Thalidomide May Help Treat HHT.
A team from the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) reported in the journal Nature Medicine, that, Thalidomide, the sedative blamed for tragic birth defects half a century ago, treated a rare inherited blood disorder," called hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, or HHT, "according to lab experiments reported on Sunday." The researchers, "experimenting on mice genetically engineered to have HHT, found that thalidomide reduced the risk of haemorrhage and stabilised blood vessels. The drug works by boosting a protein called PDGF-B.
Some Tumor Cells May Develop Transient, Non-Genetic Form Of Drug Resistance.
Researchers have discovered that tumor cells under treatment can develop a transient and non-genetic form of drug resistance," according to a study appearing in the journal Cell. They examined "a mutant cell line of non-small cell lung cancer that is very sensitive to tyrosine kinase inhibitors that target the epidermal growth factor receptor," finding that "a small fraction" of cells "remained quiescent, but alive" when "exposed to...a drug at high concentrations." But, the study showed that "the drug-resistant cells had elevated expression of the gene for a chromatin-modifying enzyme called KDM5A." The researchers concluded that "blocking the activity of the protein might offer a pharmacological opportunity to improve cancer therapy."
Aspirin May Reduce Migraine Pain Within Two Hours.
"Taking an aspirin can reduce the pain of a migraine headache within two hours for over 50% of people," a paper in the Cochrane Library Review revealed. After looking at data culled from 13 studies, researchers in Oxford "found that a single dose of aspirin also reduces nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound -- other symptoms of a migraine."
The study co-author Sheena Derry reported that, "My advice for sufferers would be to try aspirin or other over the counter medicines as a first choice and then go on to more migraine specific drugs if these do not work." She added, "We are also planning to carry out similar studies on other painkillers, such as ibuprofen and paracetamol [acetaminophen], because we still do not know how affective they are at treating migraine."
FDA Phasing Out Production, Sale Of CFC Asthma Inhalers.
The Los Angeles Times "Booster Shots" blog reported, "The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it is taking a long-expected step and phasing out the production and sale of asthma inhalers using chlorofluorocarbons as a propellant." Indeed, "four of the seven devices using CFCs are no longer being made, but they are being banned to prevent their reintroduction," and the "rest will be forbidden after the end of 2013." Notably, "most uses of the chemicals have already been abandoned," because they "have been shown to damage the Earth's ozone layer."
Certain Painkillers May Help Reduce Ovarian, Breast Cancer Risk.
A study published in the April issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention found that "postmenopausal women who regularly take" nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory "painkillers have lower estrogen levels than nonusers...which might explain a decreased risk of breast or ovarian cancer among these women." Examining 740 postmenopausal women who participated in the Nurses' Health Study, researchers found the level of estrogen was reduced "12 percent to 15 percent, depending on which estrogen form was evaluated." Margaret Gates, a research fellow at the Channing Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, speculated that this may be due to the painkillers inhibiting the expression of aromatase, which converts testosterone to a form of estrogen.
TB Treatments Called Outdated.
Reports on the 28th World TB Day stated that, methods for treating the disease are very outdated, and tuberculosis still kills far too many people. The Times positively notes recent discussions by the FDA to start testing innovative treatments simultaneously, but points out that TB does not have the advocacy other diseases have. NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci laments the lack of new researchers entering the specialty, saying, "More than a sea change, we need a storm."
Statin Treatment Linked To Lower Cardiovascular Mortality In Very Elderly Patients After MI.
According to research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. "statin treatment is linked to lower cardiovascular mortality rates in very elderly patients after myocardial infarction, but without an increased risk for cancer mortality," According to the study's authors, "These observations suggest that the protective effect of statin treatment in very elderly patients' post-myocardial infarction is of a similar relative magnitude as that demonstrated in randomized clinical trial for middle-age subjects and that it may in absolute terms be even greater."