Tuesday September 25, 2018

Arthritis drug could be a possibility to cure skin cancer

Only five per cent of skin cancer cases involve melanoma, it causes the majority of deaths from the disease. If caught early, melanoma is very treatable or the treatment becomes more difficult.

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Scientists have found a way of detecting cancer through blood tests. IANS
Scientists have found a way of detecting cancer through blood tests. IANS
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London, Dec 20, 2017: Combining the treatment for the most deadly form of skin cancer with a common anti-rheumatic drug could provide more effective results, new research has shown.

The findings showed that using “leflunomide” — an immunosuppressive drug approved for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis — in combination with another melanoma drug, selumetinib almost completely stopped the growth of a melanoma tumour in mice.

“By combining therapies, it’s possible to attack the disease from several angles, which makes it harder for the melanoma to develop resistance to any of the drugs,” said Grant Wheeler from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK.

“Our research has shown that there could also be further benefits – by joining these two drugs together you may be able to enhance their effects, getting a treatment that is more than the sum of its parts,” Wheeler said.

Although only five per cent of skin cancer cases involve melanoma, it causes the majority of deaths from the disease. If caught early, melanoma is very treatable, but once the cancer has metastasised or spread, then treatment becomes more difficult.

The research, published in the journal Oncotarget, tested leflunomide’s effect against melanoma with selumetinib.

When the team tested leflunomide in the lab, it was found to work on melanoma cells irrespective of the genetic signature of the cancer.

This means that leflunomide has the potential to be used in all melanoma cases, not just for tumours harbouring BRAF mutations, the researchers said.

However, when leflunomide was tested on melanoma cells jointly with selumetinib, the scientists found it was more effective than either drug on its own.

In mice, the two drugs together almost completely halted the growth of the tumour over a 12 day period, which far outstripped the effect of either drug used in isolation, the researchers said. (IANS)

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Vatican Children’s Hospital Carries Out A Pioneering Surgery On a 30-month-old

Surgeons performing a laparoscopy have an extremely detailed picture of the patient's anatomy, allowing more precise incisions with a lower risk of bleeding.

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Toddler receives mother's kidney, part of liver in pioneering transplant. Pixabay

Surgeons at the Vatican children’s hospital in Rome have carried out a pioneering surgery in which a Lebanese woman’s kidney and part of her liver were transplanted in her 30-month-old son, who suffers from a rare metabolic disorder.

Doctors at the Bambin Gesu hospital performed path-breaking laparoscopic surgery on the left side of the woman’s liver and on her kidney.

The boy, named Danil, suffers from primary hyperoxaluria, a severe form of a rare metabolic disease called oxalosis, characterised by the formation of calcium oxalate deposits in organs and tissues.

Oxalosis can cause urinary infections and permanent kidney damage, and in the most severe cases, can stunt the patient’s growth and cause brittle bones that are vulnerable to fractures. It affects one in 100,000-333,000 people.

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All such patients treated at the Bambin Gesu have had dialysis during surgery and several days afterwards, and all the operations have been successful. Flickr

“This operation could be the first of its kind in the world,” the Bambin Gesu said in a statement.

“We are not aware of previous cases in which laparoscopic surgery has been carried out to transplant the same donor’s liver and kidney one after the other.”

The team at the Bambin Gesu that carried out the laparoscopic transplant in Danil of part his mother’s liver was led by Marco Spada, while the transplant of her kidney to the toddler was spearheaded by Luca dello Strologo.

Laparoscopic surgery to transplant a kidney from a living donor to a recipient is well-established, while the use of the minimally invasive technique for liver transplants is a more recent operation that is only done in the most specialist centres and, in Italy, currently only at the Bambin Gesu.

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Bambin Gesu hospital , Vatican. Flickr

All such patients treated at the Bambin Gesu have had dialysis during surgery and several days afterwards, and all the operations have been successful, according to the hospital. In the past 24 months, it has performed 32 liver or kidney transplants from living donors and 98 from deceased donors.

Also Read: Exposure to Arsenic, Lead may Spike up Risk of Heart Disease

The advantages of laparoscopy include a significant reduction in surgical trauma which reduces the length of time patients need to spend in hospital, less need for painkilling drugs, a lower risk of postoperative complications and a more rapid return to normal life, according to the experts.

And thanks to high-resolution (3K and 4K) and three-dimensional imaging technology, surgeons performing a laparoscopy have an extremely detailed picture of the patient’s anatomy, allowing more precise incisions with a lower risk of bleeding. (IANS)