May 20, 2014

Health Roundup: New pills for lung cancer, Alzheimer's, drinkable sunscreen, killer pimple, no link between autism and vaccines

A cure for lung cancer? Doctors hail incredible breakthrough with new drugs

Next week ‘stellar’ trial results for the antibody drug will be presented at the world’s biggest cancer conference, for the American Society of Clinical Oncology, in Chicago.

Doctors will reveal that a quarter of 129 US patients with advanced lung cancer have survived at least two years after starting nivolumab. ...Nivolumab is one of a new class of drug, called anti-PD1s and anti-PDL1s, which help the immune system ‘see’ that tumors are deadly foes. Explaining how the drugs work Dr Peake said: ‘Tumors develop a ‘cloak’, like a Star Wars force field, around themselves. This stops the immune system attacking them.  These drugs take that force field away and allow the body’s immune response to fight the tumor. The beauty is we do not have the adverse side effects of conventional treatment.’

Professor Dean Fennell, who has been treating British patients with a similar drug, MK3475, said: ‘This is an enormous deal. There are patients on treatment who’ve been going an incredibly long time.’ He added it was ‘not inconceivable’ that they could be an ‘effective cure’ for some – allowing patients to live virtually disease-free for years.

Happy pill 'wards off Alzheimer's': Widely used anti-depressant can help reduce formation of plaque on the brain
A widely-used antidepressant could help slow the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers have found.

Scientists say citalopram can significantly reduce the formation of plaques in the brain, which could go some way to warding off the disease.The U.S. academics admit it is too early to recommend the drug to Alzheimer’s patients, but dementia charities last night welcomed the ‘promising’ findings as providing ‘vital new clues’ about the disease.

Plaque deposits are closely associated with declining memory and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s, so anything that can stop their build-up in the brain is likely to help ward off the condition.  The research, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, found that a single dose of the antidepressant citalopram lowered production of the plaque protein amyloid beta by 37 per cent.

Statins are safe as research claiming adverse side effects proved wrong

Oxford academic says patients may have been at risk after they stopped taking statins because they believed flawed research published in the British Medical Journal, which he had warned months before was wrong

The killer pimple: Doctors warn of aggressive form of skin cancer which is six times more likely to kill if it is not removed within two months

Nodular melanomas usually appear on the skin as a red nodule rather than an ugly dark mole, leading doctors to mistake them for relatively harmless forms of skin cancer or even pimples.  But the key difference is that these melanomas are firm to touch, and will not feel soft like a pimple or a mole.
 Nodular Melanoma

World's first DRINKABLE sun cream goes on sale - and just a teaspoon will offer three hours' protection

Harmonised H20 UV claims to provide holiday makers with up to factor 30 protection, meaning sunbathers could be able to soak up the rays for longer without fear of getting burned.
Once ingested, the product's liquid molecules vibrate on the skin, cancelling out 97 per cent of UVA and UVB rays, according to US company Osmosis Skincare.

Dr Ben Johnson, who founded the company, adds in his blog: 'If 2 mls are ingested an hour before sun exposure, the frequencies that have been imprinted on water will vibrate on your skin in such a way as to cancel approximately 97% of the UVA and UVB rays before they even hit your skin. This results in coverage for approximately three hours. 

There is NO link between autism and childhood vaccines, a major new study finds

There is no connection between the development of autism with childhood vaccinations, University of Sydney researchers recently found. The first systematic international review was conducted for the research involved more than 1.25 million children for five cohort studies and a further 9920 for five case-controlled studies.
Results from both showed that there was no statistical data to support a link between commonly-used vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough and the development of autism or autism spectrum disorders.
Posted by Jill Fallon at May 20, 2014 10:27 AM | Permalink