Jan. 6 - 10, 2014

International Coverage

Medical scare system increasing illness in society
The heart surgery programme in the US alone is a $100 million business! They thrive on panic mongering…Dr Nortin M Hadler, professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of The Last Well Person, feels that bypass surgery in particular “should have been relegated to the archives 15 years ago.”

Testosterone drug rush among elderly ‘dangerous’
Daily News & Analysis
An increasing number of elderly men are opting for testosterone therapy - often without prescription - purportedly to enhance their sex drive..."Over the past decade, older and middle-aged men are increasingly being tested for low testosterone levels and being prescribed testosterone medications, particularly in the US," said co-author J Bradley Layton of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Related Link: http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2014/01/09/Many-men-start-testosterone-therapy-without-clear-medical-need/UPI-16111389322097/

National Coverage

Toxin shows promise in killing off lurking HIV
Los Angeles Times
An antibody and toxin mix has successfully detected and killed HIV-infected cells lurking in the organs and bone marrow of mice that were altered to have a human immune system...“In the organs, the virus continues to produce RNA and the therapy is doing nothing to it,” said University of North Carolina virologist J. Victor Garcia, lead author of the study.
Related Link: http://www.news-medical.net/news/20140110/Researchers-deploy-potential-new-weapon-against-HIV.aspx

Researchers reveal newest weapon to visualize shape and motion of RNA
Qi Zhang sees himself as a warrior. In his lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he wages war on genetic diseases such as cancer and heart disease on a battlefield measured with single atoms.

Ear Tubes Don't Prove Helpful Over the Long Term
People's Pharmacy
For many years, doctors treated kids with recurrent ear infections by putting tubes in their ears..A new meta-analysis from the University of North Carolina shows, however, that tubes can improve a youngster's hearing short term but have very little effect over the long term.

Regional Coverage

Study: Poverty Impacts Early Child Brain Development
In a study with weighty implications for Black families, it was found that poverty adversely impacts early brain development, hamstringing children from lower-income households with disparate rates of development in two key areas of the brain…The study, “Family Poverty Affects the Rate of Human Infant Brain Growth,” was conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and recently published on the website of the online journal PLOS ONE.

Money Matters: Out-Of-Pocket Expenses Impact Treatment Adherence For Cancer Patients
…Using data from health plan claims for the anti-cancer drug imatinib filed between 2002 to 2011, Stacie B. Dusetzina, PhD, research professor at the UNC School of Medicine and Gillings School of Global Public Health and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, found that patients with higher co-payments were 70 percent more likely to stop taking their cancer treatment and 42 percent more likely to skip doses.

Cancer-Fighting Technique Attacks Cells with Different Drugs
Science World Report
A new study takes an in-depth look at how researchers have developed a technique that attacks cancer cells using different drugs. It works by hitting nanoparticles that carry two different cancer-killing products into the body via the delivery of two specific cancer-killing medications that are delivered separate target areas…"In testing on laboratory mice, our technique resulted in significant improvement in breast cancer tumor reduction as compared to conventional treatment techniques," Dr. Zhen Gu, senior author of a paper on the research and an assistant professor in the joint biomedical engineering program at NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill said, via a press release.
Related Links: http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/blog/2014/01/unc-nc-state-team-up-to-fight-cancer.html

State & Local Coverage

Study: North Carolina Ranks High Among States in Fighting Disease Outbreaks
A Washington non-profit group says North Carolina ranks high in stopping infectious diseases.  The Trust for America's Health released a report on a year-long study that says the state hit seven of 10 marks in preventing outbreaks...North Carolina tracks data from hospitals detailing who in the state has what disease and where.  Dr. Peter Leone is a specialist with the Infectious Disease Division at UNC Chapel Hill's School of Medicine.

Charlotte-area teen freezes ovarian tissue to preserve fertility after cancer treatment
Charlotte Observer
It was shocking enough that Shiela Johnston was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in October 2012, and her 16-year-old daughter Hailey was diagnosed with the same disease two months later...At UNC Chapel Hill, Dr. Jennifer Mersereau, a reproductive endocrinologist, is also part of the Oncofertility Consortium and has performed ovarian tissue freezing for about five patients since 2008. None has returned for the tissue either…Among the risks of re-implanting ovarian tissue, not just eggs, from cancer patients is the potential for re-introduction of cancer…“In cancer patients, we don’t love the idea of transferring that tissue back to the same person,” Mersereau said. “There could be microscopic cancer (cells) in that tissue.” 

One of North Carolina’s Top Docs Busts 3 Myths About Healthcare
Americans pay more per capita for healthcare than anywhere in the world, but the outcomes are far from the best. And when it comes to improving the system, the only thing experts agree on is that its complicated. The Affordable Care Act is an attempt at comprehensive reform.
Bill Roper is head of the UNC Health Care system. He has spoken out in favor of Obamacare. He acknowledges there are downsides, but he says there is one undeniable benefit.

Share This: