Vandetanib with docetaxel improve lung cancer survival

Vandetanib Shows Clinical Benefit When Combined With Docetaxel for Lung Cancer. Combination of targeted agent, chemotherapy improves progression-free survival; therapy inhibits both VEGFR and EGFR. – When combined with standard chemotherapy, an international Phase III trial has shown that the oral targeted therapy vandetanib improves progression-free survival for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, according to research from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Stem cell – gene therapy may cure human genetic diseases

Combined stem cell-gene therapy approach cures human genetic disease in vitro – A study led by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, has catapulted the field of regenerative medicine significantly forward, proving in principle that a human genetic disease can be cured using a combination of gene therapy and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology.

Embryo’s heartbeat drives blood stem cell formation

Embryo’s heartbeat drives blood stem cell formation – Clues about how blood forms could yield new strategies for treating blood diseases. – Biologists have long wondered why the embryonic heart begins beating so early, before the tissues actually need to be infused with blood. Two groups of researchers from Children’s Hospital Boston, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) -? presenting multiple lines of evidence from zebrafish, mice and mouse embryonic stem cells -? provide an intriguing answer: A beating heart and blood flow are necessary for development of the blood system, which relies on mechanical stresses to cue its formation.

Transfer of health from mother to child

Study suggests transfer of poor health from mother to child in India. Maternal height associatied with child mortality, growth failure. – Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) have found a link between a mother’s height and the health of her children in a study using national data from India.

14 drugs identified for off label use

Researchers have developed a list of 14 widely prescribed medications most urgently in need of additional study to determine how effective and safe they are for their off-label uses. – Physicians and policy-makers know that drugs are frequently prescribed to treat certain diseases despite a lack of FDA approval – a practice known as off-label prescribing. Yet they say the problem is so big they don’t know how to begin tackling it.

Updated labeling for psoriasis drug Raptiva approved

US FDA Approves Updated Labeling for Psoriasis Drug Raptiva by Genentech; Safety concerns drove labeling changes. – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced labeling changes, including a Boxed Warning, to highlight the risks of life-threatening infections, including progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), with the use of Raptiva (efalizumab).

Eli Lilly’s Alimta approvad for lung cancer

First-line chemotherapy regimen showed clinically relevant survival differences in specific histology types of advanced non-small cell lung cancer. – Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) announced that it received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the use of ALIMTA(R) (pemetrexed for injection), in combination with cisplatin, in the first-line treatment of locally-advanced and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), for patients with nonsquamous histology.

Schistosomiasis more debilitating than estimated

The health effects of one strain of schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease common in developing countries, are seven to 46 times greater than previously estimated, according to new Brown University research. – The health effects of one strain of schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease common in developing countries, are seven to 46 times greater than previously estimated, according to new Brown University research.

Anemia drugs for cancer patients raises blood clots risk

Erythropoiesis-stimulating agent administration to patients with cancer is associated with increased risks of VTE and mortality. Our findings, in conjunction with basic science studies on erythropoietin and erythropoietin receptors in solid cancers, raise concern about the safety of ESA administration to patients with cancer. – Treating anemia with a class of drugs known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) is associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (blood clots in the deep veins of the legs or in the lungs) and death among patients with cancer, according to an article in the February 27 issue of JAMA.

Sickle cell anemia treated with stem cells

Using a new type of stem cells made from ordinary skin cells, US researchers said they treated mice with sickle cell anemia.
– MIT researchers have successfully treated mice with sickle-cell anemia in a process that begins by directly reprogramming the mice’s own cells to an embryonic-stem-cell-like state, without the use of eggs.