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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Cancer radiotherapy monitoring

Novel hydrogel turns pink to indicate radiation dose sweet spot

More than half of all cancer patients undergo radiation therapy and the dose is critical. Too much and the surrounding tissue gets damaged, too little and the cancer cells survive. Subhadeep Dutta…

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COVID-19 infection control

Combatting the novel coronavirus with thorough hand hygiene

WHO Chief Adhanom Ghebreyesus has declared the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) a global health emergency. He said the decision was reached not because of the situation in China, but because of,…

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False appendicitis alarm

Study reveals many unnecessary appendix surgeries in children

Surgery for appendicitis is the most common emergency operation in children. A new study has found that the UK has the highest reported national rate of ‘normal appendicectomy,’ where children…

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BCG vs tumour recurrence

Modified tuberculosis vaccine shows promise against bladder cancer

The human immune system can recognize and eliminate not only germs but also cancer cells. This is why treatments with weakened germs can help the immune system in its fight against cancer. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin have genetically modified the tuberculosis vaccine BCG in a way that it stimulates the immune system more specifically. Consequently, the new vaccine offers much greater protection against tuberculosis. A clinical study with patients suffering from cancer of the bladder has now shown that a therapy with VPM1002 could successfully prevent the recurrence of tumours in almost half of the patients who had not responded previously to the BCG therapy. The results could lead to the early approval of the drug for the treatment of cancer of…

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Assistance in lymphedema treatment

New microsurgery robot shows promise

Supermicrosurgery – operations on vessels ranging from 0.3 to 0.8 millimeters – is limited by the dexterity of the surgeon’s hands. To bypass this limitation, robots can assist in the surgical…

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Early detection

Support for lung cancer screening gains momentum in Scotland

The need to consider a formal recommendation on early screening for lung cancer was acknowledged by the Cross Party Group for Cancer, held at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh in January. Attended…

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Blood coagulation

Treating hemophilia with gene therapy

Within the framework of an international study, Lund University and Skåne University Hospital have started treating patients with hemophilia with gene therapy, something that began in January this…

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Interventional cardiology

First robotic coronary angioplasties in Germany

Robocath, a company that designs, develops and commercializes cardiovascular robotic systems for the treatment of vascular diseases, announces it has successfully completed its first robotic coronary…

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One-size-fits-all-approach

New T-cell could make ‘universal’ cancer therapy possible

Researchers at Cardiff University have discovered a new type of killer T-cell that offers hope of a “one-size-fits-all” cancer therapy. T-cell therapies for cancer - where immune cells are…

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Hyperventilation vs cardiac arrhythmia

Hold your breath – save your heart?

A technique that enables patients suffering from heart conditions to hold their breath safely for over 5 minutes could have potential as part of a new treatment for cardiac arrhythmias, say…

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Radiation protection

X-ray shielding: Why lead aprons may be a thing of the past

Patients have come to expect a technician to drape their torsos with a heavy lead apron when they get an X-ray, but new thinking among radiologists and medical physicists is upending the decades-old…

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Personalized treatment

Could B cells turn the tide in sarcoma immunotherapy?

How can the treatment of soft tissue sarcomas, these particularly resistant and aggressive forms of cancer, be improved and better personalized? An international team led by Wolf Hervé Fridman with…

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Transplant breakthrough

Machine keeps liver alive for one week outside of the body

Researchers from the University Hospital Zurich, ETH Zurich, Wyss Zurich and the University of Zurich have developed a machine that repairs injured human livers and keeps them alive outside the body…

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Finding the right hospital

Colon cancer surgery: why experience pays off

Patients with colorectal cancer have a greater chance of survival if they are operated in hospitals with a high case load. This is because complications that can occur after surgery can be better…

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Woundcare in the age of antibiotic resistance

Next generation wound gel to prevent infections

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a new hydrogel based on the body’s natural peptide defense. It has been shown to prevent and treat infections in wounds. The formulation…

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Big data vs. neuroblastoma

Smart algorithm finds possible treatment for childhood cancer

Using a computer algorithm, scientists at Uppsala University have identified a promising new treatment for neuroblastoma. This form of cancer in children, which occurs in specialised nerve cells in…

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Finding the frequency

Ultrasound selectively damages cancer cells (with the right settings)

Doctors have used focused ultrasound to destroy tumors in the body without invasive surgery for some time. However, the therapeutic ultrasound used in clinics today indiscriminately damages cancer…

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Significant improvement in cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation

Surgical robots must also be hygienic

Modern healthcare without hand hygiene? Inconceivable – particularly in the operating room (OR). But what happens when it is not the surgeon who handles the scalpel, but a robot? Robotic surgery,…

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Healthcare in a conflict zone

Wound care in wars

War wounds sustained by frontline soldiers or civilians usually need urgent, specialist, trauma surgery. Over the last two decades much has been learned from injuries sustained during conflicts in,…

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Behind the PICS

Causes for cognitive impairment after intensive care explored

People who have been treated in intensive care commonly suffer from residual cognitive impairment, but the reason for this is unknown. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet now link cognitive…

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Reference center reports

A new era in minimally invasive robotic surgery

The Protestant Hospital Wesel (EVK Wesel) is one of two reference centres in Germany and one of 25 worldwide for the Senhance Surgical Robotic System from Transenterix. ‘We wanted to be the first…

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Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI)

Robotic angioplasty: The future of endovascular interventions

An exciting development from an innovative French company is poised for a major breakthrough in European markets. As is now well-known, coronary angioplasty is a procedure that widens and/or unblocks…

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The Heraeus Symposium at DKOU

Challenges of periprosthetic infection

Periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) is on the increase internationally. In Germany, for example, around 14,500 cases of PJI in hip and knee replacements occur annually. 5,100 of those are caused by multidrug resistant pathogens. ‘Eighty-seven percent of those affected die within five years,’ orthopaedic surgeon Professor Rudolf Ascherl MD pointed out during the Heraeus Symposium held at the…

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Ivermectin licensing in the UK

Why a much-needed scabies medicine is being kept back

A medicine that could control outbreaks of scabies in the UK is unlicensed and only available through specialist importers, researchers at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) have found. In July 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated its model list of essential medicines to include oral ivermectin for scabies-related infections. This recommendation follows the 2017 WHO…

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Brain inflammation

AI could develop personalised psychosis therapies

A new multicentre study will investigate the link between brain inflammation and psychosis, and use artificial intelligence techniques to identify patients that might benefit most from novel treatments. The study, funded by UKRI Medical Research Council, is led by the Universities of Birmingham and Cambridge. Researchers will examine how and if activated inflammatory cells may act differently in…

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The future has begun

Cancer care 2035: multi-disciplinarity is key

An enthralling insight into the care that could be offered to cancer patients of the future was presented by cancer imaging expert Professor Regina Beets-Tan during her a keynote presentation at the recent British Institute of Radiology congress. In the session ‘Oncologic imaging: Future perspectives’, the professor outlined what a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) of the future – a team in…

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Cardiology in Cape Town

First successful robotic coronary angioplasties in Africa

Robocath, a company that designs, develops and commercializes cardiovascular robotic systems for the treatment of vascular diseases, announced it has successfully completed six robotic coronary angioplasties with R-One, a first for the continent of Africa. The Percutaneous Coronary Interventions (PCI) were performed by Dr Faizel Lorgat, an interventional cardiologist at the Netcare Christiaan…

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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 after a period of ten years is recommended. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center are now systematically investigating when and how often tissue lesions are detected during the 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 ageing population, stroke cases are on the rise, with estimates suggesting around a 35% increase from the number of cases in 2015 to 2035. And thanks to the greatly improved emergency care and delivery of…

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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 liver functioning and cirrhosis. This is the result of a new study from Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital. Hepatitis C is a serious disease, but the biggest threat to someone’s health is…

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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…

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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 difficult-to-treat infectious diseases with novel uses of existing FDA-approved drugs through a website, a smartphone or other mobile device. The platform enables the crowdsourcing of medical information from…

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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 barrier to both reach and attack the tumour at source. This has been demonstrated by researchers from Uppsala University, in collaboration with US and UK colleagues, whose research has now been published in…

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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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