Acetaminophen and liver injury: Q & A for consumers
On June 29 and 30, 2009, FDA held an advisory committee meeting in Adelphi, Md., about how to address the problem of liver injury related to the use of acetaminophen in both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription products.
For children with leukemia, radiation may be unnecessary
Children with the most common form of leukemia can safely forego radiation therapy to prevent a relapse of the disease if they are treated with chemotherapy regimens tailored to their individual needs. This is the conclusion of a clinical trial involving 498 patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Nearly 94 percent of the patients were still alive 5 years after treatment, a result that compares favorably with other ALL treatment studies. more
Survivors of Hodgkin lymphoma may face increased risk of stroke
Patients who receive radiation therapy for Hodgkin lymphoma may be at increased risk of a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), also called a “mini stroke,” later in life, according to a report in the July 1 Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The risk is primarily associated with radiation to the neck and chest area, and it remains elevated for years after treatment. more
Another genetic change linked to neuroblastoma: missing DNA
A series of genome studies have, for the first time, revealed common genetic changes associated with neuroblastoma, a cancer that most often occurs in children. Building on this work, researchers have now expanded the scope of these surveys to include structural changes, such as gains and losses of DNA. As reported in the June 18 Nature, this strategy has revealed a region of chromosome 1 that is missing in some children with neuroblastoma and that may contribute to their disease. more
Immune cells with stem cell-like properties destroy tumors in mice
Researchers from NCI’s Center for Cancer Research have shown that a cell signaling network called the Wnt-ß-catenin pathway drives the development of a type of immune cell that may provide opportunities to enhance cancer immunotherapies. Immunotherapy techniques recruit the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells.
MicroRNAs show promise for detecting, treating cancer
Since James Watson and Francis Crick discovered the structure of DNA over 50 years ago, successive experiments by thousands of researchers worldwide have led to the central dogma of molecular biology: genes (DNA) encode RNA, which in turn directs the assembly of proteins. The hundreds of thousands of unique proteins produced by our genetic code in turn drive the workings of the body, including the regulation of which genes are expressed, when, and in what tissues. more
Chantix and Zyban to get boxed warning on serious mental health events
On July 1, 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it is requiring manufacturers to put a Boxed Warning on the prescribing information for the smoking cessation drugs Chantix (varenicline) and Zyban (buproprion). The warning will highlight the risk of serious mental health events including changes in behavior, depressed mood, hostility, and suicidal thoughts when taking these drugs. more
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