Oncology (Cancer)

Is the PRESENT study the key for a new vaccine for breast cancer?

flower A small biopharma company (Galena) released crucial information on it's breast cancer vaccine (NeuVax).

Company: 
Galena

Flu vaccine is now widely available. Did you get your vaccination?

beach scene Summer is over now and the leaves are starting to fall. I got my flu shot yesterday. How about you?

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beach scene Summer is over now and the leaves are starting to fall. I got my flu shot yesterday. How about you?

Influenza vaccine as your doctor would call it, was somewhat controversial recently as the predominant strain didn't match well to the strains in the flu shot. This can happen. No one can control this. Each year flu strains are chosen on a best science estimate of the future. Scientific wild guess? Maybe for cynics, but a reasonable, rational attempt to prevent problems. I've said many times in The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs, it's always better to prevent a disease or condition than to have to treat it.

The CDC recommends flu vaccine for everyone more than 6 months old without a specific reason not to get it (contraindication). This even includes pregnant women. There was important data from the 2013 season that showed that for seniors (a study of Medicare claims data for 930,000 high-dose shots for those over 65), the high-dose gave about a 22% lower rate of flu and flu-related hospitalizations. Important outcomes to be sure.

I think most clinicians would suggest quadrivalent vaccine when it's available. You'll remember that there is a nasal spray, regular shot and high-dose shot depending on how old you are. My decision was based on my opinion that the benefits outweigh the risks for me, I have a history of heart disease (and there are data to show that flu shots can actually help prevent heart attacks-especially for those with recent acute coronory syndrome) and I just do not want to get sick. At the very least, the shot will challenge my immune system and at best will protect me 80% of the time or make it so I have a much less sever flu case if I do come down with the flu.

Always better to prevent any disease or condition. Have a family talk about flu vaccine and get it done. Become a powerful person and maximize your chances to avoid being  a flu patient.

Shock at the Pharmacy Drive Up Window

Something is fishy  After lunch I stopped at a large Pharmacy chain to hand in 2 written prescriptions and to ask for a refill on one of the other prescriptions that my doctor had just called in. Three prescriptions, nothing unusual. (little did I know, something was fishy).

Polio virus and cancer treatment?

cannon Polio and cancer?

Sounds like an unlikely combination, but the idea of using viruses to attack cancer cells has been around for a long time. Where was the technology? Still to be developed.

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cannon Polio and cancer?

Sounds like an unlikely combination, but the idea of using viruses to attack cancer cells has been around for a long time. Where was the technology? Still to be developed.

Enter genetic engineering and what appears to be a great new cancer weapon. Researchers at Duke (Preston Robert Tisch brain tumor center) engineered a poliovirus called PVS-RIPO. The approved clinical studies in 2012 and 5 brain tumor (difficult to treat and widespread) patients were selected. One patient had such a great response, she is back teaching school.

This appears to be the ultimate targeted therapy in that normal cells are not injured, unlike a lot of currently available chemotherapy. This treatment infects the cancer cell and kills it.

More at www.clinicaltrials.gov and www.fda.gov and here as information emgerges. I'll update this information in the upcoming Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs full edition in the Leading Edge section.

Mysimba (Contrave-Naltexone plus bupropion in the EU) now approved for weight loss

Mysimba for weight loss- It is the name for Contrave (naltrexone and bupropion) in Europe. This drug is the newest weight loss drug and had an unusual release of data. What appears to be shown in early data is that it may have a direct effect/benefit in decreasing risk of heart attack.

This website is not intended as medical advice, and you should consult your doctor before changing or adding any medicines or vitamins to those you may now be taking and about applying any strategies BEFORE you adopt any approach in this report. While diligent care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information provided during the preparation of this edition, no claim is made that all known actions, uses or side effects, strategies for cost containment, targets or cholesterol pathways are included in this report. The accuracy and currentness of information are ever subject to change relative to new guidelines, new information derived from drug research, development and general usage.