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View Full Version : MedNews items Sept/Oct '90



Herman J. Woltring
10-26-1990, 12:43 PM
Contents: MedNews items and an article on Bone Marrow transplantation.

A list of largely American (but also Canadian, Australian, European,
and other) Bulletin Boards for medical and similar purposes was pub-
lished in a recent MedNews issue. If there is sufficient interest,
I could post it onto Biomch-L; alternatively, I'll be happy to email
it to interested parties, or store it on the Biomch-L fileserver.
Suggestions (posted or emailed to me) are welcome !

Herman J. Woltring.

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From: MEDNEWS@ASUACAD.BITNET Medical News, issues 3(32) - 3(32), Sep/Oct 90
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Copyright 1990: USA TODAY/Gannett National Information Network
Reproduced with Permission


SURGICAL MICROMACHINES POSSIBLE:

Japanese scientists say it might be possible to build miniature machines
that could travel inside the body and make surgical repairs. Japan's Ministry
of International Trade and Industry is launching research to develop the basic
technologies. By the early 21st century, Japan plans to develop tiny machines
that travel through the body, zapping cancer cells or repairing damaged
tissue.
WALKING KEEPS CHOLESTEROL DOWN:

Moderate walking may help keep down levels of artery-clogging cholesterol,
a new study suggests. A survey of 3,621 people enrolled in employer-sponsored
health programs found that those who said they walked 2 1/2 to 4 hours a week
were less likely to have cholesterol levels in the danger zone. Findings, from
workers at 25 companies, are in this month's American Journal of Public
Health.

CALCIUM CAN REDUCE BONE LOSS:

Healthy older women who get too little calcium in their diets can
significantly reduce bone loss by consuming more calcium, says a study by
Tufts University researchers. The study also confirms calcium does not prevent
rapid bone loss in the first five years after menopause. Sources of calcium:
dairy products, fish, vegetables and fruit.

STUDY AIMS TO CURB HIP INJURIES:

The University of Iowa and Iowa State University are studying a novel way
of preventing broken hips among elderly Iowans - hip pads. Researchers from
the two schools began measuring nursing home residents for custom-made hip
pads Wednesday at the Washington Care Center in Des Moines, Iowa. (For more,
see special Hip package below.)

JUMPING ROPE IS BACK IN STYLE:

Jumping rope is finding new popularity, says USA WEEKEND. Reasons: It does
not require great skill, it is inexpensive and it is effective. A fast-paced
15-minute rope-skipping session wipes out about 200 calories, almost twice as
many as can be burned by jogging. Milwaukee physician Ken Solis says the key
to jumping rope is to start conservatively, then slowly increase the total
workout.

SPECIAL PACKAGE ON HIPS:

ELDERLY AT GREATER RISK:

Twenty-five to 50 percent of nursing home residents fall each year and 5
percent of those falls result in serious injuries, says Joe Ellen Ross of the
University of Iowa College of Nursing, the study's project director. Broken
hips frequently result in death, she said. Up to half of the victims will die
within a year. And hip fractures account for $7 billion in health care costs
each year.

PROJECT TO FOCUS ON PREVENTION:

The Washington Care Center will serve as the site for the pilot study in
the three-year, $1.65 million research project. The research project will
investigate two ways of preventing and moderating falls. In addition to the
hip pads, researchers also will study the effectiveness of providing
assistance to nursing home residents when they go to the bathroom at night.

RESIDENTS TO BE MONITORED:

The nursing home residents in the study will be monitored for two weeks so
an individualized bathroom schedule can be determined. The data will be
studied to learn whether fewer falls occur when patients are provided bathroom
assistance on a personalized schedule. Half of the subjects will be fitted
with hip pads and half will not have the added protection.

HIP PADS ACT AS SHOCK ABSORBERS:

The hip pads are designed to distribute the shock of falls throughout the
pelvic area and the researchers hope the pads will reduce the number and
severity of broken hips. Iowa State's Jeffrey Huston designed the foam hip
pads and Carolyn Kundel designed the stretchy garment that holds the hip pads
in place. Huston said it will be several years before the hip pad garments
can be marketed.

GARMENTS COST ABOUT $50 EACH:

Iowa State's Jeffrey Huston said each garment costs about $50 to produce
because they are handmade by students. If they are mass produced, he estimated
they would retail for roughly the same price because of marketing and
distribution costs and the need for wholesalers and retailers to make a
profit. (End of special Hip package.)

SPECIAL PACKAGE ON DENTISTS:

NEW TOOLS IDENTIFY DISEASE:

New approaches are revealing a lower than expected prevalence of
periodontal disease, according to the 131st annual session of the American
Dental Association. The traditional probe is being joined by diagnostic tools
including a chair-side diagnostic kit to detect certain molecules in gingival
fluid and DNA probes to identify specific bacteria that cause periodontal
disease.

DENTAL IMPLANTS ARE VERSATILE:

Increasingly versatile dental implants support crowns, bridges and full-
mouth restorations that span the upper and lower jaws, replacing partial or
full dentures for some patients. Patients with implant-supported restorations
find they can chew better with a fixed, stable device than with a removable
denture, said an expert at the 131st annual session of the American Dental
Association.

BONDING AIDS DENTAL TRAUMA:

Tremendous strides have been made in the treatment of traumatic injuries to
the mouth and teeth, said Dr. Joe Camp of University of North Carolina. The
acid-etch or bonding technique is one new treatment for replacing a broken
tooth. The technique involves applying a weak acid solution to the tooth and
then bonding a plastic or porcelain material to the tooth surface.

DENTISTS VIEW TM CLEARER:

New technologies such as computer tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI) are helping dentists to diagnose and treat Temporomandibular
(TM) joint disorder, which affects more than 10 million Americans. Dr. Lester
Heffez of the University of Illinois, Chicago, said that these developments
are giving three-dimensional views of soft and bony tissue in the TM joint.

STRESS CONTROL RELIEVES PAIN:

People with facial pain can cure themselves by eliminating stress, said Dr.
Terry Tanaka, University of Southern California Dental School. If patients
wake up in the morning with dull, achy headaches, the likely cause is muscle
contraction pain from clenching their teeth while sleeping, he said.
Recommended: counseling; physical therapy; and an orthotic splint. (End of
special dentist package.)

EXERCISE RUNS ITS COURSE:

Yuppies are pulling back on, or dropping completely, their exercise
routines. A study released this week at the University of Florida cites people
giving more reasons for not exercising: sore muscles, time, fear of heart
attacks. And although health club memberships continue to grow, members are
using the clubs less, says the International Racquet Sports Association in
Boston.

MARATHON IS HARD ON STOMACH:

Competing in a 26.2-mile race can cause stomach and intestinal bleeding,
says a study in Monday's Annals of Internal Medicine. Northwestern University
Medical School researchers say it is probably due to fluid loss, high body
temperature and reduced blood flow to the intestines. Previous studies have
linked marathon running with nausea, vomiting and rectal bleeding.

DIETING CREATES YO-YO CYCLE:

Exercise is the key to long-term weight loss, says a new study, and dieting
alone sentences you to a cycle of losing weight and regaining it. A Baylor
College of Medicine study of 150 weight-loss participants says dieters gained
all their weight back in two years. The dieters/exercisers gained most of it
back and the exercisers kept their weight off and continued to lose.

DENTAL WORK TO BE LESS PAINFUL:

Painful dental procedures may soon be a thing of the past, say experts at
the American Dental Association meeting in Boston. Among developments in
dentists' offices soon: an ultrasonic tool that does root canal therapy faster
and with less pain, a test kit that can diagnose periodontal disease in less
than 15 minutes and a fiber optic instrument to treat temporomandibular joint
disorder.

NEW INSTITUTE WILL HELP ELDERLY:

The Geriatric Drug Therapy Research Institute has been established by the
American Society of Consultant Pharmacists' Research & Education Foundation.
Focus: diseases that disable elderly people and diminish their quality of
life. The Institute will aid physicians, pharmacists and patients in achieving
higher levels of health care through drug therapy, say industry experts.

NATION'S ELDERLY NEED HELP:

Nearly 21 percent of Americans 65 and older have difficulty with at least
one aspect of everyday life, says the Agency for Health Care Policy and
Research. A 1987 survey of 37,000 people shows that 13 percent of the elderly
who live outside of institutions - 3.6 million people - have trouble walking
or with basic hygiene tasks. High rates of impairment were found among people
living alone.


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Food & Drug Administration News
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GMCSF

P90-46 Food and Drug Administration
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Faye Peterson - (301) 443-3285
Sept. 24, 1990 (Home) -- (301) 596-9639

The Food and Drug Administration today authorized expanded use of an
experimental drug to help save bone-marrow recipients from life-threatening
infections which can occur when the transplanted marrow fails to "take."
Ten to 20 percent of bone marrow recipients experience either a delay in
engraftment (beyond the normal 20 to 30 days required for the graft to "take")
or outright graft failure. Clinical studies have shown that despite the
administration of antibiotics and other supportive measures in patients with
these complications, a high number die from overwhelming infections.
The new drug is a genetically engineered version of a human protein called
granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor, or GMCSF. It is the first
drug that promotes development of specific bone marrow cells which in turn
produce circulating infection-fighting cells called neutrophils, a type of
white blood cell.
More than 3,000 bone-marrow transplants are performed each year to treat
some forms of anemia, leukemia and other malignancies. Patients receiving
donor marrow or their own marrow -- which has been removed and stored --must
undergo a conditioning regimen of intensive chemotherapy, sometimes combined
with total body irradiation. The conditioning dangerously lowers neutrophils
and other white blood cells, causing the patient to be highly susceptible to
bacterial and fungal infections.
In clinical trials performed at more than 25 centers in the United States,
GMCSF was given to more than 100 patients suffering graft delay or failure.
Although the number of patients was small, most of them responded to treatment
-- measured by a rise in neutrophils within the first two weeks of drug
administration. More importantly, survival rates appear to be higher in the
drug-treated groups.
Unlike traditional randomized clinical trials (comparing drug-treated
patients with those receiving a placebo -- an inert substance), GMCSF was
clinically evaluated by comparing drug-treated patients with those who, prior
to the drug's development, received only supportive therapy. Survival rates
for GMCSF-treated patients appear to be higher than for "historical controls"
in most of the studies.
Administered by intravenous infusion, the drug causes side effects which
are relatively mild, including fever, nausea, swelling and skin rash.
GMCSF had earlier been given FDA "orphan drug" designation. Orphan drug
status provides incentives for the development and production of drugs and
other medical products to treat rare diseases and conditions. Under the
action announced today, GMCSF is being made available under a "treatment IND."
This distribution allows desperately ill patients to receive promising
experimental therapies even before the completion of the review needed for
final approval.
Under its "treatment IND," the drug's manufacturer Immunex Corp. of
Seattle, Wash., will provide GMCSF on request at no cost to physicians
performing bone marrow transplants.