Health News Archive - June 14, 2005

Invasive treatment including stenting may have better outcomes than conventional treatments for heart attack patients who arrive at the hospital more than 12 hours after symptoms began, according to a study in the June 15 issue of JAMA.

The most frequently used drugs for treating chronic insomnia have never been approved for that purpose by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to a sleep expert from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Incorporating testing for human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA into cervical cancer screening has the potential for improving health benefits at a reasonable cost in France, Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, according to a new study in the June 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Researchers have found two biomarkers that, in patients with a malignant type of brain tumor called glioblastoma multiforme, were associated with response to the cancer drug erlotinib (Tarceva). Patients with tumors that expressed high levels of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and low levels of phosphorylated PKB/Akt, an enzyme, responded better to erlotinib than patients with low levels of EGFR expression and high levels of phosphorylated PKB/Akt. The study findings appear in the June 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Alcohol abuse is well known to increase the risk of infections in adults.

Previous human and animal studies have shown that chronic alcohol consumption can produce deficits in learning and memory.

Previous studies have demonstrated that the brains of alcoholics are smaller, lighter and "shrunken" when compared to nonalcoholic brains. Symposium speakers at the October 2004 Congress for the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism in Mannheim, Germany reviewed what is known about the causes, consequences and clinical implications of alcohol-related brain shrinkage.

'Hazardous' drinking and drug use are much less severe but much more common than dependence.

In the largest such study to date, a research team from three cancer centers measured sunlight exposure in men and found that increased exposure to sunlight may decrease the risk of prostate cancer.

Increased efficacy, lower drug toxicity in mice.

Word of the Day
  • The horn of a unicorn considered as a medical or pharmacological ingredient.
  • A winged horse with a single horn on its head; a winged unicorn.
The word 'alicorn' comes from Italian alicorno, already associated with unicorns and reinterpreted, popularized by Bearing an Hourglass (1984) and other fantasy novels by Piers Anthony.