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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Curbing collaterals

High energy radiotherapy ‘paints’ tumours, avoids healthy tissue

A radiotherapy technique which ‘paints’ tumours by targeting them precisely, and avoiding healthy tissue, has been devised in research led by the University of Strathclyde. Researchers used a…

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Human cytomegalovirus in immunocompromised patients

Post-transplant HCMV infection: pre-emptive strike could save many lives

A potential new treatment to protect immunosuppressed patients from human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been discovered by scientists at the University of Cambridge. Their study shows that certain…

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Immune response or breast cancer?

Swollen lymph nodes after Covid-19 vaccination: what women should know

For many women, swollen lymph nodes are a red flag pointing to breast cancer – but may also be a normal immune reaction to a Covid-19 vaccination. So, to avoid anxiety or downright refusal of the…

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Workplace inclusion

Surgery in a wheelchair: breaking barriers in the OR and beyond

You don’t need to stand up to stand out. A few decades ago, a little boy believed he could tend to patients in spite of being in a wheelchair – and he did. During the EANS 2020 virtual meeting, Prof. Dr. Thomas Kapapa explained how he breaks barriers and helps promote diversity every day in his clinical practice in Germany and Malawi.

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Expert prediction

How will Covid affect cancer death rates in 2021?

Researchers have called on European policymakers to make adequate resources available to tackle pancreatic cancer, a disease that is almost invariably fatal and where little progress has been made…

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After the coma

Prolonged anesthesia 'rewires' the brain

Prolonged anesthesia, also known as medically induced coma, is a life-saving procedure carried out across the globe on millions of patients in intensive medical care units every year. But following…

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Wearable for blood pressure, heart rate, glucose and more

New patch monitors multiple markers at once

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a soft, stretchy skin patch that can be worn on the neck to continuously track blood pressure and heart rate while measuring the…

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Survival prediction

Deep learning may lead to better lung cancer treatments

Doctors and healthcare workers may one day use a machine learning model, called deep learning, to guide their treatment decisions for lung cancer patients, according to a team of Penn State Great…

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Myocarditis, infarction, ischaemia

Many Covid-19 patients leave hospital with heart damage

Around 50% of patients who have been hospitalised with severe Covid-19 and who show raised levels of a protein called troponin have damage to their hearts. The injury was detected by magnetic…

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Restoring proprioception after amputation

New surgery improves 'phantom limb' sensation, prosthesis control

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have invented a new type of amputation surgery that can help amputees to better control their residual muscles and sense where their…

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Alarm system 'ELISE'

A digital 'co-pilot' for paediatric intensive care

Working in intensive care units poses special challenges for healthcare workers. They have to safely and reliably detect whether the condition of their seriously ill patients is deteriorating in a…

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Gender and medical career

Neurosurgeon, wife and mother of three: breaking social bias against women

Running a neurosurgery department when you’re a woman is rare enough, but if on top of that you’re a mother of three, you’re an exception. You’re also living proof that it is possible to…

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Immersion is key

Hemodialysis: Virtual reality lessens side effects

Hemodialysis patients routinely experience side effects such as fatigue, lightheadedness and nausea during their treatment sessions. But patients in a study who used a virtual reality program to…

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Healthcare facilities analysed

Cutting Coronavirus air contamination in hospitals

Preventing air contamination in healthcare facilities is crucial to minimise the airborne spread of Covid-19 and its new strains. Universal masking, rigorous use of and safe disposal of PPE, plus building ventilation are vital. Twenty-four studies reporting hospital SARS-CoV-2 air contamination are summarised in a meta-analysis by a multi-institutional team of French researchers. These show that,…

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Experimental therapy

CRP apheresis: First successful treatment of Covid-19 patient

Apheresis, a procedure that separates removes particular blood constituents, has so far been primarily used with myocardial infarction patients. Now, however, it seems to be a promising approach for Covid-19 cases: the first patient successfully underwent so-called CRP apheresis. The treatment does not target the virus but can prevent potentially fatal consequences of the infection.

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Anticoagulants vs coronavirus

Preventive blood thinning could reduce risk of Covid-19 death

Patients given preventive blood thinning drugs (prophylactic anticoagulants) within 24 hours of admission to hospital with Covid-19 are less likely to die compared with those who do not receive them, a new study finds. Clinical trials are now underway to see if prophylactic anticoagulants could be an effective treatment for Covid-19. In the meantime, the researchers say these findings provide…

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Prevention

High blood pressure causes atrial fibrillation

The first evidence from genetic data that high blood pressure is causally associated with the most common heart rhythm disorder is published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Study author Dr. Georgios Georgiopoulos of King’s College London, UK and National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece said: “Establishing…

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Restoring movement and ability

Brain implants: the key to mobility after stroke?

Someone has a stroke every 40 seconds in the US, resulting in death every 4 minutes. Stroke is the leading cause of disability from a medical condition. When it happens, blood clots or bleeds kill a part of the brain – it goes dark – and can no longer control part of the body. People stop being able to walk, see, talk, or control their hand or arm the way they once did. Although treatments…

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Frequently Asked Questions

What patients want to know about Covid-19 vaccine

This FAQ from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology is provided to help answer patient questions about COVID-19 vaccines. These recommendations are based on best knowledge to date, but could change at any time, pending new information and further guidance from the FDA or CDC.

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Women's health

Hypertension symptoms in women often mistaken for menopause

Pregnancy complications and early menopause increase women’s future risk of heart disease. Cardiologists, gynaecologists and endocrinologists recommend how to help middle-aged women prevent later heart problems in a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) consensus document published in European Heart Journal, a journal of the ESC.

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Microneedles

No more needles for bloodtests?

Blood draws are no fun. They hurt. Veins can burst, or even roll — like they’re trying to avoid the needle, too. Oftentimes, doctors use blood samples to check for biomarkers of disease: antibodies that signal a viral or bacterial infection, such as SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, or cytokines indicative of inflammation seen in conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and…

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Valid for breast as well as blood cancers

Surprising benefits discovered in new cancer treatment

One more piece of the puzzle has fallen into place behind a new drug whose anti-cancer potential was developed at the University of Alberta and is set to begin human trials this year, thanks to newly published research. “The results provide more justification and rationale for starting the clinical trial in May,” said first author John Mackey, professor and director of oncology clinical…

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Osteoarthritis research

New treatment target could halt knee cartilage degeneration

There is currently no cure for osteoarthritis, but a group of scientists believe they’ve discovered a method through which a simple knee injection could potentially stop the disease’s effects. These researchers showed that they could target a specific protein pathway in mice, put it into overdrive and halt cartilage degeneration over time. Building on that finding, they were able to show that…

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Displays in medical equipment

Exploring the benefits of resistive touch panels

When it comes to touch panels for medical equipment, there are some obvious requirements. For instance, medical professionals need the flexibility to use gloves, at any given moment. They may have wet hands or a wet screen but should still be able to operate the touch panel, where the response of the panel should and cannot not be affected.

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Underuse, overuse, or even misuse?

A critical look at the rising euthanasia rates in the Netherlands

There’s a 7-fold unexplained variation in rates of euthanasia across The Netherlands, reveals an analysis of health insurance claims data. It’s not clear if these differences relate to underuse, overuse, or even misuse, say the researchers. The Netherlands was the first country in the world to legalise euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, introducing preliminary legislation in 1994,…

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Intensive care

Protecting lungs from ventilation-induced injury

An unfortunate truth about the use of mechanical ventilation to save the lives of patients in respiratory distress is that the pressure used to inflate the lungs is likely to cause further lung damage. In a new study, scientists identified a molecule that is produced by immune cells during mechanical ventilation to try to decrease inflammation, but isn’t able to completely prevent…

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Lasts longer, causes more damage

Covid-19 pneumonia: not your typical garden-variety pneumonia

Bacteria or viruses like influenza that cause pneumonia can spread across large regions of the lung within hours. In the modern intensive care unit, these bacteria or viruses are usually controlled either by antibiotics or by the body’s immune system within the first few days of the illness. But in a study published in Nature, investigators at Northwestern Medicine show Covid-19 pneumonia is…

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Messenger RNA vaccines explained

Busting 8 common myths about Covid-19 vaccines

Even those who understand the scientific process, trust medical experts and know how important vaccines are for fighting infectious diseases might still have some questions or concerns about the new Covid-19 vaccines. Here, Thaddeus Stappenbeck, MD, PhD, helps set the record straight on 8 common questions, concerns and myths that have emerged about Covid-19 vaccines.

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Aneurysm operations

4D simulation increases safety in brain surgery

Aneurysm operations in the brain rank among the most delicate procedures in neurosurgery. The highest demands are placed on surgeons when choosing the type of intervention, planning the route and carrying out extremely delicate procedures on the blood vessel. A new training technology co-developed between Inselspital, Bern University Hospital, and ARTORG Center of the University of Bern, will…

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Alternative to traditional surgery

Focused ultrasound shows promise for Parkinson’s treatment

A scalpel-free alternative to brain surgery has the potential to benefit people with Parkinson’s disease symptoms that are much more severe on one side of the body, new research suggests. More testing is needed, but the approach, which uses a technology called focused ultrasound, could offer a new option for patients whose symptoms are poorly controlled by medications and those who cannot or do…

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HPV vaccines and pap smear tests

Keys to prevent many cervical cancer cases

Hundreds of thousands of cervical cancer cases per year could be prevented through widespread vaccinations for human papillomavirus (HPV) and annual pap smear tests, says an expert at a top American hospital, Cleveland Clinic, marking Cervical Cancer Awareness Month in January. Dr. Robert DeBernardo, Section Head of Gynecologic Oncology and Vice Chair Subspecialty Care for Women’s Health at…

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Crossing the blood-brain barrier

Nanoparticle drug-delivery system to treat brain disorders

In the past few decades, researchers have identified biological pathways leading to neurodegenerative diseases and developed promising molecular agents to target them. However, the translation of these findings into clinically approved treatments has progressed at a much slower rate, in part because of the challenges scientists face in delivering therapeutics across the blood-brain barrier (BBB)…

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For use across the UK

Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca approved

The Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University/AstraZeneca has been given regulatory approval by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after meeting required safety, quality and effectiveness standards. Following a rigorous, detailed scientific review by the MHRA’s expert scientists and clinicians and on the basis of the advice of its scientific, independent…

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Getting into shape

'Prehabilitation' to aid recovery after surgery for older patients

Older adults about to undergo elective surgery should undertake a sustained programme of targeted exercise beforehand to counteract the muscle-wasting effects of bedrest, new research suggests. A study published by researchers in the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences showed that short term ‘prehabilitation’ strength exercises, undertaken…

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