Epidemiology: May 2004 Archives

Study Says Condoms Contain Cancer-Causing Substance

Fri May 28, 2004 12:09 PM ET

BERLIN (Reuters) - Most condoms contain a cancer-causing chemical and their manufacture should be subject to greater quality control, a German scientific research institute said Friday.
The Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Institute in Stuttgart, Germany, said it found the carcinogen N-Nitrosamine present in 29 of 32 types of condoms it tested in simulated conditions.

"N-Nitrosamine is one of the most carcinogenic substances," the study's authors said. "There is a pressing need for manufacturers to tackle this problem."

Article: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=5289700

Surgeon general expands list of diseases linked to smoking

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The list of diseases linked to smoking just got longer.

Surgeon General Richard Carmona released his first official assessment of smoking Thursday. The surgeon general's report concluded that smoking causes a number of diseases not previously attributed to smoking.

They include: acute myeloid leukemia and cancers of the cervix, kidney, pancreas and stomach; abdominal aortic aneurysm, cataracts, periodontitis and pneumonia.

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/05/27/surgeon.general.smoking.ap/index.html

Lighting up burns out body's organs, surgeon general says

An annual report adds nine diseases or medical conditions to those already known to be associated with smoking

Friday, May 28, 2004
A new U.S. surgeon general's report shows that smoking can cause disease in nearly every organ of the body.

The report, "The Health Consequences of Smoking," adds nine diseases and medical conditions to the list of those already linked to smoking. Jeffrey Fellows, a senior research associate at Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research in Portland, is a co-author of the 960-page report.

Article: http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/108574534088130.xml

Friendly mouth bacteria could block HIV

12:42 26 May 04

NewScientist.com news service

Bacteria naturally present in our mouths could stop newborn babies from contracting HIV via their mother's milk.

Although the treatment has not yet been tested in animals or people, the US researchers developing the treatment expect few side effects because the bugs are harmless.

They also hope it will work on future variants of the HIV virus because it does not rely on the bacteria recognising viral coat proteins which are known to mutate frequently. "This technique will block all HIV that we know of," says Lim Tao, who led the team at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

About one in five babies born to HIV-positive mothers acquire the disease via her milk. This route is responsible for the majority of the 800,000 infant infections per year globally.

Article: http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99995041

Damp or moldy buildings are linked to episodes of sniffles, coughing and wheezing in otherwise healthy people and pose a potential health threat to asthmatics already allergic to mold, a National Academies scientific panel concluded Tuesday.

But the independent scientific advisory panel also found insufficient evidence to blame indoor mold for a raft of other health problems -- from fatigue to cancer.

The 281-page report, "Damp Indoor Spaces and Health," was commissioned by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in light of rising public concern about mold. The panel reviewed existing research and did not conduct new studies

Article: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2004/05/26/MNG7J6RQ881.DTL

17:49 2004-05-26
According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, regularly taking aspirin appeared to lower women's risk of developing the most common type of breast cancer.

The Columbia University study of 2,862 women found that those who reported taking at least one aspirin a week for six months or longer had a 20 percent lower risk of getting breast cancer than women who didn't take the commonly used pain-killer.

The drug's protective effects against breast cancer seemed to be strongest among the heaviest aspirin users, those who took at least seven tablets a week, informs suntimes.com

Article: http://newsfromrussia.com/science/2004/05/26/54138.html

WHO: Outbreak may be new Ebola strain

Tuesday, May 25, 2004 Posted: 10:05 AM EDT (1405 GMT)

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Scientists suspect that a new milder strain of the Ebola virus may have caused the latest outbreak of the deadly hemorrhagic fever in southern Sudan, the World Health Organization said Saturday.

Four of the 10 people infected with the Ebola-like virus have died in Yambio, a Sudanese town near the border with Congo, said Abdullahi Ahmed, head of WHO's southern Sudan office.

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/africa/05/24/sudan.mystery.ap/index.html

Related article: WHO Confirms 19 Cases of Ebola in Southern Sudan

Largest study of its kind finds male breast cancer on the rise

Source: (cancerfacts.com)
Monday, May 24, 2004

HOUSTON – May 24, 2004 – The rate of male breast cancer is on the rise and the disease in men is usually detected when the tumors are bigger, have spread and may be more aggressive, compared to diagnosis of the disease in women, concludes the largest study ever conducted of male breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, the incidence of the disease in men has increased from about 1,500 cases in 2001 to about 1,600 cases in 2004.

Article: http://www.cancerfacts.com/Home_News.asp?NewsId=1679&CB=14&CancerTypeId=4

First SARS vaccine tested

By Xiao Xin (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-05-25 22:15

Results from the initial clinical tests of the world's first SARS vaccine will be published Wednesday.

Four volunteers injected with the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) vaccine on Saturday are in good condition, said Lin Jiangtao, head of the Respiratory Medical Department at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, during an interview with the Beijing News.

The volunteers are three healthy male and a female students from Beijing-based universities.

After two hours of observation after the inoculation, they left hospital.

The volunteers took blood tests and were observed for reaction daily during first three days. The whole observation process will last 210 days

Article: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2004-05/25/content_333679.htm

Breast cancer on rise in U.S. men, study finds

Monday, May 24, 2004 Posted: 9:56 AM EDT (1356 GMT)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Male breast cancer is on the rise in the United States -- bad news for men and their doctors, who do not even know to look for it, researchers reported Monday.

Although the disease remains extremely rare -- just 1,600 cases are predicted for 2004 -- the 25 percent increase in 25 years is worrying, said Dr. Sharon Giordano of the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, who led the study.

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/conditions/05/24/cancer.men.reut/index.html

FDA Approval for Taxotere® in Prostate Cancer

21 May 2004

Aventis announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Taxotere® (docetaxel) Injection Concentrate for use in combination with prednisone as a treatment for men with androgen-independent (hormone-refractory) metastatic prostate cancer.

The FDA approval is based on the final results of a landmark phase III clinical trial that met its primary endpoint of increasing survival in this patient population. The pivotal study, TAX 327, along with an additional study of Taxotere in this patient population, has been selected for presentation at the Plenary Session at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting on Monday, June 7, in New Orleans, LA. A regulatory submission for Taxotere in prostate cancer is also pending with the European Agency for the Evaluation of Medicinal Products (EMEA).

Article: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/index.php?newsid=8553

Priorities for AIDS funds shift

Saturday, May 22, 2004

In a shift of its domestic AIDS priorities, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded $49 million Friday to private community organizations fighting the epidemic, but denied money to 2 out of 3 such groups that had sought to renew their grants from previous years.

The policy overhaul is designed to steer increasingly scarce federal dollars away from prevention programs that focus on the uninfected and toward programs that promote AIDS prevention to those who are HIV-positive and might pass the virus to someone else.

According to Dr. Robert Janssen, director of the agency's HIV prevention programs, 67 of the 189 programs currently receiving grants will continue to do so. Another 75 programs that currently do not receive direct grants from the federal agency will get them when the new round of funding begins in July.

Article: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/05/22/BAGH06QC9A1.DTL

FDA sets new rules on human tissue donation

Thursday, May 20, 2004 Posted: 10:58 AM EDT (1458 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- People who donate sperm, eggs and other commonly transplanted tissues will have to be screened for infectious diseases like blood donors are, under long-awaited federal rules announced Thursday.

Donated blood and organs have been strictly regulated for a long time. But less subject to oversight are other donated tissue such as skin for burn victims, ligaments for knee surgery, umbilical cord blood, and sperm and eggs.

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/05/20/tissue.rules.ap/index.html

Thousands may carry mad cow virus

Friday, May 21, 2004 Posted: 4:13 AM EDT (0813 GMT)

LONDON, England (Reuters) -- Thousands of people may unwittingly be carrying the agent responsible for the human form of mad cow disease, according to research by British scientists, media reports said on Friday.

The scientists calculate that about 4,000 people in Britain could be carrying the prion protein responsible for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD), the reports said, citing a UK government-funded study in the Journal of Pathology.

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/05/21/britain.cjd.reut/index.html

Cancer-Resistant Mouse Aids Search for Treatments

Wed May 19, 2004 05:46 AM ET

By Patricia Reaney
HARROGATE, England (Reuters) - A genetically engineered mouse that is resistant to bowel cancer may help scientists develop new methods to prevent and treat one the most common cancers in the developed world.

Professor Alan Clarke and a team of researchers at Cardiff University in Wales created the GM mouse by knocking out a gene called Mbd2 and breeding it with so-called "Min" mice which are highly susceptible to the disease.

They found that the offspring that inherited the predisposition to cancer but did not have the gene lived twice as long as the other mice and had a ten-fold reduction in tumors.

Article: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=5190042

Diet, Alcohol Linked to Nearly 1/3 of Cancer Cases

Tue May 18, 2004 11:11 AM ET

By Patricia Reaney
HARROGATE, England (Reuters) - Diet is second only to tobacco as a leading cause of cancer and, along with alcohol, is responsible for nearly a third of cases of the disease in developed countries, a leading researcher said on Tuesday.

Dr Tim Key, of the University of Oxford, told a cancer conference that scientists are still discovering how certain foods contribute to cancer but they know that diet, alcohol and obesity play a major role.

"Five percent of cancers could be avoided if nobody was obese," he said.

While tobacco is linked to about 30 percent of cancer cases, diet is involved in an estimated 25 percent and alcohol in about six percent.

Article: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=5180610

Blood Test Could Improve Ovarian Cancer Survival

Mon May 17, 2004 10:44 AM ET

LONDON, England (Reuters) - A simple blood test may help to improve survival rates for ovarian cancer by revealing which patients are likely to develop a resistance to chemotherapy drugs.
Professor Robert Brown, of Glasgow University in Scotland, told a cancer conference Monday that he and his colleagues found that the body can switch off genes that enable chemotherapy to kill cancer cells if the tumor reappears after initial treatment.

The blood test would enable doctors to identify patients who are likely to respond to additional treatment following a recurrence, or those who could benefit from soon-to-be tested drugs that are designed to turn the genetic switch back on.

Article: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=5166291

New HIV Cases Hit Record High in Singapore

Mon May 17, 2004 01:05 PM ET

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - New cases of the virus that causes AIDS hit an historic high in Singapore in 2003, led by middle-aged heterosexual men, the government said on Monday.
New HIV infections in the wealthy city-state totaled 242 in 2003, the highest since records began in 1985, the Health Ministry said. A total of 2,075 people are infected by the virus.

Heterosexuals accounted for 76 percent of all new cases, with most infections contracted through casual sex or sex with prostitutes, the ministry added.

"This is a worrying trend," said Benedict Jacob-Thambiah, executive director at Action for Aids, a non-governmental group.

Article: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=5167766

Diabetes Linked to Higher Alzheimer's Risk - Study

Mon May 17, 2004 04:03 PM ET

CHICAGO (Reuters) - People with diabetes could have a higher risk of brain-wasting Alzheimer's disease, a U.S. study said on Monday.
Among those in the study with diabetes, the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease was 65 percent greater than those without diabetes.

Of 824 elderly Catholic nuns, priests, and brothers participating in the study, 151 developed Alzheimer's disease, according to the study in The Archives of Neurology. Thirty-one of those who developed the disease had diabetes.

Participants with diabetes also had lower levels of cognition and greater memory problems, said researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Article: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=5168891

U.S. to change AIDS drug policy

Monday, May 17, 2004 Posted: 7:39 AM EDT (1139 GMT)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The U.S. government has opened a new front in the battle over getting cheap AIDS drugs to the poorest countries that need them, saying it will consider approving and providing cheap, multiple-dose generics.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson has said the Food and Drug Administration would give fast-track approval to new ready-made, single dose cocktails -- even to copycats made in India.

U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Randal Tobias said any drugs approved under the program could then be used in programs across Africa and the Caribbean, under which the United States is targeting $15 billion in aid to the countries hardest-hit by the epidemic.

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/conditions/05/17/aids.policy.reut/index.html

BBC News: Gene 'doubles breast cancer risk'

Scientists have identified a further gene which increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer. An international study of 20,000 women found having a faulty version of the CHEK2 gene doubles their cancer risk.

UK women have a one in nine chance of developing breast cancer. Carrying CHEK2 increases that to one in four.

The American Journal of Human Genetics study said the findings brought a comprehensive genetic test of breast cancer risk a step closer.

Identifying the first of a new set of breast cancer genes puts us in a much better position to tackle the cancer Professor Robert Souhami, Cancer Research UK Two other faulty genes, BRCA1 and BRCA 2, which increase a woman's breast cancer risk by between 50 and 80%, were identified in the mid-1990s.
Women can already be tested to see if they have inherited these genes.

Previous research had suggested there could be a link between having a faulty CHEK2 gene and developing breast cancer.

The normal version of the gene acts like a car mechanic, shutting down faulty cells so they can be repaired and do not pass on affected DNA.

Mutated versions of CHEK2 are unable to initiate this shutdown so faults in other genes are more likely to evade the body's repair process and continue replicating, potentially leading to a tumour.

Article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3720939.stm

Lawmaker Questions USDA Mad Cow Efforts

Thu May 13, 2004 05:37 PM ET

By Randy Fabi
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Agriculture Department's blunder in failing to test a condemned Texas cow for mad cow disease may reflect wider problems in the government's surveillance program, a Democratic lawmaker said on Thursday.

The USDA last week acknowledged it erred in failing to test a 12-year-old cow for the brain-wasting disease when the animal arrived at a Texas slaughterhouse exhibiting a possible central nervous system disorder.

A USDA supervisor in Austin, Texas refused to test the animal despite requests from federal animal health inspectors, said California Rep. Henry Waxman.

Article: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=5138460

Bush names national AIDS adviser

Thursday, May 13, 2004 Posted: 9:05 AM EDT (1305 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush has named his acting AIDS adviser, Carol J. Thompson, as head of the Office of National AIDS Policy.

Bush's first two AIDS advisers, Scott Evertz and Joseph O'Neill, were both male doctors who were openly gay. Thompson, a woman, is not a physician and is heterosexual.

The appointments of Evertz and O'Neill to the job were applauded by gay groups and AIDS activists. Evertz was the first openly gay person nominated to an executive branch office by a Republican president, but his association with gay groups and his support of condom use rankled some conservatives.

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/05/13/aids.adviser.ap/index.html

Study of HIV Risk in Children Sounds Alarm Bells

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

May 13, 2004
Posted to the web May 13, 2004

Cape Town

The first national study of HIV risk in South African children aged between two and 18 has revealed an overall prevalence rate of 5.4 percent.

The National Household HIV Prevalence and Risk Survey of South African Children by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) showed that 6.2 percent of children aged between two and nine were HIV positive, 4.7 percent of 10 to 14 year-olds, and 5 percent of teenagers aged 15 to 18.

"Most of the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS research that has been conducted is on youth and adult - there is a dearth of information on HIV risk among children," Dr Olive Shisana, executive director of HSRC told PlusNews.

Article: http://allafrica.com/stories/200405130745.html

Latent Drug-Resistant HIV Harbored for Years

Thu May 13, 2004 03:17 PM ET

By David Douglas
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Despite a successful response to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), drug resistant strains of HIV are still found in blood cells of patients who have previously shown drug resistance, according to Belgian researchers.

"We were able to show that all drug-resistant HIV-1 variants that arise during therapy failure remain archived in the cells of the infected person for a very long period of time--at least 7 years and most probably much longer, lead investigator Dr. Chris Verhofstede told Reuters Health. This occurred "even if drug pressure was removed or if a patient subsequently responded well to a new drug combination."

As reported in the April 15th issue of the Journal of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndromes, Verhofstede and colleagues from Ghent University Hospital studied 11 patients who had had success with HAART for mean of 59 months. All patients also had a history of receiving suboptimal therapy and had previously developed drug resistance.

Article: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=5137258

Study: Chlamydia in 4 percent of young adults

Wednesday, May 12, 2004 Posted: 9:02 AM EDT (1302 GMT)

CHICAGO, Illinois (AP) -- More than 4 percent of young adults in the United States are infected with chlamydia, and the sexually transmitted disease is six times more common in blacks than in whites, researchers say.

In a nationally representative study of 14,322 people ages 18 to 26 conducted in 2001-02, University of North Carolina researchers found that 4.7 percent of women and 3.6 percent of men had chlamydia. The overall prevalence was 4.2 percent.

The study appears in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/05/12/chlamydia.ap/index.html

"Recovery of SARS patients is the best gift for us": nurses

www.chinaview.cn 2004-05-12 20:08:22

BEIJING, May 12 (Xinhuanet) -- As the International Nurses' Day fell on Wednesday, Liu Xiaodong, a surse, was still busy working in Ditan Hospital in Beijing, where SARS patients were receiving medical treatment.

When asked if she knew the day was her festival, Liu said with a smile, "Yes, but I have no time to celebrate it or go home because I am taking care of the SARS patients."

Including Liu, 46 nurses have come to look after the SARS patients since the quarantine wards were set up on April 22.

Recalling the evacuation of the wards on that day, chief nurse Chen Zheng said his staff were "marvelously quick" in moving out 124 patients to other areas or hospitals in only half a day. Thirty-two doctors and nurses got ready and began working four shifts a day.

Article: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-05/12/content_1465786.htm

W.H.O. Sets AIDS Goal


Published: May 12, 2004

ENEVA, May 11 - The World Health Organization says in its annual report, due next week, that AIDS was the leading single cause of death worldwide for people ages 15 to 59. In 2003, three million people died of AIDS and five million people were infected with H.I.V., the agency reported.


Lee Jong Wook, the director general of the W.H.O., called for a sharp increase in the supply of antiretroviral drugs to treat H.I.V. He said in the report, which is to be formally presented next week in Geneva, that less than 7 percent of the six million people with H.I.V. in developing countries were thought to have access to treatment.

Mr. Lee said the agency set a goal to distribute antiretroviral drugs to three million H.I.V. patients in sub-Saharan Africa by the end of 2005.

Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/12/health/12aids.html?ex=1084939200&en=61539d3110c4209c&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE

SARS vaccine two to three years away

11 May 2004

LUEBECK - A vaccine to prevent SARS could be just two to three years away, scientists said at a conference in Germany to compare notes on the fight against a disease which has killed 800 people so far, mainly in Asia.

But a specific medicine to cure severe acute respiratory syndrome after a victim has fallen sick remains uncertain, most agreed at the gathering which began Sunday in the port city of Luebeck.

British scientists described early successes in developing a vaccine using genetically modified virus-like substances.

Article: http://www.expatica.com/source/site_article.asp?subchannel_id=52&story_id=7433

Taiwan eases travel warning for China

Posted 5/11/2004 7:49 AM

TAIPEI (AFP) — Taiwanese health officials have eased their travel alert for China after the discharge from hospital of a lab worker who was the mainland's first SARS patient this year, officials said Tuesday.
Taiwan's Center for Disease Control (CDC) reduced its "travel advisory" to a "travel alert" for Taiwanese traveling to Beijing and China's eastern province of Anhui — two areas hit by the ongoing outbreak of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.

Passengers traveling to Taiwan from Beijing and Anhui, as well as those travelling from China's Fujian province through the offshore islands of Kinmen and Matsu, will no longer face daily monitoring for SARS symptoms for the 10 days after their arrival.

Article: http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2004-05-11-taiwan-sars_x.htm

Prostate cancer risk linked to testosterone level

Sunday, May 9, 2004 Posted: 12:52 PM EDT (1652 GMT)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Men over 50 who have higher levels of testosterone have a higher risk of prostate cancer, U.S. researchers reported Sunday.

The findings may mean that men should be cautious about a new kind of treatment called testosterone replacement therapy, being tested in older men who see a decline in general health and vigor.

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/05/09/prostate.testosterone.reut/index.html

Decline reported in AIDS-related skin cancer

Tuesday, May 11, 2004 Posted: 10:37 AM EDT (1437 GMT)

ATLANTA, Georgia (Reuters) -- The number of HIV patients with Kaposi sarcoma, a once-rare cancer that became a marker for AIDS in the early days of the epidemic, has declined sharply due to the use of antiretroviral drugs, according to a European study released Monday.

The annual incidence of the cancer fell 39 percent between 1994 and 2003, according to a study of nearly 10,000 people with HIV by the Royal Free and University College in London and a handful of other European hospitals and health centers.

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/conditions/05/11/aids.cancer.reut/index.html

Diabetes worse killer than Aids


GENEVA - The world faces a devastating diabetes epidemic, says the World Health Organisation.

It says the annual death toll from the disease is already exceeding the three million killed by Aids and will keep rising.

The WHO and the International Diabetes Foundation said the number of sufferers worldwide would more than double by 2030 - from 171 million to 366 million.

Although diabetes is often thought of as a problem for rich countries, it is growing more quickly in poorer countries, and the number of cases is expected to rise by 150 per cent over the next 25 years.

Article: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3564961&thesection=news&thesubsection=world

Bill lets people with HIV donate organs

Thursday, May 6, 2004 Posted: 10:44 AM EDT (1444 GMT)

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois (AP) -- Lawmakers approved a measure Wednesday that would make Illinois the first state to let people with HIV donate organs to others with the virus. The bill now heads to the governor.

The Senate voted 55-2 to approve the measure Wednesday, while the House voted 95-22 in March to approve it.

Organs infected with the virus that causes AIDS currently are disposed of so they won't be transplanted. Some doctors say those organs could help prolong the lives of HIV patients, who are now living longer because of medical advances.

Articel: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/05/06/HIV.organs.ap/index.html

Study finds insulin cells self-renewing

Thursday, May 6, 2004 Posted: 11:08 AM EDT (1508 GMT)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The cells in the pancreas that make insulin can create copies of themselves, a finding that shows potential new ways to treat juvenile or type-1 diabetes, U.S. researchers said.

The research, published in this week's journal Nature, also boosts arguments that controversial research using embryonic stem cells may be the best way to pursue a cure for the disease, experts said.

Dr. Douglas Melton of Harvard University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and colleagues found the self-renewing pancreatic cells in mice.

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/conditions/05/06/insulin.cells.reut/index.html

Singapore to Test Silicon for Liver Cancer Treatment

Wed May 5, 2004 04:38 AM ET

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore medical researchers will begin clinical trials this month on a new technique that may give victims of liver cancer an extra lease on life by injecting silicon into tumors to treat infected cells.
Current drug and radiation treatments used against liver cancer usually kill healthy cells as well, preventing doctors from giving the required dosage in some cases, especially to patients too ill to withstand traditional heavy radiation.

"But we have now found the ideal vehicle to enable us to release the treatment at a controlled rate over a sustained period of time," said Dr Pierce Chow, the director of experimental surgery at Singapore General Hospital.

Article: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=5043304

World Faces a 'Devastating' Diabetes Epidemic-WHO

Wed May 5, 2004 12:49 PM ET

By Richard Waddington
GENEVA (Reuters) - The world faces a devastating diabetes epidemic, with the annual death toll already exceeding the three million killed by AIDS and set to rise, the World Health Organization warned Wednesday.

Issuing a cry of alarm about the disease, the WHO and the International Diabetes Foundation said the number of sufferers worldwide would more than double to 366 million by 2030, from some 171 million at present.

Although often thought a rich country risk, it is in poorer countries that diabetes is growing fastest, with cases seen rising 150 percent over the next 25 years. In India, for example, the number would leap from 32 million to 80 million.

Article: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=healthNews&storyID=5049389§ion=news

Rotavirus vaccine reenters market after ban

Tuesday, May 4, 2004 Posted: 4:36 PM EDT (2036 GMT)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- A new company has agreed to market a vaccine to fight rotavirus, five years after it was pulled off the market for fears it could cause a sometimes-deadly bowel obstruction, U.S. health officials said Tuesday.

Biovirx, Inc., of Minneapolis, Minnesota, will take the RotaShield vaccine through the necessary steps to get it approved again and market it, the National Institutes of Health said.

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/05/04/rotavirus.vaccine.reut/index.html

U.S. poised for epidemic West Nile year

By Amy Cox
Monday, May 3, 2004 Posted: 3:59 PM EDT (1959 GMT)

(CNN) -- With summer waiting around the corner and mosquitoes beginning to buzz, the United States is poised for a third epidemic year of West Nile virus, experts warn.

"We had a huge epidemic in 2002 and we told everybody that this is the biggest epidemic [of its kind] ever to occur in the Western hemisphere -- and then the next year we have an equal one," said Dr. Anthony Marfin, an infectious disease expert with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Collins, Colorado. "Our concern is that it's going to be like this every year."

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/05/03/wnv.outlook/index.html

Alternatives to Mammograms on Horizon

Study examines 3 new breast-imaging methods

MONDAY, May 3 (HealthDayNews) -- Three new electromagnetic imaging techniques are being tested for their ability to detect breast abnormalities, including cancer, and provide an alternative to mammography.

In a study in the May issue of Radiology, Dartmouth Medical School researchers used a combination of the three techniques to image the breasts of 23 women.


World on SARS alert again

Mon May 3, 6:34 AM ET

By Anita Manning, USA TODAY

A man hospitalized last week in Everett, Wash., after returning from Beijing with a severe respiratory illness apparently does not have SARS (news - web sites) as had been feared, the state health department says.

The quick action to isolate the man and begin testing illustrates the state of alert by the world's health authorities in response to a laboratory-associated outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome in China that has so far affected nine people...


China Confirms Three More SARS Cases Amid Holiday

BEIJING (Reuters) - Three suspected cases of SARS in the Chinese capital, Beijing, have now been confirmed, taking the number of victims of the latest outbreak to nine, the Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

All three newly confirmed cases of the highly contagious deadly flu-like SARS were linked to one viral disease laboratory in Beijing, it said on its Web site www.moh.gov.cn.

Only one of the nine has died. Hundreds of people have been isolated for observation in the past few weeks, but hundreds of millions of travelers have been taking planes and trains undeterred for the week-long May Day holiday that ends on May 7.


As signaled in the fall of 2003, at the height of the influenza season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has adopted a recommendation that children six months to 23 months of age should be vaccinated annually against influenza. CDC released the 2004 recommendations for the prevention and control of influenza today in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Recommendations and Reports. The recommendations come from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), a panel of experts that advises CDC and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on issues related to vaccines, and will be in effect for the 2004-2005 influenza...

CDC Press Release: http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/r040430.htm

CDC adds flu to childhood shot list

Friday, April 30, 2004 Posted: 6:23 PM EDT (2223 GMT)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Add another shot to the list of jabs that babies must get by the time they are toddlers -- U.S. health officials now say children aged 6 months to 2 years should get an influenza vaccine.

Influenza has been added to the vaccination schedule every U.S. parent of young children learns about, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention...

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/parenting/04/30/flu.shots.reut/index.html

CDC: Fewer people sickened by food bacteria

Friday, April 30, 2004 Posted: 10:45 AM EDT (1445 GMT)

ATLANTA, Georgia (Reuters) -- The number of food-borne illnesses caused by a potentially fatal strain of E. coli bacteria fell sharply in the United States last year due partly to improved testing and processing of meat, federal officials said...

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/04/30/food.bacteria.reut/index.html

Find may allow targeted cancer treatment

Friday, April 30, 2004 Posted: 7:35 PM EDT (2335 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A gene test may one day help doctors predict just which lung cancer patients should try a new drug that helps some people significantly -- but fails most.

Doctors have been flummoxed by the hit-or-miss success of the drug, Iressa, but two teams of Boston scientists have reported that the drug appears to work only in lung cancer that has mutated a certain way...

Article: http://www.cnn.com/2004/HEALTH/conditions/04/30/cancer.treatment.ap/index.html

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