Wednesday, June 24, 2015


A Honduran woman carrying 3.3 lbs of liquid cocaine in her breast implants was arrested at the airport in Colombia's capital Bogota.
Paola Deyanira Sabillon, 22, was attempting to travel to Spain when her apparent nervousness aroused suspicion in the security line, airport police colonel Diego Rosero told journalists.
X-rays revealed a recent surgery on Sabillon's breasts and she confessed that an unknown substance had been implanted which she was meant to take to Barcelona, police added.
Authorities said a preliminary investigation showed that the surgery took place at a clandestine clinic in the city of Pereira, in western Colombia.
The implants were removed at a Bogota hospital where Sabillon is also being treated for an infection.
Some 300 tons of cocaine are produced per year in Colombia, long a hub for drug production and trafficking.

Friday, June 5, 2015


Combination of ipilimumab and nivolumab may benefit patients with advanced melanoma.

In a 1,000-word article, the New York Times (6/1, B3, Pollack, Subscription Publication) reports that a study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting found that “the combination of two immune-boosting” medications – Yervoy (ipilimumab) and Opdivo (nivolumab) – “is more effective than either drug alone in treating advanced melanoma.” Those “treated with both drugs went a median of 11.5 months before their disease worsened.”
        The Washington Post (5/31, Bernstein) “To Your Health” blog reports, “Nivolumab alone gave patients 6.9 months, and ipilimumab provided 2.9 months.” The data indicated that “more than 70 percent of the patients given both drugs had some kind of positive response to the combination therapy.”
        Bloomberg News (5/31, Langreth) reports, however, that “patients in the combination group had a far higher rate of toxic side effects including diarrhea and elevated liver enzymes.”


CDC: Incidence of melanoma has doubled in the US in the last 30 years.

The Los Angeles Times (6/3, Kaplan) “Science Now” blog reports that “the incidence of melanoma...has doubled in the U.S. in the last 30 years and is on track to remain high unless Americans take more precautions to protect themselves from ultraviolet radiation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said” yesterday. The “Vital Signs study” was “published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.” The blog adds that while “Melanomas account for only 2% of skin cancers...they are the deadliest kind, according to the National Cancer Institute.”
        On its website, CBS News (6/3, Cohen) reports that in a statement, Dr. Lisa Richardson, the director of the CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, said, “If we take action now, we can prevent hundreds of thousands of new cases of skin cancers, including melanoma, and save billions of dollars in medical costs.”
        Melanoma rates up among US children, young adults. Health Day (6/3, Dallas) reports that research indicates that “melanoma...has increased by 250 percent among U.S. children and young adults since the 1970s.” The findings were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting.


Study: Thirty-three million US adults may be affected by problem drinking.

The AP (6/4, Tanner) reports, “Alcohol problems affect almost 33 million adults and most have never sought treatment,” according to a study published online June 3 in JAMA Psychiatry. The research conducted by investigators at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism also suggests that “rates have increased in recent years.” NIAAA director George Koob, PhD, “said it’s unclear why problem drinking has increased but that many people underestimate the dangers of excessive alcohol.” Koob also pointed out that effective behavioral treatments and medications exist to help people overcome problem drinking. He said, “There’s a lore that there’s only Alcoholics Anonymous out there and that’s not true.”