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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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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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 mental health and helps them to discover simple steps to look after their mental health and wellbeing. The campaign offers free, NHS-approved mental health resources, via the One You website, which helps build understanding of mental health and what individuals can do to improve and manage how they are feeling. Users are asked a few questions to identify the type of issues they are facing, to generate a tailored ‘self-care action plan’. There are more in-depth modules on topics such as stress, sleeplessness, anxiety and low mood. Each contains information on what can cause changes in…

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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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R-One robotic platform

First robotic coronary angioplasties in humans

Robocath announces the success of its first two coronary angioplasties performed with assistance from its R-One robotic platform.

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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…

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Imaging

Photoacoustic technology could 'revolutionize' cancer surgery

Cancer treatment could be dramatically improved by an invention at the University of Waterloo to precisely locate the edges of tumors during surgery to remove them.

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Risk stratification

Cardio-controversy: Added value through CAD imaging?

ESC Congress, Paris: Two key strands in the ‘Controversies in imaging coronary artery disease’ session at the congress will examine the pros and cons of imaging use for coronary artery disease…

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Pioneering cardiology

Implantable cardiac monitor gets diagnosis in just three days

It started as a fairly typical case: The 79-year-old patient had suffered unexplained dizziness for years. To diagnose why, the cardiology team at Sweden’s Kalmar Hospital performed…

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Highlights from the 30th TCT Meeting

Advancing transcatheter cardiovascular therapies

A remarkable number of studies and innovations were presented at the 30th anniversary of Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting in San Diego, California.
TCT 2019 will take…

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Measles

Vaccine hesitancy threatens global health

Measles cases are rising worldwide. Globally, a trend of falling public trust in vaccines is alarming health officials and the World Health Organisation (WHO) lists vaccine hesitancy as one of the…

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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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'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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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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Quality assurance

Supporting blood donor service in Lebanon

Greiner Bio-One has been a project partner of the Swiss Red Cross since May 2019. Due to its extensive and long-term experience, SRK is in a strong position to provide support to several countries in establishing a professional blood donor service. One of these countries is Lebanon. In addition to promoting quality assurance in the blood donor service, the goal of the Swiss Red Cross is to…

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The MR-INFORM trial

Seeking a first line ischaemia test

Findings from a comparative outcome study have highlighted the benefits of using cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) perfusion imaging as a first line ischaemia test in patients with moderate risk of coronary artery disease (CAD). The MR-INFORM (Magnetic Resonance Perfusion or Fractional Flow Reserve in Coronary Disease) trial, which began in 2012 (results published in the New England…

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Wishlist

Cancer prevention scrutinised

The latest study by the German Society for Haematology and Oncology (DGHO), ‘Prognosis for population-based morbidity for common cancers in Germany – impact on provision’ has made it clear that due to demographic developments in Germany and to medical advances in oncology, the requirements for cancer patients’ care are ever more diverse. The increase in newly diagnosed cancer patients is…

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Interventional radiology

Safe, cheap embolisation for emerging countries

Vincent Vidal (Marseille, France) and colleagues have demonstrated the in vivo feasibility of arterial embolization with permanent and absorbable suture fragments, leading them to propose what they have termed the “FAIR-Embo” concept to the wider interventional radiology (IR) community. Writing in Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiology (CVIR), they conclude: “Embolization by absorbable…

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Stem cell regeneration

Drug accelerates recovery after chemo, radiation

A drug developed by US physician-scientists and chemists speeds up the regeneration of mouse and human blood stem cells after exposure to radiation. If the results can be replicated in humans, the compound could help people recover quicker from chemotherapy, radiation and bone marrow transplants. The study, published in Nature Communications, also sheds light on the basic biology behind blood…

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VR simulator "HIPS"

Hip joint implantation in virtual reality

Researchers from Chemnitz and Bremen are developing a virtual reality simulator for a particularly critical step in hip joint implantation. Each year, more than 200,000 people receive a prosthetic hip in Germany. The success of these operations has a major impact on the quality of life of those affected. However, the procedure is often difficult, particularly the step that involves the so-called…

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Improved motion range

Brace yourselves: Robotic neck support for ALS patients

A novel neck brace, which supports the neck during its natural motion, was designed by Columbia engineers. This is the first device shown to dramatically assist patients suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in holding their heads and actively supporting them during range of motion. This advance would result in improved quality of life for patients, not only in improving eye contact…

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Microstents vs foetal urethral strictures

The world’s smallest stent

Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a new method for producing malleable microstructures – for instance, vascular stents that are 40 times smaller than previously possible. In the future, such stents could be used to help to widen life-threatening constrictions of the urinary tract in foetuses in the womb. Approximately one in every thousand children develops a urethral stricture,…

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Biocompatible alternative

Non-silicone breast implant to enter clinical trial

Surgery complications, implant rupture, tissue contractures or even plain immune intolerance – silicone breast implants can cause a variety of unfavourable conditions. Because of this, many women think twice about breast augmentation. A new kind of implant might change this up a bit. BellaSeno GmbH, a company developing absorbable implants using additive manufacturing technology, now announced…

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Epidemiology

Tuberculosis: A quarter of the world's population at risk

A new study from Aarhus University Hospital and Aarhus University has shown that probably 1 in 4 people in the world carry the tuberculosis bacterium in the body. The disease tuberculosis is caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, which affects more than 10 million people every year, and kills up to 2 million, making it the most deadly of the infectious diseases. In addition, many are…

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Hidden chemistry

This flower might hold the key to killing cancer cells

Researchers at the University of Birmingham have shown that it’s possible to produce a compound with anti-cancer properties directly from feverfew – a common flowering garden plant. The team was able to extract the compound from the flowers and modify it so it could be used to kill chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) cells in the laboratory. Feverfew is grown in many UK gardens, and also…

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Elderly in the ICU

Can flu vaccine reduce stroke risk?

It appears that an influenza vaccine does not just work when it comes to influenza. A new study shows that elderly people who have been admitted to an intensive care units have less risk of dying and of suffering a blood clot or bleeding in the brain if they have been vaccinated. And this is despite the fact that they are typically older, have more chronic diseases and take more medicine then…

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XDR Klebsiella pneumoniae

Antibiotic resistance in Europe: Hospitals are part of the problem

New research has found that antibiotic-resistant strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae, an opportunistic pathogen that can cause respiratory and bloodstream infections in humans, are spreading through hospitals in Europe. Certain strains of K. pneumoniae are resistant to the carbapenem antibiotics that represent the last line of defence in treating infections and are therefore regarded as extremely…

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Dose reduction

Increasing precision for radiotherapy

A new way of concentrating radiotherapy dose in tumours, while minimising damage to healthy cells, has been proposed in research led by scientists at the University of Strathclyde. The study proposes that focusing high-energy particle beams on a small spot deep inside the body could potentially enable clinicians to target cancerous tumours precisely, while reducing the dose to surrounding tissue.…

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UV exposure

Spike in female skin cancer rates reveals alarming tanning trends

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the U.S., affecting one in five Americans in their lifetime. Limiting exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the number one way individuals can reduce their risk of skin cancer, though new data suggests that UV exposure is on the rise, particularly among Caucasian girls and young women. Research presented at the 2019 American Academy of Dermatology Summer…

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Chronic Liver Disease

Study confirms clinical benefit of ShearWave Elastography

SuperSonic Imagine announces that a multicenter retrospective study conducted in Europe and China, has confirmed the clinical utility of ShearWave Elastography in patients with chronic liver disease, the first results of which were presented at the International Liver Congress (ILC 2019). The objective of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic value of ShearWave Elastography (SWE) in the…

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Drug delivery, microsurgery

Microbots show promise in tumor treatment

Targeting medical treatment to an ailing body part is a practice as old as medicine itself. A Band-Aid is placed on a skinned knee. Drops go into itchy eyes. A broken arm goes into a cast. But often what ails us is inside the body and is not so easy to reach. In such cases, a treatment like surgery or chemotherapy might be called for. A pair of researchers in Caltech's Division of Engineering and…

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Body fat assessment

BMI for children? Here's a better idea

Researchers at St George's, University of London have developed an accurate equation that will enable medical professionals to accurately predict body fat levels in children using only very simple measurements and other information. The equation takes into account height, weight, sex and age and ethnicity (where available) to predict body fat. The equation has been derived using information from…

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Dysbiosis treatment

New prebiotics: benefits without downsides?

Prebiotics are currently a preferred treatment for certain metabolic disorders, as they can restore the balance of dysfunctional gut microbiota, and improve the body’s metabolism. However, these substances have to be used at high doses, which can result in patients experiencing bloating and flatulence. A research group led by Matteo Serino, Inserm researcher at the Digestive Health Research…

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Biomedical engineering

Cornea restoration: Scientists develop physical biomarker

Our eyes – considered by many to be the windows to the soul – need constant care, and as we age, they sometimes also need significant repair. The panes of these windows – the corneas – are transparent tissues that have been the focus of some of the oldest and most common transplantation surgeries. Now thanks to researchers in Kyoto, some such transplants may become even safer. The team,…

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Tailor-made

Artificial heart valves from silicone

Scientists at ETH Zürich and the South African company Strait Access Technologies are using 3D printing to produce custom-made artificial heart valves from silicone. This could help meet an ageing population’s growing demand for replacement heart valves. The human heart has four chambers, each equipped with a valve to ensure blood flow in one direction only. If any of the heart valves are…

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Micro-constrictions

Reducing damage after a heart attack

Researchers in the Medical Sciences Division of Oxford University have established a key cause of micro blood vessels constricting during surgery to reopen a blocked artery, and identified a potential therapeutic target to block the mechanism behind it. During the emergency procedure used to reopen the blocked artery causing a heart attack, smaller "micro" blood vessels can remain…

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High blood pressure

Hypertension: treatment disadvantage in the south

Healthcare in low- and middle-income countries is poorly prepared for the increasing number of people with high blood pressure, with more than two-thirds of people affected going without treatment – a new study reveals. Researchers studied health data for one million people in the Global South, discovering that less than half of those affected are diagnosed with high blood pressure or…

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Medical device hygiene

Limited time and storage space in endoscope reprocessing: A new perspective

In endoscope reprocessing, time and storage space are always limited. During the ESGE Days in Prague the IKEM hospital facilitated the live procedures and had to deal with an exceptionally high demand for endoscope reprocessing. Hana Kubecova, head nurse of their endoscopy department, explains how a new solution, the PlasmaTYPHOON, helped her team to deal with this high work load whilst still…

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Global health

WHO updates list of essential medicines and diagnostics

The World Health Organisation's (WHO) Essential Medicines List and List of Essential Diagnostics are core guidance documents that help countries prioritize critical health products that should be widely available and affordable throughout health systems. Now, updated versions of the two lists have been published, focusing on cancer and other global health challenges, with an emphasis on effective…

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