Source:https://www.southampton.ac.uk/news/2018/10/trans-atlantic-trial.page Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 10 2018Children with an aggressive form of cancer are being given new hope in a world-first trans-Atlantic clinical trial that will test a new three-part treatment. The study, involving doctors and cancer scientists in Southampton, America and Germany, will boost the body’s immune system to kill off neuroblastoma, one of the most common childhood cancers.The Phase 1 trial is funded by UK charities Solving Kids’ Cancer (Europe), JACK and US charities Solving Kids’ Cancer and Band of Parents. It will be one of many to be conducted at the University of Southampton’s Centre for Cancer Immunology, which is the UK’s first and only centre dedicated to cancer immunology research. The centre recently opened at University Hospital Southampton, thanks to the University’s £25m fundraising campaign.Neuroblastoma affects around 100 children – mostly under the age of five – in the UK every year and develops from immature nerve cells. It usually starts as a tumour in the abdomen or chest, however, in many children, it spreads to other places in the body such as the bones and bone marrow.In those cases, less than half of patients are cured despite intensive treatment which includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and stem cell transplants.More recently, a form of immunotherapy known as anti-GD2, which uses antibodies to lock onto cancer cells so the immune system can find, fight and destroy them, has shown the potential to improve survival rates.This new study, led by Dr Juliet Gray, Associate Professor of Paediatric Oncology at the University of Southampton, involves combining mIBG, a special form of targeted radiotherapy which delivers radioactive iodine directly to neuroblastoma cells, with two different antibody therapies for the first time.One of these therapies, Nivolumab, has shown exciting results in adult cancers. It blocks a harmful protein called PD-1 and gives patients’ own immune cells a boost so that they can be set free to kill tumour cells.The researchers will give Nivolumab alongside the currently-used anti-GD2 to target specific cancer cells while protecting normal healthy cells.Related StoriesNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyThe trial will be run from four centres – the University of Southampton’s Centre for Cancer Immunology, UCH, Madison Children’s Hospital, Wisconsin, and the University of Greifswald, Germany. It is also the first trial to be sponsored by University Hospital Southampton NHS Trust.”Immunotherapy with anti-GD2 has been shown to increase the number of children with neuroblastoma who stay in remission and has become a standard component of treatment – but sadly a large number of children still relapse and die from their disease,” explained University of Southampton’s Dr Gray who is also a consultant paediatric oncologist at Southampton Children’s Hospital.”Work in the laboratory has shown that combining these types of antibodies with radiotherapy is potentially a very powerful way of eradicating neuroblastoma tumours and these three different therapies appear to work together to generate strong, protective immunity to the tumour.”She added: “This trans-Atlantic trial will be the first time they have been tested together and we are hopeful the combination of treatments will substantially improve the cure rate of children with this form of cancer.”Stephen Richards, CEO of Solving Kids’ Cancer (Europe), said: “Cutting-edge clinical trials offer real hope for children with high-risk neuroblastoma and their families. The numbers of children affected are small, so funding collaborative international research is the only way we will improve survival rates and find a cure for this devastating disease.”The researchers plan to give an initial course of mIBG-targeted radiotherapy followed by Nivolumab and anti-GD2 over a period of six months. Although the initial stages of the treatment process will require children to be in hospital, it is hoped that the therapy will be well tolerated and will eventually be delivered largely on an outpatient basis.The trial’s objective is to ensure the combination is safe to deliver to children with neuroblastoma in order to develop further studies to compare it with current treatments.
Source:https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/infant-mental-health-journal/maternal-depression-and-natural-disaster-related-stress-d Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 6 2019A new Infant Mental Health Journal study demonstrates that prenatal maternal depression has important consequences for infant temperament. Furthermore, the negative impact of prenatal maternal depression appeared to be magnified when pregnant women lived through Superstorm Sandy.The study analyzed data on 310 mother-child dyads, with 64 percent of women being pregnant prior to Sandy and 36 percent being pregnant during Sandy. Compared with other infants, infants born to women with prenatal depression were more likely to experience greater distress, greater fear, lower smiling and laughter, lower high- and low-pleasure seeking, lower soothability, slower falling reactivity, lower cuddliness, and greater sadness at six months of age. These effects were amplified when women were pregnant during Superstorm Sandy.”The fetal period is one of the most critical periods for neurodevelopment. Prenatal stress, especially during this critical period of fetal development, may render the developing brain more vulnerable to additional stressors such as maternal depression,” said lead author Dr. Yoko Nomura, of Queens College, the Advanced Research Science Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Natural disasters may increase in frequency and magnitude, but we can attempt to alleviate the negative impacts on offspring if we identify high risk pregnant mothers with depression and offer them interventions to make them more resilient.”
The botulinum toxin injections were incredibly effective in decreasing pain levels, as well as patients’ use of pain medications, including opioids. Many of the women in our study reported that the pain had a profound effect on their quality of life, and this treatment may be able to help them get their lives back.”Pamela Stratton, M.D., a gynecologist and scientist at NINDS, who co-led the study with Barbara Karp, M.D., a neurologist and program director at NINDS Endometriosis occurs when the uterine tissue lining grows outside of the uterus and is estimated to affect up to 176 million women worldwide. It is an inflammatory condition that can lead to infertility and cause chronic pain. The usual gynecologic treatments include hormonal therapy and surgery to remove the growths. However, in many cases, pain returns after the interventions.In the study, women with surgically treated endometriosis who were generally taking hormones to suppress menses, but who continued to experience pain and had pelvic floor muscle spasm, initially received injections of botulinum toxin or saline as part of a placebo-controlled clinical trial, targeting areas of spasm. At least one month after the masked study injection, 13 participants chose to receive open-label botulinum toxin injections in areas that remained in spasm and were then followed for at least four months. These patients were described in the current study at the NIH Clinical Center.Related StoriesWar against mosquitoes saves lives and money in Sri LankaResearchers survey orthopedic providers to understand factors that drive opioid prescribing practicesNew computational model explores daily pain sensitivity rhythmsIn all participants, during follow-up, pelvic floor muscle spasm was not detected or occurred in fewer muscles. Within two months of receiving the injections, pain decreased in all of the participants, with 11 out of 13 subjects reporting that their pain was mild or had disappeared. Additionally, usage of pain medication was reduced in more than half of the participants. Prior to receiving toxin injections, eight participants reported moderate or severe disability and after treatment, six of those patients noted an improvement.The participants experienced a decrease in muscle spasm and had pain relief that resulted in less disability and less use of pain medication. These findings suggest that pelvic floor muscle spasm may be experienced by women with endometriosis and contribute to pain persisting after standard treatment. Importantly, the beneficial effects were long-lasting, with many patients reporting pain relief lasting at least six months.Botulinum toxins, such as Botox, work by blocking the nerve signals for muscles to contract and have been used to treat migraines and certain movement disorders. Previous research has suggested that botulinum toxin may help women experiencing other types of chronic pelvic pain, but this treatment had not been studied in women with endometriosis.”We know that many doctors are using botulinum toxin to help their patients, but everyone uses slightly different techniques and methods, including different brands of toxin and various doses. This study will begin to provide rigor to help ensure standardized protocols and treatment in pelvic pain,” said Dr. Karp.Larger clinical studies will need to confirm the current findings. In addition, future research will focus on the mechanisms underlying chronic pelvic pain and better understanding of ways in which botulinum toxin may help treat those disorders. Source:NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and StrokeJournal reference:Tandon, H.K. et al. (2019) Botulinum toxin for chronic pelvic pain in women with endometriosis, a cohort study of a pain-focused treatment. Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine. doi.org/10.1136/rapm-2019-100529. Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 11 2019Pelvic pain associated with endometriosis often becomes chronic and can persist (or recur) following surgical and hormonal interventions. According to results published in Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine, treating pelvic floor muscle spasm with botulinum toxin may relieve pain and improve quality of life. The study was conducted by scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Narendra Modi and his new cabinet – Twitter/Narendra Modi SHARE RELATED Here is the list of the newly formed Committees The Narendra Modi Government has reconstituted six Cabinet Committees while two new Committees have been formed.The new committees will finalise policies to push growth, investment and employment with special focus on skill development.Barring the Committees on Parliamentary Affairs and Accommodation, all six committees will be headed by the Prime Minister. The two remaining committees will be chaired by Home Minister Amit Shah.Also read: Two Cabinet Committees set up to spur growth, employmentHere are the new members of the Committees:Appointments Committee of the CabinetCompositionPrime Minister Narendra ModiAmit Shah, Minister of Home AffairsCabinet Committee on AccommodationCompositionAmit Shah, Minister of Home AffairsNitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways; Minister of Micro, Small & Medium EnterprisesNirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance; Minister of Corporate AffairsPiyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, Minister of Commerce &IndustrySpecial InviteesJitendra Singh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Development of North Eastern Region; Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Minister of State in the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions, Minister of State in the Department of Atomic Energy; and Minister of State in the Department of SpaceHardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Housing &Urban Affairs; Minister of State(I/C) of the Ministry of Civil Aviation; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and IndustryCabinet Committee on Economic AffairsCompositionPrime MinisterRajnath Singh, Minister of DefenceAmit Shah, Minister of Home AffairsNitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways; Minister of Micro, Small & Medium EnterprisesDV Sadananda Gowda, Minister of Chemicals & FertilizersNirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance; Minister of Corporate AffairsNarendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture &Farmer Welfare, Minister of Rural Development: and Minister of Panchayati Raj.Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology; and Minister of Law and Justice.Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries.Subrahamanayam Jaishankar, Minister of External AffairsPiyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, Minister of Commerce &IndustryDharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Minister of Steel.Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary AffairsCompositionAmit Shah, Minister of Home AffairsNirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance; Minister of Corporate AffairsRamvilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public DistributionNarendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture &Farmer Welfare, Minister of Rural Development, and Minister of Panchayati Raj.Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology; and Minister of Law and JusticeThawar Chand Gehlot, Minister of Social Justice & EmpowermentPrakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest & Climate Change; Minister of Information and BroadcastingPrahlad Joshi, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs; Minister of Coal and Mines.Special InviteesArjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State Parliamentary Affairs; Minister of State in the Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public EnterprisesV Muraleedharan, Minister of State Parliamentary Affairs; Minister of State in the Ministry of External AffairsCabinet Committee on Political AffairsCompositionPrime Minister ModiAmit Shah, Minister of Home AffairsNitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways; Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance; Minister of Corporate AffairsRamvilas Paswan, Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture &Farmer Welfare, Minister of Rural Development: and Minister of Panchayati Raj.Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Communications and Information Technology; and Minister of Law and JusticeHarsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries.Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Minister of Health & Family Welfare; Minister of Science & Technology; and Minister of Earth Sciences,Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways, Minister of Commerce and IndustryArvind Ganpat Sawant, Minister of Heavy Industries & Public EnterprisePrahlad Joshi, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs; Minister of Coal and Mines.Cabinet Committee on SecurityCompositionPrime Minister ModiRajnath Singh, Minister of DefenceAmit Shah, Minister of Home AffairsNirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs.Subrahamanayam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs.Cabinet Committee on Investment and GrowthCompositionPrime Minister ModiAmit Shah, Minister of Home AffairsNitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Minister of Micro. Small and Medium EnterprisesNirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance & Corporate Affairs.Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Minister of Commerce & Industry.Cabinet Committee on Employment & Skill DevelopmentCompositionPrime Minister ModiAmit Shah, Minister of Home Affairs.Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance & Corporate AffairsNarendra Singh Tomar, Minister of Agriculture &Farmer Welfare, Minister of Rural Development: and Minister of Panchayati Raj.Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Minister of Commerce & IndustryRamesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, Minister of Human Resource DevelopmentDharmendra Pradhan, Minister of Petroleum &Natural Gas: and Minister of SteelMahendra Nath Pandey, Minister of Skill development & EnterpreneurshipSantosh Kumar Gangwar, MOS(I/C)Labour & EmploymentHardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State(I/C) of the Ministry of Housing &Urban Affairs; Minister of State(I/C) of the Ministry of Civil Aviation; and Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.Special InviteesNitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways; Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries.Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of Women & Child Development and TextilesPrahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State (I/C) Culture, MOS (I/C) Tourism. COMMENT June 06, 2019 Published on ministers (government) COMMENTS Indian Government SHARE SHARE EMAIL government Cabinet committees constitution highlights Amit Shah’s importance