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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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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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 findings of the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT), funded by Diabetes UK and led by experts at Newcastle University and the University of Glasgow, were announced today at Diabetes UK’s Professional Conference and published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. Professor Roy Taylor from Newcastle University, who co-led the trial, said the findings “pull down the curtain on the era of Type 2 diabetes as an inevitably progressive disease.” These new results build on the globally-reported findings of December 2017, which showed that 46% of participants were in remission after one…

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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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Brain surgery

Less-invasive procedure helps surgeons pinpoint epilepsy surgical candidates

A minimally invasive procedure to determine whether patients with drug-resistant epilepsy are candidates for brain surgery is safer, more efficient, and leads to better outcomes than the traditional…

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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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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…

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Spinal deterioration

For adult scoliosis, surgery is a viable option

For years, spine surgeons have debated the best methods for treating scoliosis in adults. New research found that surgery usually helped patients improve. It helped correct their curvature, and they…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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 sebum, the researchers found. The findings suggest Parkinson’s disease could one day be diagnosed from skin swabs, potentially leading to new tests. There are no tests for Parkinson’s disease at…

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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 Centre for Tumour Diseases Heidelberg (NCT), clearly voices his dissatisfaction with the German ‘wait it out mentality’. He sharply criticised the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA) and here also…

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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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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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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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Seasonal influenza

Why the flu is especially dangerous for kidney failure patients

In patients with kidney failure, influenza-like illness (ILI) likely contributes to more than 1,000 deaths per year. The finding, which comes from a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN), points to the importance of protection against, surveillance of, and, where possible, treatment of such infections in patients with kidney dysfunction.…

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Omega-3

Asthma control: How effective is fish oil really?

Fish oil does not appear to improve asthma control in adolescents and young adults with uncontrolled asthma who are overweight or obese, according to new research published online in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society. In “Fish Oil Supplementation in Overweight/Obese Patients with Uncontrolled Asthma: A Randomized Trial,” Jason E. Lang, MD, MPH, and co-authors report that four grams…

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Early detection

Prediabetes: don't wait, reduce your CVD risk

A diagnosis of prediabetes should be a warning for people to make lifestyle changes to prevent both full-blown diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to scientists at Wake Forest School of Medicine. “We know that having diabetes increases the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, so in our study we wanted to determine what the absolute risk or probability of developing heart…

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Good boy, indeed

Diabetes: Dogs can help manage hypoglycaemic episodes

New research by the University of Bristol in collaboration with Medical Detection Dogs has found that the best trained alert dogs have the potential to vastly improve the quality of life of people living with Type 1 diabetes. As reported in PLOS One, on average trained dogs alerted their owners to 83 per cent of hypoglycaemic episodes in over 4,000 hypo- and hyper-glycaemic episodes that were…

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Cardiovascular diseases and nutrition

CVD: Every second to third premature death preventable

Of the 4.3 million cardiovascular deaths in Europe in 2016, 2.1 million were the result of poor nutrition. The 28 EU member states account for around 900,000, Russia for 600,000 and the Ukraine for 250,000 of these deaths. Every second to third premature cardiovascular death could be prevented by better nutrition. These were the findings of an international research team led by the Martin Luther…

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Blood thinners

Experts' plea for anticoagulant dosage guidelines

Rutgers researchers have found a way to reduce bleeding in patients following bariatric surgery. The study, which appeared in the journal Surgery for Obesity and Related Disorders, was conducted by Luigi Brunetti and Leonid Kagan at the Rutgers Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy in collaboration with Ragui Sadek at Advanced Surgical and Bariatrics of New Jersey. More than 30 percent of adults in the…

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Radiotherapy side-effects

Skin fibrosis: new treatment for cancer patients

A clinical-scientific team specializing in head-and-neck cancer has identified a way to manipulate metabolism to potentially curb skin fibrosis – a common side effect of radiotherapy affecting quality of life of cancer survivors. The study findings from the laboratory of principal investigator Dr. Fei-Fei Liu, Chief, Radiation Oncology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health…

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Oncology

COMPASS: The guide to new therapies for children with cancer

Through a targeted combination of molecular and microscopy-based techniques, researchers aim to identify new treatment approaches for children with cancer. The Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ) coordinates the project, which is funded by the European consortium ERA PerMed with 1.5 million euros and involves scientific institutions from France, the Netherlands, Finland and Hungary in…

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Wireless WAND

Can 'pacemaker for the brain' help to treat neurological disorders?

A new neurostimulator developed by engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, can listen to and stimulate electric current in the brain at the same time, potentially delivering fine-tuned treatments to patients with diseases like epilepsy and Parkinson's. The device, named the WAND, works like a "pacemaker for the brain," monitoring the brain's electrical activity and…

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Regenerative medicine

Blood cells can be directly reprogrammed into neural stem cells

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the stem cell institute HI-STEM* have succeeded for the first time in directly reprogramming human blood cells into a previously unknown type of neural stem cell. These induced stem cells are similar to those that occur during the early embryonic development of the central nervous system. They can be modified and multiplied indefinitely…

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Glioblastoma

New actively personalized therapeutic vaccine for brain cancer

The prospect of an actively personalized approach to the treatment of glioblastoma has moved a step closer with the recent publication in Nature of favorable data from the phase 1 study GAPVAC-101, testing a novel therapeutic concept tailored to specific characteristics of patients’ individual tumors and immune systems. For the first time, the feasibility of such a highly personalized form of…

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Brain health after surgery

Post-operative cognitive decline: mostly a myth, says study

Patients who undergo heart surgery do not experience major memory changes—either better or worse—when compared with those who have a much less invasive, catheter-based procedure, according to a study published online in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery. “It was comforting to see that the differences in cognitive decline between the two heart procedures are small, even though one involves…

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Chronic peripheral inflammation and schizophrenia

The network approach to mental illness research

As European health services are pressured to provide the best possible care for best possible value, some medical fields are now very much the poor relation; this is particularly true for mental health. Mental illnesses represent a great health burden and cause huge financial and societal pressure in terms of direct and indirect costs from repeated hospitalisation and treatment failures, while…

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Organs and qualified surgeons drop

Will transplant medicine have a future in Germany?

‘Do we want transplant medicine? And if yes, what are we prepared to change in public policy, society and medicine?’ This question characterises the current situation within this medical discipline. Since the 2011 transplant scandal, there has been a steady decline in organ donations according to the German Foundation for Organ Donation (DSO). Although there were some 1,200 transplant donors…

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