Health and Fitness

This Study May Prevent Broken Bones

The best way to prevent a fracture is to stop bones from reaching the point where they are prone to breaking, but understanding the process of how bones form and mature has been challenging. Now researchers at the University of Houston department of health and human performance have created a process that grows real human bone in tissue culture, which can be used to investigate how bones form and grow. "We have manufactured a structure that has no synthetic components, " said Mark Clarke, associate professor and principal investigator. "It's all made by the two cell types bones start with inside the body. What you end up with is a piece of material that is identical to newly-formed, human, trabecular bone, including its mineral components, its histology and its growth factor content." Being in a microgravity environment causes astronauts' bodies to lose more bone mineral than they can replace, which makes them vulnerable to fractures and breaks. Even when they return to Earth, the bone loss continues as their bodies slowly begin the process of replacing the bone mineral content.

Acute Leukemia: First-In-Class Treatment

EUREKA project E! 3172 NKSTIM has produced a new potential drug to stimulate cancer patients' own 'natural killer' cells to attack and eliminate cancer cells; currently undergoing clinical testing in patients with leukaemia or myeloma. Existing knowledge of how transplanted bone marrow cells eradicate tumours gave the foundation for designing the new drug. Providing the remaining clinical trials are successful, the drug will offer the first real treatment option for older people with acute myeloid leukaemia, whose age precludes them from bone marrow transplantation. It also promises improved options for treating other types of cancer, such as multiple myeloma and lymphoma. Myeloid leukaemia is characterised by rapid growth of abnormal white blood cells in the bone marrow, and it may exist in acute (AML) or chronic (CML) forms. AML is more prevalent among older people, where it is virtually incurable; progressing rapidly and only 10% of patients survive more than 5 years. The best treatment for leukaemia is bone marrow transplantation, which provides fresh donor-derived immune cells.

UAB Bone Center Director Wins Distinguished Service Award From Clinical Pathology Society

The director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Center for Metabolic Bone Disease has won the 2009 Ward Burdick Award for Distinguished Service to Clinical Pathology from the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP). Jay M. McDonald, M.D., a professor in the UAB Department of Pathology, is a leader in reforming and maintaining national standards for clinical pathology training. McDonald helped author the current highest standards for laboratory testing of diabetes mellitus samples and has been an international leader in establishing clinical pathology as both a basic research and clinical discipline. McDonald is a senior scientist at UAB's Comprehensive Cancer Center, Center for AIDS Research, Center for Aging, Gene Therapy Center, Center for Health Promotion and BioMatrix Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Center. He is the immediate-past chair of the UAB Department of Pathology, and was pathologist-in-chief at UAB Hospital from 1990 to 2008. McDonald has served on the external review committees of pathology and laboratory-medicine departments at numerous medical institutions around the nation and is a past president of the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists.

Recurring Dislocations? New Shoulder Repair Technique Effective When Standard Procedures Are Not

The shoulder is the most commonly dislocated joint in the human body, occurring most often in young, athletic people. New research from the University of Michigan Health System shows patients who have recurrent shoulder dislocations may benefit from surgical reconstruction using cadaver bone and cartilage to essentially 'sculpt' a new shoulder. For some patients, standard stability-restoring procedures are ineffective. "We've been looking at defects of the humeral head, which is the ball part of the shoulder, and the effects of those [defects] on recurrent instability following surgical repair, " says Jon Sekiya, M.D., surgeon and associate professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. "We really looked at this bio-mechanically and we've been able to show that certain lesion sizes are at greater risk [for repeated dislocation]." The study showed that even small defects and small divots in the humeral head can cause biomechanical consequences which can affect stability. Because standard procedures meant to tighten the ligaments and repair the tissues responsible for stabilizing the joint do not address bone defects, a new technique was developed.

What Is A Fracture? What Are Broken Bones?

A fracture, also referred to as a bone fracture, FRX, FX, F x or # is a medical condition where the continuity of the bone is broke. A significant percentage of bone fractures occur because of high force impact or stress; however, a fracture may also be the result of some medical conditions which weaken the bones, for example osteoporosis, some cancers or osteogeneris imperfecta. A fracture caused by a medical condition is known as a pathological fracture. The word break is commonly used by lay (non-professional) people. Among health care professionals, especially bone specialists, such as orthopedic surgeons, break is a much less common term when talking about bones. A crack (not only a break) in the bone is also known as a fracture. Fractures can occur in any bone in the body. There are several different ways in which a bone can fracture; for example a clean break to the bone that does not damage surrounding tissue or tear through the skin is known as a closed fracture or a simple fracture.

University Of Florida Scientists Use Virus To Kill Cancer Cells While Leaving Normal Cells Intact

A virus that in nature infects only rabbits could become a cancer-fighting tool for humans. Myxoma virus kills cancerous blood-precursor cells in human bone marrow while sparing normal blood stem cells, a multidisciplinary team at the University of Florida College of Medicine has found. The findings are now online and will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Leukemia. The discovery could help make more cancer patients eligible for bone marrow self-transplant therapy and reduce disease relapse rates after transplantation. "This is a new strategy to remove cancer cells before the transplant, " said virologist Grant McFadden, Ph.D., senior author of the paper and a member of the UF Genetics Institute. "This is the first time anyone has shown in a living animal that a virus can distinguish normal bone marrow stem cells from cancerous stem cells." The major therapeutic applications will likely be for blood cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma and bone marrow cancers, the researchers say.

Most Surveyed Clinicians Will Prescribe Amgen GlaxoSmithKline's Prolia As Either A Second Or Third Line Therapy For Osteoporosis

Decision Resources, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for pharmaceutical and healthcare issues, finds that the majority of surveyed clinicians say they will use Amgen/GlaxoSmithKline's Prolia as either a second- or third-line therapy for osteoporosis if the drug receives regulatory approval for the indication. Prolia, which is expected to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration in early 2010, will be prescribed in later lines of therapy as most surveyed clinicians indicate that they will likely continue using bisphosphonates as first-line treatments. Bisphosphonates, most notably alendronate (Merck's Fosamax, generics) and Sanofi-Aventis/Procter & Gamble's Actonel, currently dominate the osteoporosis and osteopenia drug markets. The new Physician & Payer Forum report entitled How Will Clinician and Payer Attitudes Determine How Prolia Will Compete with Established Brands in the Dynamic Osteoporosis Market? finds that surveyed endocrinologists, PCPs and gynecologists are more likely to consider Prolia to be the most efficacious drug to treat osteoporosis, than any existing drug.

Predictive Implications Of Bone Turnover Markers After Treatment In Hormone-Refractory Prostate Cancer Patients With Painful Osseous Metastases

UroToday.com - Bone is a very common site of prostate cancer metastases, and in most patients the only site of disease progression. At the skeletal site of metastatic invasion, the bone metabolism is deregulated as a result of the presence of tumour cells in the bone microenvironment. Since emerging evidence suggests that biomarkers of bone turnover carry notable potential to become useful tools for monitoring patients with metastatic bone disease, we measured a panel of bone formation and bone resorption markers in a relatively homogenous group of patients with hormone-refractory prostatic carcinoma (HRPC) and bone only metastases, immediately before 186Rhenium-l, l-hydroxyethylidene diphosphonate (186Re-HEDP) therapy and strictly after 3 months. This practice corresponds to the time of completion of a typical clinical follow-up after palliative radionuclide treatment and also matches the 3-month schedule of others concerning measurement of various bone markers after hormonal or zoledronic acid treatment in HRPC patients.

DGIMED Receives FDA Clearance On IM Nail System

DGIMED ORTHO, Inc. announced that the company has received notification of clearance on its 510(k) submission for the Company's proprietary Drill and Intramedullary (IM) Nail system. "This timely notification keeps us on track as we now plan to initiate our market validation work to gain additional feedback on our system. This will significantly contribute to our continued development of the next generation DISTALOCK Drill and IM Nail system." said Phil Smith, the Company's President and CEO. "This is great news! " The Drill System uses an innovative approach to ensure the accurate placement of the distal locking screws used to stabilize the rod-like implants used for long bone fractures of the femur and tibia. The proprietary system is designed to improve clinical outcomes by facilitating faster and more accurate placement of distal locking screws while reducing the amount of x-ray required with most placement techniques. As a result, procedure time should be significantly reduced, lowering surgery facility and staff costs and reducing radiation exposure for the orthopedic surgeon, hospital staff, and the patient.

Good Stress Response Enhances Recovery From Knee Surgery, Stanford Study Shows

The right kind of stress response in the operating room could lead to quicker recovery for patients after knee surgery, according to a new study led by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers. The results could be used to develop methods for predicting how well patients will fare after they leave the hospital. The study, conducted with colleagues at Yale University and published Dec. 1 in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, found that patients whose immune systems responded to the stress of surgery by mobilizing large numbers of pathogen-fighting cells and redistributing them to skin and other tissues recovered more quickly and completely than those patients whose immune system showed little or no reaction. The researchers also found that men were more likely than women to mount the beneficial stress response and recover more fully. The results suggest that simple, inexpensive blood tests performed while patients are on the operating table could predict how well patients will have recovered months after they leave the hospital.

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