Health Highlights: Nov. 15, 201111/15/11
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
First Embryonic Stem Cell Therapy Trial Halted
The world's first clinical trial of a therapy using human
embryonic stem cells has been halted and the company conducting the
trial is abandoning stem cell research.
California-based Geron said Monday that the decision was not
made because embryonic stem cell research lacks promise. Rather,
money is scarce and the company decided to concentrate resources on
its experimental cancer treatments, which are at a more advanced
stage of development,
The New York Times reported.
Geron's clinical trial involved the use of embryonic stem
cell-based therapy in patients with spinal cord injuries. The trial
was approved in 2010 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"I deeply believe in the promise of stem cells," John A. Scarlett, the company's chief executive, told The Times. "I don't think that promise is in any way, shape or form changed by what we're doing."
Prevnar Effective in Adults: FDA
The pneumococcal vaccine Prevnar 13 is at least as effective in
adults as a rival vaccine, according to a U.S. Food and Drug
Administration review posted online Monday.
Currently, vaccination with Prevnar is recommended for all
infants and young children. But pneumococcal disease -- which
causes ear infections, meningitis and pneumonia -- also affects
36,000 older adults each year in the United States and kills 5,000,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
CBS News and the
Associated Press reported.
Pfizer makes Prevnar and has asked the FDA to expand the
vaccine's approval for adults age 50 and older. The only
pneumococcal vaccine currently approved for adults is Merck's
Pneumovax, which is recommended for all adults 65 and older.
For their review, FDA scientists looked at six studies involving
more than 6,000 adults and concluded that Prevnar is at least as
effective as Pneumovax,
On Wednesday, an FDA panel of outside experts will discuss the
safety and effectiveness of Prevnar in adults and vote on whether
it should receive expanded approval. The FDA generally follows the
advice of its expert panels.
Kotex Tampons Recalled
About 1,400 cases of Kotex tampons are being recalled due to
concerns about a bacteria that can cause dangerous infections,
Kimberly-Clark announced Monday.
The company said the tampons' plastic tubing may be contaminated
Enterobacter sakazakii, which can cause vaginal infections, urinary tract infections, pelvic inflammatory disease or other potentially life-threatening infections, msnbc.com reported.
A company spokesman said Kimberly-Clark has not received any
reports of illness associated with the products.
The recall covers certain lots of Kotex Natural Balance Security
Unscented Tampons Regular Absorbency that were shipped to Walmart,
Fry's and Smith's stores in eight states. The 18- and 36-count
boxes have SKU numbers of 15063 and 15068,
Copyright © 2011
. All rights reserved.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.