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Thousands of U.S. Patients Got COVID Treatments Rejected as Useless by FDA

U.S. doctors administered more than 150,000 doses of useless monoclonal antibody treatments to COVID-19 patients early this year, spending loads of cash on therapies that had been deemed of no benefit, a new study has found.

New MS Treatment Shows Promise in Trial

An experimental antibody therapy for multiple sclerosis can cut symptom flare-ups by half, versus a standard treatment, a new clinical trial has found.

The drug, called ublituximab, beat a standard oral medication for

  • Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 25, 2022
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  • Meth Plays Big Role in Drug ODs in Rural America

    Methamphetamine is driving an epidemic of drug overdoses in rural America, a new study concludes.

    Researchers attribute the surge to meth laced with fentanyl or combined with an opioid that contains fentanyl.

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    Nerve Block Plus Lidocaine Clears Psoriasis in Small Study

    Spinal injections of a common anesthetic may help clear the inflammatory skin condition psoriasis, a small pilot study suggests.

    The study involved four patients with severe psoriasis, and researchers are describing it as a "proof-of-concept" — specifically, the idea that targeting certain sen...

    U.S. Cancer Survivors Now Number 18 Million

    More than 18 million Americans have now survived cancer, a new report shows.

    The American Cancer Society (ACS) and the U.S. National Cancer Institute collaborated on the report to estimate cancer prevalence and help public health officials better serve survivors.

    "As the popula...

    New Approach Cuts Odds for Anal Cancer in People With HIV

    Treating precancerous anal growths in people with HIV slashes their risk of anal cancer by more than half, according to a new study.

    Researchers found that treating these growths - called high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) - is a safe a...

    Gene Test Lets Some Colon Cancer Patients Safely Skip Chemo

    A blood test could save some colon cancer patients from getting unnecessary chemotherapy following surgery, while making sure that those who would benefit from the treatment get it, researchers report.

    The circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) test looks for minute amounts of genetic material that are released by...

    New Treatments Battle Advanced Breast Cancers

    Two "smart bomb" drugs are offering new hope to women with aggressive breast cancers, a pair of clinical trials show.

    Both medications are antibody-drug conjugates, consisting of a chemo drug that's been wedded to an antibody that delivers the chemotherapy directly to ca...

    COVID Can 'Rebound' After Treatment With Paxlovid, CDC Says

    COVID-19 can make a comeback after an infected person has gone through a round of Paxlovid, the antiviral used to minimize a bout with the coronavirus, according to an advisory issued Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    "Recent case reports document that some patients with normal immune response who have completed a five-day course of Paxlovid for laboratory-co...

    Cancer Patients Have Even Greater Need for COVID Boosters: Study

    Cancer patients continue to face more risk from COVID-19, even if they've been vaccinated.

    Although vaccination is effective for most people who have cancer (even though they're immunocompromised by the disease and their cancer treatments), its effectiveness wanes more rapidly in this group, by three to six months compared to the general population, new research shows.

    The U....

    It's Getting Tougher to Find Spanish-Language Mental Health Services in U.S.

    Mental health has become a hot topic during the pandemic, but some groups have been burdened by having too few services available even before the challenges of these past two years.

    A new study found that while the Hispanic population in the United States grew by almost 5% between 2014 and 2019, Spanish-language mental health services dropped by about 18% during that same time.

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    COVID Drug Paxlovid Might Also Fight Long COVID

    An antiviral drug used to treat high-risk COVID-19 patients may also benefit patients with long COVID, researchers say.

    Paxlovid has U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization to treat COVID-19 patien...

    Could Asthma Treatment Raise Your Odds for Obesity?

    Adults who suffer from asthma often need to take corticosteroids to open up their airways, but the medications may have an unintended side effect: New research shows the treatment, particularly when taken in pill form, raised the risk of patients becoming obese.

    "

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 2, 2022
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  • Therapies That Can Help Ease Long COVID Breathlessness, Fatigue

    Occupational therapy or low-impact exercise might be the key to relieving long-haul COVID symptoms like extreme fatigue, breathlessness and brain fog, a pair of new studies from Ireland suggest.

    The studies reflect two different - in some ways, opposite - approaches to dealing with symptoms that tend to plague

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 2, 2022
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  • More DNA Errors Seen in Brain Cells of Alzheimer's Patients

    Genetic mutations build up faster in the brain cells of Alzheimer's disease patients than in other people, new research reveals.

    The discovery could point the way to new Alzheimer's treatments.

    DNA errors called

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 22, 2022
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  • Mesh Plug a New Option for Treating Tricky Aneurysms

    A mesh plug normally used to treat one type of brain aneurysm is also effective when dealing with another type, a new study says.

    Aneurysms are bulges in blood vessels that can cause a life-threatening rupture. They typically occur where a blood vessel forks into two branches (bifurcates), but can also occur on the side of a blood vessel.

    The study found that a device called a Woven...

    How the 'Magic Mushroom' Drug May Tweak the Brain to Ease Depression

    Psilocybin - the active component in "magic mushrooms" - may help rewire the brains of people with depression.

    Psychedelics including psilocybin have shown promise in treating many mental health disorders in recent years, and a new study is among the first to begin to unravel precisely how they work.

    "T...

    Sitting Tai Chi Helps Stroke Survivors Recover

    Sitting tai chi provides stroke survivors with recovery benefits similar to those achieved with standard rehabilitation, a new study finds.

    Tai chi involves a series of slow movements of the han...

    More Destructive Variant of HIV Spotted in the Netherlands

    If the pandemic taught the world nothing else, it's that viruses can mutate, potentially giving rise to new and more harmful variants.

    Now, new research reveals that's exactly what has happened with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

    Called VB (for virulent subtype B), the "new" HIV variant actually seems to have emerged more than 30 ...

    Could the 'Love Hormone' Help Drive Sex Addiction in Men?

    Men compelled to find myriad new partners and ways to have sex may be driven by high levels of the so-called "love hormone," oxytocin, new research suggests.

    Oxytocin, which is produced by the hypothalamus and secreted by the pituitary gland, plays a key role in sexual behavior, and abnormal levels are believed...

    Exercise Might Boost Outcomes for People Battling Esophageal Cancer

    Alan Holman didn't stop exercising when told he had cancer, and he's glad of it, now that U.K. researchers say moderate exercise may improve chemotherapy outcomes in esophageal cancer patients.

    Holman, 70, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in December 2016, shortly after retiring from his job as a facilities manager at a shopping mall in Britain. Like many patients, he underwent

    'Dr. Chimp Will See You Now'? Primates Use Medicine, Study Suggests

    Chimpanzees aren't monkeying around when they catch insects and place them on open wounds, researchers report.

    An ongoing study of about 45 chimps in Loango National Park in Gabon is the first to document via video that such "healing" behavior is occurring, according to the team from Osnabrück University in Germany and the Ozouga Chimpanzee Project. The study was published Feb. 7 in the ...

    Pre-Op Treatment May Be Advance Against Deadly Liver Cancers

    When delivering a liver cancer diagnosis, Dr. Thomas Marron pulls no punches: "Liver cancer is one of the deadliest cancers," he tells patients.

    Jeffrey Foster heard a similar message loud and clear when he was first diagnosed by another doctor with hepatocellular carcinoma -- the most common type of liver cancer

    In a First, a Robot Performs Laparoscopic Surgery on Pig Without Human Help

    A robot performed challenging keyhole surgery on pigs without any human help in what could be a major step toward fully automated surgery on people.

    "Our findings show that we can automate one of the most intricate and delicate tasks in surgery: the reconnection of two ends of an intestine," said senior study author Axel Krieger. He is an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at J...

    Saline IV Drip Just as Good as Pricier Options in Hospital ICUs: Study

    Saline intravenous (IV) fluids are as effective as more costly solutions in treating intensive care patients and keeping them alive, Australian researchers report.

    "Just about every patient admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) will receive intravenous fluids for resuscitation or as part of standard treatment," noted

  • Robert Preidt
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  • January 26, 2022
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  • Some Patients With Macular Degeneration Could Stop Monthly Eye Injections

    Injection medications can save the vision of older people with macular degeneration, but the ongoing regimen is taxing. Now a preliminary study raises the possibility that some patients can safely be "weaned off" the treatment.

    Researchers found that of just over 100 patients they treated with the eye injections, nearly one-third were able to "pause" the therapy within the first year. And...

    After Heart Attack, Cardiac Rehab Begins Road to Recovery

    Your heart is in an incredibly vulnerable state if you've suffered a heart attack or are fighting heart failure, and cardiac rehabilitation could be an important part of your recovery.

    Unfortunately, not enough older folks appear to be taking advantage of this life-saving therapy.

    Fewer than one in 10 eligible Medicare beneficiaries get recommended heart failure rehab treatments, th...

    Few Countries Do Well Caring for the Dying

    Americans don't like to dwell on dying, so maybe it isn't surprising that compared to other nations, the United States does just a middling job of providing a good death.

    The United States ranked in the middle of 81 countries rated on how well their health care systems provide end-of-life care.

    Only six countries -- the United Kingdom, Ireland, Taiwan, Australia, South Korea and Cos...

    COVID-19 Treatments: What You Need to Know

    Two years into the pandemic, coronavirus treatments like monoclonal antibodies and antiviral pills have been approved to treat COVID-19, but it's hard to keep track of which ones still work, experts say.

    For example, the monoclonal ant...

    For Transgender People, Starting Hormone Therapy in Teens Helps Mental Health

    Transgender people get greater mental health benefits if they start gender-affirming hormone treatment when they're teens instead of waiting until they're adults, a new study finds.

    "This study is particularly relevant now because many state legislatures are introducing bills that would outlaw this kind of care for

  • Robert Preidt
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  • January 14, 2022
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  • Immune-Based Drug Fights Advanced Endometrial Cancer: Study

    A drug used to treat several types of cancer is also an effective treatment for aggressive forms of endometrial cancer, the second most common cancer in women worldwide, a new clinical trial shows. The endometrium is the inner lining of the uterus.

    "These findings suggest a long-term benefit to patients," said lead researcher Dr. David O'Malley, a gynecologic oncologist at the Ohio State ...

    FDA OKs Pfizer Pill as First At-Home COVID Treatment

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved the emergency use of Pfizer's new antiviral pill Paxlovid in people who are at high risk for severe COVID-19. It's the first approved treatment for COVID-19 meant to be taken at home.

    "Today's authorization introduces the first treatment for COVID-19 that is in the form of a pill that is taken orally -- a major step forward in t...

    NYC's Overdose Prevention Centers Already Saving Lives

    At least 59 overdoses were prevented in the first three weeks that two overdose prevention centers have been open in New York City, the city's health department said Tuesday.

    During that time, there were more than 2,000 visits to the centers that are operated by OnPoint NYC and are the first publicly recognized overdose prevention sites to open in the United States. The city first

    Program Aims to Get Lifesaving Drugs to Kids With Cancer in Poorer Countries

    A new program to boost the supply of cancer medicines for children in low- and middle-income countries has been announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

    The hospital is making a six-year, $200 million investment to launch the Global Platform for Access to Childhood C...

    Drug Combo May Fight a Tough Form of Breast Cancer

    An experimental drug, added to chemotherapy, may benefit women with an aggressive form of breast cancer, suggests an early study offering much-needed good news.

    The study involved women with "triple-negative" breast cancer, which accounts for about 15% to 20% of breast cancers among U.S. women. It is so called because the cancers lack receptors for the hormones estrogen and progesterone, ...

    Too Many Fertility Specialists Still Use a Painful, Useless Procedure: Study

    Couples struggling to conceive a child through in vitro fertilization (IVF) sometimes are offered an often-painful procedure known as "scratching the womb" as a desperate last hope to get pregnant.

    As many as one-third of IVF clinics offer the practice in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, a new survey reports. It's very likely some U.S. clinics also offer the procedure, altho...

    Online Programs, Phone Apps Can Help Treat Depression

    People with depression symptoms might find some help from online programs or smartphone apps -- but the human component remains key, a new research review suggests.

    Not everyone with depression can readily get to face-to-face therapy -- whether due to time, distance, money or stigma. But smartphones are n...

    Drug Can Keep Leukemia in Remission for Years in Younger Patients

    For certain leukemia patients, some welcome findings: New research confirms long remissions after treatment with the drug ibrutinib and chemotherapy.

    The study involved 85 patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). All were 65 or younger, and 46 had more aggressive, unmutated IGHV subtype of the d...

    Could Gene Therapy Help Cure Sickle Cell Disease?

    A gene therapy that could provide a permanent cure for sickle cell disease continues to show success through a third wave of patients, researchers report.

    The therapy, LentiGlobin, restored normal blood function in 35 sickle cell patients who had the one-time procedure, according to clinical trial findings published Dec. 12 in the

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • December 13, 2021
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  • New Hormonal Pill May Boost Outcomes for Older Breast Cancer Patients

    An experimental hormone therapy pill can effectively stall the progression of breast cancer, even in older patients whose tumors have mutated to make such therapy less effective, new trial results show.

    The drug elacestrant reduced the risk of breast cancer progression and death by 30% in postmenopausal patients whose cancers were fueled by the female hormone estrogen, compared to people ...

    What's Behind Unexplained Epilepsy in Kids? A Gene Test May Tell

    Genetic testing can help guide management and treatment of unexplained epilepsy in children, new research suggests.

    "A genetic diagnosis impacted medical management for nearly three out of four children in our study," said study author Dr. Isabel Haviland. She's a postdoctoral research fellow in neurology/neurobiology at Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

    In the ...

    'Magic Mushroom' Drug Edges Toward Mainstream Therapy

    Tony Head was depressed and fearing death from stage 4 prostate cancer when, as part of a supervised scientific trial, he took a large dose of the psychedelic agent in "magic mushrooms," psilocybin.

    Head donned a mask and headphones to shut out the world around him, and had an experience that changed the course of his life.

    "At some point in that time I felt like a higher power or s...

    Do Immune-Based Cancer Drugs Work Better in Men?

    Women are two times more likely than men to die after receiving a combination of cancer immunotherapy drugs called checkpoint inhibitors, but it's not clear if that difference is due to side effects or because the treatment isn't working, researchers say.

    This new class of highly targeted drugs -- which includes pembrolizumab (Keytruda), nivolumab (Opdivo) or ipilimumab (Yervoy) -- has re...

    FDA Approves Imaging Drug That Can Help Surgeons Spot Ovarian Cancers

    Early detection of ovarian cancer helps boost a woman's survival, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved a new imaging drug that can help spot tumors during surgery.

    The drug, Cytalux (pafolacianine), is meant to improve a surgeon's ability to detect ovarian cancer while operating on a patient.

    It is administered intravenously before surgery and is used in conj...

    New Insights Into What Might Drive Parkinson's Disease

    A defect in the blood-brain barrier may play a role in Parkinson's disease, a groundbreaking research study suggests.

    The blood-brain barrier acts as a filter to keep out toxins while still allowing the passage of nutrients to nourish the brain. This study found that in some people with Parkinson's, the b...

    Abortion Remains Medically Safe for U.S. Women

    Debate rages over access to abortion, but experts say the collected medical evidence makes one thing clear -- it is a fundamentally safe procedure for women.

    Abortion is safer than childbirth and it's also safer than a host of other common procedures -- colonoscopy, tonsillectomy and plastic surgery, said Dr. Sarah Prager, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wash...

    People on Immune-Suppressing Meds Fare Equally Well With Severe COVID

    Hospitalized COVID-19 patients who take medications that suppress the immune system don't have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 than those with normal immune systems, a new study finds.

    Early in the pandemic, it was feared that people taking immunosuppressive drugs were at increased risk of severe COVID-19 due to their weakened immune systems. The drugs are used to treat cancer and autoim...

    Neurologists' Group Issues New Treatment Guidelines for Early Parkinson's

    Guidelines for treating movement problems in people in the early stages of Parkinson's disease have been updated.

    The new treatment recommendations from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) focus on dopaminergic medications, which increase dopamine levels or mimic dopamine effects. Parkinson's is a movement disorder that occurs when nerve cells in the brain fail to produce enough dopam...

    Gene Therapy Could Be Big Advance Against Hemophilia

    Gene therapy shows promise in reducing, and even halting, potentially life-threatening bleeding events in people with hemophilia, researchers report.

    Hemophilia A is the most common inherited bleeding disorder, affecting one in 5,000 males worldwide. It's caused by a missing coagulation factor called FVIII.

    The current standard of care involves regular infusions of the FVIII protein...

    Gene Therapy May Reverse Hurler Syndrome, a Rare and Severe Illness in Kids

    Gene therapy might soon offer a new option for children with a rare genetic disorder that damages tissues throughout the body, researchers are reporting.

    In a study of eight children with the condition, called Hurler syndrome, researchers found that the gene therapy was safe over two years. It also showed potential for beating the current standard treatment, stem cell transplantation.

    ...