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Archives Of Health News Blog From Medicineworld.Org

June 25, 2007, 9:23 PM CT

New adjuvant treatments for breast cancer

New adjuvant treatments for breast cancer
New adjuvant therapys for breast cancer are cost-effective at improving survival, as per two new studies. Reported in the August 1, 2007 issue of CANCER, a peer-evaluated journal of the American Cancer Society, the two studies looked at the cost-effectiveness of different drugs for the management of adjuvant therapies for early breast cancer. In a Canadian economic study of estrogen receptor positive breast cancers, switching from tamoxifen to the oral steroidal aromatase inhibitor exemestane (trade name: Aromasin) extended disease free survival at a minimal cost per person. In another of study of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer, the addition of the anti-HER2 receptor monoclonal antibody, trastuzumab (trade name: Herceptin), is projected to improve life expectancy at a relatively low cost.

Breast cancer is a major cause of cancer mortality, second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in women. The five-year survival rate for localized breast cancer has increased from 80 percent in the 1950s to 98 percent today. Mammography has led to cancers being detected earlier, when early therapys may be more effective. A greater understanding of the molecular biology of breast cancer has led to new post-surgical therapys, including hormone modulators and monoclonal antibodies. A number of of these agents have led to decreased mortality and disease recurrence. As the therapeutic effectiveness of these drugs has been verified and is included in professional therapy guidelines, their cost-effectiveness is being investigated.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

June 25, 2007, 9:22 PM CT

Antidepressants Associated With Lower Bone Density

Antidepressants Associated With Lower Bone Density
The class of antidepressant medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors may be linked to an increased rate of bone loss in older men and women, as per two articles in the June 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) treat depression by inhibiting the protein that transports serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved in sleep and depression, as per background information in the articles. This protein has recently been discovered in bone as well, raising the possibility that SSRIs may affect bone density and the risk of fracture. SSRIs account for about 62 percent of antidepressant prescriptions in the United States, and are often prescribed to the elderly.

Susan J. Diem, M.D., M.P.H., University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and his colleagues studied 2,722 older women (average age 78.5 years) beginning in 1997 through 1999. At that time and again an average of 4.9 years later, scientists measured womens total hip bone density and also that of two subregions. At each visit, the participants were asked to bring in all the medications they had used within the past two weeks, including SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants, which work through a different mechanism.

A total of 198 (7.3 percent) of the women were SSRI users, 118 (4.3 percent) took tricyclic antidepressants and 2,406 (88.4 percent) took neither (those who took both were not included in the analysis). After the scientists adjusted for other factors affecting bone density and antidepressant use, including depression severity and calcium supplement use, bone mineral density at the hip decreased 0.82 percent in SSRI users. This compared with a decrease of 0.47 percent among those who used tricyclic antidepressants and also in those who did not take any antidepressants. Higher rates of bone loss were also observed at the two hip subregions among SSRI users.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source

June 25, 2007, 8:17 PM CT

Traffic may influence Birth Weight

Traffic may influence Birth Weight
Together with colleagues from the French Institute for Health and Medical Research INSERM scientists at the GSF - National Research Center for Environment and Health in Neuherberg near Munich showed that exposure of pregnant women to fine particulate matter from traffic may reduce their children's birth weight. After the scientists had investigated the effects of the exposure of adults and children to particulate matter in the past, they are now first focussing on the risks to unborn life in this recent study. This is the continuation of the GSF's successful cooperation with the internationally renowned French research institution, with the common objective of tracing the causes of environment-related health disorders.

For the study which has now been published online, data from the cohort study LISA were used, in which the influence of living conditions and behaviours on the development of the immune system and allergies is studied. 1016 mothers and their children born in Munich between 1998 and 1999 were studied. All women included in the study had not moved out during the pregnancy. On the basis of a measuring campaign at 40 locations in the city of Munich, the concentrations of traffic-related atmospheric pollutants during pregnancy, including fine particulate matter (those with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, PM2,5), could be modelled at the home address of the pregnant women. The model took into account the distance of each home from streets, the population density near the home as well as the fluctuations in the concentration of the air pollutants over time during the pregnancies.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source

June 25, 2007, 8:08 PM CT

Scientists identify first gene linked to scoliosis

Scientists identify first gene linked to scoliosis
An X-ray of a case of scoliosis showing the abnormal curvature of the spine
Physicians have recognized scoliosis, the abnormal curvature of the spine, since the time of Hippocrates, but its causes have remained a mystery -- until now. For the first time, scientists have discovered a gene that underlies the condition, which affects about 3 percent of all children.

The new finding lays the groundwork for determining how a defect in the gene -- known as CHD7 -- leads to the C- and S-shaped curves that characterize scoliosis. The gene's link to scoliosis was identified by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, working in collaboration with researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, both in Dallas, Rutgers State University of New Jersey and the University of Iowa. The group published its results in May in the American Journal of Human Genetics.

"Hopefully, we can now begin to understand the steps by which the gene affects spinal development," says Anne Bowcock, Ph.D., professor of genetics, of medicine and of pediatrics. "If we understand the genetic basis of the condition, we can theoretically predict who is going to develop scoliosis and develop therapys to intervene before the deformity sets in. It may take a number of years to accomplish these goals, but I think it will eventually happen".........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source

June 25, 2007, 8:06 PM CT

Tree Bark For New Lung-cancer Treatment

Tree Bark For New Lung-cancer Treatment
Lapacho rosado (Tabebuia impetiginosa)
Scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have determined how a substance derived from the bark of the South American lapacho tree kills certain kinds of cancer cells, findings that also suggest a novel therapy for the most common type of lung cancer.

The compound, called beta-lapachone, has shown promising anti-cancer properties and is currently being used in a clinical trial to examine its effectiveness against pancreas cancer in humans. Until now, however, scientists didn't know the mechanism of how the compound killed cancer cells.

Dr. David Boothman, a professor in the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center and senior author of a study appearing online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has been researching the compound and how it causes cell death in malignant cells for 15 years.

In the new study, Dr. Boothman and colleagues in the Simmons Cancer Center observed that beta-lapachone interacts with an enzyme called NQO1, which is present at high levels in non-small cell lung cancer and other solid tumors. In tumors, the compound is metabolized by NQO1 and produces cell death without damaging nonmalignant tissues that do not express this enzyme.

"Basically, we have worked out the mechanism of action of beta-lapachone and devised a way of using that drug for individualized treatment," said Dr. Boothman, who is also a professor of pharmacology and radiation oncology.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source

June 25, 2007, 7:45 PM CT

Down in the mouth?

Down in the mouth?
A womans mouth has a lot to say, even when its not talking. Things that alter the female body, such as prescription medications to help prevent diseases such as osteoporosis or depression, diabetes, or a vitamin deficiency, can affect a womans oral health, as per John Svirsky, DDS, MED, who will lead a discussion titled Drugs I Have Known and Loved for Diseases That We Catch during the 55th annual meeting of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) in San Diego, June 27 July 1, 2007.

New Test Determines if Osteoporosis Treatment Drug May Cause Jawbone to Die.

Patients with breast cancer, individuals at risk for osteoporosis, and individuals undergoing certain types of bone cancer therapies often take drugs that contain bisphosphonates. Bisphosphonates may place patients at risk for developing osteonecrosis of the jaws, which is irreversible damage in which the jaw bone rots away.

Bisphosphonates are a family of drugs administered orally or intravenously and are used to prevent and treat osteoporosis, multiple myeloma, Pagets disease (bone cancers), and bone metastasis from other cancers. These drugs can bond to bone surfaces and prevent osteoclasts (cells that breakdown bone) from doing their job. As per Dr. Svirsky, adverse affects from oral bisphosphonates will not show up until three years after the therapy starts, and after that time, the chance of developing osteonecrosis is still low. However, the occurence rate of developing complications while taking bisphosphonates intravenously is much higher.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

June 25, 2007, 7:43 PM CT

Acidic Foods Could Destroy Enamel

Acidic Foods Could Destroy Enamel
Fruit, yogurt, citric and soft drinks, may seem like harmless snacks and beverages, but improper consumption and overuse may lead to devastating and permanent damage to teeth. Its known as tooth erosion, the break down of tooth structure caused by the effect of acid on the teeth that leads to decay. As per David Bartlett, BDS, PhD, who will lead a discussion at the Academy of General Dentistrys 55th annual meeting in San Diego, June 27-July 1, 2007, titled, Acid Erosion-Why is it Important to My Patients", Early diagnosis and prevention of the effects of tooth erosion are fundamental to keeping teeth healthy for life.

Sipping or holding acidic drinks in the mouth before swallowing increases the risk of erosion on dental enamel, says Dr. Bartlett. Dental enamel is the thin, outer layer of hard tissue that helps maintain the tooth's structure and shape while protecting it from decay.

Soft drinks, which contain acids, break the tooth surfaces. These acids also damage tooth enamel over time by dissolving the mineral structure of teeth, thinning the teeth. Eventually, because of repeated exposure to acid, the tooths enamel will lose its shape and color and as the damage progresses; the underlying dentin, (which is the tissue that makes up the core of each tooth), becomes exposed causing the teeth to look yellow.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

June 25, 2007, 7:41 PM CT

Monkey studies parallel WHI findings

Monkey studies parallel WHI findings
Studies in female monkeys helped raise important questions about hormone treatment that were addressed in a Womens Health Initiative study reported last week in the New England Journal (NEJM). The animal research, conducted at the Wake Forest University Primate Center, also suggests the role that stress can play in heart disease development and point to the need for early prevention of heart disease.

Our research in monkeys suggests that stress can affect estrogen levels and may set the stage for heart disease during the later part of life, as per Jay Kaplan, Ph.D., professor of comparative medicine and director of the primate center. It also suggests women need to start thinking about heart disease prevention before menopause. We observed that the five years before menopause are when heart vessel disease begins to accelerate.

Kaplan and Thomas Clarkson, D.V.M., have published numerous articles from their monkey research on the effects of hormone treatment on heart vessel disease. Their findings, along with research in humans, were a driving force behind the hypothesis that there is a window of opportunity during which hormone treatment can help prevent atherosclerosis. The theory was explored in the Womens Health Initiative Coronary Artery Calcium Study (WHI-CAC).........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

June 25, 2007, 7:34 PM CT

Young Men More Willing To Purchase Alcohol For Underage Youth

Young Men More Willing To Purchase Alcohol For Underage Youth
Nearly 20 percent of young males are willing to purchase alcohol for underage youth when approached outside of an alcohol establishment, as per scientists at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

A study reported in the recent issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research (ACER) observed that 19 percent of young males over the age of 21 were willing to purchase alcohol for youth who appeared to be underage when shoulder-tapped outside of a convenience or liquor store. In contrast, only 8 percent of the general adult population entering alcohol establishments were willing to purchase the alcohol.

Most underage drinkers obtain alcohol from social sources, individuals who illegally provide alcohol to youth, as opposed to commercial sources. These sources include parents, parents of friends, friends, acquaintances, co-workers, siblings, and even strangers. Shoulder-tapping occurs when an underage person approaches a stranger outside of an alcohol establishment and asks this person to purchase alcohol for him or her.

The small percent of the general population that agreed to purchase alcohol when approached is encouraging, said Traci Toomey, Ph.D., lead author of the study and associate professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota. However, the percentage of males willing to buy alcohol was much higher. One out of every five young males that were approached bought the alcohol when requested.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source

June 25, 2007, 7:23 PM CT

Improved Attention With Mindfulness Training

Improved Attention With Mindfulness Training
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania say that practicing even small doses of daily meditation may improve focus and performance.

Meditation, as per Penn neuroscientist Amishi Jha and Michael Baime, director of Penn's Stress Management Program, is an active and effortful process that literally changes the way the brain works. Their study is the first to examine how meditation may modify the three subcomponents of attention, including the ability to prioritize and manage tasks and goals, the ability to voluntarily focus on specific information and the ability to stay alert to the environment.

In the Penn study, subjects were split into two categories. Those new to meditation, or "mindfulness training," took part in an eight-week course that included up to 30 minutes of daily meditation. The second group was more experienced with meditation and attended an intensive full-time, one-month retreat.

Scientists observed that even for those new to the practice, meditation enhanced performance and the ability to focus attention. Performance-based measures of cognitive function demonstrated improvements in a matter of weeks. The study, would be reported in the journal Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, suggests a new, non-medical means for improving focus and cognitive ability among disparate populations and has implications for workplace performance and learning.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source

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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Archives of health news blog

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