IOM Proposes 20 Optimal Indicators to Measure Nation’s Health
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has spoken: “Policymakers, the media, and the public should focus on 20 specific health indicators as “yardsticks” to measure the overall health and well-being of Americans…By providing information that can be compared over time, these 20 indicators will also help Americans track the nation’s progress on improving our health and the effectiveness of public health and care systems,” according the IOM’s latest report. And these should be accessible for everybody – not only the experts – through the The State of the USA website.
News for the cancer survivors
Women who had had a previous cancer of any type seem to be likely to have breast cancer later in life, according to Dutch researchers. There has been a 20% increase of breast cancer incidence since 1975 in the general population. For women who have survived a previous cancer, however, it’s 30%. “Our findings suggest that there is ample room for improvement in follow-up strategies to detect breast cancer at an early stage in this group.“
News from the toxicologists
Experts set tolerable level for melamine intake
Earlier this month 21 toxicological experts met in Ottawa, Canada in early December to review the toxicology of melamine and cyanuric acid. The experts managed to set up a tolerable daily intake (TDI) of melamine at 0.2 mg/kg body weight. Cyanuric acid TDI is at 1.5 mg/kg body weight. The TDIs are for the chemicals as stand-alone contaminants. The combination of the two can have increased toxicity compared to the individual substances and a TDI for the combination still has to be set. The expert meeting was initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO). Check out a previous post on melamine.
News from the research side
15 January deadline for international cancer study grants
The deadline for the Yamagiwa-Yoshida Memorial International Cancer Study Grants is on January 15, 2009. The grant is for clinicians, investigators, epidemiologist, and pubic health professionals but not for clinical training fellowhip.
News from the regulators
FDA Approves Drug that Boosts Stem Cell Yield for Bone Marrow Transplants
Some good news before the end of the year. The US FDA has just approved this week the drug pleroxafor (Mozobil, manufactured by Genzyme Corp.). Pleroxafor helps boost the number of blood stem cells that can be used for bone marrow transplants to treat certain forms of blood cancer. It is indicated for the treatment of multiple myeloma or non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas in adults.
“Collecting the millions of cells needed for a bone marrow transplant can take hours or days,” said Richard Pazdur,director of the Office of Oncology Drug Products, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA. “Mobozil provides a new therapeutic option for patients with certain types of blood cancers by increasing the number of stem cells collected in a given time period to be reinfused after therapy.”
Photo credit: stock. xchng