Growing shortage of gastroenterologists to affect screening capacity for #2 cancer killer
Last January 7, 2009, data from researched conducted by the Lewin Group as commissioned by medical technology company Olympus, were presented in a telenews event. The study report entitled “The Impact of Improved Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates on Adequacy of Future Supply of Gastroenterologists that the US” concludes that the US is facing a shortage of gastroenterologists (GIs). This shortage can have some serious consequences in the screening of colorectal cancer. News event speakers were: F. Mark Gumz, President and CEO, Olympus Corporation of the Americas; Tim Dall, vice president and lead study author, The Lewin Group; Robert Reinhardt, Chief of Strategy, Medical and Surgical Business, Olympus America; and Dr. Patrick Okolo, Chief of Endoscopy, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The report is available at www.olympusamerica.com/crcadvocacy/.
News from the laboratory
Finally, rat embryonic stem cells which are pluripotent. This means, there will soon be a hordes of genetically modified rats avialble for research. Well, it’s been done in mice, and in fact, has been for many years now, so what is the big deal? Well, for one thing rats are bigger and their size makes them better animal models in the lad for certain human diseases than their smaller cousins. This breakthrough was achieved by researchers at the University of Cambridge, UK, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.
News from the health authorities
The National Institutes for Health has introduced a new online tool for assessing colorectal cancer risk in adults 50 and older. The risk assessment tool is available on the NCI Web site at www.cancer.gov/colorectalcancerrisk, and people using this tool should work with their health care providers to interpret the results.
News from the drug regulators
A new drug approved just in time for the New Year. It has been years since we’ve seen a drug for prostate cancer. Welcome degarelix, a gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) receptor inhibitor. A common treatment for prostate cancer are hormonal treatments and these initially cause increase in testosterone levels but they drop, a surge that can actually stimulate tumor growth rather than inhibit it. Degarelix doesn’t do this but “slows the growth and progression of prostate cancer by suppressing testosterone, which plays an important role in the continued growth of prostate cancer.”
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