Treatment

Medical innovations are rapidly expanding therapy options for many diseases. Keep reading to find more information on new therapies, surgical techniques, effective medication and patient care.

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FDA launches off-label drug database

Cure ID: App finds new ways of treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the global launch of Cure ID, an internet-based repository that will allow the clinical community to report their experiences treating…

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Meta-analysis

Benefit and risk: drug-coated balloon angioplasty

Scientists of Jena University Hospital, Germany, conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate benefit and risk of paclitaxel-coated balloon angioplasty compared to conventional balloon angioplasty as…

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Malignant infantile brain tumours

​Epilepsy drug inhibits brain tumour development

Medication prescribed for a certain type of epilepsy may offer a new method for treating malignant infantile brain tumours. A specific mTOR inhibitor has the ability to cross the blood–brain…

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Lethal brain infection

How current treatment for fungal meningitis fuels drug resistance

A common first-line treatment approach for cryptococcal meningitis in low-income countries is being compromised by the emergence of drug resistance, new University of Liverpool research warns. Published in the journal mBio, the findings highlight the need to develop new drugs and treatment regimens for the lethal brain infection, which kills around 180,000 people each year. Cryptococcal meningitis is a leading cause of death among adults with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. In many parts of the world, the antifungal drug fluconazole is the only agent that is available for the initial treatment of the infection, despite considerable evidence that long-term outcomes are poor. Drug resistance is thought to play a role in these poor outcomes, but solid data is currently lacking and a better…

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Venous thromboembolism (VTE)

Award for new blood clot prevention technology

A partnership between the Royal Stoke University Hospital, part of the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust, and a UK industry-leading medical devices company have been rewarded for its…

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EMA recommandation for Ervebo

Ebola: first vaccine to protect against deadly virus

It is an important step towards fighting one of the deadliest viruses known to man: The human medicines committee (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting a conditional…

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Presented at SAC cardiology congress

App reminds heart patients to take their pills

Heart patients using a smartphone app reminder are more likely to take their medication than those who receive written instructions, according to a study presented at the 45th Argentine Congress of…

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Natural nanocapsules

A new approach for tackling superbugs – without antibiotics

Scientists have uncovered a novel antibiotic-free approach that could help prevent and treat one of the most widespread bacterial pathogens, using nanocapsules made of natural ingredients.…

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Open surgery or TAVI?

New ways to treat severe aortic stenosis

New research at the University of Leicester, funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), could change the way people living with a debilitating heart condition are treated. The £2.7m clinical…

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Targeted therapy for pancreatic carcinoma

Hitting cancer with 'homing' radioactive molecules

Pancreatic cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer‑related deaths worldwide. Patients with pancreatic cancer often receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy, which are not always effective…

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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Restart a Heart: Learn how to save a life with CPR

Today is World Restart a Heart Day. That's why medical students from Cardiff University are taking part in what is expected to be the largest mass CPR training event ever conducted. Medics and other…

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Lumacaftor-ivacaftor

Cystic fibrosis patients benefit from drug combination, but...

In adolescent and adult patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) taking lumacaftor-ivacaftor (Orkambi), the combination drug appears to improve lung function and body weight and reduce the need for…

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'Pepe' for pupils' hygiene

Handwashing robot helps schoolkids break bad habits

A robot which encourages kids to wash their hands has helped pupils at a remote Indian primary school take a fresh approach to hygiene. The hand-shaped robot, dubbed ‘Pepe’, is the product of a…

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Public health in the UK

'Every Mind Matters': NHS launches mental health campaign

A new awareness campaign launched by the National Health Service (NHS) aims to tackle the growing issue of mental disorders in the UK. 'Every Mind Matters' encourages adults to be more aware of their…

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Statins study

How effective is cholesterol medication? New study sheds light

A study by a team of Victoria University of Wellington scientists spotlights the role of gene networks in how people respond to one of the world’s most prescribed medications. The research team…

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Neurology

Overcoming the blood-brain-barrier: Delivering therapeutics to brain

For the first time, scientists have found a way that can effectively transport medication into the brain - which could lead to improved treatments for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. In…

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Difficult decisions

5 things women under 40 should know about breast cancer

Breast cancer is rare for women under 40. So, a breast cancer diagnosis can be shocking news for a young woman to hear. “Breast cancer in young women can have its own risk factors and traits, and…

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Intentional rounding

Nurses' hourly ward rounds? There might be better ways to deliver care

A new report by researchers at King’s College London has found that the widespread practice of routine ward rounds in England, known as intentional rounding, may not be the best way for nurses to…

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Multi-component procedure

SULEEI: extending the functional lives of biological heart valve prostheses

For decades now, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing processes and systems for cleaning, sterilization, and surface…

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Early detection of colon cancer

When is the right time for the follow-up colonoscopy?

For the early detection of colorectal cancer, patients with statutory health insurance are entitled to two colonoscopies. If the first examination does not reveal any abnormal findings, a follow-up…

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Opinion article

Post-stroke spasticity care – a new approach

Dr Ganesh Bavikatte, Neurorehabilitation Specialist, has developed a solution along with an international expert team to untangle the complex post-stroke spasticity care pathway. With Europe’s…

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Reduced liver complications

The surprising benefits of anti-hepatitis medicine

A new effective treatment of hepatitis C that was made available to all Danes last year, not only combats the virus, but is also effective against potentially fatal complications such as reduced…

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Surgery to reduce obesity-related mortality

When diet and excercise alone are not enough

Obesity not only means someone is overweight but, over time, they will probably suffer sequelae that increasingly impair quality of life and are potentially fatal – these include hypertension, coronary heart disease, type two diabetes, pulmonary function disorders, tumours, plus an increased risk during surgery and anaesthesia. In patients with morbid obesity, class three obesity, according to…

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Pocket-size ultrasound device improves diagnosis

Better care for middle ear infections

In children, middle ear infections are the number one indication for antibiotic prescriptions or surgery. Nearly every child around the world will suffer at least one middle ear infection (otitis media) severe enough to see a doctor, and most will experience repeat occurrences throughout childhood. Internationally, there is significant over-prescription of antibiotics for otitis media, leading to…

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'ScoliBot' offers superhuman precision

New robots improve spinal straightening

ScoliBot, a new robotic system, could perform spinal surgery to a higher degree of accuracy than human counterparts. Devised by a team from Nottingham Trent University (NTU), the system has two robotic arms that semi-autonomously drill holes in individual vertebrae in procedures to straighten the spines of patients with conditions such as scoliosis or kyphosis. Leading the project, Professor…

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Vertebral body replacement (VBR)

Help for cervical spine

Omnia Medical’s ‘Boxcar’ has been granted the first US FDA 510(k) clearance for a cervical vertebral body replacement (VBR) system manufactured from PEEK-OPTIMA HA Enhanced polymer. The system has been designed for use in cervical-corpectomy procedures – the replacement of a collapsed, damaged, or unstable vertebral body located in the cervical spine. Robert Gewirtz, MD - Neurosurgeon,…

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COPD diagnostic wearable

‘Smart shirt’ to monitor lung disease

A smart shirt, developed by Canadian startup Hexoskin, has been successfully tested as a potential diagnostic modality for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at the Radboud University Medical Centre in The Netherlands. “COPD is a growing problem with around 64 million people suffering with the condition worldwide. When patients suffer an increase in their symptoms, such as coughing…

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A focusable LED exam and minor surgery lamp

Lighting the way forward

ACEMSO15F is a new focusable and flexible LED examination light designed by the Italian firm ACEM. The touch panel controls all lamp functions, including light intensity adjustment and beam focusing. The result is a uniform, homogeneous and shadow-less light.

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NICO Myriad NOVUS resection tool

Xenon lighting for neurosurgery

NICO Corporation, a company based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is releasing its new Myriad Novus resection tool. The FDA cleared product combines xenon illumination with NICO’s proven Myriad neural tissue removal technology. Xenon lights reproduce the visible spectrum of daylight much better than most other bulbs – although LED contenders are now available – and so are often the optimal choice…

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Flexible medical robot accelerates healing

Meet 'Robert', your robotic physio­therapist

Scenario: A physiotherapist arrives in a ward pushing a new device towards a patient in bed. There, she introduces rehabilitation robot Robert and points to its multi-jointed arm. She places a cuff around the patient’s lower leg to link it to Robert’s arm and presses the start button; Robert raises the leg slightly. Manually, the physiotherapist performs movements, which Robert memorises to…

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Brain signals control a four-limb robotic system

Tetraplegic moves towards taking walks

Thanks to a four-limb robotic system controlled by brain signals, a patient with a cervical spinal cord injury could walk and control both arms for the first time in a proof of concept. Developed by CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission), the system is driven via the long-term implant of a semi-invasive medical device to record brain activity. ‘This device is an…

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Raising the bar

A new ultra-compact microscopy camera

The MKC-X800 ultra-compact camera is a new addition to Ikegami’s range of medical imaging equipment, which, the firm reports, sets higher than ever standards of imaging quality to capture the precise colour and image detail of surgical operations. Measuring just 28x28x52mm WHD and weighing 100g, it can be mounted on a surgical microscope, lightweight support stand or boom. With its 4K-native…

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Smarter surer cleanliness

Electronic monitoring of hand hygiene

‘Electronic monitoring systems are proven to assist healthcare institutions to make sustained improvements in hand hygiene compliance.’ [Scheithauer S, et al. Do WiFi-based hand hygiene dispenser systems increase hand hygiene Compliance? American Journal of Infection Control (2018)]. ‘Using these systems,’ adds the manufacturer Ophardt Hygiene, ‘a continuous stream of objective data is…

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Perfect illumination aids diagnosis

Find the right light

ACEMST1, a new flexible medical LED light from the Italian manufacturer ACEM, has an illumination suitable for diagnoses in dermatology, general medicine, gynaecology, and dentistry – and can even be used as a bedhead light. The manufacturer also reports that this compact lamp ensures excellent light intensity, an IR-free beam, variable colour temperature (CCT), a high colour rendering index…

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Where are the infectiologists?

‘The hygiene plan is nothing but a fig leaf’

Nosocomial infections cause more deaths than traffic accidents – a stunning discovery made in a recent German study. Worse: infectious diseases long thought eradicated in Europe, such as measles, tuberculosis (TB) and, more recently, syphilis, are also implicated. The increasing number of patients places an additional financial burden on healthcare. But – and this might be the good news –…

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Robotic assistance for middle and inner ear procedures

Cochlear implant microsurgery progresses

Unlike other surgical specialties, ear nose and throat (ENT) has been poorly served by the introduction of robotic platforms to enhance procedures. Since the da Vinci system first gained FDA approval in 2000, robot-assisted surgery has become commonplace in many specialties, including neurology, urology, etc. with numerous other general surgical applications. However, existing systems including…

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Vascular surgery

New lease of life thanks to new aorta

Patients with the rare Loeys-Dietz syndrome suffer from aortic enlargement which may result in sudden over-expansion and a fatal aortic tear. In order to prevent this from happening, an aortic prosthesis must be implanted. A team of vascular surgeons at the University Hospital of Zurich was one of the first in the world to risk undertaking this life-saving operation on a child as an emergency…

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Hypothyroidism

Underactive thyroid: Study validates treatment guidelines

A study led by the University of Birmingham provides strong support for current recommendations on treating patients with an underactive thyroid and validates latest UK and US guidelines, say researchers. The retrospective cohort study, published in The BMJ, analysed anonymous GP records of over 162,000 patients who have been diagnosed with hypothyroidism – a highly prevalent condition more…

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Rare lung disease

FDA approval for scleroderma treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Ofev (nintedanib) capsules to slow the rate of decline in pulmonary function in adults with interstitial lung disease associated with systemic sclerosis or scleroderma, called SSc-ILD. It is the first FDA-approved treatment for this rare lung condition. “Patients suffering from scleroderma need effective therapies, and the FDA supports the efforts…

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Reopening blood vessels

Microbubbles and ultrasound can help treat heart attacks

Doctors are using microbubbles and ultrasound to treat heart attacks – deploying these traditional diagnostic tools in an attempt to reopen tiny blood vessels, reduce scar size and restore heart function, according to a study described at a medical conference in Chicago. “This study shows for the first time that microbubbles can be used to both diagnose and treat small vessel obstructions…

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Wireless spirometer & smartphone

'Asthma app' to improve self-monitoring

A study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet shows that a treatment adjustment algorithm based on lung function and symptoms in a mobile phone can be an efficient tool in managing uncontrolled asthma. For fuss-free measuring of lung function, the phone connects to a wireless spirometer and the app can register respiratory symptoms and provide visual feedback on treatment. The study is…

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Cardiac regeneration potential

Cell combination heals damaged hearts

Researchers have discovered a unique combination of cells grown from stem cells that could prove pivotal in helping a heart regenerate after a patient has suffered a myocardial infarction. The University of Cambridge research team found that transplanting an area of damaged tissue with a combination of heart muscle cells and supportive cells, similar to those that cover the outside of the heart,…

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After myocardial infarction

Patching up a damaged heart

Scientists in the UK have developed tiny patches of engineered heart tissue that have the potential to be implanted to help people recover from a heart attack. Measuring approximately 3cm x 2cm, the patches contain up to 50 million human-induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CM). Yet, these are programmed to turn into working heart muscle that can beat and gradually be…

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