Blog Archives

Hope for patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC): Cemiplimab-Rwlc (Libtayo)

October 31, 2018 – The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  recently approved Cemiplimab-Rwlc (Libtayo) injection for intravenous use for the treatment of patients with metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) or locally advanced CSCC who are not candidates for curative surgery or curative radiation.

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Patisiran (Onpattro): First targeted RNA-based therapy approved to treat hATTR

August 14, 2018 – The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved Patisiran (Onpattro) infusion for the treatment of peripheral nerve disease (polyneuropathy) caused by hereditary transthyretin-mediated amyloidosis (hATTR) in adult patients.

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Cancer is not like cancer: Ethnic background matters

November 24, 2017 – New research indicates that one-size treatment for one form of blood cancer likely does not fit all, particularly when it comes to ethnic differences of patients.  Thus, African-American men are three times more likely to be diagnosed with multiple myeloma,

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Besponsa: Is this really a viable new treatment for ALL?

August 18, 2017 – B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a aggressive and rapidly progressing type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many B-cell lymphocytes, an immature type of white blood cell. In the United States, the National Cancer Institute estimates that approximately 5,970 people will be diagnosed with B-cell ALL this year and approximately 1,440 will die from the disease.

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Eteplirsen (Exondys 51) for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) approved

September 19, 2016 – This post presents below a virtually unedited announcement by the American Food & Drug Administration (FDA) concerning Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) therapy  option which gives much hope for at least some of the affected patients.

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The HCV saga goes on: Epclusa has been approved for treatment of chronic Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection

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Hope for patients with urothelial carcinoma: Atezolizumab (Tecentriq) approved

May 18, 2016 –  Over the last two years, biologics  targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway (proteins found on the body’s immune cells and some cancer cells), notably Nivolumab (Opdivo) and Pembrolizumab (Keytruda), have come to the clinic for the treatment of a selection of oncologic indications.

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Venetoclax (Venclexta) for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

April 12, 2016 – The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved Venetoclax (Venclexta) for the treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) who have a chromosomal abnormality called 17p deletion and who have been treated with a least one prior therapy.

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Theragenomic Medicine: Gefinitib (Iressa) targeted therapy for first-line treatment of patients with a type of metastatic lung cancer approved

July 13, 2015 – This post persents a press announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The text has slightly been edited by the autor of this blog. Thus, FDA today approved Gefinitib (Iressa) for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors harbor specific types of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutations,

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Theragenomic Medicine: Targeted Therapies and Associated Toxicity

March 22, 2015 – This post addresses a topic which often gets lost in the current hype on targeted and precision (theragenomic) medicine. The issue is that targeted therapies are not only very precise and highly effective (in most patients) but they often also come with considerable clinical toxicity.

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  • Scientists identify gene linked to thinness that may help resist weight gain May 21, 2020
    While others may be dieting and hitting the gym hard to stay in shape, some people stay slim effortlessly no matter what they eat. In a study publishing May 21 in the journal Cell, researchers use a genetic database of more than 47,000 people in Estonia to identify a gene linked to thinness that may […]
  • Tracking the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia using genomics May 21, 2020
    Using genome sequencing to identify genetic mutations in SARS-CoV-2 cases in Victoria, researchers have identified clusters and transmission networks which has helped limit the spread of the virus, painting an important picture of transmission in Victoria.
  • COVID-19 study looks at genetics of healthy people who develop severe illness May 21, 2020
    To help unravel the mysteries of COVID-19, scientists are sequencing the DNA of young, healthy adults and children who develop severe illness despite having no underlying medical problems. The researchers are looking for genetic defects that could put certain individuals at high risk of becoming severely ill from the novel coronavirus.
  • Scientists discover more than 200 genetic factors that cause heart arrhythmia May 21, 2020
    Hundreds of new links have been found between people's DNA and the heart's electrical activity, according to a study of almost 300,000 people led by researchers at Queen Mary University of London and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
  • Weight loss surgery may alter gene expression in fat tissue May 21, 2020
    Altered gene expression in fat tissue may help explain why individuals who have regained weight after weight loss surgery still experience benefits such as metabolic improvements and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. The findings come from a study published in the Journal of Internal Medicine.
  • New studies reveal extent and risks of laughing gas & stimulant abuse among young people May 23, 2020
    In one study, researchers from Turkey reported increasing stimulant use among medical students approaching their final exams, despite the substantial risks to their health. In the second study, researchers from the Netherlands detailed the neurological outcomes associated with recreational use of laughing gas (nitrous oxide), suggesting that, for some individuals, permanent neurological damage can occur.
  • Sleep-wake disturbances can predict recurrent events in stroke survivors May 23, 2020
    The study, conducted in Switzerland, found that having multiple sleep-wake disturbances such as sleep-disordered breathing, extreme long or short sleep duration, insomnia and restless leg syndrome independently and significantly increased the risk of a new cardio-cerebrovascular event in the two years following a stroke.
  • Does MRI have an environmental impact? May 23, 2020
    Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have surveyed the amount of gadolinium found in river water in Tokyo. Gadolinium is contained in contrast agents given to patients undergoing medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and it has been shown in labs to become toxic when exposed to ultraviolet rays. The researchers found significantly elevated levels, particularly […]
  • New native grass species have been discovered on the Iberian Peninsula and Menorca May 22, 2020
    The new species belong to the genus Aira, delicate herbaceous plants, which enjoy their greatest diversity in the Mediterranean Region. One of them, Aira minoricensis is a native species of the siliceous sands of Menorca. The other new species is called Aira hercynica and is widely found in the area of the Iberia Peninsula which […]
  • Combinatorial screening approach opens path to better-quality joint cartilage May 22, 2020
    High-throughput platform identifies complex conditions with biomaterial compositions, and mechanical and chemical stimuli that help stem cells produce more robust cartilage.
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