Saturday, November 6, 2010

Mouse study finds black raspberries can prevent colorectal cancer

We know that, The blackberries, as well as various other Rubus species with mounding or rambling growth habits, are often called brambles. However, this name is not used for those like the raspberry that grow as upright canes, or for trailing or prostrate species such as most dewberries, or various low-growing boreal, arctic, or alpine species. Black raspberries have been also reported to possess antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-neurodegenerative and anti-inflammatory properties, now the researchers from UIC College of Medicine have looked at the fruit's ability to prevent colon cancer.

The researchers used two strains of mice, Apc1638 and Muc2, which each have a specific gene knocked out, causing the mice to develop either intestinal tumors (in the case of Apc1638) or colitis in the case of Muc2. Colitis is an inflammation of the large intestine that can contribute to the development of colorectal cancer.

Both mouse strains were randomized to be fed either a Western-style, high-risk diet (high in fat and low in calcium and vitamin D) or the same diet supplemented with 10 percent freeze-dried black raspberry powder for 12 weeks.

The researchers found that in both mouse strains the black raspberry-supplemented diet produced a broad range of protective effects in the intestine, colon and rectum and inhibited tumor formation.

In the Apc1638 mice, tumor incidence was reduced by 45 percent and the number of tumors by 60 percent. The researchers found that black raspberries inhibited tumor development by suppressing a protein, known as beta-catenin, which binds to the APC gene.

In the Muc2 mice, tumor incidence and the number of tumors were both reduced by 50 percent, and black raspberries inhibited tumor development by reducing chronic inflammation associated with colitis.

The researchers now hope to obtain funding to begin clinical trials in humans. Because black raspberries not only prevent cancer but also inflammation, they may also protect against other diseases, such as heart disease.

I read an article in the same lines, wherein the researchers attribute the colorectal anticancer activity due to the anthocyanins present


Friday, November 5, 2010

FDA approves Afinitor drug for tuberous sclerosis complex

We know that Everolimus (RAD-001), marketed by Novartis under the tradenames Zortress (USA) and Certican (Europe and other countries) in transplantation medicine and Afinitor in oncology is the 42-O-(2-hydroxyethyl) derivative of sirolimus and works similarly to sirolimus as an mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) inhibitor. It is currently used as an immunosuppressant to prevent rejection of organ transplants. Much research has also been conducted on everolimus and other mTOR inhibitors for use in a number of cancers. The FDA has approved everolimus for the treatment of advanced kidney cancer on March 30, 2009 and for organ rejection prophylaxis on April 22, 2010. Now the same drug has been approved for Tuberous sclerosis or tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC a rare, multi-system genetic disease that causes benign tumours to grow in the brain and on other vital organs such as the kidneys, heart, eyes, lungs, and skin ) ….more

Thursday, November 4, 2010

FDA approves cancer drug Afinitor for treatment of rare genetic disorder

 We know that Afinitor ( see structure) is an inhibitor of mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), a serine-threonine kinase, downstream of the PI3K/AKT pathway. The mTOR pathway is dysregulated in several human cancers. Everolimus binds to an intracellular protein, FKBP-12, resulting in an inhibitory complex formation and inhibition of mTOR kinase activity. Inhibition of mTOR by everolimus has been shown to reduce cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and glucose uptake in in vitro and/or in vivo studies.

Afinitor is specifically indicated for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma after failure of treatment with sunitinib or sorafenib. Afinitor is supplied as a 5 mg or 10 mg tablet designed for oral administration. The recommended initial dose of the drug is 10 mg, to be taken once daily at the same time every day, either with or without food. Afinitor tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water; they should not be chewed or crushed....Now FDA approves the drug....

 FDA approves cancer drug Afinitor for treatment of rare genetic disorder   

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fight against Ventilator-Associated Pneumonia....

In continuation of my update on "Pneumonia and its prevention..."

When I read an article from  Emedicine,  was surprised to see the analysis by the author. I quote the following lines...
 Hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) is pneumonia that develops 48 hours or longer after admission to a hospital.
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is pneumonia that develops 48 hours or longer after mechanical ventilation is given by means of an endotracheal tube or tracheostomy.
  • Health care–associated pneumonia is pneumonia that occurs in persons in one of the following groups:
    • Patients who have been hospitalized in an acute care facility for 2 or more days within 90 days of the infection
    • Residents of a nursing home or long-term care facility
    • Patients who received intravenous antibiotic therapy, chemotherapy, or wound care within the last 30 days of the current infection
    • Patients who receive hemodialysis in any setting
HAP is the second most common nosocomial infection. HAP increases a patient's hospital stay by approximately 7-9 days and can increase hospital costs by an average of $40,000 per patient. and 


VAP is a complication in as many as 28% of patients who receive mechanical ventilation. The incidence of VAP increases with the duration of mechanical ventilation. Estimated rates are 3% per day for the first 5 days, 2% per day for days 6-10, and 1% per day after day 10.


The crude mortality rate for VAP is 27-76%. Pseudomonas or Acinetobacter pneumonia is associated with increased mortality rates compared with other organisms. Studies have consistently shown that a delay in starting appropriate and adequately dosed antibiotic therapy increases the mortality risk...
We had "International Infection Prevention Week" a forth night ago,  but still we need to create awareness about such infections.   I think we need to give due importance for VAP too. Though,  there are many organizations, which are trying to create awareness and solutions for this problem, I find Kimberly Clark corporation's efforts really  interesting and  commendable. So let us join hands with the corporation to spread the awareness....

One can get more info with the link :

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Telbivudine Given to Mothers with Hepatitis B Reduces Infection Rate in Infants

We knew that, Telbivudine is an antiviral drug used in the treatment of hepatitis B infection. It is marketed by Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis under the trade names Sebivo (Europe) and Tyzeka (United States). Clinical trials have shown it to be significantly more effective than lamivudine or adefovir, and less likely to cause resistance.

Now researchers from American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), lead by Dr. Calvin Pan, have come up with some interesting finding, i.e., Telbivudine in the second to third trimesters of pregnancy lead to  no transmission of HBV to newborns was detected at 28 weeks postbirth.  The study concluded that both the mothers and new born. 

For this study, pregnant women with high level of HBVDNA enrolled in the treatment arm of the study were given 600 mg daily of Telbivudine. All newborns received three doses of hepatitis B vaccine. Patients in the treatment arm achieved sustained virologic response rate (SVR) of 53 percent prior to delivery and 62 percent four weeks after delivery. None of the patients in the control arm achieved SVR at either point. 

Only four percent of newborns in the treatment arm tested positive for hepatitis B, whereas 23 percent of newborns from the control group tested positive. None of the patients treated with Telbivudine had to stop treatment due to adverse events. No congenital deformities were observed up to 28 weeks after birth. There were no measurable differences in postpartum health issues for mothers and newborns between the treatment and control groups. 

Dr. Pan realizes the limitations of this study, “The infant follow up is limited to 28 weeks after birth. Even though it is good enough to define the failure rate of transmission prevention, the long term safety data for the infant is missing. Hypothetically, antiviral therapy and immunoprophylaxis can be effective in blocking transmission that occurs during late pregnancy or delivery, but the mechanism of intrauterine transmission remains a puzzle. Though more studies are needed in the field to provide a comprehensive strategy to prevent HBV vertical transmission, in my opinion its is significant achievement......

Ref :