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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Tailored treatment needed

Half of patients on statins fail to reach ‘healthy’ cholesterol level after 2 years

Half of patients prescribed statins in primary care fail to reach ‘healthy’ cholesterol levels after two years of treatment with these drugs, reveals research published online in the journal…

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Against rebound

Pancreatic cancer: Genome-wide analysis reveals new strategies

For some cancers, initial treatment with chemotherapy brings positive, but only temporary, results: tumors shrink, but then rebound as the cancer becomes drug-resistant. This pattern of…

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Obsessive compulsive disorder

Targeted deep brain stimulation reduces OCD symptoms

The debilitating behaviours and all-consuming thoughts which affect people with severe obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), could be significantly improved with targeted deep brain stimulation,…

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Rare bone cancer

Targeted approach to therapy for chordomas

Chordomas are rare bone tumors for which only few options of treatment exist. Scientists and doctors from the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), and Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) have discovered a particular genetic trait of chordomas in advanced stages after conducting gene analysis. Their findings, published in the journal Nature Communications, indicate that a group of drugs, which have already been approved for treating other types of cancer, could also be effective in treating chordomas.

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Breast healthcare

FDA advances landmark policy changes to modernize mammography services

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced important new steps to modernize breast cancer screening and help empower patients with more information when they are considering important…

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Radiation oncology

Successful testing at the Medstar Southern Maryland Hospital

IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.), the world’s leading provider of proton therapy solutions and radiation therapy integrated quality assurance (QA) for the treatment of cancer, announces the…

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Spatial cognition and neurodegeneration

When the compass fails

Where are we coming from? Where are we going? Where are we right now? Our sense of spatial orientation – a complex interaction of various cells in the brain – gives us answers to these questions.…

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PARG inhibitors

New class of drugs could treat ovarian cancer

A team of researchers across The University of Manchester have shown that a new class of drugs are able to stop ovarian cancer cells growing. The Cancer Research UK and Wellcome Trust funded study,…

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Alternative to statin treatment

Atherosclerosis: Antibodies stabilise plaque

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have found that type IgG antibodies play an unexpected role in atherosclerosis. A study on mice shows that the antibodies stabilise the plaque that accumulates on…

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Unique detection

'Super smeller' could lead to parkinson skin swab test

A study has identified chemicals in the skin responsible for a unique scent in people with Parkinson’s disease. The chemicals can be detected in an oily substance secreted from the skin called…

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Colon cancer

Revolution and evolution in oncology

Dr Georg Ralle, General Secretary of the association ‘Network against Colon Cancer’ since 2012 as well as moderator of the symposium ‘The New Measurement of Oncology’, hosted by the National…

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Stop progression

Weight loss sets back Type 2 diabetes for at least two years

More than a third of people with Type 2 diabetes who took part in a weight management programme delivered by the NHS through GP surgeries remain free of diabetes two years later. These latest…

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Glioblastoma

Researchers block protein to stop brain tumors' self-repair

Researchers at the San Diego branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at University of California San Diego, with colleagues around the country, report that inhibiting activity of a…

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Gastroenterology

'Hypnotising' Skype therapy helps irritable bowel

Skype hypnotherapy is an effective treatment for people with severe irritable bowel syndrome, a new study has found. The study of 20 patients who had the treatment via the online communications tool…

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Renal denervation

Ultrasound-assisted surgery to treat hypertension

A one-off operation that targets the nerves connected to the kidney has been found to maintain reduced blood pressure in hypertension patients for at least six months, according to the results of a…

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Organ transplantation

New insights into rejection of transplanted organs

The consequences of organ rejection in transplant patients can be devastating. Professor A. Vathsala, co-director of the National University Centre for Organ Transplantation at the National…

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Simplified catheter ablation

“Back to basics” atrial fibrillation procedure could cut waiting lists

A day case catheter ablation procedure which includes only the bare essentials and delivers the same outcomes could slash waiting lists for atrial fibrillation patients, according to late-breaking…

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Cystic Fibrosis & COPD

An experimental treatment for chronic lung disease

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have discovered a novel experimental treatment for chronic lung diseases that could improve the lives for people with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and Chronic…

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Repetitive stress injuries

Selfie elbow – yes, this is actually a thing

Specialists are seeing more and more repetitive stress injuries (RSI) from overuse of smartphones and tablets ­– the main instigators of emerging conditions like texting thumb and selfie elbow,…

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Ten-year trial results

Radiotherapy reduces recurrence of early, hormone-driven breast cancer

Women with early, low risk, hormone-driven breast cancer are less likely to have a recurrence of their disease if they have radiotherapy after surgery, as well as anti-hormone treatment, according to…

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Personalized treatment

Genome analytics become affordable for daily hospital use

Today, on the occasion of the international DNA day, imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, and its partners revealed their Genome Analytics…

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New approach

Proton therapy: improved accuracy through range prediction

Medical physicists at the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, Dresden (Germany) announce the beginning of a new era in treatment planning: In a worldwide first, a new approach increases the…

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Nosocomial infections

Global-PPS: Hospital antibiotic resistance study tops 200k

BioMérieux and the Laboratory of Medical Microbiology at the University of Antwerp announced at ECCMID (European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases) the 2018 results of the Global Point Prevalence Survey (GLOBAL-PPS), a study of antibiotic use and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in hospitals around the world. Since its launch in 2015, this survey has been conducted in…

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Personalized medicine

FDA approves first targeted therapy for metastatic bladder cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to Balversa (erdafitinib), a treatment for adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer that has a type of susceptible genetic alteration known as FGFR3 or FGFR2, and that has progressed during or following prior platinum-containing chemotherapy. Patients should be selected for therapy with Balversa…

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Differentiate and select

Myths and truths about antibiotics, antiseptics and vaccination

Sixty-two percent of Germans fear antibiotic resistance, according to a survey recently conducted by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. ‘Patients colonised by multi-resistant pathogens are particularly scared. But many of these fears are rooted in misunderstandings,’ explained Professor Mathias Pletz, Director of the Institute of Infection Medicine and Hospital Hygiene at…

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Internet of Things

New hearing aid for better IoT connectivity

A newly developed ultra-small circuit (IC) could pave the way for a new generation of hearing aids with advanced connectivity features. These are jointly developed by Semtech Corporation, a supplier of analog and mixed signal semiconductors and algorithms, and Sonova, a company specializing in innovative hearing care solutions. Their advanced radio system features an IC as a main component,…

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Neurological complications

Enterovirus infections: The disease is rare and research scant

Neurological complications due to infections with (novel) enteroviruses are rarely the focus of medical research. Thus, an article published in the German medical journal Der Nervenarzt (published at the Medizinische Hochschule Hanover (MHH) – has created quite a stir. We spoke with one of the authors, Professor Martin Stangel, about current clinical practice in terms of enterovirus.…

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Aggressive brain tumors

Progress in the treatment of glioblastoma

Cancer researchers at the University of Bonn have reported significant progress in the treatment of glioblastoma. About one third of all patients suffer from a particular variant of this most common and aggressive brain tumor. Survival of these patients treated with the new combination therapy increased on average by nearly half compared to patients who received the standard therapy.

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Preserving your eyesight

7 ways to prevent macular degeneration

Doctors aren’t sure what causes age-related macular degeneration, a disease that affects millions of people in the United States. Also called AMD, it is known for causing blurred central vision due to damage to the macula — a small area at the back of the eye. Currently, there is no cure. But there are known risk factors that eye care professionals often use to help determine a patient’s…

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Blood cell disorder

Promising results for new acute porphyria treatment

Acute porphyria is a group of uncommon diseases that can cause severe, potentially life-threatening attacks of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and paralysis. Liver transplantation is currently the only effective treatment available for the most seriously afflicted patients. A clinical trial conducted in collaboration with researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden now shows that a new drug…

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Gene therapy instead of anitibiotics

New treatment for Chlamydia discovered

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have developed a new way to prevent and treat Chlamydia, the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the world. The new treatment differs from the traditional antibiotic treatment as it is a type of gene therapy that is delivered via nanotechnology and is showing a 65 per cent success rate in preventing chlamydia infection on a single…

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Cingulum stimulation

Laughter may be best medicine for brain surgery

Neuroscientists at Emory University School of Medicine have discovered a focal pathway in the brain that when electrically stimulated causes immediate laughter, followed by a sense of calm and happiness, even during awake brain surgery. The effects of stimulation were observed in an epilepsy patient undergoing diagnostic monitoring for seizure diagnosis. These effects were then harnessed to help…

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Minimally-invasive

Endoscopy: Through the keyhole or open surgery?

Physicians in Germany remove around 200,000 gall bladders annually, mostly by minimally invasive surgery, the so-called keyhole surgery. While gall bladders and appendices can be removed through a tiny aperture in the body, large tumours cannot. Patients also profit from the keyhole technique with joint and bone problems in the knee, shoulder or elbow. Advantages: small cuts, less blood loss,…

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Therapeutic progress

Cancer: riding the wave of innovation

In haematology and medical oncology, there is always something new. However, the increasing stratification of cancer therapies presents an enormous challenge for clinical research. Tumour cells – those altered genetically by mutation and thus ought to be recognised by the immune system and destroyed – manage to apply diverse molecular tricks to avoid attack by the immune system. Thus, they…

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Wound care

Healing helped by fish skin or bio-ink

Many methods to treat current or chronic wounds are available. However, the differences in general conditions prevailing in hospital, or for out-patient care, make effective therapy more difficult. Each patient also has other preconditions for healing. Improved communication between everyone involved in the treatment would benefit patients. We see a lot of progress with the issue of “wounds”,…

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Endoprosthetics

Joint efforts: New guidelines for arthroplasty

According to the Swedish Knee Arthroplasty Register, knee arthroplasty – with a revision rate of five percent after ten years – is one of the most successful surgical interventions of the post-World War II decades. The most frequent reasons for revision are loosening or infections, whereas patient dissatisfaction is often caused by mobility impairment and pain. Since many adverse events are…

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Multiple sclerosis

Old cells repair damage in the brains of MS patients

A new study shows that there is a very limited regeneration of cells in the brain of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). These findings underline the importance of treating MS at an early stage of the disease progression, when the affected cells can repair the damage as they are not replaced by new ones. The results are published in the journal Nature by researchers from Karolinska…

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High-dose radiation therapy

Stereotactic radiation improves long-term survival in stage IV cancer patients

The first report from a phase II, multi-center clinical trial indicates that a newer, more aggressive form of radiation therapy — stereotactic radiation — can extend long-term survival for some patients with stage-IV cancers while maintaining their quality of life. The study is published in the January issue of International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics (Red Journal),…

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Dormant virus

Finding 'hidden' HIV in cells

Until now, researchers haven’t been able to accurately quantify a latent form of HIV that persists in patients’ immune cells. A new genetic technique is fast and 10 to 100 times more accurate than previous diagnostics. This hidden, inactive version of HIV embeds into cells’ genomes and can persist despite otherwise successful therapies – thwarting attempts to cure the infection. Using a…

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Ornithine Transcarbamylase deficiency

OTC deficiency: First patient benefits from gene therapy trial

A patient at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) was the first person in the world to take part in a pioneering gene therapy trial for Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, a rare disease that causes toxic levels of ammonia to build up in the blood. Simon Smith, 45, was diagnosed with OTC deficiency as a teenager. Although he defied medical expectations by living a full life in…

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Arthroplasty

"Smart" knee implant could be the future of joint replacements

Smart knee implants may soon be a reality thanks to research conducted by a team including faculty at Binghamton University, State University of New York. Knee replacement surgery is the most common joint replacement procedure, with the number of surgeries increasing every year. Many of those surgeries are done to replace an older implant or one that has worn out. Increasingly, this surgery is…

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Virtual reality

Glaucoma detection with brain-based VR device

A wearable brain-based device called NGoggle that incorporates virtual reality (VR) could help improve glaucoma diagnosis and prevent vision loss. Duke University researchers funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI) have launched a clinical study testing the device in hopes that it could decrease the burden of glaucoma, a major cause of blindness in the U.S. The device consists of head-mounted…

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Endoscopy RFA

New tool opens doors for pancreatic cancer treatment

A significantly more effective, minimally invasive treatment for pancreatic tumors may be on the horizon, thanks to a new endoscopy tool created in the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering. On average, only about 20 percent of pancreatic cancer patients are eligible for a surgical removal of the tumor, which is currently the most-effective treatment option. The location of the pancreas…

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Pediatrics

Predicting the aneurysm risk for kids with Kawasaki disease

When Olivia Nelson was 3 years old, her parents noticed that she had a fever that wouldn’t get better. They brought her to a nearby hospital, where she spent about two weeks being screened for diseases. As doctors tried to find a diagnosis, a lymph node on Olivia’s neck became swollen. Alarmed and wanting an answer, the Nelsons asked to transfer to Seattle Children’s. “It was very…

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Cancer stem-like cells

Important signaling pathway in breast cancer revealed

In breast cancer, one of the most common cancers in women, tumors contain a small amount of so-called cancer stem-like cells (CSCs). Being able to eliminate breast-cancer stem-like cells in a targeted way is essential for developing successful therapies — conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy followed by drug intake, do not target CSCs. A better understanding of the…

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