Physician Goes Behind The Scenes To Write Compelling Story About Treating Patients With New Cancer Gene Therapy – Kaiser Health News

Posted: November 6, 2019 at 5:50 pm

Ilana Yurkiewicz, a physician and medical journalist at Stanford University, explains why CAR-T is only used in patients with certain cancers and tries to answer why they havent yet been shown to work against solid tumors in an UnDark article. Public health news is on breast cancer tests, fecal matter transplants, Zantac recalls, white male life expectancy, skin rashes, growing up with HIV, a retracted HIV study, live-streaming a mammogram, and how to get a good night's sleep, as well.

The Washington Post:Science Author Digs Into The Story About A Revolutionary Cancer Treatment Used In ImmunotherapyIn 2017, CAR-T therapy made waves as the first gene therapy to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In a fascinating article for Undark, Ilana Yurkiewicz, a physician at Stanford University, plunges into the fraught history and future of a cancer treatment thats as radical as it is risky. Unlike chemotherapy or radiation, which attack cancer directly, CAR-T engineers patients immune cells so they can do it themselves. (Blakemore, 11/2)

Bloomberg:Blood Test To Detect Breast Cancer Could Be Five Years AwayA blood test that may be able to detect breast cancer up to five years before symptoms develop could be available by 2025 if development is fully funded, U.K. researchers said. Doctors at the Centre of Excellence for Autoimmunity in Cancer at the University of Nottingham compared blood samples from 90 patients being treated for breast cancer with the same number from a control group without the disease to measure the bodys immune response to substances produced by tumor cells. Theyre now testing samples from 800 patients for nine markers and they expect the accuracy of the test to improve. (Marley, 11/3)

Stat:FDA To Consider New Evidence, Risks Behind Fecal Matter TransplantsOn Monday, the Food and Drug Administration will host its first formal discussion about fecal microbiome transplants in years less than a week after a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine disclosed new details about the first death ever conclusively linked to the procedure, often abbreviated to FMT. The Monday meeting, which will be happening at the FDAs headquarters in White Oak, Md., will cover the safety and effectiveness of FMT as a treatment for repeated (and potentially fatal infections) of Clostridium difficile bacteria. (Sheridan, 11/1)

Stat:FDA: Zantac Does Not Form A Carcinogen, But Some Pills Should Be RecalledAfter running simulated testing, the Food and Drug Administration says it has not found evidence that Zantac and similar heartburn medicines form a possible carcinogen in patient stomachs or small intestines. Nonetheless, the agency also indicated some of the medicines contain higher than acceptable levels of NDMA, and asked manufacturers to voluntarily withdraw those pills. The move marks the first time the FDA has suggested drug makers should recall their heartburn medicines, which are called ranitidines, after opening a probe several weeks ago. (Silverman, 11/1)

CBS News:Life Expectancy For American Men Drops For A Third YearLife expectancy for American men dropped for a third consecutive year, with the National Center for Health Statistics citing an increase in so-called "deaths of despair," such as the rise in drug overdose deaths.The average lifespan of men in the U.S. dipped to 76.1 years in 2017 (the latest data available), amounting to a four-month decline in life expectancy since 2014. The findings shed additional light on economic research into the sharp increase in recent years in deaths from overdoses and suicides among white men with less education. (Picchi, 10/31)

NPR:Rashes Can Look Very Different On Different Shades Of SkinWhen Ellen Buchanan Weiss' son was about a year old, he broke out in a rash little bumps that appeared to be hives. So Buchanan Weiss did what a lot of new parents do: She turned to the Internet to find images that matched the rash she was seeing on her little boy. "I'm trying to figure out would I be paranoid if I went to the doctor at this point? Is that a reasonable thing to do? So I started googling it," says Buchanan Weiss, who lives with her family in Raleigh, N.C. (Prichep, 11/4)

The New York Times:Armed With A New Laptop, He Is On A Path To A DegreeWhen he was growing up, Warren Williams wanted nothing more than to play baseball and watch Scooby-Doo. I just wanted to be normal, like other kids, he said. But his health often took the joy out of his childhood. Mr. Williams, 26, was born with H.I.V. One of his earliest memories is from when he was 4: A mass had developed in his chest and he was rushed to a hospital to have open-heart surgery. The doctors gave him a stuffed Barney the dinosaur to keep by his side on the operating table. (Aridi, 11/3)

The Associated Press:Scientists Retract Study Suggesting Mutation Shortens LifeScientists have retracted a study that appeared to show people may live shortened lives if they carry a DNA mutation that reduces their chance of HIV infection. The study focused on people who carry a specific mutation in both copies of a gene called CCR5. It was published in June in the journal Nature Medicine and covered by news outlets including The Associated Press. (11/1)

The Washington Post:Ali Meyer Records Breast Cancer Diagnosis Live On Facebook For KFOR NewsAli Meyer live-streamed her first mammogram with other women in mind. The veteran journalist was wary of making herself the center of the story, she remembers, but she wanted to remind people to schedule their own appointments so they could catch breast cancer early. Then a nurse came in to say the radiologist would prefer to see Meyer with the camera off. In private, the doctor told Meyer she would need more imaging. At 40 years old, she realized, she might have cancer. (Knowles, 11/2)

NPR:How To Fall Asleep: These Daytime Habits Will HelpIf turning back the clock an hour for the end of daylight saving time leaves you feeling jangly, imagine the toll that chronic sleep loss can take on your health. The evidence has piled up. We all need good sleep. And our bodies crave regular routine. Without it, we set up ourselves for increased risk of anxiety, depression, weight gain, even dementia. (Aubrey, 11/3)

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Physician Goes Behind The Scenes To Write Compelling Story About Treating Patients With New Cancer Gene Therapy - Kaiser Health News

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