Patients undergoing treatment for breast cancer are exposed to a variety of options. And let this be clear: this is a business. Medicine is a business. Doctors want ( Need) money, or more politely put " compensation" for their work. However we expect our doctors to treat us in the most cost-effective manner. A new study demonstrates that women fighting breast cancer at for-profit hospitals are given extra therapies that do not necessarily prove to help annihilitating the cancer, but rather maximize the cost incurred by the patient for their therapy. The National Cancer Institute is reporting that for-profit hospitals have consistently demonstrated a higher cost of treatment for breast cancer. “This reinforces the idea that reimbursement is a significant driver of the adoption of new cancer therapies, which is a shame,” Gross said. “Evidence should be the main driver.”
The ability to suppress certain incoming information while our brain processes other vital bits of data is imperative to human function. The ability for particular areas of the brain to do this, and in relation to which brain waves, has been discovered by a group of researchers. "When we have different things competing for our attention, we can only be aware of so much of what we see," said Kyle Mathewson, Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow. "For example, when you're driving, you might really be concentrating on obeying traffic signals." Using both EEG and EROS techniques, they were able to utilize the properties of infrared light passing through optical fibers to measure alterations in optical properties in particular areas of the cerebral cortex. "It exploits the fact that when neurons are active, they swell a little, becoming slightly more transparent to light: this allows us to determine when a particular part of the cortex is processing information, as well as where the activity occurs," explained the scientists. "We found that the same brain regions known to control our attention are involved in suppressing the alpha waves and improving our ability to detect hard-to-see targets," said Diane Beck, a member of the Beckman's Cognitive Neuroscience Group. "Knowing where the waves originate means we can target that area specifically with electrical stimulation" said Mathewson. "Or we can also give people moment-to-moment feedback, which could be used to alert drivers that they are not paying attention and should increase their focus on the road ahead, or in other situations alert students in a classroom that they need to focus more, or athletes, or pilots and equipment operators."
Many patients suffering from leukemia die to common infections due to the lack of their immune system functioning properly, as opposed to the cancer itself. Scientists have discovered that cancer cells in Leukemia are able to secrete molecules which shut down the immune system, thereby making these patients very vulnerable to infections and disease. “We can treat their cancer with chemotherapy, but we can’t restore patient’s immune system, which makes them very susceptible to infection,” Prof Mackay said. This research group was able to block the molecules that dismember the immune system in animal models, which further allowed the immune system fight the cancer itself. “It’s really exciting that in an animal model of the leukaemia we are able to stop the toxic factor and show that the immune system can get back on track reduce the tumour burden,” Prof MacKay said.
A team in Zürich, Switzerland, has successfully destroyed a major portion of an infiltrating brain tumor located deep within the brain without any incisions. Ultra sound technology was used to eradicate the cancerous cells. Ultrasonic energy is guided by magnetic resonance or ultra sound imaging to treat tissue without the use or radiation or surgery. Javier Finding, a neurosurgeon in Switzerland, stated that " the patient was awake and responsive during the treatment and we were able to successfully target and destroy a part of the tumor located deep within the patient's brain. We are very encouraged that we could utilize focused ultrasound to accomplish this with no side effects or complications."
A Medtronic engineered device which is implanted into the spine has restored the ability to move the legs of several paralyzed patient. When the electrical stimulation is turned on, the patients demonstrated the ability to move their legs at will. One of the patients said, " "When I think to move my leg, my toe or my ankles, when I'm turned on I can do it. It's really exciting." "They implant these electrodes just below the sight the injury and stimulate the motor neurons in the spinal cord that would then lead to controlling the muscles in the leg. Their research is determining the optimal stimulation patterns for these 16 electrode arrays," said Dr. Grace C.Y. Peng, program director of rehabilitation for engineering at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at NIH.
Stanford University physician-scientists have developed a new method to detect solid tumors by simply drawing blood from patients. This new technique can detect solid tumors within a physiological system with precise sensitivity. "We set out to develop a method that overcomes two major hurdles in the circulating tumor DNA field," said Maximilian Diehn, MD, PhD, assistant professor of radiation oncology. "First, the technique needs to be very sensitive to detect the very small amounts of tumor DNA present in the blood. Second, to be clinically useful it's necessary to have a test that works off the shelf for the majority of patients with a given cancer." The brilliant techniques engineered to analyze DNA portions representative of cancerous tumors are discussed in the authors upcoming publication in Nature Medicine.
Researchers have published the first ever 20 year follow-up study on low-grade pediatric glioma patients. Although radiotherapy remains conventional for brain tumors, this study revealed that patients are more likely to die from the effects of radiation before they die from the tumor itself. "We found for the first time that once you survive your childhood with a low-grade glioma, you are not likely to die of that tumor as an adult," senior author Peter Manley said. At the 20 year mark, 90% of patients who did not receive radiation were alive, while only 70% with radiation were alive at the same time point. "We strongly recommend treatments that are less likely to cause long-term effects and second cancers," Manley said. "According to our analysis, radiation was the most common factor linked to differences in mortality among long-term survivors," he added. "There are multiple options available today for treating children with these tumors. We should exhaust all those before considering the use of radiation."
We yearn to grasp the method by which the brain develops into an abnormally functioning unit of matter manifesting itself in an array of psychiatric and neuronal based diseases. The Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research centre opened on Tuesday with the specific goal of utilizing computational models to bridge the gap between neuroscience and psychiatric disorders. Professor Ray Dolan, academic co-leader of the centre, said: "The brain is at some level an information processing machine and we have to understand what it's doing and how that information processor is working. We are trying to understand normal cognition with respect to the type of processes that go awry in psychiatric disorders and in ageing, we then intend to apply these models to understand ageing, depression or any other psychiatric disorders where we think the models may be appropriate. " The ability to develop computational models which directly highlight neuronal areas that deteriorate with ageing or disease will enable us to create personalized drugs to halt the progressions of these brain diseases.
Neuroscientist Ed Lein reported an astonishing development in brain mapping in Nature. Through developing a data bank of 12,000 thin slices of fetal human brain tissue, Lein and his team were able to produce an immense amount of information regarding gene activity. After excising tiny bits of brain tissue, Lein used laser beams to run genetic tests on these developing portions of the brain. Lein hopes that detecting abnormal genetic expression in early development of the brain will give us insight into the genesis of psychiatric diseases, such as autism.