Sunday, November 20, 2016

Obesity increases risk of blood cancer: Study

A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that obesity increases the risk of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood.

The study, by a team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, found that being overweight or obese has been known to increase the risk of multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in the blood and bone marrow that develops more often after age 60.


Multiple myeloma is preceded by a blood disorder called monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) in which abnormal plasma cells produce many copies of an antibody protein. This precancerous condition does not cause symptoms and often goes undiagnosed.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Controversial Experiment for Brain-Dead Revival Dropped

A controversial experiment to revive brain-dead accident victims has been scrapped.



The Indian Council of Medical Research's (ICMR) National Institute of Medical Statistics officially removed the "ReAnima" trial from India's clinical trial registry on Nov. 11.

The experiment began in May when Himanshu Bansal, an orthopedic surgeon at Anupam Hospital in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand, announced plans to give approximately 20 brain-dead people a mix of interventions including injections of mesenchymal stem cells, peptides, transcranial laser stimulation and median nerve stimulation.

Transcranial laser stimulation is a process that involves shinning pulses of near-infrared light in the brain, while median nerve stimulation is the electrical stimulation of a major nerve that runs from the neck to the arm. Both techniques have been proven to improve cognition in patients with traumatic brain injury.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Professor Who Had to Spend Half His Life to Make the Drug India Needs

Sujoy Guha has spent 37 years trying to realise Risug, a long-term use reversible male contraceptive – itself an unusual thing. It should have come to be more than a decade ago.


verything is still the same.
Sujoy Kumar Guha, professor emeritus at IIT-Kharagpur, wakes up around 11 am, reads the paper and thinks of what science can offer as solutions to the big problems of the day. In the evenings he runs his PhD students off their feet with constant demands, yet somehow leaves them itching to do something worthy of him. Around midnight, he takes off for a jog around the handsome campus with a leather belt wrapped around his right palm to fend off the stray dogs. He is still the slight, sprightly, soft-spoken man he was. He still answers questions after a few seconds' silence with a lateral anecdote. He still describes most persons as a "very nice man".
Everything is much the same as in 2002, when the then health minister C.P. Thakur had announced the imminent launchof Guha's drug molecule Risug, a reversible male contraceptive. But the clinical trials were then halted on the charge that Risug was toxic. It took five years for the professor to restart the trials. In 2016, Risug is once again almost ready for its launch at the tail end of the phase III clinical trials that have been "99% successful", according to the ICMR. Only, he was 62 then, he is 76 now. And in the past 14 years have been spent in proving what he had already proved successfully.
"We have completed testing on 282 volunteers in five centres across India, and zero side-effects and difficulties have been reported," said Dr R.S. Sharma, head of Reproductive Biology and Maternal Health at the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), in a telephone interview. "I am waiting to reach 300 volunteers and then I will submit Risug for approval to the Drug Controller General of India. It is very unusual, in fact. I have worked on Risug for 25 years and not a single problem has been reported so far."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

India needs improved diabetes therapies that are affordable and accessible to all: ISCR

Recognizing the crucial need for early screening to detect type 2 diabetes and manage the risk of its serious complications, 'Eyes on Diabetes' is this year's theme for World Diabetes Day which falls on November 14, 2016. While globally there are new and improved therapies to better manage diabetes, these therapies are either expensive or not accessible to the population at large in India, says the Indian Society for Clinical Research (ISCR). 

Therefore, we need to scale-up clinical research, specifically in type 2 diabetes, to provide treatment options that are effective, affordable and improve the quality of a diabetic's life.

"Currently available treatment for diabetes has its limitations in terms of safety and efficacy in achieving glycemic control on long term basis and there is a need for exploring better treatment options, which is only possible through clinical research. Indians differ from other populations in terms of body build, genetic origin, and disease presentation. Hence, India needs more clinical trials in diabetes to develop more suitable and effective treatment options for the Indian population," said Dr. Vyankatesh Shivane, consultant diabetologist & metabolic physician.

It is estimated that by 2030, there will be more than 100 million patients living with diabetes in India. With the growing burden of diabetes in India, there will be a corresponding increase in diabetes related complications, many of which can be managed if the condition is detected on time. According to the International Diabetes Federation, diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, amputation and kidney failure. Data from the International Diabetes Federation indicates that one in two adults with diabetes is undiagnosed and up to 70 per cent of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier lifestyles.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Immunotherapy treatments may lower skin cancer risks

A combination of immunotherapy treatments may improve survival rate and lower the risk of life-threatening events in patients diagnosed in the late stages of one of the most common and deadly forms of skin cancer, a study has found.
Cutaneous melanoma is an aggressive and deadly form of skin cancer.
In its early stages, melanoma is often cured with surgery alone. However, most patients who are diagnosed in the late stages of the disease cannot undergo surgery, thus drug therapy remains the only course of treatment.

Friday, November 4, 2016

India may get its malaria drug by 2018

Contrary to the perception that drug research is mostly focused around the diseases of the elite, the antimalarial drug pipeline has increased nearly three-fold since 2008, with at least three new medicines expected to be launched in two to five years.

India, where a lot of clinical trials have already begun, is likely to get a breakthrough anti-malarial drug Tafenoquine by 2018. The drug, a one-day two-dose treatment, has already entered phase-three trials and once approved will replace the current 14-day treatment for plasmodium vivax malaria, which is prevalent in India. At least two other molecules — artefenomel and KAF 156 —are also in advanced stages of development with researchers expecting a positive outcome over the next five years.