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Scientists develop new ‘precision medicine’ approach to treating damaged DNA in pancreatic cancer

dna
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Scientists have developed a new “precision medicine” approach to treating the damaged DNA in the cancer cells of Pancreatic Cancer patients.

The findings mark an important step forward for potential treatment options for pancreatic cancer, improving the options and outcomes for a disease where survival rates have remained stubbornly low.

The study detailing the approach—led by the University of Glasgow and published in Gastroenterology—used cell lines and organoids that were generated from patients with pancreatic cancer to develop new molecular markers that can predict who will respond to drugs targeting DNA damage.

The researchers tested these markers using multiple drugs, and have developed a strategy that are now being taken forward into clinical trial. The trial will help doctors and researchers predict which patient will respond to which one of these drugs, either alone or in combination.

Funding for the trail has come from AstraZeneca and will now be included in the PRIMUS-004 clinical trial as part of the Precision-Panc therapeutic development platform for pancreatic cancer.

PRIMUS-004 is a ground-breaking pancreatic cancer trial, which aims to match patients with more targeted and effective treatment for their tumors. Run by Precision-Panc, a flagship therapeutic development program dedicated to pancreatic cancer—led by the University of Glasgow with major funding from Cancer Research UK—the trial brings a precision medicine approach to pancreatic cancer treatment for the first time in the UK.

The trial will open for recruitment in Glasgow shortly, with 20 other centers throughout the UK to follow.

Although survival for many types of cancer has improved, pancreatic cancer survival has lagged significantly behind in the last 40 years. The disease is particularly hard to treat, partly because it’s often diagnosed at a late stage.

A major limitation to treating pancreatic cancer effectively is that there are very few treatment options for patients with the disease. Currently, some patients with pancreatic cancer cannot repair damaged DNA in the cancer cells, which makes the cancer vulnerable to some new and established drug treatments.

Dr. David Chang, from the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Cancer Sciences, said: “Our study is a huge breakthrough in terms of what might be possible with future treatments. As part of our research, the strategy we’ve developed is extremely promising, and we’re very pleased and proud to see it now be taken into clinical trial. For us, this is a demonstration of a bench-to-bedside precision oncology approach to tackle this terrible disease.”

Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s chief executive, said: “We urgently need new ways to treat pancreatic cancer. The disease only has a few treatment options and is generally diagnosed at a late stage, so survival has remained stubbornly low. The Precision Panc study offers a dynamic way to explore new tailored treatments, and it’s fantastic that we now have new drug candidates to add to the PRIMUS-004 trial. We look forward to seeing if these drugs, which have shown promise in the lab, have the same impact for people with pancreatic cancer.”

Gilead Drug Shows Promising Results In Treating COVID, Ready For Distribution Says CEO

KEY POINTS

  • Gilead’s coronavirus treatment redemsivir was found to reduce recovery time in patients by several days
  • Redemsivir and other drug treatments could serve as stopgap measures until a proper vaccine is ready and approved
  • The Trump administration and Congress re-entered negotiations about a stimulus package to help a U.S. economy hit hard by the pandemic

Final results from Gilead Sciences’ latest remdesivir trial showed the antiviral drug was effective in treating coronavirus patients and cutting recovery time by at least a week.

Gilead’s CEO said, given the positive results, the company was ready for mass production and distribution of the drug.

As of Friday, Johns Hopkins said the U.S. has over 7.6 million confirmed cases of coronavirus and 212,805 reported deaths from it. The latest trial was conducted for nearly a month and involved over 1,062 patients hospitalized for coronavirus. Half of the patients were given remdesivir while the other half were given placebo as part of the randomized, double-blind trial. Trial sites were located in the U.S., United Kingdom, Denmark, Mexico, Japan, Germany, Greece, Korea, Spain, and Singapore.

Average recovery time for people given remdesivir was found to be shortened by five days. While overall data showed the drug was not significant in reducing mortality, it appeared effective in lowering the mortality rate among patients on oxygen.

“Our data show that remdesivir was superior to placebo in shortening the time to recovery in adults who were hospitalized with COVID-19 and had evidence of lower respiratory tract infection,” the final report in the New England Journal of Medicine said.

Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day said the company was pleased with the results and ready for distribution, if and when the drug is approved.

“These results are meaningful,” O’Day told CNBC. “They’ll definitely help patients around the world who have the misfortune of entering the hospital to get better, and I’m really pleased to say that we have ample supply.”

Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said while remdesivir, alone, is likely not enough to treat coronavirus, this data is a good sign in battling the pandemic.

“I think combined with the antibody drugs, which should be coming onto the market soon based on the data that we’ve seen, this is a pretty effective treatment regime in advance of a vaccine,” Gottlieb told CNBC.

While a drug like remdesivir, or the antibody treatment developed by Eli Lilly, serve as a stopgap means of addressing coronavirus, a vaccine will still be needed to serve as a long-term answer. The hope is that a vaccine will be approved and ready for distribution by the end of December, with timetables having life get back to some degree of normalcy by summer 2021.

Some of the vaccines furthest along include:

  • Moderna and the National Institute of Health’s mRNA vaccine, currently in Phase 3 trials
  • China’s CanSino Biologics and Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute have vaccines in limited approval, though experts warned these were likely rushed and could still be harmful
  • AstraZeneca and the

‘Love Hormone’ Could Hold Key to Treating COVID | Health News

By Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

FRIDAY, Oct. 9, 2020 (HealthDay News) — The so-called love hormone, oxytocin, may be worth investigating as a treatment for COVID-19, a new study suggests.

One of the most serious complications of infection with the new coronavirus is a “cytokine storm,” in which the body attacks its own tissues.

There are currently no U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved treatments for COVID-19, which means that “repurposing existing drugs that can act on the adaptive immune response and prevent the cytokine storm in early phases of the disease is a priority,” according to the researchers.

Previous research suggests that oxytocin — a hormone that’s produced in the brain and is involved in reproduction and childbirth — reduces inflammation.

In this new study, researcher Ali Imami, a graduate research assistant at the University of Toledo in Ohio, and colleagues used a U.S. National Institutes of Health database to analyze characteristics of genes treated with drugs closely related to oxytocin.

The investigators found that one drug in particular, carbetocin, has similar characteristics (called a signature) to genes with reduced expression of the inflammatory markers that trigger cytokine storm in COVID-19 patients.

Carbetocin’s signature suggests that the drug may trigger activation of immune cells called T-cells that play an important role in immune response. In addition, carbetocin’s signature is also similar to that of lopinavir, an antiretroviral medication under study as a treatment for COVID-19.

All of these factors indicate that oxytocin may have potential as a targeted treatment for cytokine storms in COVID-19 patients, the researchers said in a news release from the American Physiological Society.

“Understanding the mechanisms by which oxytocin or the oxytocin system can be a new immune target is crucial,” the authors concluded in their report, which was published online recently in the journal Physiological Genomics.

However, they added that “safety and efficacy of intravenous oxytocin in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 remains to be assessed.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on COVID-19.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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All the president’s medicine: How doctors are treating Donald Trump

The leader of the free world is now fighting his own battle with a virus that’s laid global siege — and a concoction of some experimental treatments is helping him do it.

Uncertainty and fear for the president’s well-being plunged a nation already in chaos into further crisis, amid a pandemic that has already killed more than 209,000 Americans.

Over the weekend, Trump’s personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said the president is “receiving all the standard of care and beyond,” doctors are “attacking the virus with a multi-pronged approach” and he has “continued to improve.”

PHOTO: A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.

A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.

A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.

Some experts have raised questions about the uniquely robust drug regimen now being administered to the president. Dr. Lew Kaplan, president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and a surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania, saying that these types of “non-standard processes” can ” invite error.” This exact combination of medications has not been tested together yet in large-scale studies.

NIH treatment panel guidelines member Dr. Mitchell Levy insisted that there is no “miracle” drug yet available.

“If you look at our guidelines, we just don’t think there’s enough evidence to recommend one way or the other,” Levy, chief of pulmonary critical care at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, told ABC News. “So little is proven. It’s like the Wild West, and he’s the president of the United States, and so you feel like, I want to do anything I can to prevent the disease from progressing. That often drives us to do things outside of the normal standard, and that is never a good idea. There’s a standard of care for a reason. With COVID-19, part of the problem is we’re never really sure what the standard of care is.”

Other experts are more optimistic

“All of these treatments shift the odds in your favor,” Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told ABC News. “None of them is a magic wand that suddenly makes you feel better,” he said, explaining

How doctors are treating Donald Trump

The leader of the free world is now fighting his own battle with a virus that’s laid global siege — and a concoction of some experimental treatments is helping him do it.

Roughly 42 hours after President Donald Trump revealed he and the first lady had tested positive for COVID-19, he tweeted out a video from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center assuring the public he was feeling “much better” since being given a sundry mix of medication which he called “miracles coming down from God.”

Uncertainty and fear for the president’s well-being plunged a nation already in chaos into further crisis, amid a pandemic that has already killed more than 209,000 Americans.

Over the weekend, Trump’s personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said the president is “receiving all the standard of care and beyond,” doctors are “attacking the virus with a multi-pronged approach” and he has “continued to improve.”

PHOTO: A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020. (Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020. (Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images)

Of the combination of medicines and supplements now deployed to help him recoup, much of it is not yet definitively known to beat the novel coronavirus, but is thought to help mediate the virus’ symptoms and severity. There is as of now no drug “approved” by the FDA for COVID-19 treatment, though some have been given emergency authorization.

MORE: President ‘bored’ at hospital, not ‘out of the woods’

Some experts have raised questions about the uniquely robust drug regimen now being administered to the president. Dr. Lew Kaplan, president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and a surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania, saying that these types of “non-standard processes” can ” invite error.”

NIH treatment panel guidelines member Dr. Mitchell Levy insisted that there is no “miracle” drug yet available.

“If you look at our guidelines, we just don’t think there’s enough evidence to recommend one way or the other,” Levy, chief of pulmonary critical care at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, told ABC News. “So little is proven. It’s like the Wild West, and he’s the president of the United States, and so you feel like, I want to do anything I can to prevent the disease from progressing. That often drives us to do things outside of the normal standard, and that is never a good idea. There’s a standard of care for a reason. With COVID-19, part of the problem is we’re never really sure what the standard of care is.”

Other experts are more optimistic

“All of these treatments shift the odds in your favor,” Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told ABC News. “None of them is a magic wand that suddenly makes you feel better,” he said, explaining that Trump’s treatment plan was made respecting the parameters of available science.

The president’s doctors have said he is taking at

How doctors are treating Trump

The leader of the free world is now fighting his own battle with a virus that’s laid global siege — and a concoction of some experimental treatments is helping him do it.



a person driving a car: A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.


© Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.

Roughly 42 hours after President Donald Trump revealed he and the first lady had tested positive for COVID-19, he tweeted out a video from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center assuring the public he was feeling “much better” since being given a sundry mix of medication which he called “miracles coming down from God.”

Uncertainty and fear for the president’s well-being plunged a nation already in chaos into further crisis, amid a pandemic that has already killed more than 209,000 Americans.

Over the weekend, Trump’s personal physician, Dr. Sean Conley, said the president is “receiving all the standard of care and beyond,” doctors are “attacking the virus with a multi-pronged approach” and he has “continued to improve.”



a person driving a car: A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.


© Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
A car with US President Trump drives past supporters in a motorcade outside of Walter Reed Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland on October 4, 2020.

Of the combination of medicines and supplements now deployed to help him recoup, much of it is not yet definitively known to beat the novel coronavirus, but is thought to help mediate the virus’ symptoms and severity. There is as of now no drug “approved” by the FDA for COVID-19 treatment, though some have been given emergency authorization.


MORE: President ‘bored’ at hospital, not ‘out of the woods’

Some experts have raised questions about the uniquely robust drug regimen now being administered to the president. Dr. Lew Kaplan, president of the Society of Critical Care Medicine and a surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania, saying that these types of “non-standard processes” can ” invite error.”

NIH treatment panel guidelines member Dr. Mitchell Levy insisted that there is no “miracle” drug yet available.

“If you look at our guidelines, we just don’t think there’s enough evidence to recommend one way or the other,” Levy, chief of pulmonary critical care at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, told ABC News. “So little is proven. It’s like the Wild West, and he’s the president of the United States, and so you feel like, I want to do anything I can to prevent the disease from progressing. That often drives us to do things outside of the normal standard, and that is never a good idea. There’s a standard of care for a reason. With COVID-19, part of the problem is we’re never really sure what the standard of care is.”

Other experts are more optimistic

“All of these treatments shift the odds in your favor,” Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told ABC News. “None of them is a magic wand