These Patients Weren’t Expected To Survive, But In Doing So They Changed The Trajectory Of Medicine
Stat talks with Dr. Brian J. Druker and his patients who were some of the first to be shifted away from a scorched-earth treatment of cancer to precision medicine. In other public health news: mapping the brain's neurons, the dangers of nursery products, long-term birth control, genital mutilation and more.
The Survivors: How An Experimental Cancer Treatment 'Changed Everything'
This is a story of survivors — of patients who were expected to die more than two decades ago but didn’t. It was the summer of 1998, and Dr. Brian J. Druker was a few months into Phase 1, first-in-human trials of a promising compound that would later be known as Gleevec. Druker, a researcher at Oregon Health and Science University, knew from lab studies that the drug could disable a gene that controls certain leukemia cells, while leaving healthy cells intact. But he didn’t have answers to a lot of other questions, including what dose would be beneficial. (Tedeschi, 4/25)
The New York Times:
Video Games Help Model Brain’s Neurons
Zoran Popović knows a thing or two about video games. A computer science professor at the University of Washington, Dr. Popović has worked on software algorithms that make computer-controlled characters move realistically in games like the science-fiction shooter “Destiny.” But while those games are entertainment designed to grab players by their adrenal glands, Dr. Popović’s latest creation asks players to trace lines over fuzzy images with a computer mouse. It has a slow pace with dreamy music that sounds like the ambient soundtrack inside a New Age bookstore.The point? To advance neuroscience. (Wingfield, 4/24)
The New York Times:
Common Nursery Products Send Thousands Of Children To Hospitals
Baby carriers, cribs, strollers, high chairs, changing tables, bath seats — these ordinary nursery products result in an average of 66,000 injuries a year requiring trips to the emergency room for young children. Using data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, researchers estimate that from 1991 to 2011, there were 1,391,844 injuries among children under 3 that were serious enough to be treated in a hospital. (Bakalar, 4/24)
The Washington Post:
Long-Term Birth Control Is The Most Reliable. So Why Do So Few Young Women Use It?
For many women this college graduation season, the primary reason to see a doctor soon after graduation may be to get birth control. They may want to stick with whatever they’ve been using, whether that’s the pill or the patch or the vaginal ring. Or they may want to consider a broad menu of options that vary with regard to ease of use, side effects and duration of protection. (Adams, 4/24)
Detroit Free Press:
Genital Mutilation Victims Break Their Silence: 'This Is Demonic'
It was the summer of 1990.Mariya Taher was 7 years old, vacationing in India with her family, when one day her mother took her to a run-down apartment building without explaining why. She remembers climbing some stairs, opening a door and seeing older women in a room. There was laughter, and the place seemed cheerful. But then came the betrayal. (Baldas, 4/22)
How To Cope When Diagnosed With A Serious, Life-Threatening Disease
Getting diagnosed with a life-threatening illness can feel like flying along at 36,000 feet and suddenly you’re plummeting toward the ground with the plane’s engine on fire... No matter how dire the diagnosis, you can regain control and pilot your life’s flight to a smooth landing. That’s the message from longtime palliative care physician Dr. Steven Pantilat, a University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine professor who believes there are better ways to confront and cope with serious illness, whether it’s cancer, lung disease, heart failure, Alzheimer’s or other life-changing maladies. (Buck, 4/24)
Kaiser Health News:
Reluctant Patients, Hispanic Men Pose A Costly Challenge To The Health System
For reasons both economic and cultural, Hispanic men are loath to interact with the health system. Women across all races are more likely to seek care than men. But the gender gap in the Hispanic community is especially troubling to health care providers. Studies show that Latino men are much less likely than Latinas to get treatment. That is true even though Hispanic men are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to be obese, have diabetes or have high blood pressure. (Anft, 4/25)
Georgia Health News:
Cold Caps To Fight Hair Loss From Chemotherapy: Will The Idea Catch On Here?
In Europe, cold caps, or cooling caps, have been used sporadically since the 1970s and are now widely available. ... In February, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported about two new studies, one from the University of California, San Francisco, and the other from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. In both trials, more than half of the women who received chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer and wore cooling caps were able to keep most of their hair. (Ridderbusch, 4/24)
The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Explaining A Diagnosis: How Can You Help A Child With Developmental Issues Process A Parent's Serious Illness?
All parents wonder when to have “the talk” with their child.But for parents of a child with a disability, “the talk” has an entirely different meaning: explaining the child’s diagnosis to him or her. In both cases, how much to say, and how to say it, will depend on the child’s unique abilities, and on the relationship with their parents. (Jaskiewicz, 4/25)