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Experts warn of stem cell underuse as transplants reach one million worldwide

HSCT (also known as blood and marrow transplant) is most often used to treat diseases of the blood and several types of cancer such as multiple myeloma or leukemia. For many people with these diseases the only possibility of a cure is to have a HSCT. The procedure provides healthy cells from either the patient (autologous transplantation) or from a healthy donor (allogeneic transplantation) to replace those lost to disease or chemotherapy…

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An ‘ambulance’ for the brain

“It is estimated that 20% of humans at some time will need a treatment that targets the brain,” explains Meritxell Teixid�, associate researcher at IRB Barcelona and leader of this line of investigation, “and for many diseases there are some good candidate drugs but none have the capacity to reach their target and thus there is a subsequent loss of potential. Our shuttle offers a solution to an urgent clinical need.” The work has been carried out in IRB Barcelona’s Peptides and Proteins Lab. Directed by Ernest Giralt, also senior professor of the UB, this lab is one of the few leading labs worldwide devoted to these kinds of developments…

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New drug combination for advanced breast cancer delays disease progression

The trial enrolled 118 post-menopausal women with metastatic hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer whose cancer continued to progress after being treated with an aromatase inhibitor. The study, based on work done by Doris Germain of Mt. Sinai Hospital, found that the combination of the drugs bortezomib and fulvestrant — versus fulvestrant alone — doubled the rate of survival at 12 months and reduced the chance of cancer progression overall. Bortezomib, used most commonly in treating multiple myeloma, is a proteasome inhibitor that prevents cancer cells from clearing toxic material…

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Testing for drug-resistant bacteria before prostate biopsy can reduce infections — ScienceDaily

For patients undergoing transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)-guided biopsies, Ciprofloxacin may not be the best prophylactic option to use for patients colonized with Ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli. “Aware of the increasing number of resistant strains of E. coli, our urologic physicians sought to decrease the number of post-biopsy infections and readmissions by conducting cultures on patient fecal samples to identify antibiotic-resistant strains before the biopsy is done, and the results were used to make the best antibiotic choice for prophylaxis,” said Leonard Mermel, D.O., medical director of the department of epidemiology and infection control at Rhode Island Hospital…

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Improved treatment for cancer patients: Topical steroid cream — ScienceDaily

Radiotherapy uses X-rays to destroy cancer cells but this can often lead to a severe skin reaction involving redness, pain and blistering similar to sunburn. The trial of this cream — mometasone furoate–was so successful that the patients in the research will now be offered this instead of the existing treatment. Breast cancer patients were recruited from hospitals all over the North West for the trial, based at the Rosemere Cancer Centre at the Royal Preston Hospital. …

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Improved treatment for cancer patients: Topical steroid cream

Radiotherapy uses X-rays to destroy cancer cells but this can often lead to a severe skin reaction involving redness, pain and blistering similar to sunburn. The trial of this cream — mometasone furoate–was so successful that the patients in the research will now be offered this instead of the existing treatment. Breast cancer patients were recruited from hospitals all over the North West for the trial, based at the Rosemere Cancer Centre at the Royal Preston Hospital. Dr Andrew Hindley of Rosemere Cancer Centre: “We believe that this treatment should be considered the standard of care when a radiation therapy schedule is administered to an anatomical site where severe dermatitis would be predicted.” The patients were offered either diprobase cream or mometasone furoate to be administered daily from the start of radiation therapy for 5 weeks and for at least a fortnight afterwards. …

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3-D mammography improves cancer detection in dense breasts — ScienceDaily

Breasts are considered dense if they have a lot of fibrous or glandular tissue but not much fatty tissue. Research has shown that dense breasts are more likely to develop cancer, a problem compounded by the fact that cancer in dense breasts can be difficult to detect on mammograms. Other imaging modalities like ultrasound and MRI are often used to help find cancers that can’t be seen on mammograms, but both modalities have higher rates of false-positive findings, which are suspicious findings that turn out not to be cancer. This higher false-positive rate often results in more tests and unnecessary biopsies, making MRI and ultrasound expensive to implement in high-volume screening programs, according to study lead author Per Skaane, M.D., Ph.D., from the Department of Radiology at Oslo University Hospital in Oslo, Norway. …

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