 times, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) said. More at:

UD research suggests physical activity strengthens joint health

Physical activity has often been assumed to wear down cartilage overtime, but University of Delaware researchers say that may not be. Cartilage is a pore connective tissue filled with water that can last up to 40 to 50 years before experiencing serious wear and tear. UD biomedical engineering professor Chris Price said it is an important tissue because it lines the body’s joints. “If we didn’t have cartilage, we would have bone on bone articulation and that would be very rough and that would wear away very quickly,” Price said. “The cartilage acts as a very slippery material.” Fellow UD researcher and mechanical engineering professor David Burris said over time, water leaks out of cartilage, but he and Price want to know why some does not. They hope studying joint biomechanics and the biology of the cells within a joint in tandem will help. More at:

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

Nanoscience research involves molecules that are only 1/100th the size of cancer cells and that have the potential to profoundly improve the quality of our health and our lives. Now nine prominent nanoscientists look ahead to what we can expect in the coming decade, and conclude that nanoscience is poised to make important contributions in many areas, including health care, electronics, energy, food and water. Significant progress has already been made in nanomaterials, report authors Paul Weiss, who holds a UC presidential chair and is a distinguished professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UCLA, and Dr. Andre Nel, chief of nanomedicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. More at:

Stopped hearts need more research to start: Review shows lack of cardiac arrest studies

Hundreds of thousands of times a year in this country, a heart stops suddenly, when the electrical signals that keep it beating go tragically haywire. It’s called a cardiac arrest, and only one in 10 people survive it, whether it happens on a city street, a golf course or a hospital floor. But despite the fact that cardiac arrest kills ten times more people than breast cancer, new research shows a huge lack of studies aimed at improving care and survival. Over the last 20 years, a University of Michigan-led team found, only 92 gold-standard clinical trials have been done on the immediate treatment of cardiac arrest. They report their results, which are based on an exhaustive review of the medical literature, in a paper published online in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. The randomized clinical trials that have been done on cardiac arrest involved just over 64,000 patients. Less than five studies a year have published their results. More at:

0% of Cancer Deaths Are Due to Smoking

About a third of cancer deaths in American men and a quarter in women are linked to cigarette smoking, finds a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of death from cancer and other diseases, yet there are still 40 million smokers in the U.S. Researchers from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta calculated the percentage of cancer deaths among Americans 35 years and older due to cigarette smoking in 2014, state by state. They found that nearly 29% of cancer deaths were because of smoking. For men, the percentage of smoking-related cancer deaths in the U.S. ranged geographically, from about 22% in Utah to nearly 40% in Arkansas. In every state except for Utah, it was at least 30%. For women, it was much lower: at least 20% in all states except Utah, California and Hawaii. Women in Utah were the least affected by smoking-related cancer deaths, at 11%, and Kentucky women were the most, at 29%. More at:

NHS pay out £10million compensation over cancer blunders as record number of patients sue

New figures show the NHS Litigation Authority pay out to more than two people every week after admitting staff missed key opportunities to spot the killer disease. A record number of patients successfully sued the NHS for £10 million last year because blundering hospital medics failed to spot they were suffering from cancer. New figures have revealed that the NHS Litigation Authority pay out to more than two people every week after it admitted staff missed key opportunities to spot the tell-tale signs of the killer disease. In August it was revealed how GP Lisa Steen criticised her medical colleagues for failing to spot she was suffering from a rare kidney cancer. Her illness was only uncovered two years after she first went to professionals and by then the disease had spread to her bones. More at:

Fighter jet painted pink to fight cancer

An F9F-8 Cougar, painted in a vivid pink shade called “Heliconia,” is on display on the flight deck of the USS Lexington in Corpus Christi, Texas. It’s all in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so the jet will be on exhibit on the deck. It won’t stay pink forever though. A special procedure — applying liquid dishwashing soap to the latex paint — keeps the pretty paint job from becoming permanent. Rusty Reustle, director of operations and exhibits at the USS Lexington museum, said he got the idea after seeing filmmakers employ the technique while filming the movie “Pearl Harbor” on the ship, CNN affiliate KRIS reports. More at:

Sweet potato Vitamin A research wins World Food Prize

Four scientists have been awarded the 2016 World Food Prize for enriching sweet potatoes, which resulted in health benefits for millions of people. They won the prize for “the single most example of biofortification”, resulting in Vitamin A-boosted crops. Since 1986, the World Food Prize aims to recognise efforts to increase the quality and quantity of available food. The researchers received their US $250,000 (£203,000) prize at a ceremony in Iowa, US. More at:

Research targets genes, traits to improve glaucoma screening, prevention, and treatment

Researchers from the U.S. and India have begun a new collaborative project to identify genetic risk factors and traits related to glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT), the researchers’ goal is to help develop effective screening, prevention, and treatment strategies for glaucoma. Grants from the two agencies stem from a bilateral initiative, the U.S.-India Collaborative Vision Research Program, designed to advance knowledge in the biological mechanisms of ocular disease. More at:

Clear-Lens Extraction May Be Best for Primary Glaucoma

For primary angle-closure glaucoma (PACG), clear-lens extraction was more effective and cost-effective than laser peripheral iridotomy, according to results from the Effectiveness in Angle-closure Glaucoma of Lens Extraction (EAGLE) randomized controlled trial. The data, published October 1 in the Lancet, suggest clear-lens extraction may be a first-line therapy option. “Although one good-quality trial might not be enough to change policy, the consistent superiority of clear-lens extraction in terms of patient-reported and clinical benefits and the absence of serious safety issues provide strong support for considering this approach as the first-line treatment for individuals with primary angle-closure disease,” write Augusto Azuara-Blanco, PhD, FRCS(Ed), FRCOphth, from the Centre for Public Health, Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom, and colleagues. Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness, according to the World Health Organization, with the current prevalence of 20 million expected to rise to 34 million by 2040, including 5.3 million with blindness. More at:

50% rise in diabetes deaths across India over 11 years

With a genetic predisposition brought to the fore by changing lifestyles, deaths due to diabetes increased 50% in India between 2005 and 2015, and is now the seventh most common cause of death in the country, up from the 11th rank in 2005, according to data published by the Global Burden of Disease (GDB). Ischemic heart disease continues to be the highest cause of death, followed by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cerebrovascular disease, lower respiratory infection, diarrhoeal diseases and tuberculosis. In 2015, 346,000 people died of diabetes, which caused 3.3% of all deaths that year, with an annual increase of 2.7% from 1990, according to the GDB study. Nearly 26 people die of diabetes per 100,000 population; diabetes is also one of the top causes of disability and accounts for 2.4% of the disability adjusted life years lost (sum of years lost due to disability or premature death due to the disease).More at:

How Fructose May Trigger Body Fat

A new mouse study suggests people with diabetes may metabolize fructose in a different way. Fructose, a type of sugar, quickly absorbs into the liver of mice with diabetes, potentially causing health complications, according to a new study published Tuesday in the journal eLife. The findings, if further studied, could provide insight for people with diabetes. In the study, the researchers showed that mice with diabetes absorb fructose very quickly and that fructose is quickly sent to the liver. In the liver, it creates fat. The researchers say a protein that’s turned on by diabetes is likely to blame for the quick absorption and fat creation. More at:

High-Protein Diets May Not Help Fend Off Diabetes

While many believe that a high-protein diet can help with weight loss, a new study finds it might actually prevent an important health benefit that comes with slimming down. The research found that when you lose weight on a high-protein diet, there’s no improvement in what doctors call “insulin sensitivity” — a factor that could lower your risk for diabetes and heart disease. In type 2 diabetes, cells gradually lose insulin sensitivity — their ability to respond to the metabolic hormone. This often occurs with rising obesity, so improved insulin sensitivity can be one of the byproducts of weight loss. However, “we found that women who lost weight eating a high-protein diet didn’t experience any improvements in insulin sensitivity,” said study principal investigator Bettina Mittendorfer. She’s a professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. More at:

WHO Calls for Sugar Tax to Fight Obesity and Diabetes

The World Health Organization said that governments should raise taxes on sugary drinks to fight what it says are global obesity and diabetes epidemics.If  retail prices of sugar-sweetened drinks are increased by 20 percent through taxation, there is a proportional drop in consumption, it said in a report titled “Fiscal Policies for Diet and Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases”. Obesity more than doubled worldwide between 1980 and 2014, with 11 percent of men and 15 percent of women classified as obese—more than 500 million people, the WHO said. More at:

FDA testing finds weed killer residue in honey, instant oatmeal

Testing for glyphosate residue at a U.S. Food and Drug Administration laboratory in Atlanta has found up to 1.67 parts per million (ppm) in certain instant oatmeal cereals and up to 121 nanograms per gram (ng/g) in samples of honey. Glyphosate is a widely used and controversial herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. It was first licensed for use in the U.S. in the mid-1970s. The test results were presented by Narong Chamkasem, a research chemist with FDA’s Southeast Regional Laboratory, at a scientific workshop this past July in Florida. Chamkasem reported finding no glyphosate residues in organic oat samples from Bob’s Red Mill, Whole Foods, Sprouts and Nature’s Path, while other results from 10 unnamed brands ranged from 0.01 ppm in “apple cinnamon instant oat meal” to 1.67 ppm in “cinnamon spice instant oat meal.” More at:

FDA Warns About Heart Defibrillators After Two People Die

Two people have died after the batteries in two implanted heart defibrillators made by St. Jude Medical failed early, and now the company has issued warnings about 400,000 of the devices. While the company doesn’t recommend that doctors remove the devices from patients, it says doctors need to get in touch with users and check them out. The problem is that the batteries die almost without warning, the Food and Drug Administration says. The device is supposed to give a warning called an Elective Replacement Indicator (ERI) alert three months before the battery in it is fully depleted. More at:

Vitamins A and C help erase cell memory

Vitamins A and C aren’t just good for your health, they affect your DNA too. Researchers at the Babraham Institute and their international collaborators have discovered how vitamins A and C act to modify the epigenetic ‘memory’ held by cells; insight which is significant for regenerative medicine and our ability to reprogramme cells from one identity to another. The research is published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). More at:

Pembrolizumab First-Line Beats Chemo: ‘It’s a New Day for Lung Cancer’

“It’s a new day for lung cancer,” commented Stefan Zimmermann, MD, from the University Hospital in Lausanne, Switzerland, after hearing the results from a landmark trial showing pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) first-line beat standard chemotherapy in a certain population of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). “For the first time, we will be offering immunotherapy first-line to our lung patients,” Dr Zimmerman said. The landmark trial showed that pembrolizumab offers better efficacy and lower toxicity than chemotherapy. “This study may change practice for the treatment of patients with advanced NSCLC. It is the first time a therapy has improved progression-free survival over the current standard first-line treatment with platinum-based doublet chemotherapy,” commented Johan Vansteenkiste, MD, PhD, from University Hospitals, Leuven, Belgium. More at:

Medicare wastes billions on defective medical devices, audit finds

Medicare’s fiscal watchdog has documented $1.5 billion in spending on seven types of defective heart devices that doctors implanted in thousands of beneficiaries. In addition to the money Medicare paid to health care providers for services and procedures related to recalls or premature device failures, the patients who got the defective devices paid an estimated $140 million in deductibles and coinsurance costs from their own pockets, according to a report that U.S. Health and Human Services Inspector General Daniel Levinson published Tuesday. The three companies that manufactured the seven devices have yet to be identified by investigators. Their examination, which has been underway for about a year, resonates in Minnesota, home to cardiac divisions of the world’s largest heart-device makers: Medtronic PLC, St. Jude Medical Inc. and Boston Scientific Corp. More at:

Scientists identify new mechanisms for cancer cell mutations

Abnormalities in a cell’s transcription machinery are responsible for aggressive cancer mutations, new research by University of Birmingham scientists suggests. University of Birmingham scientists say they have identified a previously unknown molecular mechanism that helps cancer spread throughout its host. It has long been understood that cancer spreads through genetic mutations that eventually form malignant tumors. Cells often become cancerous due to “replication stress,” where DNA becomes damaged while it’s duplicated. In their study, published in Nature Communications, University of Birmingham scientists trace this phenomenon to an increase in the activity of a cell’s own transcription machinery. During the study, the research team observed cells with an activated version of the cancer-promoting HRasV12, or “oncogene,” experience a rapid increase in transcription rates. More at:

It’s Time to Rethink High-Protein Diets for Weight Loss

A new study suggests there’s a downside to all that protein. Eating a diet that’s high in protein is often recommended for people trying to lose weight, since high-protein foods make people feel more full, preventing overeating. However, a new study suggests that while the diet may help people slim down, it doesn’t necessarily improve other health problems under the hood. (For more on that, see: How Much Protein Should I Eat Every Day.). In a small study, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis followed 34 postmenopausal women with obesity for about six months. The women were split into three groups: One group kept their diet the same, one group went on a calorie-restricted weight loss diet (with the daily recommended amount of protein), and another group went on the same diet but also increased their protein intake by about 150-250 calories. The researchers provided all the meals for the women, and besides the increased protein, the diets were virtually the same. More at:

Exercise beneficial to those with type 1 diabetes on insulin pump

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) patients on insulin pumps stand to benefit by engaging in aerobic exercise, said a team researcher who conducted a three-month observational study on two groups of diabetes patients. When compared to patients in the study who did not exercise, patients in the study group who engaged in aerobic exercise benefited by improving their metabolic control, reducing their insulin requirement, and a saw a reduction in the number of hyperglycemic events they experienced. The study, carried out by a team of researchers in Milan, Italy, and Miami, Florida, will be published in a future issue of Cell Transplantation. More at:

Treatment for skin cancer helps stop thyroid cancer

Doctors at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) are discovering some treatments that work for one type of cancer may also work for another, if it has similar mutations, or genetic changes. Genetic changes, or mutations, change some normal cells in the body into cancer cells which can grow and multiply. There are more than 100 types of cancer, which means many different ways to treat cancer are needed. Most cancers are named for the part of the body where they started. Jeff Clark beat thyroid cancer years ago, but recently discovered the cancer had returned as tumors in his lungs. When cancer metastasizes, or moves to new locations in the body, it is still considered the same type as the original cancer. More at:

Cost of breast cancer chemo varies widely in U.S.

Breast cancer chemotherapy costs can vary by tens of thousands of dollars in the United States, depending on the course of treatment doctors select, a new study finds. Even across drug regimens that achieve the same effect, insurers’ costs can differ by as much as $20,000, researchers found. They found a smaller variation in patients’ share of the cost across different treatment regimens. More at:

Eat to beat diabetes: Guilt free sweet treats, scrumptious puds you won’t believe are low in sugar and why you never need to buy a loaf again

Most of us want to lose weight to feel confident, fit and — in our heart of hearts — to look great. But fast, effective weight loss will also have a massive impact on many other aspects of your health, too.

The 8-Week Blood Sugar Diet — a simple 800-calorie-a-day eating plan based on the Mediterranean diet — was originally devised to combat diabetes. But the health benefits of this diet go far beyond that. Carrying excess fat can be disastrously unhealthy, as I know to my cost. When I was told, in 2012, that I had type 2 diabetes — which is commonly caused by eating too much and moving too little — I was shocked. Not just because I didn’t have any of the typical symptoms of thirstiness, fatigue or blurred vision, but because I wasn’t particularly overweight. Yes, I was carrying a few extra pounds but the main problem was that I had far too much fat around my abdomen which was infiltrating my internal organs, impairing their ability to work effectively. More at:

Diabetes Risk Linked to Economic Insecurity

High levels of job insecurity were associated with a 19% increased risk in developing diabetes, according to a recent meta-analysis published this week in CMAJ. In the study, Jane E. Ferrie, PhD, of the University of Bristol and colleagues analyzed 19 studies from the U.S., Europe, and Australia to assess the relationship between self-reported job insecurity and the level of risk for new diabetes cases. Previous studies have reported an association between job insecurity and increased risk for dyslipidemia, coronary heart disease, and diabetes complications. In an interview with MedPage Today, Ferrie discussed her past research, which was the basis for the current study. “We did some work on job insecurity generated by the privatization of the public sector in the 1990s, and that work showed that job insecurity was associated with risk factors for heart disease, like an increase of harmful lipids and weight gain,” she explained. More at:

Job insecurity tied to increased risk of diabetes

People who are worried about losing their jobs may be more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes, according to a new analysis. Compared to people who felt secure in their jobs, people who were experiencing so-called job insecurity had a 19 percent higher rate of new cases of diabetes, which researchers called a “modest increased risk.” The study can’t prove that job insecurity causes diabetes. Still, said lead author Jane Ferrie, “In an ideal world, the sort of thing I’d like to see come out of this study is a reduction in job insecurity and an increase in secure job contracts and reasonable wages.” About one in 10 adults have diabetes, according to the World Health Organization. Most have type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body can’t make or process enough of the hormone insulin. For the new analysis, Ferrie, of the University of Bristol and University College London in the U.K., and colleagues compiled data from 19 studies involving a total of 140,825 adults in the U.S., Australia and Europe who were employed and diabetes free when they enrolled in the studies. More at:

The increasing cost for diabetes care a cause of concern

The finding that Qatar’s annual cost for diabetes care could increase from QR1.8bn in 2015 to QR5bn in 2035 and QR8.4bn by 2055, if no immediate action is taken to combat the problem, is a matter of concern, going by a report presented at the International Diabetes Leadership Forum held recently in Doha. The net present cost for treating diabetes over the next 40 years is estimated at QR130bn. The report also points out that if current behaviour and practices remain the same, there could be a significant spurt in the burden of the disease in the coming decades. If nothing is done to fight the problem, the number of people suffering from diabetes in Qatar could go up from 200,000 in 2015 to 299,000 in 2035 and 368,000 by 2055. Similarly, the number of people suffering from complications due to diabetes is 48,000 presently and could rise to 124,000 in 2035 and 182,000 by 2055. More at:

Protecting the oral cavity and mind of type II diabetics: The comorbidity of type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and periodontitis

Those with diabetes and forms of dementia face their own oral health challenges. There has long been a connection between type II diabetes and Alzheimer’s; recent research suggests that Alzheimer’s may actually be a form of diabetes itself. In this article, learn about the mechanisms of periodontitis in those with diabetes and Alzheimer’s, as well as useful patient care considerations. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) affects approximately 5 million Americans and is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. The United States is expected to have 16 million cases of AD by the year 2050. There is currently no known cure for AD because there is no known cause of the disease; this lack of information prompted researchers to investigate the possible link between type II diabetes mellitus (DM) and AD. Research shows a direct correlation between increased blood glucose levels and inflammation of the tissues around the teeth. Additional research reveals that patients suffering from AD are also at an increased risk of developing periodontitis. More at:

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and diabetes together may increase liver fibrosis risk: Study

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease develops when fat accumulates in the liver. This can occur in individuals who don’t drink alcohol or who drink in moderation. In some people, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) causes no symptoms or complications. However, if it progresses, it can ultimately lead to liver failure. If you’re diabetic you should also be concerned about your liver health. Diabetes can put a person at an increased risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The Mayo Clinic reports that at least half of diabetics with type 2 diabetes will develop non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Other contributing factors of non-alcoholic liver disease include being overweight, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Although diabetes may contribute to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the association works the other way around, too, meaning NAFLD can lead to the diagnosis of diabetes. If diabetes is poorly managed, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease can worsen. More at:

Apes can tell when you’ve been duped

The delight of slapstick comedy lies in watching the mistakes of unwitting players, and new research shows that apes just might get the joke, too. A study published on 6 October in Science suggests that, like humans, chimpanzees and other apes can infer the beliefs of others ­— even when those beliefs contradict reality — and anticipate their errors. The findings, which counter many previous studies, could fuel the debate over whether humans are unique in their ability to recognize the desires, beliefs and internal thoughts of others — a concept known as theory of mind. In previous studies, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) have seemed to grasp some aspects of the goals, knowledge and perceptions of others. But chimps, monkeys and other primates have consistently failed to demonstrate an understanding of others’ false beliefs — a key component of theory of mind. Children younger than age four had also historically failed many of these tests4, supporting the idea that understanding false beliefs requires sophisticated thinking that develops later in childhood. More at:

World’s tiniest machines win chemistry Nobel

Three chemists who created tiny molecular machines have won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their intricate designs. Jean-Pierre Sauvage, at the University of Strasbourg in France; Fraser Stoddart, a Scottish-born chemist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois; and Bernard Feringa, at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, share the award for their work in the 1980s and 1990s, when they pioneered efforts to miniaturize motors. “I’m a bit shocked because it was such a great surprise. And I’m so honoured,” said Feringa in an interview with the Nobel Committee just after winning the prize. The three have made molecular knots, shuttles, rotors, chains, pumps, axles, switches, memory devices and even a nanocar — all at the scale of molecules (see ‘Nano machines’). The nanoscale machines are yet to find application, but researchers hope that their uses could range from delivering drugs to computer memory. More:

How one drug company fast-tracked the FDA’s review process

Drugmaker Sarepta Therapeutics won a big victory when its $300,000 muscular dystrophy drug was recently approved, but the company had other reasons to celebrate, too. They were also awarded the drug world’s equivalent of a Willy Wonka golden ticket. The ticket, known as a rare pediatric disease priority review voucher, is part of a program created by Congress in 2007 to encourage the development of drugs for tropical diseases and later expanded to rare pediatric disorders. Any company awarded a voucher can use it for a fast-track government review of one of its future drugs — or it can sell the voucher to another company. More at:

FDA Tests Confirm Oatmeal, Baby Foods Contain Residues of Monsanto Weed Killer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is quietly starting to test certain foods for residues of a weed killing chemical linked to cancer, has found the residues in a variety of oat products, including plain and flavored oat cereals for babies. Data compiled by an FDA chemist and presented to other chemists at a meeting in Florida showed residues of the pesticide known as glyphosate in several types of infant oat cereal, including banana strawberry- and banana-flavored varieties. Glyphosate was also detected in “cinnamon spice” instant oatmeal; “maple brown sugar” instant oatmeal and “peach and cream” instant oatmeal products, as well as others. In the sample results shared, the levels ranged from nothing detected in several different organic oat products to 1.67 parts per million, according to the presentation. More at:

FDA warns against the use of homeopathic teething tablets and gels

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers that homeopathic teething tablets and gels may pose a risk to infants and children. The FDA recommends that consumers stop using these products and dispose of any in their possession. Homeopathic teething tablets and gels are distributed by CVS, Hyland’s, and possibly others, and are sold in retail stores and online. Consumers should seek medical care immediately if their child experiences seizures, difficulty breathing, lethargy, excessive sleepiness, muscle weakness, skin flushing, constipation, difficulty urinating, or agitation after using homeopathic teething tablets or gels. “Teething can be managed without prescription or over-the-counter remedies,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “We recommend parents and caregivers not give homeopathic teething tablets and gels to children and seek advice from their health care professional for safe alternatives.” More at:

FDA warns Supervalu on seafood facility violations

The FDA has issued a warning letter to Supervalu regarding “serious violations” of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation at a seafood processing facility in Denver, Pa. An inspection of Supervalu’s facility in August found 21 instances where seafood was stored at too high a temperature, according to the letter. FDA also found fault with Supervalu’s monitoring procedures and corrective action plan, as well as gaps in the loading bay doors of receiving and distribution areas. As a result, FDA deemed Supervalu’s products at the seafood facility to be adulterated. The letter states that Supervalu responded to the inspection observations in early September, but FDA found that response to be inadequate. More at:

FDA finds Listeria in facility; Fish Company recalls salmon

A New York company is recalling an undisclosed amount of smoked salmon from retailers and restaurants because federal inspectors found Listeria monocytogenes at the company’s production facility. Mt. Kisco Smokehouse of Mt. Kisco, NY, recalled two lots of whole Atlantic smoked salmon and four lots of sliced Atlantic salmon Monday, according to a notice posted by the Food and Drug Administration. More at:

Farm children less likely to suffer asthma and allergies

Children who grow up on farms are less likely to develop allergic diseases as adults, according to new research. The study also showed that living on a farm in early childhood is linked to stronger lungs in women. The researchers drew on the European Community Respiratory Health Survey II, which included more than 10,000 people aged 26-54 from 14 countries in continental Europe, Scandinavia and Australia between 1998 and 2002. Participants were asked where they lived before the age of five, and a biodiversity score from 0-5 was calculated for each of them based on their reported exposure to pet cats and dogs, older siblings and other children as well as how many children they shared a bedroom with. More at:

Artificial Pancreas Approved by FDA Marks a Global First

Medtronic Plc will bring to market the world’s first artificial pancreas, after U.S. regulators cleared the device for diabetics to automatically monitor blood sugar and supply insulin, replicating what a healthy version of the organ does on its own. The Food and Drug Administration cleared the product, called MiniMed 670G, for patients with Type 1 diabetes who are at least 14 years old. It will let some diabetics turn over part of their daily routine of fingerprick tests and insulin injections to an automatic system. Along with lessening the burden of a condition that requires constant attention, it also offers hope that better blood sugar control at inconvenient times, such as at night, will ultimately improve long-term health.More at:

Canakinumab (Ilaris) Gets FDA Nod for Three Rare Periodic Fever Syndromes

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved three new indications for the interleukin-1-β inhibitor canakinumab (Ilaris, Novartis). They are tumor necrosis factor receptor–associated periodic syndrome (TRAPS), hyperimmunoglobulin D syndrome /mevalonate kinase deficiency (HIDS/MKD), and familial Mediterranean fever (FMF). The three hereditary syndromes are all characterized by periodic attacks of fever and inflammation, along with severe muscle pain. Until now, there have been no approved therapies for TRAPS or HIDS/MKD. “For the first time, patients with TRAPS and HIDS/MKD, two painful and life-altering diseases, have access to a treatment that may help improve their quality of life,” Badrul Chowdhury, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Rheumatology Products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.More at:

FDA approves lower-cost alternative to biotech drug Humira

Federal regulators on Friday approved the first alternative version of the second-best selling drug in the world, Humira, the blockbuster injection used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. The Food and Drug Administration cleared a near-copy of the drug, dubbed Amjevita, developed by Amgen Inc. Regulators approved the drug for more than a half-dozen conditions listed on the original drug’s label, including severe psoriasis and Crohn’s diseases. North Chicago-based AbbVie Inc. holds the patent on Humira. Humira posted sales of nearly $15 billion in 2015 and was for many years the top-selling prescription drug in the world, according to data from IMS Health. More at:

Gonorrhea is more dangerous than ever as resistance to antibiotics grows

U.S. health officials have identified a cluster of gonorrhea infections that show sharply increased resistance to the last effective treatment available for the country’s second most commonly reported infectious disease. The findings from a cluster of Hawaii cases, presented Wednesday at a conference on prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, represent the first cluster of cases in the United States that have shown such decreased susceptibility to the double-antibiotic combination used when other drugs have failed. If the bacteria continue to develop resistance, that end-of-the-line therapy ultimately will fail, and an estimated 800,000 Americans a year could face untreatable gonorrhea and the serious health problems it causes, health officials said. More at:

Tobacco kills more HIV-positive D.C. residents than AIDS

Smoking is killing our community. Every year, tobacco-related diseases take more than 30,000 LGBT lives. In Washington, D.C., smoking is responsible for approximately 800 deaths every year, with a disproportionate number of those deaths coming from the LGBT community. Nearly 25 percent of LGBT adults in the United States smoke, compared to only about 17 percent of straight adults. Among those living with HIV/AIDS, tobacco use is even more prevalent. It is estimated that as many as 70 percent of people with HIV use tobacco and are two- to three-times more likely to smoke cigarettes than people without HIV. Because HIV hinders the body’s ability to fight off infection or disease, smokers with HIV are more prone to both HIV-related infections (such as Thrush, white mouth sores, and pneumonia) and fatal tobacco-related illnesses (such as COPD, heart disease and stroke, and cancer). In fact, the life expectancy of a 35-year-old smoker with HIV is cut by nearly eight years because of smoking. More at:

Stomach Cancer Can Be Detected Through Urine Tests: Report

BEIJING:  Stomach cancer can be found through urine, avoiding painful tests, according to a new study by a Chinese hospital. This has significance in treating stomach cancer as the disease may now be detected at an early stage, state-run China Daily reported today. A study team from Shanghai’s Rui Jin Hospital has found that the tumour marker for stomach cancer can be tested through urine. The research finding, formulated by a team led by Professor Zhu Zhenggang and Yu Yingyan, from the Shanghai Research Institute of Digestive Surgery, was published in the international academic journal “Oncotarget”. It could mean more to Chinese people, because many miss the best chance for an operation, when cancer is diagnosed in its mid or terminal stage because of their fear of the gastroscope test. More at:

Paralyzing Cone Snail Venom Could Inspire New Human Insulins

Venom that snails use to paralyze their prey before gobbling them up could inspire a new drug for diabetes. The venom that sea-dwelling cone snails squirt is an ultrafast-acting version of the hormone insulin, the molecular key that helps cells take in sugar from the blood and use it as fuel. And now, researchers have discovered that the chemical hack that makes cone snail venom so fast acting, could also be used to make human insulin act faster, which could lead to better blood sugar control for people with diabetes. “The venom insulin has to work quickly, so we could use those same principles to make a human insulin therapeutic, to use the same tricks that the snail uses to attack fish,” said study co-author Mike Lawrence, a structural biologist at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Victoria, Australia. More at:

Novo Nordisk to supply insulin at discount to poorest nations

NEW YORK – Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk A/S pledged on Wednesday to provide insulin at steeply discounted prices in the world’s least-developed nations in what it is calling its “access to insulin commitment.” The company, which produces almost half of the world’s insulin, said the guarantee applied to Least Developed Countries as defined by the United Nations, other low-income nations as defined by the World Bank, and selected organizations providing relief in humanitarian situations. “We guarantee that we will provide low-priced human insulin to ensure access to quality treatments for patients in the poorest parts of the world for many years to come,” the company said in a statement. Novo Nordisk Chief Executive Officer Lars Sorensen made the announcement while taking part in a panel discussion during the U.N. General Assembly on growing rates of non-communicable diseases among vulnerable populations. More at:

Anxiety Boosts Men’s Risk of Death from Cancer, Study Suggests

Men who experience excessive anxiety may be at increased risk of dying from cancer, a new study from Europe suggests. In the study, the researchers analyzed information from more than 15,000 people ages 40 to 79 in the United Kingdom, who were followed for 15 years. Results showed that men who had been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder were twice as likely to die from cancer during the study period compared with men who had not been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder. No link between anxiety and cancer was found for women. More at:

Microsoft says it will ‘solve’ cancer in the next 10 years

Microsoft has announced an ambitious plan to use computer science to ‘solve’ cancer within the next decade. While that plan involves many ambitious projects, one of the most interesting of proposals involves creating ultra-small DNA computers that can live inside a person’s body, monitoring for cancer cells and reprogramming them into healthy cells as soon as they pop up. “I think it’s a very natural thing for Microsoft to be looking at because we have tremendous expertise in computer science and what is going on in cancer is a computational problem,” Chris Bishop from Microsoft Research told Sarah Knapton at The Telegraph. “It’s not just an analogy, it’s a deep mathematical insight. Biology and computing are disciplines which seem like chalk and cheese but which have very deep connections on the most fundamental level.”  More at:

Eisai’s Kisplyx approved in EU for kidney cancer

The European Commission has stamped its approval on the use of Eisai’s Kisplyx to treat advanced kidney cancer. The approval allows the drug’s administration alongside everolimus (Novartis’ Afinitor) in adults with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) following one prior vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) targeted therapy. Lenvatinib is an oral molecular tri-specific targeted therapy with potent selectivity, says Eisai. The drug is already available in Europe under the tradename Lenvima adults with progressive, locally advanced or metastatic differentiated (papillary, follicular, Hürthle cell) thyroid carcinoma, refractory to radioactive iodine. Approval for RCC was based on data from a Phase II showing that the drug significantly extended progression-free survival (PFS) when added to treatment with everolimus; those given the combination regimen experienced a median PFS of 14.6 months versus 5.5 months for those taking everolimus alone. More at:

Obesity may prolong survival for kidney cancer patients

Obesity has become a well-known risk factor for cancer, and with this in mind, the findings of a new study may come as a surprise; for patients with kidney cancer, being overweight or obese appeared to significantly increase their chances of survival. Numerous studies have shown that individuals with a high body mass index (BMI) are at greater risk for numerous cancers, and kidney cancer is one of them. According to the American Cancer Society, obesity can trigger changes in hormones that lead to renal cell carcinoma (RCC) – the most common form of kidney cancer, accounting for around 9 in 10 of all cases. More at:

Could enjoying a nap KILL you? Sleeping for more than an hour during the day ‘increases the risk of diabetes by nearly half’

Indulging in an afternoon nap is something most workers dream of. But, a team of scientists have warned allowing yourself the luxury could increase the risk of developing diabetes. Those who nap for more than an hour a day have a 45 per cent increased risk of having type 2 diabetes, researchers found. But shorter naps did not show an increased risk, according to the study which is to be presented to the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) meeting in Munich, Germany. Experts from Japan looked at data from 21 studies concerning more than 300,000 people and found the association between daytime snoozes and type 2 diabetes. After adjusting for potential factors, they found that a long nap of more than 60 minutes a day ‘significantly increased the risk of type 2 diabetes. But naps of less than an hour did not. ‘Longer nap was associated with increased risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome,’ the authors concluded. More at:

Tardigrade protein helps human DNA withstand radiation

Tardigrades, or water bears, are pudgy, microscopic animals that look like a cross between a caterpillar and a naked mole rat. These aquatic invertebrates are consummate survivors, capable of withstanding a host of extremes, including near total dehydration and the insults of space. Now, a paper published on 20 September in Nature Communications pinpoints the source of yet another tardigrade superpower: a protective protein that provides resistance to damaging X-rays. And researchers were able to transfer that resistance to human cells. “Tolerance against X-ray is thought to be a side-product of [the] animal’s adaption to severe dehydration,” says lead study author Takekazu Kunieda, a molecular biologist at the University of Tokyo. According to Kunieda, severe dehydration wreaks havoc on the molecules in living things. It can even tear apart DNA, much like X-rays can. More at:

Brain Cancer Now Deadliest For US Children: Study

ATLANTA:  Brain cancer is now the deadliest form of childhood cancer in the United States, surpassing leukemia as treatment advances have allowed doctors to cure many blood-related cancers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday. In 1999, nearly one in three children who died of cancer had leukemia, while brain cancer caused the deaths of one in four. By 2014, the numbers had reversed, researchers found comparing death rates from pediatric cancers in these years. “Forms of leukemia that a generation ago were almost universally fatal are now almost universally curable,” said Sally Curtin, an author of the report, in a telephone interview. Overall, cancer death rates for children dropped 20 per cent from 1999, continuing a trend that started in the mid 1970s, according to the National Center for Health Statistics study. More at:

FDA Warns Against Using Ovarian Cancer Screening Tests

Clinicians should not recommend the use of ovarian cancer screening tests on the market because their propensity for inaccurate results may lead women to either forgo needed care, or opt for unnecessary care, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today. “Despite extensive research and published studies, there are currently no screening tests for ovarian cancer that are sensitive enough to reliably screen for (the cancer) without a high number of inaccurate results,” the FDA said in a safety communication. Numerous companies that market these tests for asymptomatic women claim otherwise. More at:

Childhood Cancer Deaths: Brain Cancer Overtakes Leukemia as Top Cause

Leukemia is no longer the No. 1 cause of cancer deaths in children, but brain cancer has taken it’s place, according to a new report. All pediatric cancer death rates have been dropping since the mid-1970s, according to the report released from the National Center for Health Statistics. The report details changes in cancer death rates among children and teens ages 1 to 19, from 1999 to 2014. “The shift from leukemia to brain cancer as the leading site of cancer death is a noteworthy development in the history of childhood cancer as it was always leukemia until quite recently,” said lead author Sally Curtin, demographer and statistician at the NCHS, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in an email interview with Live Science. More at:

Lowering systolic blood pressure would save more than 100,000 lives per year, study finds

Intensive treatment to lower systolic (top number) blood pressure to below 120 would save more than 100,000 lives per year in the United States, according to a study led by Loyola University Chicago researchers. Two thirds of the lives saved would be men and two thirds would be aged 75 or older, according to the study, which was presented at the American Heart Association’s Council on Hypertension 2016 Scientific Sessions. Current guidelines recommend keeping systolic blood pressure below 140 mm Hg. More at:

FDA Bans Triclosan and Other Antibacterials in Consumer Hand Soap

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given consumer soap manufacturers one year to remove 19 common antibacterial agents—including triclosan and triclocarban—from their products. The ban comes after manufacturers failed to present sufficient evidence to the agency that these antibacterial ingredients are safe for long-term daily use or substantially more effective than nonantibacterial soap in preventing illness, according to a press release. “Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” Janet Woodcock, director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in the statement. “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.” More at:

FDA approves VisuMax Femtosecond Laser to surgically treat nearsightedness

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the VisuMax Femtosecond Laser for the small incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) procedure to reduce or eliminate nearsightedness in certain patients 22 years of age or older. Not all patients are candidates for SMILE, and individuals should carefully review the patient labeling and discuss their expectations with their eye care professional. “This approval expands the surgical treatment options available to patients for correcting nearsightedness,” said Malvina Eydelman, M.D., director of Ophthalmic and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices, in FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. More at:

FDA Finds Monsanto’s Weed Killer In U.S. Honey

The Food and Drug Administration, under public pressure to start testing samples of U.S. food for the presence of a pesticide that has been linked to cancer, has some early findings that are not so sweet.

In examining honey samples from various locations in the United States, the FDA has found fresh evidence that residues of the weed killer called glyphosate can be pervasive – found even in a food that is not produced with the use of glyphosate. All of the samples the FDA tested in a recent examination contained glyphosate residues, and some of the honey showed residue levels double the limit allowed in the European Union, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. There is no legal tolerance level for glyphosate in honey in the United States. More at:

Fossil evidence reveals that cancer in humans goes back 1.7 million years

Cancer is often viewed as a fundamentally modern and monolithic disease. Many people think its rise and spread has been driven almost exclusively by the developed world’s toxins and poisons; by our bad eating habits, lifestyles, and the very air we breathe. Actually, cancer is not a single disease. It is also far from modern. New fossil evidence suggests that its origins lie deep in prehistory. We recently published two papers in the South African Journal of Science that describe the discovery and diagnosis of the earliest benign tumour and earliest malignant cancer to affect the human family. Tumours and cancers are collectively known as neoplastic diseases. Until now, the oldest evidence of neoplasia in the hominin fossil record dated back 120,000 years. This was found in a rib fragment of a Neanderthal from Krapina in Croatia. But our discovery, in two South African cave sites, offers definitive evidence of cancer in hominins – human ancestors – as far back as 1.7 million years ago. More at: 

E-cigarettes may have helped 18,000 people quit smoking in 2015

E-cigarettes may have helped about 18,000 people in England to give up smoking in 2015, according to new research (link is external) published in the British Medical Journal today. Researchers at the Health behaviour Research Centre at UCL(link is external) analysed data from the Smoking Toolkit study – which provides the latest information on smoking and smoking cessation in England – and data on the percentage of the smokers who set a quit date with Stop Smoking Services(link is external). There was no evidence that e-cigarettes prompted more people to try and quit, but over this time period, as more people used e-cigarettes, more people successfully quit smoking. It’s estimated that 2.8 million people in the UK use e-cigarettes. And they are the most popular smoking cessation aid in the UK. More at:

Could beef be the simple cure for diabetes?

Did you know the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is estimating that if current trends continue, as many as one in three U.S. adults will be diagnosed with diabetes by 2050? That’s a huge jump from one in 10 U.S. adults who suffer from diabetes currently. There are 24 million people who deal with the troubling complications that come with a diabetes diagnosis, including kidney failure, blindness, leg and foot injuries/amputations, and staggering medical costs. With these startling statistics, it’s no wonder there are so many programs, initiatives and weight loss “snake juice potions” out there promising to alleviate the effects of diabetes. With all of the information out there, it can be overwhelming for folks trying to find answers, but could the cure rest with a simple food item like beef? More at:

Diabetes risk soars by a quarter if you eat oily fish like salmon or mackerel every day

Eating a portion of salmon, mackerel or sardines a day increases the risk of developing diabetes by a quarter, according to new research. Oily fish, rich in omega 3s, have become a keystone in recommendations for a healthy diet, warding off a range of conditions from heart disease to dementia, according to nuritionists. But a study of more than 70,000 women found those who ate the most increased their risk of developing diabetes by more than a quarter, compared to those who ate the least. Oily fish is rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) which are said to boost brain power, keep hearts healthy and strengthen bones. More at:

Blood cancer drug approved for use on Scottish NHS

Scottish patients with a rare form of blood cancer have been granted access to a daily pill which could prolong their lives and reduce treatment side effects. The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) approved the drug dasatinib for use on the NHS for adult patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), an aggressive form of blood cancer which affects around 460 Scots. Patients north of the border will be the first in the UK to access the daily medication, which will allow many to live a more normal life as it offers a quicker response than existing treatments. The regulatory body also approved treatments for advanced skin cancer and blood clots. More at:

HPV-caused throat cancer on the rise

Instances of HPV-caused throat cancer are on the rise and a lack of awareness means some cases are getting overlooked. There are different anatomic parts of the throat where cancer occurs. In the U.S. and Canada, 80 to 90 percent of cancers found in an area known as the oropharynx are now caused by HPV — the human papilloma virus, Tucson head and neck cancer surgeon Dr. Steven J. Wang says. The oropharynx includes the back one-third of the tongue, the soft palate, the side and back walls of the throat, and the tonsils. “It’s really a remarkable change from when I was in training in the late ’90s. It’s completely turned around in terms of the cause of this particular type of cancer,” Wang said in a recent interview. More at:

Researchers use a single molecule to command stem cells to build new bone

Researchers at the University of California San Diego have discovered an easy and efficient way to coax human pluripotent stem cells to regenerate bone tissue — by feeding them adenosine, a naturally occurring molecule in the body. The stem-cell-derived bone tissue helped repair cranial bone defects in mice without developing tumors or causing infection. More at:

2 Nobel judges to be dismissed over stem-cell doctor scandal

The panel that awards the Nobel Prize in medicine is dismissing two judges for their roles in a scandal over a disgraced stem cell scientist at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute. Nobel Assembly secretary Thomas Perlmann told Swedish news agency TT on Tuesday that Harriet Wallberg and Anders Hamsten would be asked to leave the 50-member group, which will announce the annual award next month. Wallberg and Hamsten have already left high-ranking jobs at Karolinska amid scathing criticism of how the institute handled allegations of scientific misconduct against stem-cell scientist Dr. Paolo Macchiarini. More at:

Study shows obese patients with kidney cancer may live longer

Obesity usually shortens our lifespan but a new US study found that overweight patients with advanced kidney cancer had significantly longer survival than those who were normal or underweight.

Having a high body mass index (BMI) is a well-established risk factor for clear cell renal cell carcinoma, the most common type of kidney cancer. BMI is the ratio of weight in kilograms divided by the squared height in meters. The new study published on Monday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology involving about 7,000 patients in four databases, however, showed that when overweight individuals developed kidney cancer — especially in its advanced, metastatic form — their disease progressed more slowly and they lived longer than their normal-weight counterparts, Xinhua news agency reported. More at:

New Drugs for Ovarian Cancer Patients

A new class of drugs could be a significant step forward in the treatment of ovarian cancer, one of the most lethal forms of the disease.

The drugs, known as PARP inhibitors, are thought to help the body slow the disease’s progression by helping to prevent cancer cells from repairing themselves after chemotherapy treatment, thereby shrinking tumors and delaying relapses. The drugs don’t work in everyone, and are thought to have the greatest effect in women with mutations of the BRCA genes, who represent about 15% of ovarian-cancer patients. But recent research, still ongoing, indicates that the drugs may benefit an additional 35% of patients with different genetic profiles. More at:

NHS ‘could save billions of pounds if patients self-manage their diabetes’

The NHS must do more to help people with diabetes self-manage their condition, health leaders have said after a review concluded that the current way sufferers are cared for is “unsustainable”.

A Care Quality Commission (CQC) review on diabetes care in England stated that the challenge posed by the disease is “enormous”. There are 3.5 million patients with diabetes, and care for them accounts for 10% of the NHS budget. A s the number of people with Type 2 diabetes continues to grow, the ” current model of care provision will become unsustainable”, the authors said. More at:

Alert dog helps girl cope with her diabetes

Brystin Fleetwood does not sense when her volatile blood sugar dips too low. Although the 12-year-old Bloomington girl cannot feel the changes in her body, a brown-and-white rescue dog who stays perpetually by her side can.

Brystin has Type 1 diabetes and falls in the 20 percent or so of diabetics whose sugar can dip with no warning symptoms. If her blood sugar drops too low, she could pass out or have seizures. When this happens, Gracie delivers a gentle nose bump to her hand, letting Brystin know it’s time to test her blood glucose level. After about 15 minutes, Brystin will recheck to see whether she needs more insulin to counteract high blood sugar or needs to eat something to bring a low sugar level back to normal range. More at:

‘Fat but fit’ won’t prevent type 2 diabetes risk, study finds

Maintaining a healthy weight is the single most effective way to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, no matter how much you hit the gym, new research has found.

An Australian study of more than 30,000 people has found being physically active won’t protect you from developing the disease if you are already overweight or obese.According to the research, those who were obese – even if they were physically active and spent little time sitting – had five times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with people of normal weight, even those who had lower levels of physical activity and who sat more. More at:

FDA issues final rule on safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today issued a final rule establishing that over-the-counter (OTC) consumer antiseptic wash products containing certain active ingredients can no longer be marketed. Companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with these ingredients because manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections. Some manufacturers have already started removing these ingredients from their products.

This final rule applies to consumer antiseptic wash products containing one or more of 19 specific active ingredients, including the most commonly used ingredients – triclosan and triclocarban. These products are intended for use with water, and are rinsed off after use.  This rule does not affect consumer hand “sanitizers” or wipes, or antibacterial products used in health care settings. More at:

FDA warning letters: Seafood HACCP problems, drug residues

A seafood importer and processor in Los Angeles and a dairy operation in Arizona were recipients of the most recently posted food-related warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. FDA’s Los Angeles District Office sent a letter dated March 7 to Los Angeles Fish Co. describing the results of an inspection of its seafood processing and importer establishment on Nov. 18, 20 and 23, 2015.

The agency found that the company did not have a written Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan for salmon intended for raw consumption to control the food safety hazards of parasites, pathogen growth and toxin formation, and undeclared allergens. More at:

FDA: Beware of dangers of combining drugs

The Food and Drug Administration is issuing strong new warnings that the combined use of opioid medications and benzodiazepines, a class of anti-anxiety medications better known by such commercial names as Xanax and Ativan, can dangerously suppress breathing and cause coma or death.

The drug safety agency is recommending that physicians take extra care in prescribing medication regimens that mix the two classes of drugs. And it is alerting people who use — or abuse — such drugs to the “serious risks” of taking them together. More at:

All cities will be too hot due to climate change to host the Olympic after 2088. Europe to be the best option

Using climate modelling and a measure of heat stress to the human body, researchers led by Kirk Smith, an environmental-health researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, judged whether cities would be suitable for hosting the Games. The authors used a measure known as the wet-bulb globe temperature, which takes into account how factors including temperature, humidity and wind speed affect people, especially during exercise. They used climate models under a high-emissions scenario to predict what this measurement would be for various cities in the future. The team proposed that it would be low risk to run a marathon if the wet-bulb globe temperature is less than 26 °C in the shade. Any location that had a more than 10% chance of having higher temperatures for the marathon would not be a viable host city. More at:

No solution yet to overcome the shortage of antivenom

Snakes kill tens of thousands of people each year and health crisis is escalating over the bite of Vipers, mambas and taipans. In an average year, hundreds of Nigerians and people in the other parts of the world die from snakebite, and that rainy season. Snakebites are a growing public-health crisis. According to the World Health Organization, around 5 million people worldwide are bitten by snakes each year; more than 100,000 of them die and as many as 400,000 endure amputations and permanent disfigurement. Some estimates point to a higher toll: one systematic survey concluded that in India alone, more than 45,000 people died in 2005 from snakebite— around one-quarter the number that died from HIV/AIDS (see ‘The toll of snakebite’). “It’s the most neglected of the world’s neglected tropical diseases,” says David Williams, a toxinologist and herpetologist at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and chief executive of the non-profit organization Global Snakebite Initiative in Herston. More at:

The fish famous for its human-like teeth has popped up again in US lakes

THE fish, famous for its human-like teeth, has popped up again. The cousin of the piranha, the pacu, was discovered in two lakes in Michigan last month. The sea creature, which is native to South America, has showed-up in Lake St. Clair and Port Huron, according to the Michigan Department of Natural resources (DNR). Earlier this year, the same fish had been found in a Russian pond. The piranha-like fish made headlines worldwide because of the uncanny resemble of its teeth to human teeth. Where the piranha has razor-sharp teeth, the pacus’ teeth are blunt and squared off, just like humans. The pacu was reportedly caught three times last month by fishermen that sported those lakes. The red-bellied “vegetarian” fish was reportedly brought in to the lake by people who kept it as pets. The DNR said that pacus generally grow beyond the capacity of their tank, which may be the reason people are dumping them illegally in these lakes. They are generally found in rivers in the Amazon but since 2013, they have been spotted in Papua New Guinea, Sweden, and France and in more than 25 other states in the US. More at:

Poison fears over berries of tree used for anti-cancer cure

A  NATIVE tree that is the source of potential cancer treatment has been taken off the market, partly out of fears customers may harm themselves trying to make homegrown cancer cures. The blushwood tree (Fontainea picrosperma), which grows on the Atherton Tablelands, contains a chemical compound in its seeds which research firm QBiotics has dev­eloped into the anti-cancer drug EBC-46. The Brisbane-based scientists last week released results from their first human clinical trials of the cancer treatment, showing it successfully treated four different types of ­tumours, melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and breast adenocarcinoma. Plant experts, however, have cautioned those seeking to develop “homegrown” cancer cures from blushwood seeds to leave the science to scientists, due to the potentially deadly effects the plant’s berries could have. More at:

Cancer is now the leading cause of death in 22 states. Surprisingly, that’s good news.

For a long time, if you lived in America, there was a very good chance you’d die of heart disease. For more than half a century, it’s been far and away the leading cause of death here.

In recent years, however, the picture has started to change. The gap is narrowing between deaths due to heart disease and deaths caused by cancer in the United States, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.After peaking in 1985, heart disease deaths have been falling (with a small uptick after 2010). Meanwhile, the number of deaths from cancer has nearly tripled since the 1950s. More at:

A lab is liquidated, and so is decade of cancer studies

Lynn Hlatky has spent her career as a scientist studying the development of cancer, hoping in some way to improve understanding of an insidious disease. She took a path common in her field: won funding, established a lab, assembled a team of colleagues, and got to work. But now, a decade of Hlatky’s work is suddenly gone. After a highly unusual chain of events, thousands of little glass tubes of cells and proteins, pieces of human tumor tissue, and other biological samples have been destroyed. The materials fell victim to the bankruptcy of Genesys Research Institute Inc., a nonprofit that in 2013 took control of Hlatky’s lab on the campus of St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton. More at:

Anti-cancer drug discovered in rainforest successfully tested on humans

A POTENTIAL cancer cure discovered in Far North Queensland that has been successfully tested on human patients is hoped to become commercially available in four years. Brisbane-based researchers QBiotics have released the ­results of their first clinical trials of the drug EBC-46. The drug has been derived from the seeds of the rainforest blushwood tree, which grows on the Tablelands. Eight cancer patients across Australia were tested with the drug, which successfully treated four different types of ­tumours that included melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and breast adenocarcinoma. QBiotics CEO Dr Victoria Gordon said none of the ­patients, who were treated at hospitals in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, showed any negative side ­effects from the drug. More at:

Concern at fall in uptake of free cervical cancer vaccine

The Irish Cancer Society has expressed concern at the decline in the number of girls receiving the HPV vaccine for cervical cancer. Speaking ahead of the new school term, it said provisional figures for the 2015/2016 academic year suggested that of the 31,272 schoolgirls eligible for the free vaccine, some 9,382 did not avail of it. That take-up rate of 70 per cent was much lower than the 87 per cent rate during the 2014/2015 school year. The society said the reduction coincided with media coverage of “alleged illnesses caused by the vaccine”. The charity said some parents were now fearful of the vaccine and as a result it was organising a series of awareness-raising talks. More at:

Pfizer to buy cancer drug maker in $14 billion deal

NEW YORK — Medivation, which makes the big-selling drug Xtandi to treat prostate cancer, has finally found its buyer in a fellow US drug maker, Pfizer. Pharmaceutical companies from all over the world placed bids for Medivation in an auction after it rebuffed an offer by French drug maker Sanofi. On Monday, Pfizer said that it had prevailed, with a $14 billion agreement to acquire Medivation, representing $81.50 a share in cash. The frenzy over Medivation shows what pharmaceutical companies are willing to pay for oncology deals. At one point in February, Medivation stock was selling for less than $30 a share. When Medivation agreed in July to speak with several interested parties, the company’s chairman, Kim Blickenstaff, said it had “significant scarcity value as one of the only profitable, commercial-stage oncology companies.” More at:

British study finds combined HRT nearly triples risk of breast cancer

Women who rely on the most commonly used form of hormone replacement therapy are roughly three times more likely to develop breast cancer than those who do not use it, according to a study whose results suggest the risk of illness has been previously understated. Those using the combined HRT therapy, a combination of oestrogen and progestogen, were running a risk 2.7 times greater than non-users, according to a study by scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London. Previous investigations may have underestimated the increased risk by up to 60%, the study added. More at:

Women with breast implants warned of rare cancer

Women who decide to have breast implants, either for cosmetic reasons or to rebuild after a mastectomy, are being given a new warning about a rare cancer directly linked to the implants. Earlier this year, the U.S. FDA warned that it has received more reports about a type of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or ALCL, in women with breast implants. For a long time, doctors dismissed concerns that breast implants could cause cancer. But the FDA says it has reviewed as many as 250 cases of ALCL in women with breast implants worldwide. “All of the information to date still suggests that women with breast implants may have a very low but increased risk of developing ALCL,” the FDA says on its website. More at:

 New research shows the jobs you have in your 20s and 30s can affect your overall health in your 40s onward.

According to a 2014 report, most Americans – around 52 percent – were unhappy with their job. Few would suspect, Job dissatisfaction has negative health effects by age 40

Many people strive to have a fulfilling, rewarding job, but the reality does not always meet the however, that this would have substantial health implications for later in their lives. A new study conducted at the Ohio State University, by Jonathan Dirlam, a doctoral student in sociology, was set up to investigate the long-term health effects of job satisfaction, or lack of it, earlier in people’s careers. More at:

Amiselimod shows promising results in the treatment of relapsing multiple sclerosis (MOMENTUM trial)

The randomized trial was conducted at 84 centers in Canada and Europe. Between Jan 31, 2013, and Dec 24, 2013, 536 patients were screened and 415 patients randomly assigned to amiselimod 0·1 mg (n=105), 0·2 mg (n=103), 0·4 mg (n=104), or placebo (n=103). Amiselimod 0·2 mg and 0·4 mg significantly reduced the total number of gadolinium-enhanced T1-weighted lesions. The safety and efficacy profiles of amiselimod suggest that this S1P1 receptor modulator is a new potential treatment in multiple sclerosis and potentially other immune-mediated inflammatory diseases and deserves further investigation. More at:

Tobacco companies get partial win in FDA labeling fight

Tobacco companies notched a partial victory in a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s authority to require pre-clearance for tobacco products with changed labels or quantities. U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday vacated part of an FDA directive stating tobacco companies may need the agency’s clearance to market products with significant labeling modifications, such as a change in color or logo. However, Mehta said that the agency could require clearance for marketing a tobacco product with a different quantity – for instance, an increase in the number of cigarettes per pack. The ruling comes in a lawsuit filed last year by subsidiaries of Imperial Brands, Reynolds American Inc and Altria Group over FDA guidelines clarifying what changes to a tobacco product require regulatory approval under the 2009 Tobacco Control Act, which gave the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products. More at:

Novavax Vaccine May Be Game Changer

Respiratory syncytial virus vaccine could be a game changer for medicine and Novavax. Novavax management continues to expect release of top-line data from the Phase 3 Resolve trial of the company’s respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine during this quarter. If safe and effective, the vaccine would likely be the first active vaccine for preventing RSV infection to be marketed. The significance of the global unmet medical need should, in our opinion, position Novavax well to negotiate from a position of strength with multiple partners seeking to gain access to ex-U.S. market rights. More at:

US grants for zebrafish studies on the rise

Zebrafish are the rising stars of model-organism research, an analysis of grants from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) shows. The analysis revealed that grants for zebrafish studies accounted for 0.8% of all R01 awards in 2008, but for 1.27% in 2015 — a rise of almost 60%. And the proportion of C. elegans studies rose from 0.87% to 0.98%, a more modest overall increase of about 36%. By contrast, awards for research with Xenopus frogs dropped by some 30%, from 0.83% to 0.57%. More at:

AstraZeneca drug selumetinib fails in lung cancer study

AstraZeneca’s cancer drug pipeline suffered a setback on Tuesday when the experimental drug selumetinib failed to meet its goal in a late-stage trial for lung cancer. Hopes for the medicine had already been reduced after it failed in another study for treating a rare cancer of the eye in July 2015, although it may still have a role in a type of thyroid cancer and in cancers growing along nerve tissue. Selumetinib is viewed as less important than AstraZeneca’s recently launched cancer drugs Tagrisso and Lynparza, and its closely watched experimental product durvalumab. More at:

Drinking tap water in the US could give you cancer, scientists warn

More than six million people in the US are drinking water that contains poisonous industrial chemicals linked with cancer and other health problems at levels higher than official safety limits, according to a major new study. Researchers from Harvard University and other institutions used information about 36,000 water samples collected nationwide by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 2013-2015. They found that chemicals known as PFASs were present in 194 out of 4,864 public water supplies. And 66 water supplies had at least one sample that was above the EPA safety limit. More at:

New drug for severe asthma ‘shows massive promise’

“Asthma drug ‘gamechanger’ could revolutionise treatment,” The Guardian reports after a new drug called fevipiprant showed promising results in a small study of 61 people with moderate to severe asthma. Asthma is an autoimmune condition, which means the immune system – the body’s defence against infections – malfunctions and attacks healthy tissue. It can cause inflammation of the airways, which can lead to breathing difficulties. More at:

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen at the Laboratory of Entomology and Ecology of the Dengue Branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in San Juan, March 6, 2016. Picture taken March 6, 2016. REUTERS/Alvin Baez

10 more Zika cases have been identified in Florida. Here’s what you need to know

The number of Zika virus infections in Florida is on the rise. Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced that a total of 14 people are believed to have contracted the virus in the state. This is up from the four infections announced last week by the Florida Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which signaled that the virus is likely circulating in local mosquitos near Miami. The 14 infected people include 12 men and two women. More at:

Smartphones are causing a ‘visual health crisis’ in China

According to a recent Nomura research report, the main two takeaways from the paper, from Peking University’s China Centre for Health Development, were that the prevalence of visual problems in China is far above the global average, and that the problem is quickly getting worse. In 2012, around 500 million people in China had an uncorrected visual defect. 450 million of those had myopia, or nearsightedness. That’s about a third of the population. And the report forecasts that barring policy interventions, around 700 million people will have myopia by 2020 – half of the population. Smartphone penetration has been increasing in recent years, and when you combine the increased screen time with decreasing time spent outside, the eye strain and damage has serious consequences. More at:

Leishmaniasis Ruins Afghan Women’s Lives

Sitting in the government-run Leishmaniasis Treatment Centre in Khost, 22-year-old Rahima covered her hand with her scarf. She said that she was sick of being stared at and insulted because of the open sore on her hand, a sign of leishmaniosis infection. “I have hidden my hand because people are horrible to me,” Rahima said, explaining that she was poor and lived in a village. She knew little about leishmaniasis apart from the fact that it was transmitted to human beings by a kind of fly. “In the past, medicine and mosquito nets were distributed free by government and some organisations, but now we have to pay for them,” Rahima continued. ”I come from a big family and when we tell our men that we need mosquito nets, they say that we don’t have money because every mosquito net costs 10 dollars.” More at:

New find brings HIV vaccine closer to reality

A team of scientists has identified immunological profiles of people who make powerful HIV antibodies, paving the way for development of a vaccine. People living with HIV who naturally produce broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) that may help suppress the virus have different immunological profiles than people who do not, researchers report. While bNAbs cannot completely clear HIV infections in people who have already acquired the virus, many scientists believe a successful preventive HIV vaccine must induce bNAbs. More at:

Chinese man, 70, has enormous gallstone the size of a MELON removed after it went unnoticed for decades

Doctors in Luotian County in Hubei Province, central China, made a shocking discovery when they found a 5.5-inch-tall gallstone inside the body of a 70-year-old man. The rare egg shaped stone, that can only be described as the color of rotting flesh, was successfully removed from Zhang Guolun’s gallbladder yesterday, reports The People’s Daily Online. After it was removed, the Luotian County People’s Hospital released a shocking video of the giant stone that weighed a whopping 2.6 lbs. More at:

In UK, pay four times the cost of a cataract operation to skip queue, elderly are told

Hospitals are allowing patients to jump the queue for vital cataract operations – if they pay up to four times the standard rate, an investigation has found. They are increasingly encouraging the elderly and others affected to pay for the procedure out of their own pocket as it is being rationed by the National Health Service. Some charge £3,500 for an operation on one eye when it normally costs the hospital £800, sparking fears that vulnerable patients are being ripped-off. More at:

Delhi has maximum diabetes patients in country: study

A whopping 42.5 per cent of the Capital’s population is diabetic, says a study released by The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM). According to the study – “Diabetes on the Rise in India” – Delhi is leading the diabetes pack, followed by Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and Chennai. The study has also found that if change of lifestyle and food habits are not made, 125 million Indians are likely to become patients of diabetes by 2035. More at:

Protein shakes recalled over allergy risk

 A health product manufacturer is recalling a batch of protein shakes because they contain potential allergens not mentioned on the label. Premia Health is updating its recall of Premia Whey (Milk Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla flavours) because they contain undeclared soya and gluten, and Protein Active Shakes (including Diet Whey and Protein) because they contain undeclared gluten. Protein shakes and other supplements have exploded in popularity in recent years – according to Euromonitor figures worldwide sales of sports related protein products grew from £2.5bn in 2007 to £4.9bn in 2012 and are likely to reach £7.8bn in 2017. Protein supplements are popular with bodybuilders, but have found popularity with gym goers of all levels.More at:

New compound may help prevent epilepsy

 NEW YORK: A team of researchers have developed neuroprotective compounds that may help prevent the development of epilepsy in humans. Researchers from Louisiana State University in the US, discovered and patented the compounds known as LAU that prevented the seizures and their damaging effects on dendritic spines in an experimental model of epilepsy in mice. Epilepsy is a disorder in which nerve cell activity in the brain is disturbed, causing seizures. More at:

Anti-malaria drug could make tumours easier to treat

An anti-malaria drug could help radiotherapy destroy tumours according to a Cancer Research UK-funded study published in Nature Communications today. The study, carried out at the Cancer Research UK Radiation Research Centre(link is external) in Oxford, looked at the effect of the drug, called atovaquone, on tumours with low oxygen levels in mice to see if it could be repurposed to treat cancer. Radiotherapy works by damaging the DNA in cells. A good supply of oxygen reduces the ability of cancer cells to repair broken DNA. So when a tumour has low levels of oxygen, it can repair itself more easily after radiotherapy. This means that tumours with low oxygen levels are more difficult to treat successfully with radiotherapy. They are also more likely to spread to other parts of the body. More at:

First baby with Zika-related microcephaly defect born in Spain

A woman infected with the Zika virus gave birth to a baby with the brain-damaging disorder microcephaly in Spain on Monday, her hospital said, and the first case of its kind in Europe. The mother, who has not been identified, caught the virus on a trip abroad but authorities have declined to say where. A hospital source said she was infected in Latin America, where the virus is prevalent. “The baby did not require any resuscitation,” Felix Castillo, neonatal chief at the Vall d’Hebron hospital in Barcelona, told a press conference, adding that the infant’s vital signs were “normal and stable”. More at:

£1.2 million for injectable stem-cell carrying microspheres to regenerate bones

The University of Nottingham has secured £1.2m to develop injectable stem cell-carrying materials to treat and prevent fractures caused by osteoporosis and other bone-thinning diseases. The experimental materials consist of porous microspheres produced from calcium phosphates – a key component in bones – to be filled with stem cells extracted from the patient. The targeted therapy could offer a quick, easy and minimally-invasive treatment that is injected into areas considered to be at high-risk of fracture to promote bone regeneration. More at:

Roche’s Gazyva Fails in Phase III B-cell Lymphoma Study

Roche Holding AG announced disappointing results from the phase III study, GOYA, on Gazyva for previously untreated diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL). The global phase III, open-label, multicenter, randomized, two-arm study examined the efficacy and safety of the combination of Gazyva and CHOP chemotherapy (G-CHOP) against Rituxan plus CHOP chemotherapy (R-CHOP). The trial failed to meet the primary endpoint of a reduction in the risk of disease worsening or death (progression-free survival) compared to Rituxan plus R-CHOP. Adverse events were consistent in both arms. More at:

Beta cell failure may contribute to type 2 diabetes

Failure of a significant minority of insulin-producing beta cells could contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes, research has suggested. Scientists claim production of insulin, which regulates the amount of sugar in the blood, is controlled by up to 10 per cent of beta cells. The dominant cells are part of ‘hubs’ in the pancreas, the new discovery published in Cell Metabolism, has found. The findings provide a “revised blueprint” of how pancreatic islets – which are tiny clusters of cells scattered throughout the pancreas including beta calls – behave and could lead to the development of new drugs. More at:

Flu vaccine may reduce risk of death for type 2 diabetes patients

The flu vaccine may reduce the likelihood of being hospitalized with stroke and heart failure in people with type 2 diabetes, according to new research. The study, from scientists at Imperial College London, also found patients who received the influenza vaccination had a 24 per cent lower death rate in the flu season compared to patients who weren’t vaccinated. The team, who published their findings in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) studied 124, 503 UK adults with type 2 diabetes between 2003 and 2010. Around 65 per cent of these patients received the flu vaccine. The scientists found that, compared to patients who had not been vaccinated, those who received the jab had a 30 per cent reduction in hospital admissions for stroke, 22 per cent reduction in heart failure admissions and 15 per cent reduction in admissions for pneumonia or influenza. More at:

New hope for patients of Type 1 diabetes, psoriasis

Antibodies derived from people suffering from a rare autoimmune disorder may have therapeutic potential for Type 1 diabetes and psoriasis — a chronic, recurrent inflammatory skin disorder, says a study conducted on mice. An international team, led by researchers from King’s College London, analyzed samples taken from 81 people with a rare autoimmune disorder called autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 (APECED). More at:

Chinese scientists to pioneer first human CRISPR trial

Chinese scientists are on the verge of being first in the world to inject people with cells modified using the CRISPR–Cas9 gene-editing technique. A team led by Lu You, an oncologist at Sichuan University’s West China Hospital in Chengdu, plans to start testing such cells in people with lung cancer next month. The clinical trial received ethical approval from the hospital’s review board on 6 July. “It’s an exciting step forward,” says Carl June, a clinical researcher in immunotherapy at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. More at:

Aspirin a day may keep cancer away

Aspirin could help prevent three forms of gastrointestinal cancer that are most common worldwide, including India, said Jack Cuzick, an expert in clinical oncology. In Kolkata, to deliver the Tata oration in clinical oncology, US-based Cuzick said that aspirin, one of the cheapest and most commonly available drugs, not only reduces the risk of GI cancers but also prevents metastases or spread of the disease. It’s important for India to explore easy and cheap options like this to combat the growing menace of cancer, felt Cuzick. Around 11% of all cancer patients in Bengal state suffer from GI cancers. In Kolkata, this number is around 5,000. More at:

FDA Investigating Hair Loss Claims Linked to WEN by Chaz Dean Products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports of hair loss, balding, rashes and other issues stemming from the use of WEN by Chaz Dean Cleansing Conditioners, a line of products by a Los Angeles stylist. In a post on its website, the FDA said consumers who experienced a reaction after using WEN conditioner products should stop using the product and consult with their dermatologist or other health care provider. Consumers should also report to the FDA any reactions they may have experienced while using the products. The conditioners come in three varieties: Sweet Almond Mint, Lavender and Pomegranate.

Toothache leads to multi-organ dysfunction

Toothache can lead to multi-organ dysfunction if not taken care if timely manner. One such example is of 26-Year-old woman named Mala who landed in ICU and was unable to drink, eat or speak. She never imagined that lack of oral hygiene could prove so disastrous. What started as a simple toothache landed the employee of a premier Bschool and gym trainer in an ICU, with multi-organ dysfunction. Mala survived three mild cardiac attacks and was on ventilator for two months before recovery. When a toothache and swelling in her right jaw bothered Mala, she, like any other youngster, thought painkillers would be the cure. However, those didn’t help. In fact, the ache led to dental cellulitis and the swelling made its way to her throat, blocking the passage. An examination revealed the infection had spread to her vital organs and she was diagnosed with multiple organ dysfunction syndrome. More at:

Suspending a chicken over your bed could protect against Zika virus and malaria

It sounds like a pretty ‘fowl’ suggestion but the odour of chickens could be the key to preventing malaria or even Zika, scientists believe.

Experiments by Swedish and Ethiopian scientists found that mosquitoes steer clear of homes which contain a live chicken suspended in a cage. The researchers believe mosquitoes are wary of chickens because the birds eat the insects, and their blood is not nutritious enough to be worth the taking the risk. Crucially the mosquitos do not even have to see the chicken to be diverted. The smell alone creates a poultry ‘odour bubble’ which deters even the hungriest mosquito from going anywhere near the pungent source. Most mosquitoes will not even enter a house that contains a chicken, let alone a bedroom. More at:

Zika vaccine: Quebec researchers get approval to begin testing Zika vaccine on humans

MONTREAL — A Quebec City-based research team has received the green light to begin testing a Zika vaccine on humans in collaboration with U.S.-based partners. The researchers based at Universite Laval are the first in Canada to be authorized by Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct clinical tests. The university is one of three sites that hope to begin testing a vaccine for the mosquito-borne virus in the next few days. The first phase of study involves administering the vaccine to 40 volunteers spread out over the three sites in Quebec City, Miami and Philadelphia. More at:

Diabetes may affect more teens in the U.S. than expected

There are around 29.1 million people with diabetes in the United States, and 1 in 4 of these are unaware they have diabetes. A study published in JAMA has focused specifically on diabetes among U.S. teens and finds the prevalence of the disease higher than previously reported. According to the American Diabetes Association, there are an estimated 208,000 Americans under the age of 20 with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, which represents 0.25 percent of all people in this age group. The annual incidence ofdiabetes diagnosed in young people between 2008-2009 was an estimated 18,436 with type 1 diabetes, and 5,089 with type 2 diabetes. More at:

Air pollution causes wrinkles and premature ageing, new research shows

According to latest research, increasing air pollution is prematurely ageing the faces of city dwellers by accelerating wrinkles and age spots. The effects of toxic fumes on skin are being seen in both western cities, such as London and New York, as well as in more visibly polluted Asian cities and in some cases may be the primary cause of ageing. It is also being linked to worsening skin conditions such as eczema and hives. Air pollution in urban areas, much of which comes from traffic, includes tiny particles called PMs, nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which are very dangerous for health. More at:

Three people die from alcohol a day in Ireland, report shows

Irish drinkers consume 445 pints a year as State ranks fourth in OECD for consumption. In 2014, Irish drinkers consumed an average of 11 litres of pure alcohol – equal to 29 litres of vodka, 116 bottles of wine or 445 pints of beer which is 21 per cent higher than the Department of Health’s target to reduce consumption to 9 litres per head and places Ireland fourth in the OECD, behind Estonia, France and Lithuania. Hospital discharges attributable to alcohol have doubled in the past 20 years, and alcoholic liver disease has risen three-fold, according to the study from the Health Research Board. More at:

New mosquito-borne disease causing alarm, 193 new cases

GHALLANAI: The outbreak of Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, a rising epidemic in Safi tehsil of Mohmand Agency has raised alarms as 193 cases of the disease have been registered recently. Talking to Daily Times, Dr Raza Ullah said the drive of vaccination to control leishmaniasis has been launched on emergency basis in the Safi tehsil. However, health authorities in other tehsils of the agency have also been alarmed about a possible outbreak. Leishmaniasis is transmitted by the bite of female Phlebotomine sand fly. More at:

Zika Can Be Passed From a Woman to a Man

It is already known that Zika can be transmitted sexually from a man to a woman. Now, public-health scientists have identified the first case in which a woman passed the virus to a man through sex. A woman in her 20s from New York City who was infected on a trip to an area where Zika is circulating transmitted the virus to a man through unprotected sex the day she returned home, according to a report by scientists at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The report was published Friday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. More at:

FDA approves new medication for dry eye disease

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Xiidra (lifitegrast ophthalmic solution) for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease, on Monday, July 11, 2016. Xiidra is the first medication in a new class of drugs, called lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1) antagonist, approved by the FDA for dry eye disease. “Normal tear production is needed for clear vision and eye health,” said Edward Cox, M.D., director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “This approval will provide a new treatment option for patients with dry eye disease.” More at:

Low Sodium Increases Death Risk in Peritoneal Dialysis

According to a new study: low serum sodium levels are associated with a higher risk of death among adult patients on peritoneal dialysis (PD), independent of sociodemographic factors and comorbidities. In the study, incrementally lower baseline and time-dependent serum sodium categories below 140 mEq/L were increasingly associated with higher death risk compared to a reference category of 140 to less than 142 mEq/L independent of case-mix covariates, lead investigator Connie M. Rhee, MD, MSc, of the University of California Irvine School of Medicine and colleagues reported in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation. For example, in time-dependent analyses, sodium categories of 138-<140, 136-<138, 134-<136, and <134 mEq/L were associated with a 1.5-, 2.0-, 2.8-, and 4.1-fold higher death risk compared to the reference category.

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Costly ‘breakthrough’ lung cancer drug is approved

The Scottish Medicines Consortium ruled that nivolumab should be made available on the NHS to patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which spreads to the rest of the body and can leave patients with six months to live from diagnosis. Hundreds of Scots with an incurable form of lung cancer could be given extra time with loved ones after a costly “breakthrough” drug was approved in Scotland yesterday.

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Global initiative seeks 1,000 new cancer models

An international collaboration of cancer-research heavy-weights aims to grow 1,000 new cell lines for scientists to study — and that could be just the beginning. The Human Cancer Models Initiative announced its pilot project on 11 July, and intends to complete the initial 1,000 models within 3 years. Members of the initiative include the US National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland; Cancer Research UK in London; the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, UK; and Hubrecht Organoid Technology of Utrecht in the Netherlands.


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FDA approves first HPV test for use with SurePath Preservative Fluid

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the Roche cobas HPV Test as the first test for Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that can be used with cervical cells obtained for a Pap test and collected in SurePath Preservative Fluid. Until today, the FDA had not approved any HPV tests to be used with SurePath Preservative Fluid, one of two approved liquid collection fluids commonly used for Pap tests. HPV infections are the most common sexually-transmitted infections in the United States, and HPV genotypes 16 and 18 cause approximately 70 percent of cervical cancers worldwide. According to the National Cancer Institute, there will be an estimated 12,990 new cases and 4,120 deaths from cervical cancer in the United States during 2016. The Roche cobas HPV Test with SurePath is not approved as a first-line primary HPV screening test. In addition, health care professionals should use the cobas HPV Test results together with other information, such as the patient screening history and risk factors.


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FDA approves Differin Gel 0.1% for over-the-counter use to treat acne

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Differin Gel 0.1% (adapalene), a once-daily topical gel for the over-the-counter (OTC) treatment of acne for use in people 12 years of age and older. Differin Gel 0.1% is the first in a class of drugs known as retinoids to be made available OTC for the treatment of acne, and contains the first new active ingredient for acne treatment for OTC use since the 1980s. Acne is a common skin disease that affects approximately 50 million people in the United States. Women who are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breast-feeding should ask a doctor before use. Differin Gel 0.1% is distributed by Galderma Laboratories, L.P., based in Fort Worth, Texas.


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Give HPV vaccine to boys to protect against cancers, experts say

Millions of young British men are being denied a vaccine that could protect them from throat cancers in later life. Scientists say the problem is becoming increasingly worrying as rates of human papilloma virus (HPV) – a common sexually transmitted infection and the prime cause of these cancers – are now rising exponentially. Researchers want the government to include adolescent boys in the current vaccine programme that immunizes girls aged 12 and 13 against HPV before they become sexually active. HPV in women is known to lead to cervical cancers. The vaccine, if extended to boys, would protect them in later life against HPV-related head and neck cancers. “If we want to eradicate male throat cancers – which are soaring in numbers – we need to act speedily and that means giving them the HPV vaccine we now give to girls,” said Professor Mark Lawler of Queen’s University Belfast.

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Statins linked to dramatic reduction in cancer death rates, research suggests

Statins may significantly cut the risk of dying from four of the most common cancers, research has suggested. Scientists have found the number of deaths among cancer patients diagnosed with high cholesterol see “striking” reductions following treatment with the cholesterol-lowering drugs. A study has found that those diagnosed with high cholesterol have a 43 per cent lower risk of dying from breast cancer, 47 per cent from prostate cancer, 30 per cent from bowel cancer and 22 per cent from lung cancer. 

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2The Zika virus has now been transmitted sexually in Spain

Spain has recorded its first known case of the Zika virus being sexually transmitted, after a woman contracted it from her partner, according to health authorities in Madrid. Her partner returned to Spain from a Latin American country. The woman most likely contracted the virus just after her partner returned, a spokesman for Madrid’s health authorities said. The woman’s partner was diagnosed with the virus shortly after he returned from an unspecified country in Latin America, either in late April or early May. According to Spanish media, the woman is not pregnant.

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Devouring 1,000 Mosquitoes an Hour, Bats Are Now Welcome Guests as Zika Fears Rise

NORTH HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — As mosquito season heats up, bringing with it the threat of the West Nile and Zika viruses, one Long Island town is taking an unorthodox approach: bats. The town, North Hempstead, has approved the construction of boxes that function as bat houses in several parks to attract more bats to the area. “Bats can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes per hour,” Judi Bosworth, the town supervisor, said. “That’s extraordinary. A pesticide couldn’t do that.” The town started encouraging the building and hanging of bat houses in its parks in 2007 to curb the use of pesticides, and it has added a few more each year since.

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FDA approves implantable device that changes the shape of the cornea to correct near vision

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the Raindrop Near Vision Inlay, a device implanted in the cornea (the clear, front surface) of one eye to improve near vision in certain patients with presbyopia. It is the second FDA-approved implantable corneal device for correction of near vision in patients who have not had cataract surgery and the first implantable device that changes the shape of the cornea to achieve improved vision. Presbyopia is the loss of the ability to change the focusing power of the eye, resulting in diminished near vision. “Given the prevalence of presbyopia and the aging of the baby boomer population, the need for near vision correction will likely rise in the coming years,” said William Maisel, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director for science and chief scientist in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “The Raindrop Near Vision Inlay provides a new option for surgical, outpatient treatment of presbyopia.”

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