Cell Therapy Uses Genetically Redesigned T-Cells To Fight Some Types Of Cancer
Andrew Pollack writing in the New York Times reported in 4,400-word feature piece as part of its “Cell Wars” series on immunotherapy, on the technique of cell therapy, which extracts T-cells from a patient’s blood, which are “then genetically engineered to recognize and destroy cancer.” The “souped-up” cells are “multiplied in the laboratory, and millions or billions of them are put back into the patient’s bloodstream.” Each killer cell, which are “genetically engineered to produce a complex protein,” can destroy up to 100,000 cancer cells. Cell therapy has only treated a few hundred patients, and for “now it works only for certain types of blood cancers, not common malignancies like breast and lung cancer.” However, the technique has “produced complete remissions in some patients who were out of treatment options,” exciting physicians and patients “and setting off a race among companies to bring the treatments to market.”
Comment: Maybe we can’t get away from using those horrendous chemotherapies we now use.
This next item falls into the , “Duh…. No kidding” category…
Americans heavier than they were two decades years ago, report says
Alexandra Sifferlin writing in Time reported the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics found that US men and women “weigh about 15 pounds more than they did 20 years ago.” According to the report, the average 5’9” man now weighs 195.7 pounds and the average 5’4” woman weighs 168.5 pounds. Time noted “men and women’s heights were about the same two decades ago.” The study also found that average 11-year-old boys and girls now weigh about 13 and 7 pounds more, respectively, in comparison to 1988-94. Boys have grown about an inch on average since then, while girls this age have remained the same height.
Comment: Overseas, Americans are referred to as the Porkus Americanus species.
Another promising treatment for osteoarthritis knee pain
Radiofrequency Neurotomy Efficient In Knee Osteoarthritis
Reported in Healthday, this item… For patients with chronic knee osteoarthritis (OA) pain, radiofrequency (RF) neurotomy of genicular nerves is safe and efficient, according to a study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.
Sinem Sari, M.D., from Adnan Menderes University in Aydin, Turkey, and colleagues compared the efficacy of intra-articular injection of anesthetic and steroid and RF neurotomy of genicular nerves in 73 patients with chronic knee OA pain. Patients were randomized to the injection group or to the RF neurotomy group.
The researchers observed no statistically significant differences between the groups in terms of pain. “This study demonstrated that genicular nerve RF neurotomy is a safe and efficient treatment modality and provides functional improvement along with an analgesia in patients with chronic knee OA,” the author said.
Comment: Interesting study.
Searching for Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Gut
A pair of recent studies look in an interesting place to find commonality among rheumatoid arthritis sufferers:
Ryan Black writing for MD reported on a study published in Genome Medicine from the Mayo clinic. Veena Taneja, Ph D of the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Immunized Medicine said they sought to find a biomarker in the form of gut microbiota. Examining fecal samples of (human) RA patients and their first-degree relatives, the researchers noticed that an abundance of collinsella in the gut was linked to increased RA symptoms.
To test this, they administered collinsella to “humanized” mice, and found that “Mice given [Collinsella aerofaciens] developed arthritis with increased incidence and severity compared with non-treated mice (100 % incidence in treated vs 62.5 % in untreated, P = 0.068).” Their findings indicate that collinsella may be a predictive biomarker for RA in humans.
Comment: Maybe I’ll stay away from pepperoni pizza…
Hope for Alzheimer’s… maybe
Arthritis drug could reduce risk of having Alzheimer’s disease
Nicholas Bakalar writing for Business Standard reported a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis may have benefits against Alzheimer’s disease, researchers report.
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease believed to be driven in part by tumour necrosis factor, or TNF, a protein that promotes inflammation. Drugs that block TNF, including an injectable drug called etanercept, have been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis for many years.
TNF is also elevated in the cerebrospinal fluid of Alzheimer’s patients.
Researchers identified 41,109 men and women with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and 325 with both rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. In people over 65, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease was more than twice as high in people with rheumatoid arthritis, as in those without it. The study is in CNS Drugs.
But unlike patients treated with five other rheumatoid arthritis drugs, those who had been treated with etanercept showed a significantly reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
Comment: Interesting to see what future developments occur.