Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Around the Web

Here's what caught my attention this week.

{In honor of sleep}

What do you think of Right to Try laws?

I think patients who have no other alternatives, when working with their doctors, are probably best equipped to decide whether a drug is too risky or not. But I'd love to hear your take.

"The Right to Try bills aim to provide a streamlined alternative to the FDA process. Instead of having to fill out lengthy and complex paperwork, patients would only need to get an okay from a drug company and a simple prescription or “recommendation” from a doctor to access an unapproved treatment. The drugs involved also must have successfully completed an initial safety trial and moved to the next phase of development."

Thank you, Under Armour.

I can't help it. This kind of news makes me giddy.

"Under Armour Inc. has made a $10 million contribution to the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center to fund breast cancer and breast health support programs and a women's wellness center."

Go the #@%! to Sleep, Okay?

"Dr Akhilesh Reddy, from the University of Cambridge, said the body clock influences every biological process in the human body and the health consequences of living against the clock were "pretty clear cut", particularly in breast cancer."

Have I mentioned how awesome scientists are?

Fighting deadly illness with deadly illness. Brilliant.

"In a proof of principle clinical trial, Mayo Clinic researchers have demonstrated that virotherapy — destroying cancer with a virus that infects and kills cancer cells but spares normal tissues — can be effective against the deadly cancer multiple myeloma."

Reason #439 to adopt a dog.

"With 220 million olfactory cells in a canine snout, compared with 50 million for humans, dogs have long helped on search-and-rescue. Now, a growing body of evidence supports the possible use of canines by clinicians. The largest study ever done on cancer-sniffing dogs found they can detect prostate cancer by smelling urine samples with 98 percent accuracy. At least one application is in the works seeking U.S. approval of a kit using breath samples to find breast cancer."

And then, take that dog for a walk.

"One study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found dropping a few pounds could lower a woman's likelihood for developing the disease. In the study of 439 obese women aged 50 to 75, those who dieted, exercised and lost significant weight also reduced their levels of the hormones commonly associated with breast cancer. That study found even a 5 percent weight loss decreased one's breast cancer risk by as much as 22 percent."

Well, this isn't good news.

"Black women are nearly twice as likely as white women to be diagnosed with a hard-to-treat breast cancer known as triple-negative breast cancer, a new study says.

That dramatic difference was found no matter what their socioeconomic level was, the researchers added."

So I'll end on this note.

"Pfizer said on Friday that the Food and Drug Administration would let it apply for approval of its heavily promoted experimental breast cancer medicine based on midstage patient testing results. . . Midstage test results showed that by combining palbociclib with letrozole, patients on average survived 20.2 months before their tumors worsened. That was about twice as long as the benefit for women in a comparison group who received only letrozole."

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