News from the nicotine masters
FDA hazy on e-cigarettes’ safety
It looks like a cigarette and it smokes like a cigarette but it’s your typical cigarette because it’s an electronic cigarette. Manufacturers say “e-cig” is safe and free of harmful chemicals found in your Camels or Virginia Slims. It only contains pure liquid nicotine. What does the US FDA have to say about this? The regulatory body considers “e-cigs an unapproved new drug because of a lack of scientific proof that they’re safe or effective.”
News from the drug makers
Pfizer halts clinical trials of cancer drug after positive results
The clinical trials on the drug Sutent have been halted for a very good reason – positive results, according to CBC Canada. The drug is being tested for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. The results show that patients on Sutent are free from disease progression. Pfizer is the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical industry. It made headlines in January when it announced its acquisition of Wyeth.
News from the advocacy groups
Susan G. Komen for the Cure® makes $1.5 Million Grant to Support Ambitious Research for Early Detection Test for Breast Cancer
The cancer foundation Susan G. Komen for the Cure® announced a $1.5 million grant for “an ambitious and collaborative scientific effort to develop a blood test that will detect breast cancer in its beginning stages, when it can be cured.” The project is a part of the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Women’s Cancer Research Fund (EIF/WCRF) Breast Cancer Biomarker Discovery Project.
News from the vaccine hunters
Melanoma Vaccines: Possible Progress After Years of Frustration?
It is the holy grail on cancer research – a vaccine against melanoma. Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer and scientists been trying for decades to develop a vaccine that works. Their efforts might just be bearing fruit. A new immunotherapy was recently tested in a phase II clinical trial. Preliminary results show that the vaccine could shrink tumors in metastatic melanoma patients at a rate of 72%.
News from the regulators
US drug agency blunts supply of marijuana for research
The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has set limits in licenses to grow marijuana for medical research. In recent years, some medical experts claim that marijuana or cannabis can have some therapeutic use especially in counteracting the side effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients. However, the plant is considered illegal and addictive. The recent ruling means that “marijuana for government-approved research is available only through the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).”
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