Tag Archives: edward

Real-time tracking system developed to monitor dangerous bacteria inside body

“What we have produced is essentially a system that localizes the epicenter of infection and provides real-time tracking of bacterial activity, giving us rapid feedback on how the bacteria respond to antibiotics,” says principal investigator Sanjay Jain, M.D., an infectious disease specialist at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and director of the Center for Inflammation Imaging and Research at Johns Hopkins. Describing their work in the Oct. …

Advances in nanotechnology’s fight against cancer

A new research review co-authored by a UCLA professor provides one of the most comprehensive assessments to date of research on nanomedicine-based approaches to treating cancer and offers insight into how researchers can best position nanomedicine-based cancer treatments for FDA approval. …

‘Active surveillance’ may miss aggressive prostate cancers in black men

"This study offers the most conclusive evidence to date that broad application of active surveillance recommendations may not be suitable for African-Americans," says urologist Edward M. Schaeffer, M.D., Ph.D., a co-author of the study. "This is critical information because if African-American men do have more aggressive cancers, as statistics would suggest, then simply monitoring even small cancers that are very low risk would not be a good idea because aggressive cancers are less likely to be cured," he says. …

Surgeon shortage linked to burst appendices

Living in an area with few general surgeons may make people with appendicitis more likely to turn into ruptured appendix cases by the time they get to surgery, according to new research. “The study shows that access to surgical care, especially general surgical care, is important and low access can have real impacts that affect peoples' health,” coauthor Thomas Ricketts of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill told Reuters Health by email. The Affordable Care Act includes a provision for incentive payments to increase the supply of doctors in areas with shortages, but those bonuses only apply in places with too few primary care doctors. General surgeon and primary care shortage areas don't always line up, Ricketts said, and even when they do, general surgeons can't move to areas that don't already have primary care physicians to serve the community and refer patients back to them. Almost 30,000 patients with appendicitis - a quarter of whom suffered a burst appendix - were discharged from hospitals in North Carolina between 2007 and 2009, according to data from hospitals and surgery centers in the state analyzed by the researchers. There are 95,000 burst appendices per year in the U.S. according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. A 2008 study found that an appendectomy can cost between $10,000 and $18,000 more when the appendix has burst. With surgery before a rupture, typically about 20 hours or less after abdominal pain begins, patients usually recover quickly. If the appendix has burst (roughly 40 hours after symptoms begin), that could mean repeat operations and longer recovery time, according to the Merck Manual. To see whether a surgeon shortage was linked to more burst appendices in an area, the researchers compared the number of cases of appendicitis, and specifically burst appendices, with the number of general surgeons in “surgical service areas” of the state that roughly align with zip codes. Having less than 3 general surgeons per 100,000 people increased the likelihood of having a ruptured appendix by five percent, compared to areas with at least 5 surgeons, Ricketts and his colleague report in the Annals of Surgery. However, areas with the most severe shortage had a 25 percent rate of rupture, compared to 24 percent in areas with no shortage. According to Dr. Edward Livingston, who has written about using ruptured appendices as a measure of care but was not involved in the new study, that is much too small a difference to draw any conclusions. Logic dictates that ruptures would be more common in rural areas, since patients have to travel farther to get to care, but that's the opposite of what the study found if the results are reliable, said Livingston, the deputy editor for clinical content at the Journal of the American Medical Association in Chicago. There were fewer surgeons relative to the population in urban areas, but the study didn't account for the residents, physician's assistants and nurse practitioners who add to the surgical work force in large urban medical centers, Livingston said. The results of the same study with more patients from more diverse regions might not show any difference between groups at all, Livingston told Reuters Health in an email. It would make more sense to measure the delay between when symptoms begin and when the patient reaches surgery in several different areas, and see if areas with longer delays correspond to areas with fewer surgeons, in order to infer that fewer surgeons lead to delays which lead to ruptures, Livingston said. “They would have to measure the delay to prove their point,” Livingston said. “This highlights a problem in studies like this one, where conclusions are made based on assumptions about what happens without really knowing what is happening at a patient level,” he said.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/17/surgeon-shortage-linked-to-burst-appendices/

Avastin fails studies in new brain tumor patients

New research raises fresh questions about which cancer patients benefit from Avastin, a drug that lost its approval for treating breast cancer nearly two years ago. Avastin did not prolong life when used as a first treatment for people with brain tumors like the one U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy died of several years ago, two studies found. In one, patients who were expected to benefit the most from Avastin based on genetic testing had the worst survival rates. Side effects also were more common with Avastin. The drug is approved for treating brain tumors that have recurred for people who already tried chemotherapy or radiation. But that approval was based on studies suggesting it briefly delayed the worsening of the disease. No definitive study shows it helps those patients live longer, either. Something similar happened with breast cancer: Avastin won the Food and Drug Administration's approval after studies suggested it delayed disease progression. But when later research showed it did not prolong life and brought more side effects, its approval for breast cancer was revoked. However, many cancer experts say the same thing should not happen now, and that Avastin should retain its approval for brain cancer patients whose disease has recurred. “I would definitely not want the FDA to take that away from patients,” said Dr. Deepa Subramaniam, director of the brain tumor center at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. “That's very different from the breast cancer story,” where there are many other drugs that can be tried, she said. She had no role in the new studies, which were discussed Sunday at an American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago. Avastin, made by Swiss-based Roche's Genentech unit, acts by depriving tumors of a blood supply. It's also sold for treating certain colon, lung and kidney tumors. Another study discussed Sunday and released previously showed it helped women with advanced cervical cancer live nearly four months longer. The new brain cancer studies tested it as initial treatment for glioblastoma, the most common and deadly type of tumor. About 10,000 Americans each year are diagnosed with these tumors, which are nearly always incurable. In one study, 637 patients received standard chemotherapy plus radiation, and half also received Avastin. Both groups lived about 16 months, and those on Avastin had more side effects - mostly low blood counts, blood clots and high blood pressure. “Our study would strongly suggest that it is not beneficial to do it as front-line treatment but to reserve it as second-line or salvage therapy,” said study leader Dr. Mark Gilbert of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Federal grants and Genentech paid for the study, and Gilbert consults for the company. More troubling, independent experts said, is that patients who were expected to do the best based on genetic and other tests surprisingly had a worse survival trend - 16 months versus 25 months for others in the study. New research needs to be done to better define which patients benefit, said Rakesh Jain, a brain tumor expert at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “We just cannot give these agents to every patient,” he said. A second study that tested Avastin as initial therapy with radiation and the drug Temodar found it did not prolong life, but patients on Avastin went nearly five months longer before their tumors appeared to worsen. Avastin costs about $43,000 plus doctor infusion charges for a course of treatment for people whose brain tumors have recurred.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/03/avastin-fails-studies-in-new-brain-tumor-patients/