Tag Archives: montana

Ebola whole virus vaccine shown effective, safe in primates

The vaccine, described today (March 26, 2015) in the journal Science, was developed by a group led by Yoshihiro Kawaoka, a University of Wisconsin-Madison expert on avian influenza, Ebola and other viruses of medical importance. It differs from other Ebola vaccines because as an inactivated whole virus vaccine, it primes the host immune system with the full complement of Ebola viral proteins and genes, potentially conferring greater protection. “In terms of efficacy, this affords excellent protection,” explains Kawaoka, a professor of pathobiological sciences in the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine and who also holds a faculty appointment at the University of Tokyo…

SurvivorLink: Online tool helps child cancer survivors maintain healthy lives

Ansley Riedel was just 10 months old when she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) – a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. She immediately began radiation and chemotherapy, undergoing treatment up until she was a little older than 3-and-a-half years old.  Then, after receiving a second bone marrow transplant from her 4-month-old baby brother in July of 1991, Riedel reached the goal that every cancer patient hopes to achieve: Remission. “We celebrate what we call my second birthday,” Riedel told FoxNews.com, regarding the special occasion. Nearly 21 years later, Riedel is doing better than ever – but she hasn’t forgotten her time spent in the hospital so many years ago.  Though she was only a toddler at the time, her bout with cancer ultimately inspired her to become a nurse in order to help others like herself. “I remember a lot of the clinic visits – the routine of going to the clinic, getting labs, some of my hospital stays,” Riedel said. “I remember my nurses a lot, which is why I chose to become a nurse.  They were really like my first group of friends that I got to know really well.” While Riedel was ultimately able to turn her cancer into a source of inspiration, post-cancer life has still had its fair share of difficulties. The radiation treatment Riedel underwent at such a young age has had a lasting impact on her health. Between the ages of 10 and 14, Riedel had to receive daily shots of growth hormone because her development had been stunted by treatment.  She also takes a daily medication for low thyroid function – something her doctors speculate may have been affected by radiation. “There’s a lot of unknown because I was so young,” Riedel said. “I have to be pretty careful with my teeth.  The radiation kind of damaged my permanent teeth, so I’m more susceptible to cavities.  I see more of a specialist for my regular cleanings. My roots were damaged and I couldn’t have braces because of that.” The health setbacks Riedel has had to face are not uncommon for cancer survivors.  While radiation and chemotherapy are meant to kill fast-growing cancer cells, they can also damage healthy cells in the heart, kidneys, lungs and more in the process. “Obvious problems cancer survivors have are endocrine (issues), growth hormone deficiency, low thyroid, problems beginning puberty and fertility,” Dr. Lillian Meacham, a pediatric endocrinologist and director of the Cancer Survivor Program at the Aflac Cancer Center in Atlanta, told FoxNews.com.  “They can have…problems related to scarring of the lungs or damage to the heart muscle.  We have to be vigilant about almost every organ to be sure that we are looking out for these problems, mainly because we want to preserve quality of life and decrease health care costs.” For children diagnosed in the 1960s with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which is the most common form of childhood cancer, the chance of survival was only 10 percent. Fortunately, chances of survival have increased to 80 percent today. Therefore, finding ways to help cancer survivors maintain a healthy lifestyle post-cancer is an ever increasing necessity. To address this need, Meachem and others at the Aflac Cancer Center have created SurvivorLink, an online tool that aims to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.  According to its website, SurvivorLink hopes to increase awareness about the long-term health needs of child cancer survivors, as well as create a patient portal, which will provide patients with easy access to all their relevant health information. “When kids come to the survivor clinic, we give them a Survivor Health Care Plan – which details what they need throughout their lives to stay healthy,” Meachem said. “They can upload that into this website, so let’s say they move to North Carolina or Montana, they can share their documents to new health care providers.  It’s like having an electronic chart they carry with them at all times.” Riedel is currently in the process of filling out her patient profile on SurvivorLink, and she said she likes how it is specifically tailored to her own personal needs. “One of the good things about SurvivorLink is it’s based on your diagnosis and based on your protocol.  Depending on how much chemo you had, it will tell you specifically that for this one chemo, these are the big side effects and long term things that can result.” As someone who is still actively involved in health care, Riedel is very passionate about increasing knowledge and communication among cancer survivors and their health care providers.  For her, easy access to information is essential for a long and healthy life. “The main message is just to get informed and get help if you need to – but really be an advocate for yourself,” Riedel said. “If you take care of yourself, then other people are going to be more willing to work with you.” Click for more on SurvivorLink.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/06/05/survivorlink-online-tool-helps-child-cancer-survivors-maintain-healthy-life/

Paralyzed British men fight right-to-die case in court

Two paralyzed British men who want to die but cannot kill themselves went to court on Monday seeking protection from prosecution for those who could help them end their lives. The case is one of the most high-profile attempts to change the law on the right to die in Britain, where assisted suicide is illegal. “I'm constantly thinking, 'how on Earth can I do it without getting someone into trouble?'” said Paul Lamb, who was left paralyzed by a car accident in 1990. “I just want my wishes to be respected, that's all I want,” Lamb, 57, told reporters outside the courtroom. He is immobile except for limited movement in his right hand, requires 24-hour care and is constantly on morphine to relieve pain. Judge Igor Judge, speaking at the start of the hearing in the Court of Appeal, said he was aware of the men's “desperate situation” and he was sympathetic. “But they must surely know that we cannot decide this case as a matter of personal sympathy. We have to decide it as a point of law.” Lamb was in court in his wheelchair as the judge spoke. The other man, named only as Martin, is a 48-year-old who was left unable to speak or move after a stroke four years ago. He can communicate only through movements of the head and eyes. “It is their experience that their life has become unbearable,” said Paul Bowen, a lawyer representing Lamb. Law “inadequate” The details of the two men's cases are different, but in essence both are seeking help from the courts in ensuring that anyone who helps them to die will not be prosecuted. Bowen cited a report to parliament last year that concluded that British law in the area of assisted dying was “inadequate, incoherent and should not continue”. The issue of whether or not to decriminalize assisted suicide for people whose lives are unbearable to them is a matter of debate in many countries. Right-to-die advocates say people capable of making that decision should be allowed to die with dignity. Opponents say liberalizing the law could leave vulnerable people at risk. Switzerland and the U.S. states of Oregon, Washington and Montana are among places where some forms of euthanasia or assisted suicide are legal under certain circumstances. By coincidence, Monday's court hearing started two days before a bill is due to be presented to the British parliament that would legalize assisted suicide in certain circumstances. But Bowen said that even if that bill were to become law at some point, it would not be enough for Lamb. Lamb's case was originally brought by a man with locked-in syndrome, Tony Nicklinson. A court dismissed both Nicklinson's and Martin's cases last August on the grounds that it was for parliament and not for a court to change the law in this area. After being told the court's decision on August 14, Nicklinson refused food and medication and died on August 22. Lamb, who was not involved at that stage, has since been allowed to take up the legal battle where Nicklinson left off.source : http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/05/13/paralyzed-british-men-fight-right-to-die-case-in-court/