Helmet PET scanner may bolster brain injury evaluation in stroke patients | WHO: Dementia deaths more than doubled over 15 years | Study finds antibiotic intake prior to cancer immunotherapy reduces its efficacy
February 17, 2017
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News for nuclear medicine and molecular imaging professionals
West Virginia University researchers have developed a helmet PET scanner containing smaller detectors with crystal arrays that can detect the degree of brain injury caused by stroke within 30 seconds, reducing patients' risk of developing severe disabilities. The device, described at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, also has the potential to improve sports concussion diagnoses and could be available for clinical use within two years, researchers said.
Dementia led to 1.54 million deaths in 2015, more than doubling the total from 2000, according to the World Health Organization. The number is likely to keep growing because experimental drugs have not proven effective against dementia, WHO says.
Researchers from the Gustave Roussy Cancer Institute in France found that disease progression was more rapid among the 80 study patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma who took antibiotics within a month before their scheduled cancer immunotherapy session compared with those who didn't. The findings were presented at a presscast prior to the Genitourinary Cancers Symposium being held in Florida.
The American College of Physicians issued new guidelines calling for people with low back pain to try drug-free treatments, such as physical therapy or heat wraps, before using medication. The report, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, called for opioid use to be a last resort in cases of long-lasting pain and for people to start medication therapy with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Axsome Therapeutics has received fast-track designation from the FDA for its treatment-resistant depression drug candidate AXS-05. The firm is evaluating the safety and efficacy of the drug candidate in a late-stage trial and also plans to investigate it under a Phase II/III trial as a treatment for agitation associated with Alzheimer's disease.
A chemistry, manufacturing and control amendment has been filed by BriaCell Therapeutics to the FDA concerning a new batch of BriaVax -- a whole cell vaccine candidate indicated for patients with stage IV breast cancer -- and its BriaTest cell line testing platform. The firm plans to start Phase I/IIa trials for the vaccine candidate before the end of next month if the FDA accepts the amendment.
Pennsylvania's Allegheny Health Network has a cancer clinic, staffed by nurses trained in oncology, that is open after hours so cancer patients suffering side effects of treatment do not have long waits in the emergency department. Allegheny found in 2014 there were 3,000 ED visits by cancer patients across its system, with some wait times lasting hours.
Repeal of the Affordable Care Act would cut $5.5 billion from drug abuse and mental health treatment, and could have serious implications for death rates, according to a new study. The loss would bring a 50% increase in Americans unable to access help for opioid dependence, researchers say.
Berg Insight reported a 44% boost in remote monitoring use among providers and patients in 2016, and the firm expects use to continue to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 47.9%, reaching 50.2 million by 2021. MHealth connectivity solutions and care delivery platforms "are two of the most rapidly developing parts of the mHealth technology value chain," Berg said.
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