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Medical Xpress - latest medical and health news stories

Medical Xpress internet news portal provides the latest news on science including: Physics, Nanotechnology, Life Sciences, Space Science, Earth Science, Environment, Health and Medicine.


Price hikes push health insurance shoppers into hard choices

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 11:11:53 EST

Margaret Leatherwood has eight choices for health insurance next year but no good options.

Landmark CAR-T cancer study published

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 11:11:36 EST

Loyola University Medical Center is the only Chicago center that participated in the pivotal clinical trial of a groundbreaking cancer treatment that genetically engineers a patient's immune system to attack cancer cells.

Sequencing offers clues to progression toward multiple myeloma

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 11:11:01 EST

Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have carried out the largest genomic analysis of patients with smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM), a precursor to full-blown blood cancer that doesn't show outward symptoms. The next-generation sequencing project "will help to explain the biology of the disease and how it unfolds through time from asymptomatic stages to symptomatic ones," said Mark Bustoros, MD, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of Irene Ghobrial, MD.

Global CAR T therapy trial shows high rates of durable remission for NHL

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 11:10:44 EST

In a pair of clinical trials stretching from Philadelphia to Tokyo, the chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy Kymriah (formerly known as CTL019) demonstrated long-lasting remissions in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) patients. Results from a global, multisite trial will be presented today at the 59th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta (Abstract #577). Results from the single-site study, with follow-up extending past two years, will be published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. Both studies were led by Stephen J. Schuster, MD, from the Abramson Cancer Center and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Phase 2 CAR-T study reports significant remission rates at 15-month follow up

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 11:09:56 EST

A study involving the recently approved CD19-targeting chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy shows that 42 percent of patients with aggressive large B-cell lymphoma remained in remission at 15 months following treatment with axi-cel (marketed as Yescarta).

Tracking how multiple myeloma evolves by sequencing DNA in the blood

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 08:36:33 EST

Although people with multiple myeloma usually respond well to treatment, the blood cancer generally keeps coming back. Following genetic changes in how the disease evolves over time will help to understand the disease and, eventually, deliver more effective treatments. Researchers now have successfully demonstrated techniques to track these alterations over time by analyzing cell-free DNA (cfDNA) found in blood, according to Jens Lohr, MD, PhD, a hematologist and oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Major recall of Lactalis baby milk over salmonella fears (Update)

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 08:30:15 EST

French baby-milk maker Lactalis and health authorities have ordered a major international product recall because of fears of salmonella contamination following 26 cases of children falling sick in France.

Study explores use of checkpoint inhibitors after relapse from donor stem cell transplant

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 08:25:41 EST

Immunotherapy agents known as checkpoint inhibitors have shown considerable promise in patients with hematologic cancers who relapse after a transplant with donor stem cells. Preliminary results from the first clinical trial in these patients of one such agent - nivolumab - indicate that along with signs of effectiveness, it also produced significant side effects at the dose initially studied. The findings indicate a need for further clinical trials in this group before being considered for off-label use with these patients, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute investigators report.

Rapid responses, few adverse effects in targeted agent in Phase1 trial in rare blood disorder

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 08:25:19 EST

In a Phase 1 trial, patients with an advanced or aggressive form of systemic mastocytosis (AdvSM), a rare blood disorder, had rapid and durable responses with few adverse effects following treatment with an investigational drug that targets the genetic mutation found in more than 90 percent of cases. The once-daily pill, BLU-285, targets a mutation called KIT D816V that is found in almost all cases of AdvSM, a disease that originates in mast cells, a type of white blood cell. The results of this trial were presented at the 59th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta.

Study finds emojis promising tool for tracking cancer patients' quality of life

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 08:23:33 EST

In findings presented to the American Society of Hematology, Mayo Clinic researchers found that using emojis instead of traditional emotional scales were helpful in assessing patients' physical, emotional and overall quality of life. Researchers found that using iPhones and Apple Watches were favored by patients, and the technology helped collect study data accurately and efficiently. The study, created using Apple's ResearchKit framework, showed that Apple Watch provides objective, continuous activity data that correlates with established cancer patient-reported outcomes.

Immunotherapy drug nearly eliminates severe acute graft-versus-host disease

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 17:16:03 EST

Results from a phase 2 clinical trial, presented by Seattle Children's Research Institute at the 59th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting, show that the drug Abatacept (Orencia) nearly eliminated life-threatening severe acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) in patients receiving hematopoietic stem cell transplants.

International team identifies genetic model for predicting primary myelofibrosis outcomes

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 17:12:03 EST

A group of investigators from Mayo Clinic and multiple academic research centers in Italy have identified a genetic model for predicting outcomes in patients with primary myelofibrosis who are 70 years or younger and candidates for stem cell transplant to treat their disease. The group's findings were presented today at the 59th American Society of Hematology annual meeting in Atlanta by lead authors Alessandro Vannucchi, M.D. from the University of Florence and Ayalew Tefferi, M.D., a hematologist at Mayo Clinic.

Gene therapy improves immunity in babies with 'bubble boy' disease

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 17:11:25 EST

Early evidence suggests that gene therapy developed at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital will lead to broad protection for infants with the devastating immune disorder X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency disorder. Preliminary results from the ongoing, multicenter study were included in the press program here today at the 59th annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

For leukemia patients, transfusion needs may delay hospice care

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 17:08:45 EST

Toward the end of life, some leukemia patients depend on blood transfusions to ease their suffering. Unfortunately, the likelihood that transfusions won't be accessible through hospice care appears to be pose a significant barrier to meaningful use of the Medicare hospice benefit, researchers reported in a new presentation at the American Society of Hematology's annual meeting in Atlanta on Dec. 9.

Got scabies? Here's what to do

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 04:20:01 EST

(HealthDay)—If you or a family member develops scabies, you need to take immediate action, a dermatologist advises.

Dopamine receptor antagonist antipsychotic Tx can affect BP

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 04:10:02 EST

(HealthDay)—Use of dopaminergic antagonists and agonists can affect blood pressure (BP), according to a review published online Nov. 8 in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics.

What to do if someone's bleeding badly

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 04:03:49 EST

(HealthDay)—By knowing how to stop bleeding, you could save the life of a seriously injured person.

Obesity may be tied to higher rosacea risk in women

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 04:02:54 EST

(HealthDay)—Obesity may be associated with an increased risk for rosacea, according to a study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Researchers develop method to ensure human rights in public health services

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 03:49:37 EST

When measuring the success of public health work—from immunizations to family planning services—experts rely on sets of standardized indicators. But these indicators often neglect the voices and human rights of people who use the services, according to USC researchers.

For women with genetic risk, bi-annual MRI beats mammograms

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:00:02 EST

Intensive surveillance including a dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) exam every six months was far more effective in detecting breast cancer in younger women with a high-risk genetic profile than an annual mammogram, according to a research team based at the University of Chicago Medicine and the University of Washington, Seattle.

Study results offer another boon for PARP inhibitors in treatment of advanced breast cancer

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:00:01 EST

Patients with certain advanced hereditary breast cancers may have new treatments options on the horizon, according to two studies presented this week at the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Susan Domchek, MD, executive director of the Basser Center for BRCA at Penn's Abramson Cancer Center, will present new results from the Mediola and OlympiAD trials showing continued success of treating BRCA-related metastatic breast cancer with the PARP inhibitor olaparib with limited side effects for patients.

About 60 NC State students showing symptoms of norovirus

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 16:01:50 EST

Officials at North Carolina State University say about 60 students have shown symptoms of norovirus.

In lab research, scientists slow progression of a fatal form of muscular dystrophy

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:59:14 EST

In a paper published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, Saint Louis University (SLU) researchers report that a new drug reduces fibrosis (scarring) and prevents loss of muscle function in an animal model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), providing a promising approach in designing new medications for those suffering from DMD.

Taurine lends hand to repair cells damaged in multiple sclerosis

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:56:12 EST

New research suggests that administering taurine, a molecule naturally produced by human cells, could boost the effectiveness of current multiple sclerosis (MS) therapies. Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) found that taurine helps spark a process called remyelination, which is crucial to repairing the nerve cells damaged in multiple sclerosis.

Eating cheese every day might actually be healthy

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:00:01 EST

A nibble of cheese a day keeps the heart disease away.

Food? Drug? The FDA says this capsule could cause deadly liver and lung problems

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 14:50:01 EST

After reports of "two serious and potentially life-threatening medical conditions," the FDA this week issued a consumer alert for osteoarthritis capsule Limbrel.

Potency, purity of drugs reaching even higher levels

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 14:30:01 EST

Ten years ago, the average gram of meth available in the U.S. was 39 percent pure. Today, it is being sold in a nearly pure state, manufactured in Mexican "superlabs" and smuggled across the border to feed an epidemic of addiction.

Health risks to farmworkers increase as workforce ages

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 14:20:01 EST

That bag of frozen cauliflower sitting inside your freezer likely sprang to life in a vast field north of Salinas, Calif. A crew of men and women here use a machine to drop seedlings into the black soil. Another group follows behind, stooped over, tapping each new plant.

Influenza picking up in U.S., predominantly A(H3N2)

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 14:10:01 EST

(HealthDay)—Influenza activity was low during October 2017 but started increasing in November, with influenza A, predominantly A(H3N2), most commonly identified, according to research published in the Dec. 8 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

No increase in seizure incidence with enzalutamide in mCRPC

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 14:00:01 EST

(HealthDay)—For patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) with at least one risk factor for seizure at baseline, treatment with enzalutamide is not associated with increased incidence of seizure, according to research published online Dec. 7 in JAMA Oncology.