Saturday, April 1, 2017


Fake cosmetic surgeon sentenced to prison for manslaughter
A judge sentenced a bogus Florida cosmetic surgeon to 10 years in prison and five years of probation for allegedly injecting clients with a mixture of cement, mineral oil, bathroom caulk and tire sealant. The defendant, Oneal Ron Morris, did not contest the charges of manslaughter and practicing medicine without a license, but denied injecting the lethal combination into clients, at least one of whom died.

A salon worker in Dallas could be sentenced to life in prison after a jury found her guilty of murder and practicing medicine without a license. Prosecutors say a salon client died after the defendant injected the client's buttocks with industrial-grade silicone in a procedure the salon offered as a "Wee Wee Booty."

Tuesday, March 28, 2017


The American Skin Association launches its Seven Principles for a Lifetime of Healthy Skin, part of a worldwide educational effort to increase understanding of the importance of skin and the assurance of its health throughout one’s lifetime.
The principles are as follows:
  1. Minimize exposure to UV light. Limit time outdoors between 10 am and 4 pm, apply broad spectrum sunscreen daily, wear sun protective clothing, and avoid tanning beds and similar artificial tanning devices entirely.
  2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes regular water intake, sleep and exercise. Do not smoke.
  3. Visit your dermatologist once a year or as needed.
  4. Examine your skin daily, and report concerning changes in skin condition and/or color to your dermatologist or Health Care Professional as soon as possible.
  5. Hydrate your skin daily, especially after bathing or showering.
  6. Maintain good hygiene for skin, hair and nails by giving gentle and constant attention to avoid irritation.
  7. Immediately attend to wounds. To avoid infection and scarring, never pick or squeeze blemishes.
These principles were developed as the result of input from more than 800 respondents (dermatologists, family practitioners, and pediatricians) to a survey, compiled by the American Skin Association and Derm101, regarding the most important tips for a lifetime of healthy skin. A consensus of members of the ASA Education Council also contributed to the principles, according to a media release from the American Skin Association.
The Seven Principles provide guidance for today’s young as well as address the more acute needs of today’s old,” says Dr Jeannette Jakus of SUNY Downstate Medical Center, in the release. “Nearly half of all primary care visits are due to skin disorders, and this burden grows significantly as we age. The Seven Principles are tools that everyone can use, at every stage of life, that will improve our quality of life today and as we age, and reduce healthcare costs for years to come.”
The educational effort begins with the inclusion of skin health in the World Health Organization’s new Health and Aging Strategy, which explains that skin diseases — including skin cancers —not only have a significant effect on quality of life, they can lead to additional health issues in both children and adults, per the release.
“Our skin is our largest organ and protects us from harmful bacteria, pollution, and toxins in the environment,” explains Dr Jean L. Bolognia, professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. “As we age, those defenses weaken, making us more susceptible to infection, pain, and hospitalization. The need to establish skin healthy behaviors and protect our skin throughout our lives is more critical today than ever before.”
“A child born today will live to be 100 years old,” adds Dr David A. Norris, chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the newly elected president of the ASA, in the release. “Our expected 21st century longevity creates a whole new set of imperatives for how we treat our skin to ensure that it lasts for 100 years or more.”
[Source(s): American Skin Association, PR Newswire]


The Food and Drug Administration says at least nine women have died of a rare blood cancer after receiving breast implants, and that the agency is officially acknowledging an association between the implants and the disease.
On Tuesday, the agency announced that as of Feb. 1, it had received 359 breast implant-associated reports of a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma called anaplastic large cell lymphoma, or ALCL.
The cancers were more common in women who had implants with textured, rather than smooth, surfaces.
About 290,000 people received breast implants in the U.S. last year, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, which does not track the surface textures of implants in its yearly reports.
Of the 359 cases reported to the FDA, 231 had information on the types of implants. Of those, 28 of the cancers were in women who received breast implants with smooth surfaces and 203 were in women who had a version with a textured surface.
It is still unclear whether the texturing is actually responsible for the cancer, or is just associated with a higher incidence of the disease


The US Food and Drug Administration has granted accelerated approval for Bavencio (avenulab), a treatment for a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer called metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).
Approximately 1,600 people in the United States are diagnosed with MCC every year, and more than 30% of them will eventually develop metastatic disease, in which the cancer has spread beyond the skin into other parts of the body. Fewer than half of the patients with this disease will survive more than 1 year, and fewer than 20% will survive beyond 5 years, according to the National Cancer Institute in a media release from the FDA.
Bavencio is a human anti-PD-L1 antibody that is formulated to target the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway and help the body’s immune system attack cancer cells.
The treatment was developed, reviewed, and approved through the FDA’s Priority Review and Breakthrough Therapy programs. It also received Orphan Drug designation, which provides incentives to assist and encourage the development of drugs for rare diseases. In addition, it received an Accelerated Approval, which enables the FDA to approve drugs for serious conditions to fill an unmet medical need using clinical trial data that is thought to predict a clinical benefit to patients.
“While skin cancer is one of the most common cancers, patients with a rare form called Merkel cell cancer have not had an approved treatment option until now,” said Richard Pazdur, MD, acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research and director of the FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence, in the release.
The approval of Bavencio was based on data from a trial of 88 patients with metastatic MCC who had been previously treated with at least one prior chemotherapy regimen. The trial measured the percentage of patients who experienced complete or partial shrinkage of their tumors (overall response rate) and, for patients with a response, the length of time the tumor was controlled (duration of response).
Of the 88 patients who received Bavencio in the trial, 33% experienced complete or partial shrinkage of their tumors. The response lasted for more than 6 months in 86% of responding patients and more than 12 months in 45% of responding patients, the release continues.
EMD Serono—the biopharmaceutical business of Merck in the United States and Canada—and Pfizer will commercialize the treatment, the release notes.
[Source(s): US Food and Drug Administration, PR Newswire]

Thursday, July 21, 2016


Scientists create updated map of human brain

The Washington Post (7/20, Nutt) reports scientists have discovered many new areas of the brain by combining data from multiple brain imaging technologies, according to a study published in Nature. The scientists, led by Matthew Glasser and David Van Essen at Washington University, created a new map of the human brain that identifies 180 distinct areas, up from 83 that have previously been discovered.
        In a front-page story, the New York Times (7/20, A1, Zimmer, Subscription Publication) reports researchers made the map with data from volunteers who had their brains scanned by different imaging technologies.
        Reuters (7/20, Dunham) points out that the new map may lead researchers to new insights into many neurological and psychiatric conditions.
        STAT (7/20, Thielking) reports the research is part of the broader Human Connectome Project, which is being funded by the National Institutes of Health with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the human brain.

Sunday, July 17, 2016


CDC: Cheap surgery in Dominican Republic results in expensive infections
At least 18 women from the US contracted mycobacterial infections after undergoing plastic surgery at five different clinics in the Dominican Republic, the CDC reports. Some patients required hospitalization, surgery and long-term antibiotics.

Friday, May 27, 2016


Leading the News

Certain lifestyle factors may offset genetic risk of breast cancer

TIME (5/26) reports that research published in JAMA Oncology suggests that nearly “30% of all breast cancers in the US could be prevented if women maintained a healthy weight, do not use hormone therapy for menopause, and cut back on drinking and smoking.”
        The NBC News (5/26, Fox) website reports that the investigators “studied the cases of more than 40,000 women taking part in breast cancer and other health studies.” The researchers “looked at 92 common mutations known to raise breast cancer risk.” The investigators “left out the two best-known breast cancer risk genes – BRCA1 and BRCA2 – because they’re so clearly defined and studied.”
        The Los Angeles Times (5/26, Healy) reports that the study indicated “that those women who are at greatest risk of developing breast cancer due to factors beyond their control, are the same women who most steeply reduce their risk when they maintain a healthy weight, stay away from hormone replacement therapy, don’t smoke and drink little to no alcohol.”
        However, the ABC News (5/26, Mohney) website points out that the “study is limited by the specific group – white women between the ages of 30 to 80 in Australia, Europe and the US.”