Saturday November 17, 2018

Immunotherapy Drug Pembrolizumab May Treat Rare Pregnancy Cancer, Says Research

An immunotherapy drug - Pembrolizumab- has the potential to treat a rare pregnancy cancer belonging to a group of diseases called gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), results of a clinical trial show

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Immunotherapy Drug May Treat Rare Pregnancy Cancer. Pixabay.
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London, Nov 27: An immunotherapy drug has the potential to treat a rare pregnancy cancer belonging to a group of diseases called gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD), results of a clinical trial show.

Three out of four patients with the cancerous forms of GTD went into remission after receiving the immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab in a clinical trial carried out by researchers at London’s Imperial College.

The findings, published in the journal Lancet, suggest that immunotherapy could be used as a a safer alternative to conventional treatment for the disease.

Pembrolizumab is the trial drug/ immunotherapeutic agent:

The trial, which took place at Charing Cross Hospital, is the first to show that Pembrolizumab can be used to successfully treat women with GTD, according to the study

The researchers hope that this small early stage study could provide another treatment option for women who have drug-resistant GTD and lead to a 100 per cent cure rate.

“We have been able to show for the first time that immunotherapy may be used to cure patients of cancerous GTD,” said Professor Michael Seckl, lead author of the study.

The current treatments to tackle GTD cure most cases of the disease. However, there are a small number of women whose cancers are resistant to conventional therapies and as a result have a fatal outcome,” Seckl added.

“Immunotherapy may be a life-saving treatment and can be used as an alternative to the much more toxic high dose chemotherapy that is currently used,” Seckl said.

GTD is the term used to describe abnormal cells or tumors that start in the womb from cells that normally give rise to the placenta. They are extremely rare but can happen during or after pregnancy.

Globally, 18,000 women are diagnosed annually with cancerous forms of GTD, most of whom are cured with chemotherapy or surgery.

However, up to five per cent of these women’s outcomes are fatal due to factors such as chemotherapy resistance and rare forms of the cancer such as placental site trophoblastic tumours (PSTT) that develop four or more years after the causative pregnancy has ended. (IANS)

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Managing Weight During Pregnancy May Affect Child’s Bone Health

The team analysed prospective data from 2,167 mother-child pairs

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Pregnancy, autism
Weight management in pregnancy may affect child's bone health. Pixabay

There is no benefit for children’s bone mass if women gain weight during pregnancy, says a new study.

And this applies to both normal and overweight women prior to pregnancy, says Teresa Monjardino, lead author from the Universidade do Porto in Portugal.

Weight management strategies during pregnancy reduce child cardiometabolic risk such as diabetes and heart disease.

However, because maternal weight has an overall positive correlation with a child’s bone mass, pregnancy weight management could adversely affect child bone health, said the researchers.

The study, published in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, showed that in under and normal weight mothers, weight gain during pregnancy was associated with slightly increased bone mass at 7 years of age in children.

Pregnancy, air pollution
Weight management strategies during pregnancy reduce child cardiometabolic risk such as diabetes and heart disease. Pixabay

On the other hand, in the case of overweight or obese mothers, no beneficial effect of weight gain on bone mass was observed.

“Until recently, it was a widely held scientific belief that any weight gain from the mother during pregnancy would have a beneficial effect on children’s bone mass,” said Monjardino.

Also Read- Poor Aerobic Fitness Increases Risk of Diabetes in Kids

“Our study results corroborate that there is no benefit in gaining weight above the US Institute of Medicine recommendations for pregnancy weight gain for children’s bone mass, in both normal and overweight women prior to pregnancy,” added Monjardino.

The team analysed prospective data from 2,167 mother-child pairs. (IANS)