Johns Hopkins Makes Cancer Discovery

A team of researchers at Johns Hopkins discover the biochemical mechanism that tells cancer cells to break off from the primary tumor and spread throughout the body.

A process known as metastasiS.

That word scares the bejeebers out of patients diagnosed with cancer.  90% of cancer deaths are caused when cancer metastasizes.

Anything that helps prevent that from happening is a tremendous breakthrough in medicine.

                      [Photo Credit:  Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun]

Hasini Jayatilaka, left, a post-doctoral fellow and Denis Wirtz, professor of chemical and biomedical engineering, who work together at the Institute of NanoBioTechnology at Johns Hopkins University, discuss their discovery.

 

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BALTIMOREHasini Jayatilaka was a sophomore at the Johns Hopkins University working in a lab studying cancer cells when she noticed that when the cells become too densely packed, some would break off and start spreading.

She wasn’t sure what to make of it, until she attended an academic conference and heard a speaker talking about bacterial cells behaving the same way. Yet when she went through the academic literature to see if anyone had written about similar behavior in cancer cells, she found nothing.

Seven years later, the theory Jayatilaka developed early in college is now a bona fide discovery that offers significant promise for cancer treatment.

Jayatilaka and a team at Johns Hopkins discovered the biochemical mechanism that tells cancer cells to break off from the primary tumor and spread throughout the body, a process called metastasis. Some 90 percent of cancer deaths are caused when cancer metastasizes.

The team also found that two existing, FDA-approved drugs can slow metastasis significantly.

“A female patient with breast cancer doesn’t succumb to the disease just because she has a mass on her breast; she succumbs to the disease because (when) it spreads either to the lungs, the liver, the brain, it becomes untreatable,” said Jayatilaka, who earned her doctorate in chemical and biomolecular engineering this spring in addition to her earlier undergraduate degree at Hopkins.

“There are really no therapeutics out there right now that directly target the spread of cancer. So what we came up with through our studies was this drug cocktail that could potentially inhibit the spread of cancer.”

The study was published online May 26 in the journal Nature Communications. The next step for the team is to test the effectiveness of the drugs in human subjects.

Typically, cancer research and treatment has focused on shrinking the primary tumor through chemotherapy or other methods. But, the team said, by attacking the deadly process of metastasis, more patients could survive.

“It’s not this primary tumor that’s going to kill you typically,” said Denis Wirtz, Johns Hopkins’ vice provost for research and director of its Physical Sciences-Oncology Center, who was a senior author on the paper.

Jayatilaka began by studying how cancer cells behave and communicate with each other, using a three-dimensional model that mimics human tissue rather than looking at them in a petri dish.

Many researchers believe metastasis happens after the primary tumor reaches a certain size, but Jayatilaka found it was the tumor’s density that determined when it would metastasize.

“If you look at the human population, once we become too dense in an area, we move out to the suburbs or wherever, and we decide to set up shop there,” Jayatilaka said. “I think the cancer cells are doing the same thing.”

When the tumor reaches a certain density, the study found, it releases two proteins called Interleukin 6 and Interleukin 8, signaling to cancer cells that things had grown too crowded and it was time to break off and head into other parts of the body.

Previously, Wirtz said, the act of a tumor growing and the act of cancer cells spreading were thought to be very separate activities, because that’s how it appeared by studying cancer cells in a petri dish, rather than the 3-D model the Hopkins team used.

Many researchers study only cancer cell growth or its spread, and don’t communicate with each other often, he said.

Once the cancer cells start to sense the presence of too many other cancer cells around them, they start secreting the Interleukin proteins, Wirtz said. If those proteins are added to a tumor that hasn’t yet metastasized, that process would begin, he said.

The team then tested two drugs known to work on the Interleukin receptors to see if they would block or slow metastasis in mice.

They found that using the two drugs together would block the signals from the Interleukin proteins that told the cancer cells to break off and spread, slowing – though not completely stopping – metastasis.

The drugs the team used were Tocilizumab, a rheumatoid arthritis treatment, and Reparixin, which is being evaluated for cancer treatment.

The drugs bind to the Interleukin receptors and block their signals, slowing metastasis.

Though metastasis was not completely stopped, Jayatilaka said, the mice given the drug cocktail fared well and survived through the experiment.

She said adding another, yet-to-be-determined drug or tweaking the dose might stop metastasis entirely.

Contrary to the hair loss, nausea and other negative side effects patients undergoing chemotherapy suffer, Wirtz said the side effects from the drugs used in the study would be minimal.

Anirban Maitra, co-director of a pancreatic cancer research center at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas, cautioned that clinical trials in humans are needed to prove the theory.

“There’s a risk that something that looks so great in an animal model won’t pan out in a human,” he said.

But Maitra said the study looked promising, in particular because the researchers had used drugs already on the market. It can take a decade to identify a drug that would perform similarly and get it approved, and many similar observations don’t advance because of the time and expense it can take to get drug approval, he said.

Muhammad Zaman, a professor and cancer expert at Boston University, called the Hopkins discovery “exciting.”

“This paper gives you a very specific target to design drugs against,” he said. “That’s really quite spectacular from the point of view of drug design and creating therapies.”

Zaman said it was important for cancer researchers to use engineering to better understand cancer, as the Hopkins team did.

“This really brings cancer and engineering together in a very unique way, and it really takes an approach that is quantitative and rigorous,” he said. “We have to think of cancer as a complex system, not just a disease.”

Wirtz predicted a future where cancer would be fought with a mix of chemotherapy to shrink the primary tumor and drug cocktails like the one the Hopkins team developed to ensure it would not metastasize. He compared such a treatment to how HIV/AIDS is treated today.

“We’re not going to cure cancer with one therapy or even two therapies; it’s going to be drug cocktails,” Wirtz said. “That’s what saved the day with HIV/AIDS.”

Immunotherapy, which uses the body’s immune system to fight cancer, also could play a role in a combined method, Wirtz added.

“We’re, in research, sometimes incentivized to look at one pathway at a time, one type of cancer at a time,” Wirtz said. “I think oncology has started realizing we’re going to need more than one approach.”

MORE INFORMATION:

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/jun/20/researchers-say-theyve-unlocked-key-to-cancer-meta/

VIDEO LINK:  

http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/93637026-132.html

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Maria Dorfner is the founder of NewsMD Communications and Healthy Within Network. This is her blog.  Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com


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Maria Shriver Creates 1st Coloring Book for Alzheimer’s Patients

Maria has created the first coloring book for Alzheimer’s patients and their caregivers.  And we’re excited about it.  I’ve known Maria Shriver since the ’80s and even had an opportunity to fill-in for her during technical rehearsals on an NBC show called Main Street. She and Bryant Gumbel hosted it.  She’s an incredibly intelligent, affable and warm person. So, I’m delighted to share this news with you.

 

Maria with her dad, Sargent Shriver, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2003
[Photo Credit:  Laurence L. Levin]

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The project was inspired by Shriver’s quest to find ways to be close to her father, Sargent Shriver, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2003.  He passed away in 2011.

“When I would go to visit my dad as his disease progressed, I had fewer and fewer things that I could do with him,” Shriver told NBC’s TODAY.

I could take a walk with him, but a lot of times he didn’t want to walk. I played puzzles with him and sometimes drew on a piece of paper.”

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Images in Maria Shriver’s book were developed through visits to the nursing home.  They include upbeat, positive, fun, hopeful images for stress-relief.

It also includes tips for caregivers culled from conversations with doctors and families.

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Dr. Richard Isaacson, director of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital says the coloring book can help start a conversation and help families do an activity together.

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Isaacson tells TODAY, “The person with Alzheimer’s may not be able to communicate his or her thoughts as well as they used to or may not remember what happened to the conversation 10 minutes ago, but they’re able to express themselves through art — through drawing.”

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Dr. Isaacson continues, “Some patients with Alzheimer’s like to move and can’t sit still… coloring is a great way to refocus negative energy and do something more calm.”

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June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month. More than 5M Americans live with it–one in 8 people age 65 and older, according to the Alzheimer’s Association.

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Maria Shriver says this coloring book is a labor of love, “I’m really hopeful this is filling a void and a need and will change people’s lives,” she says, noting she would have liked to have shared it with her dad.

“I think it would have brought laughter. It would have enabled us to do something together.”

We think so too.  Thank you, Maria Shriver.
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Visit NBC TODAY for more on Maria Shriver’s story:
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Links to Purchase Maria’s book at end of article.
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Consequently, a year ago, I was interviewed by Cable Neuhaus in the Saturday Evening Post about the health benefits of adults coloring. He saw my positive FB posts about it.

I told Neuhaus I never stopped coloring, but thought it was an oddball habit of mine.

Years ago, while working at The Crayola Experience in Easton, PA I observed parents enjoy coloring as much as kids and posted about it on FB. They looked so relaxed.

I thought they’re in the moment –essentially what meditation is all about. Makes sense.

Shortly thereafter, adult coloring books began to appear.

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See out Norman Rockwell content!

Coloring Books for Grown-ups

In Issue:

If, as some say, you can judge an entire society by the way it treats its most vulnerable, then I’d argue it is equally fair to measure a nation by the way its citizens fritter away their spare time.

Lately, Americans are frittering like mad in a couple of surprising ways: on outdoor courts playing a game called pickleball, and in coloring books.

Let’s begin with the coloring books, which are meant for adults. The craze began more than a year ago. Color me skeptical, even now, but the wild enthusiasm for this hobby shows no signs of fading. Several of the books sit atop our national best-seller lists. (Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden was the first of the blockbusters, but dozens have followed.) Who, exactly, is buying these — and why?

An admission: When I heard about this fad, my initial thought was unashamedly elitist. What kind of latte-fueled exurbanite would exchange nightly yoga classes for the joylessness of coloring? Maybe someone with no life to speak of? Okay, big mistake. Huge. Turns out that adult coloring books are a raging success across nearly every shade and stratum of the American landscape, from pastures to plains to the towers of Manhattan.

Take, as an example, Maria Dorfner, a native New Yorker who freelance produces at networks. “It calms and centers my mind,” Dorfner, an avid colorer, told me. “Adults need to learn to be more in the moment, like kids with crayons.”

Asked about a Psychology Today story that contended coloring cannot possibly constitute a spiritual experience, despite claims to the contrary by the hobby’s millions of evangelists, Dorfner says, “They’re just wrong about that.” Backing her up is a widely shared perception that coloring does indeed both soothe and heal the mind. (And let’s please agree that the illustrators of these exquisitely drawn books are artists; the color-inners are not.)

“Adults need to learn to be more in the moment, like kids with crayons,” one avid colorer says.

So, what we have here in our go-go digital age is an analog diversion for stressed-out grown-ups. One sits and colors and dreams, and the day’s tiny troubles appear to vanish.

At the other end of the spectrum is a (slightly) more physically demanding pastime, the game of pickleball. Imagine tennis played with wiffle balls and paddles on a diminutive court — Ping-Pong on a grander scale. The sport has rapidly attracted participants coast to coast, mainly among oldsters: The thrill of victory never flags, but the viability of older knees often does, alas.

This helps explain why pickleball, which has been around for a while, exploded in popularity only recently, as our aging population surged. The USA Pickleball Association reports it witnessed an 84 percent membership increase in the last two years alone and now boasts more than 400,000 active players. An Oregon documentarian is developing a movie about its rise.

Steve Brodsky, a 61-year-old Floridian, captured the excitement perfectly: “Pickleball is for older folks who’ve got the fire in the belly,” he told me. “Guys like me can feel, ‘Wow, I’ve still got it!’”

Hot on pickleball’s heels is a variation on that game called POP Tennis, a rebranded version of what we once knew as paddle tennis. Backed by a fresh infusion of cash from Hollywood agent Ken Lindner (Matt Lauer and Lester Holt are among his clients), the U.S. POP Tennis Association is currently rolling out a national tour. It’s aimed at picking up where pickleball leaves off. The appeal of POP Tennis, Lindner told me, is that “anyone can play, young or old. If you can walk, you can hit the ball immediately.”

What conclusions can be drawn from these trends? Well, whether we choose a pencil or a paddle, and whatever our age, Americans seldom let time go to waste. It’s in our character to be restless; it’s a trait that’s long served us well.

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Don’t forget to pick up a copy of Maria Shriver’s book. Links to purchasing it here:

Barnes and Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/color-your-mind-maria-shriver/1126249685

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Color-Your-Mind-Coloring-Alzheimers/dp/1944515488

If you’re an Alzheimer’s caregiver and you pick up the book, please let me know if and how it’s helped. I’d love to hear and share your story.  Email: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com
Subject line:  Caregiver Story: Color Your Mind book

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Thank you Maria Shriver for helping Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers!

mariadorfnerheadshot2   Maria Dorfner is the founder NewsMD Communications and Healthy Within Network.  This is her blog.   Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

Breakthrough: Mi-Eye2 Diagnoses Joint Injuries With Tiny Camera

TRICE MEDICAL closes $19.3M in Series C financing for their tiny needle-based camera to analyze joint injuries and expedite orthopedic diagnosis without the need for an MRI.

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Mi-Eye2 is a hand-held imaging scope which received FDA-clearance.  It enables doctors to diagnose a sports-related injury in the office, without an MRI.

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It consists of a hypodermic needle with a small camera tethered to a Microsoft surface tablet that shows high-definition pictures.

 

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Jeffrey O’Donnell, Sr. who is President and CEO of Trice Medical says this latest round of financing is a “significant milestone” and will help expand the company’s U.S. market.

Check out CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez report:

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CBS 2’s DR. MAX GOMEZ: If you’ve ever injured your knee it can be hard to tell exactly what’s causing the pain, so the doctor usually sends you for an expensive MRI and maybe an arthroscopy in the O.R. to take a look inside. But what if you could do a scope in the doctor’s office cheaper and safer.

Lemouchi Soufinae injured his knee in a car accident two years ago. Since then he hasn’t been able to play his beloved soccer, because of the pain in his knee.

“I can’t walk more than three blocks, have to lay down, have trouble sleeping at night, lot of strong pain,” he said.

DR. MAX GOMEZ: Two MRIs later, it still wasn’t completely clear what was causing his knee pain.

Lemouchi, Liz Meris has been having severe knee pain. “I couldn’t kneel or straighten without pain, can’t get out of car, swelling in back of knee, hurts to walk, feels unstable,” she said.

DR. MAX GOMEZ: Worse yet, Liz is claustrophobic in an MRI.

“I hate em, I’m claustrophobic. I’m out, I’m in, I’m out again,” she said.

DR. MAX GOMEZ:  The next is usually a trip into the operation room to look around by sticking a scope in the knee. It’s expensive and requires anesthesia. Why not do that in the office, under a local anesthesia?

Thanks to a tiny scope with a hi-def camera on the tip, doctors can do in the office what once took a trip to the O.R.

“It’s a huge game changer, been trying to do for 10 to 15 years, clarity and resolution are now tremendous,” Dr. James Gladstone, Mt. Sinai Health System said.

DR. MAX GOMEZ:  Using only a local anesthesia, Dr. Gladstone inserts the MI-Eye-2™ into Liz’s knee. She was actually watching the same thing Dr. Gladstone was seeing.

It allows him to check and see what and where there’s damage inside the knee.

“Almost as good as O.R. scope, and in many ways better than MRI because it can give you direct visualization,” Dr. Gladstone said.

DR. MAX GOMEZ:  Better yet, if the damage is minimal it saves the patient a trip to the O.R. for a conventional scope, and here’s the best part; it costs under $500 to do this in the doctor’s office as opposed to the $1,500 or $2,000 for an MRI and thousands more for an O.R. scope.

Almost any joint that you can scope can be done with the MI-Eye™: shoulder, wrist, ankle, elbow.

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FOR MORE INFORMATION on THE INNOVATIVE MI-EYE2 VISIT:

http://www.tricemedical.com

 

Also, check out Dr. Max Gomez’s new book available for preorder on Amazon:

“Cells Are the New Cure”

by Robin Smith, MD + Max Gomez, Ph,D; Foreword by Sanjay Gupta, MD of CNN

https://www.amazon.com/Cells-Are-New-Drugs-Bre…/…/1944648801

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Maria Dorfner, a 33 year veteran of broadcast news is the founder of this blog.

Contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

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Future Health: New Device To Detect Early-Stage Colon Cancer

DANIELA SEMEDO reports on a European project, which aims to develop an innovative endoscope device that can detect and diagnose colorectal cancer in its early stages.

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Called PICCOLO, the project is funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 program. It’s tackling one of the world’s predominant cancers by using new optical technologies that identify precancerous polyps and early colon cancers.

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Colorectal cancer represents around one-tenth of all cancers worldwide, and nearly 95 percent of these cases are adenocarcinomas, which typically start as a tissue growth called a polyp.

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Early and accurate diagnosis and precise intervention can increase cure rates to up to 90 percent.

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A colonoscopy is currently the method used to screen for colon cancer. But while up to 40 percent of patients who undergo colonoscopy present one or more polyps, almost 30 percent of these polyps are not detected.

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Of the polyps detected by colonoscopy, 29 to 42 percent are generally hyperplastic and will not develop into cancer. The remainder are neoplastic polyps, representing colorectal cancer in its earliest stages.

There is an urgent need for new diagnostic techniques that are equipped with enough sensitivity and specificity to allow in situ assessment, safe characterization, and resection of lesions during clinical practice interventions.

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The multidisciplinary PICCOLO team proposes a new compact, hybrid, and multimodal photonics endoscope based on Optical C, a medical imaging technique that uses light to capture micrometer-resolution, three-dimensional images from within optical scattering media.

Artzai Picon of Tecnalia Research & Innovation says, “We hope that PICCOLO will provide major benefits over traditional colonoscopy. Firstly, by developing an advanced endoscope, using both optical coherence tomography (OCT) and multi-photon tomography (MPT), we will provide high-resolution structural and functional imaging, giving details of the changes occurring at the cellular level comparable to those obtained using traditional histological techniques.”

“Furthermore, when multiple polyps are detected in a patient, the current gold standard procedure is to remove all of them, followed by microscopic tissue analysis,” he said. “Removal of hyperplastic polyps, which carry no malignant potential, and the subsequent costly histopathological analysis, might be avoided through the use of the PICCOLO endoscope probe, which could allow image-based diagnosis without the need for tissue biopsies.”

Researchers behind the project believe the new device may not only add to colon cancer detection, but could also be applied to diseases in other organs of the body.

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Investigators expect their first prototype to be fully developed by the end of 2018 and plan to start testing the device in clinical studies in 2020.

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DANIELA SEMEDO, Colon Cancer News
https://coloncancernewstoday.com/2017/06/08/bristol-myers-squibb-novartis-to-test-mekinist-opdivo-combination-in-advanced-colorectal-cancer/

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http://www.fightcolorectalcancer.org

 

Maria Dorfner is the founder of NewsMD: What’s Hot in Health, a division of Healthy Within Network.  Have a story to share with healthcare consumers and media?

Contact: maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

 

It’s World Blood Donor Day

Someone needs blood every 2 seconds.

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On average, 6.8M people in the U.S. donate blood each year. 38% are eligible, but less than 10% donate.

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One in 7 people entering a hospital needs blood.  One day, that may be you.

Your donation can save up to 3 lives.

Every year, on 14 June, countries around the world celebrate World Blood Donor Day (WBDD). The event serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood.

 

Q: Why should I donate blood?

A: Safe blood saves lives and improves health.

Q: Who benefits from my blood donation(s)?

Blood transfusion is needed for:

women with complications of pregnancy, such as ectopic pregnancies and haemorrhage before, during or after childbirth;

children with severe anaemia often resulting from malaria or malnutrition;

people with severe trauma following man-made and natural disasters;

and many complex medical and surgical procedures and concern patients.

It is also needed for regular transfusions for people with conditions such as thalassaemia and sickle cell disease and is used to make products such as clotting factors for people with haemophilia.

Q: Why do I need to donate again if I already did?

There is a constant need for regular blood supply because blood can be stored for only a limited time before use. Regular blood donations by a sufficient number of healthy people are needed to ensure that safe blood will be available whenever and wherever it is needed.

Blood is the most precious gift that anyone can give to another person — the gift of life. A decision to donate your blood can save a life, or even several if your blood is separated into its components — red cells, platelets and plasma — which can be used individually for patients with specific conditions.

Q: How often can I donate?  

Every 3 months.

Q: What can I do to help?

What can you do? Give blood. Give now. Give often.

Blood is an important resource, both for planned treatments and urgent interventions. It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with a higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures.

Blood is also vital for treating the wounded during emergencies of all kinds (natural disasters, accidents, armed con icts, etc.) and has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and perinatal care.

A blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products in suf cient quantity is a key component of an effective health system.

Ensuring safe and sufficient blood supplies requires the development of a nationally coordinated blood transfusion service based on voluntary non-remunerated blood donations. However, in many countries, blood services face the challenge of making suf cient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety.

The lives and health of millions of people are affected by emergencies every year.

In the last decade, disasters have caused more than 1 million deaths, with more than 250 million people being affected by emergencies every year.

Natural disasters such as earthquakes, oods and storms create considerable needs for emergency health care, while at the same time, often destroying vital health facilities as well. Man-made disasters such as road accidents and armed con icts also generate substantial health care demands and the need for front-line treatment.

Blood transfusion is an essential component of emergency health care.

Emergencies increase the demand for blood transfusion and make its delivery challenging and complex.

Adequate supply of blood during emergencies requires a well- organized blood service, and this can only be ensured by engaging the entire community and a blood donor population committed to voluntary unpaid blood donation throughout the year.

Every single person can play in helping others in emergency situations, by giving the valuable gift of blood.

It is important to give blood regularly, so that the blood stock is sufficient before an emergency arises. The World Health Organization’s goal is to:

  •  encourage all people to strengthen the emergency preparedness of health services in their community by donating blood;
  •    engage authorities in the establishment of effective national blood donor programmes with the capacity to respond promptly to the increase in blood demand during emergencies;
  •    promote the inclusion of blood transfusion services in national emergency preparedness and response activities;
  •   build wider public awareness of the need for committed, year-round blood donation, in order to maintain adequate supplies and achieve a national self-sufficiency of blood;
  • celebrate and thank individuals who donate blood regularly and to encourage young people to become new donors as well;
  •    promote international collaboration and to ensure worldwide dissemination of and consensus on the principles of voluntary non-remunerated donation, while increasing blood safety and availability.
  • The host country for the global event of World Blood Donor Day 2017 is Viet Nam through its National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT).
  • The Global event will be held in Hanoi on 14 June 2017
  • More visit: http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-blood-donor-day/2017/en/

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Take a break today. Give blood. It only takes 15 minutes.

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Reduce Your Risk of Lyme Disease

LYME DISEASE IS GRADUALLY RISING ACROSS THE U.S.

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THE ILLNESS IS SPREAD WHEN BACTERIA IS TRANSMITTED THROUGH A TICK BITE.

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TIME SPENT OUTDOORS INCREASES THE CHANCES OF BEING BITTEN BY A TICK BUT CLEVELAND CLINIC’S DOCTOR ALAN TAEGE (TAY-GEE) SAYS THERE ARE STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO REDUCE THAT RISK.

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CG: Dr. Alan Taege /Cleveland Clinic “You can protect yourself. Use the insect repellent, particularly those with DEET, D-E-E-T, when you go out to work in your yard, camping, hiking, whatever you’re doing, put it on, because it can be very effective.” [:16]

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IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE CAMPING, DOCTOR TAEGE SAYS YOU CAN ALSO USE AN ADDITIONAL CHEMICAL ON CLOTHING, TENTS AND CAMPING EQUIPMENT CALLED PERMETHRIN (PER-METH-ER-IN) TO KEEP TICKS AWAY.

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ACCORDING TO DOCTOR TAEGE, IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO TUCK PANT LEGS INTO SOCKS OR BOOTS. THIS MAKES IT HARDER FOR TICKS TO GET ONTO YOUR SKIN.

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HE ALSO RECOMMENDS WEARING LIGHT-COLORED CLOTHING.  IT WILL BE EASIER TO SPOT AND SWAT A  DARK-COLORED TICK ON A SLEEVE OR PANT LEG.

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HE SAYS THE AVERAGE TICK HAS TO BE ATTACHED FOR SEVERAL HOURS BEFORE IT CAN CAUSE ILLNESS.  REMOVING THEM QUICK IS VITALLY IMPORTANT.

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CG: Dr. Alan Taege /Cleveland Clinic “When you come in from any of those activities where you’ve exposed yourself to ticks you should do a tick check to try to be sure that you haven’t collected any of the little creatures on your body.” [:12]

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[MEDIA:  Pathfire#: 10808 “Preventing Lyme Disease” June 14, 2017 Sound Bites/VO]

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GAME CHANGER: NEW SMART HEART MONITOR

 

Super excited to tell you about a new smart heart monitor you can use at home. It will help 28 million heart disease patients in the U.S. keep track of their heart.

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Keep track from the comfort of their home at any time. And it’s just been FDA approved.

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Meet Eko DUO.  The first handheld mobile, wireless, EHR-connected stethoscope, which connects to your smart phone.

It allows you to amplify, visualize and record crystal clear heart and lung sounds.

Imagine not needing to wait for your next followup appointment to transmit a concern to your physician. It works under the supervision or prescription from a physician.

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Eko Duo is set to help millions of heart disease patients who are often discharged with little more than an info packet and instructions to monitor their weight.

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Now patients can be sent home from the hospital with a direct link back to their physician, helping reduce readmissions and false alarms.

“The goal is to bring hospital-quality care to the home.”
Connor Landgraf, CEO and co-founder, Eko DUO

The device wirelessly pairs with Eko’s secure, HIPAA-compliant app, enabling remote monitoring and diagnosis by a clinician or specialist.

It works with the Eko app on any iPhone, iPad, Windows PC or Android device.

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Eko DUO can also be used by clinicians as an enhanced stethoscope for in-clinic cardiac screenings, enabling physicians to quickly diagnose and monitor patients.

Clinicians can use it bedside or remotely to quickly spot heart abnormalities including arrhythmias, heart murmurs, and valvular heart diseases.

I interviewed Ami Bhatt, M.D., a Cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Director of Outpatient Cardiology and the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at Massachusetts General Hospital and she believes Eko DUO will improve outcomes through early intervention.

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Dr. Bhatt says, “Cardiology programs are looking for ways to deliver hospital-quality healthcare at home.  The ability to capture digital heart sounds and an ECG expands our portfolio of mechanisms to remotely monitor the heart – and brings diagnosis and opportunities for early intervention even further upstream.” 

Heart disease can strike people of all ages.

I spoke with Stacy Bingham, a registered nurse from Oregon with 5 children, who knows this firsthand. She and her husband have no prior history of heart disease in their family, yet 3 of her 5 children end up needing heart transplants.

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When Stacy noticed her oldest child, Sierra acting tired with a loss of appetite for a few weeks, she never suspected the cause was an underlying heart condition.

“I noticed her face and eyes were swollen. She complained her stomach hurt.”

That’s when Stacy and her husband took her to a family practitioner.

“The doctor told us it’s probably a flu bug and sent us home. When her condition worsened she had an x-ray.”

X-ray results revealed Sierra’s heart was enlarged.  Dilated cardio myopathy. She later learned two of her other children also had heart problems.

“If they had not finally found Sierra’s heart condition, she may not have survived. We live in a really rural part of Eastern Oregon and we now have three kids with heart transplants that need to be monitored for life.”

Today, Stacy’s family takes nothing for granted, especially innovations that help.

“If this device can be used at home and we can rule out scary things and know when it’s not something we need to rush to a hospital for that would be wonderful.” –Stacy Bingham

James Young also knows how life can change in a heartbeat.

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Young was just 40-years-old when he first experienced symptoms of heart failure. Symptoms he ignored until they were severe and his sister insisted on it.

“I was coughing in mornings and throughout the day. I thought it was simply allergies. I vomited phlegm some mornings and still didn’t see a doctor.”

But the coughing became more painful. While shoveling, it stopped him in his tracks.

“I was outside shoveling snow when I turn behind me and  see a trail of blood.”

His sister noticed he didn’t look well and insisted he go see a physician.

“That’s when I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. I was shocked.”

James felt anxiety, depression and uncertainty about his future at this time. Young believes Eko DUO will not only help alleviate false alarms and unnecessary hospital readmissions, but needless worrying as well.

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“Eko DUO would have given me assurance the doctor knew where I stood daily. If there were any issues outstanding needing to be addressed immediately. It gives the doctor an opportunity to respond expeditiously to those concerns.”

Today, James is doing great and is a national spokesperson and heart failure Ambassador for the American Heart Association.

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“I went from a 25% functioning heart to being an avid runner and cycler. I’ve taken on a new lease in life. As a community advocate I can help inspire others and give them hope.”

Ami Bhatt, M.D says that hope also translates to much needed continuous care rather than outpatient care.

“Robust toolkits for caring for patients in the community will hopefully lead to more appropriate healthcare utilization through continuous rather than episodic outpatient care.”

HERE’S HOW EKO WAS DEVELOPED:

Eko’s co-founder & CEO, Connor Landgraf, is also a heart disease patient.

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Connor navigated countless cardiology visits, screenings and referrals.

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In 2013, during his senior year as at the University of California at Berkeley, Connor attended a panel discussion at UC San Francisco on technological shortcomings facing modern medical practices.

One technical gap cardiologists claimed stood out beyond the rest: the stethoscope.

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So Conner and his co-founders welcomed the stethoscope, a two-century old tool, into the 21st-century.

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Photo: Connor and his co-founders, Jason Bellet and Tyler Crouch

 

The newly FDA approved Eko DUO brings that to the next level.
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To learn more about this remarkable 21st Century technology we love visit:  http://www.ekodevices.com

 

 

Factoids:

  • According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S.
    The American Heart Associations says the U.S. currently spends over $26 billion annually on heart failure hospitalization. 25% of heart failure patients are readmitted within 30 days — 50% are readmitted in 6 months with hospitals now being penalized for high readmission rates.
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  • Fact: 83% of parents experience anxiety surrounding their child’s referral to a pediatric cardiologist for an innocent murmur.
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  • Fact: Average cash price for an echocardiogram is $2,275 and even with insurance, patients can expect to pay 10 to 30% of this cost.
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  • Fact: For a pediatric subspecialist such as a pediatric cardiologist, patients must wait between 5 weeks and 3 months to get an appointment.
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  • Fact: Internal medicine residents misdiagnose more than 75% of cardiac events.
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  • Fact: 70% of all pediatric cardiac referrals for murmurs are unnecessary.
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  • Fact: Average PCP needs to coordinate care with 99 other physicians working across 53 practices.
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  • Fact: Only 50% of initial referrals are accompanied by information from the PCP.
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  • Fact: Patients in rural communities must travel an average of 56 miles to see a specialist.
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  • Fact: About 46.2 million people, or 15% of the U.S. population, reside in rural counties.

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Eko DUO.  A real game changer for heart patients worldwide.

http://www.ekodevices.com

 

 

Sleep Apnea Treatment Reduces Drowsy Driving

SLEEP APNEA AFFECTS AT LEAST TWENTY-FIVE MILLION ADULTS IN THE U-S.

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THE CONDITION CAUSES THE UPPER AIRWAY TO COLLAPSE FREQUENTLY WHILE SLEEPING, ROBBING SUFFERERS OF A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP AND LEADING TO DAYTIME SLEEPINESS AND DROWSY DRIVING.
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NOW, NEW CLEVELAND CLINIC RESEARCH SUPPORTS A GROWING BODY OF EVIDENCE THAT SHOWS TREATING SLEEP APNEA WITH A C-PAP (SEE-PAP) MACHINE REDUCES SLEEPINESS BEHIND THE WHEEL.

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CG: Dr. Harneet Walia /Cleveland Clinic “There was a significant reduction in the drowsy driving episodes and this reduction was more pronounced in patients who were CPAP adherent. This is a very important finding because drowsy driving poses a very important public health risk.” [:14]

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RESEARCHERS ANALYZED SELF-REPORTED QUESTIONNAIRES FROM NEARLY TWO THOUSAND PEOPLE WITH SLEEP APNEA. THEY ASSESSED DROWSY DRIVING INCIDENTS BEFORE AND AFTER PARTICIPANTS USED A C-PAP MACHINE.

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C-PAP STANDS FOR CONTINUOUS POSITIVE AIRWAY PRESSURE AND IS WORN AT NIGHT WHEN SOMEONE IS SLEEPING.

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IT’S DESIGNED TO INCREASE AIR PRESSURE IN THE THROAT TO PREVENT THE AIRWAY FROM COLLAPSING AND THEREFORE RESULT IN A BETTER NIGHT’S SLEEP.

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RESULTS SHOW A SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENT IN REPORTED ACCIDENTS AND NEAR-MISS-ACCIDENTS AFTER USING A C-PAP MACHINE.  FOLKS WHO USED IT REGULARLY AND COMPLIED WITH TREATMENT GUIDELINES SAW THE GREATEST IMPROVEMENT.

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IN ADDITION TO DROWSY DRIVING AND DAYTIME SLEEPINESS, DOCTOR WALIA (WALL-EE-UH) SAYS SLEEP APNEA CAN ALSO HAVE CARDIOVASCULAR CONSEQUENCES, SO IT’S IMPORTANT TO BE PROPERLY DIAGNOSED AND TREATED.

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CG: Dr. Harneed Walia /Cleveland Clinic “If you think you have obstructive sleep apnea, or you have signs of obstructive sleep apnea such as loud snoring, having pauses in breathing, or you feel excessively tired throughout the day please seek medical attention.” [:14]

DOCTOR WALIA SAYS SLEEP APNEA CAN BE EASILY DETECTED DURING AN OVERNIGHT SLEEP STUDY AND THAT USING A C-PAP MACHINE IS OFTEN THE FIRST LINE OF TREATMENT. COMPLETE RESULTS WERE PRESENTED AT THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE IN BOSTON.

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For more information please visit: ccnewsservice@ccf.org

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Media:  

See June 6, 2017 Sound Bites/Voice Over Pathfire#: 10803