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Jul 23, 2015

Experts support call for lower cancer drug prices

July 23 (Reuters) – A group of 118 leading cancer experts
have developed a list of proposals designed to reduce the cost
of cancer drugs, and support a grassroots patient protest
movement to pressure drug companies to charge what they deem a
fair value for treatments.

The experts include former presidents of the American
Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Society of
Hematology.

Jul 20, 2015

First case of long-term HIV remission in child revealed

CHICAGO, July 20 (Reuters) – A French teenager born with HIV
and treated until age 6 is still free from infection 12 years
after stopping the treatments, suggesting the first case of
long-term remission in a child infected from birth, researchers
said on Monday.

The girl is one of a small group who have achieved remission
from the virus, at least for a time, after early treatment with
antiretroviral treatment (ART) aimed at keeping the virus from
building up lasting reservoirs of the virus, which can reignite
the infection. The French teenager’s case is thought to be the
longest of any on record so far in a child.

Jul 15, 2015

Congress to probe Planned Parenthood use of aborted fetus tissue

By Letitia Stein and Julie Steenhuysen

(Reuters) – Republican U.S. congressional leaders on Wednesday launched an investigation of Planned Parenthood after a video implying it sells the organs of aborted fetuses was released on the Internet. The reproductive health group said the video is false.

The secretly recorded video shows Dr. Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, discussing harvesting body parts from aborted fetuses with actors posing as buyers from a biological company. The conversation took place over lunch and wine in a restaurant.

Jul 15, 2015

Scientists use “therapeutic cloning” to fix mitochondrial genes

CHICAGO, July 15 (Reuters) – U.S. researchers have used a
controversial cloning technique to make new, healthy, perfectly
matched stem cells from the skin of patients with mitochondrial
diseases in a first step toward treatment for these incurable,
life-threatening conditions.

A study on the technique, published in the journal Nature,
showcases the latest advance in the use of somatic-cell nuclear
transfer to make patient-specific stem cells that could be used
to treat genetic diseases.

Jul 7, 2015

U.S. heroin use jumps as costs drop, prescription opiate use rises

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Heroin overdose deaths in the United States nearly quadrupled between 2002 and 2013, fueled by lower costs as well as increased abuse of prescription opiate painkillers, U.S. health officials said on Tuesday.

Such medicines, which include Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet, increase individuals’ susceptibility to heroin addiction, Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told Reuters.

Jul 2, 2015

J&J vaccine completely prevented HIV in half of monkeys in trial

CHICAGO (Reuters) – An experimental Johnson & Johnson vaccine completely prevented HIV infection in half of monkeys that got the shot and then were exposed to high doses of an aggressive virus, results that spurred the company to test the vaccine in people, academic and company researchers said on Thursday.

The international trial is underway in 400 healthy volunteers in the United States, East Africa, South Africa and Thailand. It is the first time since Merck’s failed 2007 trial that a major pharmaceutical company has sponsored clinical development of an HIV vaccine, said Dr. Dan Barouch, a vaccine researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Ragon Institute of Massachusetts General Hosptial, MIT and Harvard.

Jun 18, 2015

Ancient ‘Kennewick Man’ skeleton was Native American: study

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The much-anticipated results of a study of DNA taken from the hand bone of the so-called Kennewick Man, a 8,500-year-old skeleton discovered in Washington state in 1996, suggest the man was most closely related to Native American populations, a team of international researchers said on Thursday.

The DNA findings, published online in the journal Nature, contradict a 2014 study based on anatomical data that suggested the skeleton was most closely related to Polynesian or indigenous Japanese populations.

Jun 2, 2015

Insight – Transition to gene-based cancer treatment may not be simple

CHICAGO (Reuters) – The medical view of cancer is in transition, as cancer doctors increasingly focus on the defective genes that are driving the disease rather than the organ in which it takes root.

Oncologists hope that by understanding the genetic underpinnings of cancer rather than focusing on whether it originated in the breast or the liver, they will be able to give patients better, more personalized and more effective treatments.

Jun 2, 2015

Transition to gene-based cancer treatment may not be simple

CHICAGO, June 2 (Reuters) – The medical view of cancer is in
transition, as cancer doctors increasingly focus on the
defective genes that are driving the disease rather than the
organ in which it takes root.

Oncologists hope that by understanding the genetic
underpinnings of cancer rather than focusing on whether it
originated in the breast or the liver, they will be able to give
patients better, more personalized and more effective
treatments.

Jun 1, 2015

Large U.S. cancer trial to match genetic glitches to targeted drugs

CHICAGO, June 1 (Reuters) – The National Cancer Institute in
July will start enrolling patients in a clinical trial seeking
to match the underlying genetic defect driving a person’s tumor
with one or more of 20 approved or experimental drugs targeting
that gene.

The announcement, made at the American Society for Clinical
Oncology meeting on Monday, is meant to use approved or
experimental drugs to develop insights that will ultimately
enable doctors to prescribe drugs based on the molecular cause
of the cancer, rather than the organ in which it was originally
discovered.

    • About Julie

      "Julie Steenhuysen has been covering health and science topics for Reuters for the past decade, first as a medical device correspondent, then as team leader for the equities team covering U.S. pharmaceuticals and healthcare companies. For the past 4 years, Julie has worked as U.S. health and science correspondent, focusing on coverage for a general news audience."
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