New Anesthesia Technique Lets Patients Cooperate During Carotid Surgery

June 8, 2009

Can a patient be awake and communicating with the anesthesiologist and surgeon during general anesthesia? With a new “cooperative patient” anesthesia technique, the answer is yes, according to a study in the June issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).

An Italian research team, led by Dr. Sergio Bevilacqua of Ospedaliera Universitaria Careggi, Florence, report on the use of their “cooperative patient general anesthesia” technique in 181 patients undergoing carotid artery surgery (endarterectomy) for stroke prevention. The patients received conventional general anesthesia up to the time that the carotid artery was clamped, as must be done so that the surgeon can repair it.
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Herceptin Improves Survival In Stomach Cancer Patients

June 2, 2009

A new study showed that the breast cancer drug Herceptin improved survival in patients with HER2-positive stomach cancer, an aggressive form of the disease.

The study (called the ToGA study) was led by Eric Van Cutsem, a professor at the University Hospital Gasthuisberg, Leuven, Belgium and was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology which is being held in Orlando Floriday from 29 May to 2 June.
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Development Of DNA Drugs Gives Hope To Lupus Patients

May 29, 2009

A generation of DNA-like compounds, class R inhibitory oligonucleotides (INH-ODNs), have been shown to effectively inhibit cells responsible for the chronic autoimmune condition lupus. Researchers writing in BioMed Central’s open access journal Arthritis Research & Therapy have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory effects of the INH-ODNs in both in vitro and mouse experiments.

Petar Lenert, from the University of Iowa, worked with a team of researchers to develop and test the compounds. He said, “The increased potency of class R INH-ODNs for certain cells involved in lupus flare-ups will help patients by providing specific inhibition, yet allowing them to generate a protective immune response when needed”.
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Lifelong Cancer Risk For Patients Treated For Childhood Cancer

May 28, 2009

Childhood cancer survivors have a persistent and high risk for a second primary cancer throughout their lives, according to a new study published in the May 26 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Previous studies established that second primary cancer risk after treatment in childhood is higher than that in the general population, but follow-up was restricted to a few decades and the incidence in long-term survivors was rarely investigated. This study presents data for incidence of second cancers among childhood cancer patients in the Nordic countries over a full age range, from birth to age 79.
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Budesonide/formoterol Plus Tiotropium Improves The Quality Of Life Of Patients With Severe COPD

May 28, 2009

Preliminary results from a double-blind, randomised, multicentre trial among 660 patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) show that budesonide/formoterol (Symbicort: AstraZeneca) plus tiotropium (Spiriva™: Boehringer Ingelheim Limited) significantly improves disease control and patients’ quality of life.1,2

The study known as CLIMB, compared 12 weeks treatment with budesonide/formoterol (400/12 mcg one inhalation twice-daily) plus tiotropium (18 µg one inhalation once daily) vs. tiotropium alone plus placebo.
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Under-Use Of Hospice Care By Many Terminally Ill Patients: Study

May 27, 2009

Hospice, a well-established approach to palliative care, has enabled countless people worldwide to die with dignity. Through focusing on the patient rather than the disease, individuals can spend the last weeks of their lives in an environment where hospice caregivers minimize their pain, maximize their comfort, and provide bereavement services for loved ones and family members.

A new study led by researchers at Harvard Medical School, however, found that only about half the patients diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer discuss hospice with their physician within 4 to 7 months of their diagnosis.
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DVIF&G’s SEEDS Program Provides A “Link To Life” For Cancer Patients

May 25, 2009

In a few weeks, Delaware Valley Institute of Fertility & Genetics (DVIF&G) will celebrate our first successful birth as a result of our SEEDS program.

SEEDS (Semen, Embryo & Egg Depository & Storage) is a six-year-old program that provides cancer patients, both male and female, with the technology and services required to help preserve their fertility.

When a patient is diagnosed with cancer, it is crucial to consider how the cancer itself and the subsequent treatments will impact fertility. Whether or not the cancer affects the reproductive system directly (as in the case of cervical or testicular cancer), radiation and chemotherapy treatments can have serious consequences on future fertility. DVIF&G’s team of experts works quickly with the oncology team to carefully craft a plan that safeguards the patient’s reproductive potential through the SEEDS program. DVIF&G coordinates the extraction and freezing (cryopreservation) of oocytes from the female patient, freezing of sperm from the male patients, and developing and freezing embryos for the couple through in vitro fertilization (IVF) or in vitro maturation (IVM). IVM, with its brief course and minimal exposure to hormonal stimulation, is an ideal treatment method for fertility preservation in female patients.
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