Scientists have discovered a new treatment for leukemia that has the potential to provide a much better alternative to existing methods of treatment. The cancer breakthrough allows us to fight cancer without killing any of the healthy cells.
Researchers from Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne are responsible for developing the new treatment, which could soon be available for one of the most aggressive cancers: acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
This news is incredibly promising, but it will need to undergo rigorous testing before it can get approval from the Food and Drug Administration, as is the case with any medical breakthrough. Although there are no guarantees that this treatment will get approved or implemented, the discovery is certainly exciting news for the medical community.
What exactly does the treatment involve?
The scientists identified a protein that is crucial to stopping the spread of the blood cancer called Hhex protein. When they are able to effectively cut off production of the Hhex protein in laboratory conditions, the results show that cancer can be stopped from spreading uncontrollably.
The use of the Hhex protein is especially beneficial because it is not required in healthy blood cells. This makes it a great alternative treatment to typical AML treatments that normally have damaging side-effects.
“Most existing treatments for AML are not cancer cell-specific, and, unfortunately, kill off healthy cells in the process,” said one of the studies researchers, Matt McCormack. “Hhex is only essential for the leukaemic cells, meaning we could target and treat leukemia without toxic effects on normal cells, avoiding many of the serious side-effects that come with standard cancer treatments.”
The researchers are now looking at whether or not the same results can be recreated in humans.
“Hhex only regulates a small number of genes and is dispensable for normal blood cells,” stated McCormack. “This gives us a rare opportunity to kill AML cells without causing many side-effects. We now hope to identify the critical regions of the Hhex protein that enable it to function, which will allow us to design much-needed new drugs to treat AML.”
Time will tell if this treatment becomes readily available for cancer patients. But if clinical trials prove to be successful then widespread use may be just a few years away.
Moximed, a California and Zurich-based company, has recently been awarded the European CE Mark to introduce its Atlas Knee System. The device is a knee joint unloader, which helps to lower pressure applied to knee joints and possibly delay costly and inevitable knee replacement surgeries. The technology is similar to the shock absorbers found on vehicles.
The knee system will also be extremely beneficial to patients suffering from knee injuries to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle while reducing pain and minimizing repeat surgeries.
The company believes that they will be able to help lessen damage to the knee cartilage, allowing it to last longer than it naturally would. However, the device will require surgery to fix the implant correctly in your knee and it will need a period of rehabilitation to allow patients to regain strength and flexibility.
The device has the capacity to unload up to 13 kg; it is clinically proven to provide pain relief and preserve knee joints.
According to the website, the system is made from “advanced biomaterials and has passed durability and biocompatibility testing.” The device is perfect for anyone who suffers from pain on the inner side of the knee (particularly during activity), wants to improve physical activity, wants to regain full range of motion, or suffers from medial compartment knee osteoarthritis (OA).
Although it was not designed to provide a cure, the device does have the potential to provide relief. Regardless of whether or not the device is used as a preventive measure or to address certain knee conditions, it should be able to restore the join to normal loading conditions and alleviate a great deal of pain.
From the announcement:
The Atlas System design was evaluated in a 40 patient, prospective, multi-center clinical study. One of the study investigators, Konrad Slynarski, MD, of Lekmed Szpital in Warsaw, Poland commented, “My practice treats many young, active patients with mild osteoarthritis. I was amazed at the overwhelming patient interest in receiving joint unloading therapy, and I was very happy with my patients’ consistently rapid recovery and return to daily activities. I have already shifted my practice patterns to offer the Atlas System to patients.”
Another of the investigators in the study was Willem van der Merwe, MD, FCS (SA) of the Sports Science Orthopaedic Clinic in Cape Town, South Africa, who noted, “I enrolled my full allotment into the study and could have enrolled additional subjects. I believe the Atlas System could be a pre-arthroplasty treatment solution for people who are too young or not ready for joint replacement, and I look forward to adding the service as a regular part of my practice.”
Technology continues to improve the way in which we do things in society. This is especially true within the healthcare industry. Nowadays, having a doctors appointment via video call and getting a prescription through an app is normal. Below you will find the top four apps that are continuing to change Healthcare.
Doctor on Demand
This unique app gives you the ability to consult with your doctor from anywhere of your choosing. During a video appointment, your doctor can answer any medical questions that you have have or even write you a prescription. A video session with a doctor will cost you around $40 a session. This app already has more than 1,000 licensed physicians, in all 50 states, available at your fingertips.
The microsoft healthvault is a valuable mobile app that allows you to keep all of your medical records in a safe and secure place. You will be able to share these records with your doctors or anyone else of your choosing. This app is great for people with health conditions that need to be looked at frequently because it will allow for you and your doctor to stay on top of all your healthcare needs. It is extremely valuable tool that microsoft provides at no cost to you. That’s right, the healthvault is absolutely free!
For all women who recently had a baby or those who are currently pregnant, listen up. If you have any health related questions, concerns or advice, you can now turn to Text4Baby, organized by National Babies Coalition, for your answers. All you will need is a basic cellphone with SMS messaging capabilities. To get started, text BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411. When you get a reply, you are asked to provide your due date and zip code. Everyone remains unknown and their identity is kept confidential. Once Text4Baby has your due date it will provide you with relevant information. Another thing to keep in mind is that you may leave the service at any time.
Vida Health Coach
Do you want have your own personal health coach? Well, if you do not mind paying $15 a week, he or she is all yours. Once you sign up, you let your health coach know what you are looking to accomplish. They will come up with a personalized plan to help you achieve your goal. The health coach gives you ways to track progress in weight loss or even fat intake. These coaches have best interest in mind, and are available to help in any way that they can. You will speak with them via video call or on a conference call once week to go over progress and what are some next steps.
For more information about these apps and more, please check out this article