Health and Fitness

Possible Novel Approach To Treating Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Enlarged Hearts And Carney Complex

In a new approach to developing treatments for breast cancer, prostate cancer and enlarged hearts, Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine researchers are zeroing in on a workhorse protein called RSK. When activated, RSK is involved in cell survival, cell proliferation and cell enlargement. These properties contribute towards cancer progression, heart enlargement and tumors associated with a genetic disease called Carney complex. Loyola researchers have discovered that a regulatory protein binds to RSK. This regulatory protein effectively keeps RSK's activity in check. In a study to be published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Patel and colleagues located the specific region of the regulatory protein that binds to RSK. "The implications are widespread, and will also change textbooks for students, " said Tarun Patel, PhD, chairman of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology & Therapeutics at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. It was previously known that the regulatory protein that binds RSK is also associated with another enzyme known as PKA.

Treating Heart Rhythm Disorders With Robotic Catheter

Hospitals are beginning to use a new robotic catheter guidance system to treat abnormal heart rhythms. The robotic system "enhances a doctor's natural ability, and we believe it will contribute to improved procedural outcomes, " said Dr. David Wilber of Loyola University Health System, a nationally known researcher in heart rhythm disorders. The robotic system is used in a procedure, called an ablation, which treats irregular heartbeats such as atrial fibrillation. The treatment destroys small areas of heart tissue that trigger irregular heartbeats. Atrial fibrillation, often called A-fib, is the most common form of irregular heartbeat. More than two million Americans have A-fib, and doctors diagnose about 160, 000 new cases each year. In an ablation, an electrophysiologist inserts a catheter (thin tube) through a small incision in the patient's groin and guides it to the heart. The tip of the catheter delivers radiofrequency energy that burns away small areas in the heart where erratic electrical signals originate.

US FDA Approves New Indication For CRESTOR reg; Rosuvastatin Calcium

AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved CRESTOR ® (rosuvastatin calcium) to reduce the risk of stroke, myocardial infarction ( heart attack ) and arterial revascularization procedures in individuals without clinically evident coronary heart disease but with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) based on age (men 50 and over, women 60 and over), high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) 2 mg/L or more, and the presence of at least one additional CVD risk factor, such as hypertension, low HDL-C, smoking, or a family history of premature coronary heart disease. The FDA approval was based on data from the landmark JUPITER (Justification for the Use of statins in Primary prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin) study which evaluated the impact of CRESTOR 20 mg on reducing major CVD events in a previously unstudied population. In JUPITER, CRESTOR significantly reduced the relative risk of heart attack by 54% (p<0.

SMT Research And Development, Ltd. Reports Two Successful Clinical Cases

SMT Research and Development, Ltd., a privately held company, announced that it has completed its first two clinical cases using the Shimon Embolic Filter [SHEF] (TM). SMT R&D developed a novel technology for brain protection (Neuroprotection) from stroke complication hazards arising from invasive cardiology procedures and heart surgery. The rate of stroke and silent brain damage is the leading severe limiting factor for delivering the trans-catheter and invasive therapeutic modalities. Neuroprotection from stroke and brain emboli is a largely untapped major field. The SHEF filter reduces significantly the risk of emboli (blood clots and other debris) from traveling to the brain. The procedure was performed at the University Medical Center, Utrecht, The Netherlands by Dr. Pieter Stella, Director of Cardiac Catheterization and Interventional Cardiology. The SMT filter is a proprietary medical device that acts as a filter, allowing normal blood flow to the brain, but filtering and diverting all emboli (blood clot, atheromatous material and calcified debris) downstream, thus preventing stroke.

Women With Gout At Greater Risk Of Heart Attack Than Men

Women with gout are at greater risk of a heart attack than men with the disease, indicates research published ahead of print in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. Gout is known to boost the risk of a heart attack in men. But to date, little has been known about the impact of gout on women's cardiovascular health. Gout is common and caused by inflammation in the joints as a result of excess uric acid deposits. Uric acid is a by-product of purines, which are abundant in a Western diet. Obesity, weight gain, high alcohol intake, high blood pressure, poorly functioning kidneys and certain drugs can all precipitate its development. The authors base their findings on a population study of more than 9500 gout patients and 48, 000 people without the disease, aged 65 and older. All participants were drawn from the Canadian British Columbia Linked Health Database, which covers the entire province of British Columbia (population 4.5 million) and contains long term information on healthcare use.

FDA Approves New Indication For Crestor

On Feb. 8 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the cholesterol-lowering medication Crestor (rosuvastatin) for some patients who are at increased risk of heart disease but have not been diagnosed with it. The new indication is for reducing the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke or the need for a procedure to treat blocked or narrowed arteries in patients who have never been told they have heart disease but are nevertheless at increased risk of a cardiac event. Specifically, this includes men 50 years of age and older and women 60 years of age and older who have an elevated amount of a substance known as high sensitivity C-reactive protein in their blood and at least one additional traditional cardiovascular risk factor such as smoking, high blood pressure, a family history of premature heart disease, or low amounts of high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol, the so-called "good cholesterol." This new indication does not support the use of Crestor in individuals who have an elevated high sensitivity C-reactive protein but no traditional cardiovascular risk factors.

Stanford Scientists Make Stem Cells Pluripotent Using Virus-Free Technique

Tiny circles of DNA are the key to a new and easier way to transform stem cells from human fat into induced pluripotent stem cells for use in regenerative medicine, say scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Unlike other commonly used techniques, the method, which is based on standard molecular biology practices, does not use viruses to introduce genes into the cells or permanently alter a cell's genome. It is the first example of reprogramming adult cells to pluripotency in this manner, and is hailed by the researchers as a major step toward the use of such cells in humans. They hope that the ease of the technique and its relative safety will smooth its way through the necessary FDA approval process. "This technique is not only safer, it's relatively simple, " said Stanford surgery professor Michael Longaker, MD, and co-author of the paper. "It will be a relatively straightforward process for labs around the world to begin using this technique. We are moving toward clinically applicable regenerative medicine.

BG Medicine Announces Receipt Of CE Mark For Its Galectin-3 Blood Test

BG Medicine, Inc., a privately-held developer of biomarker-based in vitro diagnostics, announced the commercial launch in the European Union of a new, CE-marked test for the measurement of galectin-3 in human plasma or serum. Galectin-3 was first shown by researchers at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands, to play an integral role in the development and progression of heart failure. "This is an important point in our development of galectin-3 testing and a milestone for the company, " noted Pieter Muntendam, MD, President and CEO of BG Medicine. "Heart failure is a complex and heterogeneous condition, and the objective of our BGM Galectin-3™ test is to redefine heart failure on the basis of underlying disease processes, not as it is currently addressed based solely on the nature and severity of signs or symptoms." Galectin-3 is a protein that is involved in the biological processes leading to cardiac fibrosis and scarring, which play an important role in heart failure development and progression.

HealthSpring Home Visit Nurse Intercepts Cardiac Arrest

Olive Branch, Miss. resident Glenn Lusk has a special perspective on the value of his Medicare Advantage plan. It was a HealthSpring-contracted nurse practitioner who discovered during a home visit in November that Lusk was experiencing serious heart trouble. "Somebody up above was looking out for me, " Lusk said. Nurse practitioner Lucretia Daniel was concerned with the symptoms she observed in Lusk. "I said, 'You know, I really think this is your heart. I think we need to send you to the ER to get this checked out.' I knew there was a high probability that there was something that was going on. He had been dealing with this for three days and hadn't gone in. He thought it was just his blood pressure." Daniel was at the Lusk home as part of HealthSpring's "360 Physical" program. The 360 Physical brings nurses to members' homes for thorough physical check-ups to help monitor their health and catch potential problems early. Glenn Lusk took his visiting nurse's advice seriously. "She said normally she would call an ambulance.

Piedmont Hospital Installs First Toshiba Vascular X-Ray System With 12 X 12 Mid-Sized Flat Panel Detector

Increasing its ability to provide patients with the highest quality of care, Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta has installed the country's first InfinixTM VF-i vascular X-ray system with the 12" x 12" mid-sized flat panel detector (FPD) from Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. The new mid-sized FPD system is equipped with Toshiba's Next Generation Advanced Image Processing (AIP) capabilities and marks the fourth Toshiba Infinix-i system installed by Piedmont Hospital. "Toshiba's Infinix VF-i with the 12" x 12" flat panel detector provides better perspective during electrophysiologic procedures than most traditional flat panel detectors, " said Piedmont Heart Institute physician Harry A. Kopelman, M.D., Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratories at the Fuqua Heart Center of Atlanta's Piedmont Hospital. "The 12" x 12" panel offers a wider field-of-view, making it easier to image a large cardiac silhouette. It is well-suited for cardiac rhythm device implantation and other electrophysiologic procedures.

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