Wednesday July 18, 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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Being Positive During Pregnancy May Lead to Kids Being in Shape: Study

For the study, the researchers analysed responses from 7,000 parents about their personality, mood and attitude during pregnancy

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The results showed that a mother's psychological background during pregnancy is a factor associated with teenage weight gain. Pixabay

Did you know even your mood and attitude during pregnancy can have an effect on the body weight of your children when they grow up? A new study has found that teenagers are less likely to be overweight if their mother or father had a positive attitude during pregnancy.

Negative attitude, or a lack of self-belief in your ability to bring in changes to your lifestyle through your actions, may be associated with unhealthy weight gain in your children during teenage years, suggests the study published in the International Journal of Obesity.

“We’ve been able to show that a lack of self-belief in a parent’s ability to influence change by healthy eating, stopping smoking or breast feeding is a contributing factor to their child being overweight by the time they are 15,” said lead study author Jean Golding, Professor at University of Bristol in Britain.

For the study, the researchers analysed responses from 7,000 parents about their personality, mood and attitude during pregnancy.

Similar answers from their children at age of eight and the child’s fat mass measurement up to the age of 17 were also analysed.

Pregnant woman
Pregnant woman. Pixabay

The results showed that a mother’s psychological background during pregnancy is a factor associated with teenage weight gain.

The study examined a personality attribute known as the Locus of Control. It is a psychological measure for an individual’s attitudes towards their lifestyle and a belief in being able to change outcomes, such as health, through their own actions.

Someone with an external Locus of Control would feel that there is little point in making an effort as what happens to them is due to luck and circumstance.

Also Read: thyroid Dysfunction May Lead to Diabetes During Pregnancy

The researchers found that teenagers at age 15 had an excess weight of actual fat to the extent of 1.7 kg if their mothers did not think their actions would make a difference and held a laissez-faire attitude.

If their fathers had this attitude the excess weight of fat was 1.49 kg and if the child later thought this way the excess was 1.5 kg, the study said.

“This is important research for health campaigners looking to change behaviours and the next steps should be looking at the differences between parents who managed to change their Locus of Control compared to those who did not change,” Golding added. (IANS)