Health Highlights: Sept. 23, 201309/23/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Chemotherapy Undertreatment Common in Obese Cancer Patients
Many obese cancer patients receive inadequate doses of
chemotherapy and this is one reason why they have higher rates of
cancer recurrence and death, experts say.
In order to correct the problem, the American Society of
Clinical Oncology has adopted guidelines promoting full,
weight-based chemotherapy doses for obese patients, the
Doctors should use a patient's size to calculate chemotherapy
doses, but often fail to do so with those who are obese, the report
said. One reason is concern about how much chemotherapy an obese
patient can bear, but research shows that larger people cope with
chemotherapy better than smaller people.
Studies suggest that as many as 40 percent of obese cancer
patients receive less than 85 percent of the right doses for their
size, according to the
The American Society of Clinical Oncology's new advice should be
viewed as right-sizing cancer care, said Dr. Gary Lyman, a Duke
University oncologist who led the guidelines panel.
"There's little doubt that some degree of undertreatment is contributing to the higher mortality and recurrence rates in obese patients," he told the AP.
There is a problem with obese cancer patients receiving
inadequate chemotherapy doses, said Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's office of cancer drugs.
"By minimizing the dose, or capping the dose, we have been undertreating patients," he told the AP.
The issue affects a lot of patients, as 60 percent of Americans
are overweight and more than one-third are obese.
Alzheimer's Prevention Study Gets $33 Million Grant
The U.S. government said Wednesday that it has given a $33.2
million grant to a study that will test if a drug can prevent
Alzheimer's in people at greatest risk for developing the most
common form of the disease.
The grant was awarded to researchers at the Banner Alzheimer's
Institute in Phoenix. The clinical trial will focus on the
late-onset form of the disease, which affects the vast majority of
the 5 million Americans estimated to have Alzheimer's,
The New York Timesreported.
The study will include people ages 60 to 75 who do not have any
symptoms of the disease, but do have two copies of a gene known to
greatly increase the risk of developing it.
This is the largest federal grant ever awarded to test a drug
specifically designed to prevent Alzheimer's in people without
symptoms, said Laurie Ryan, program director for Alzheimer's
disease clinical trials at the National Institute on Aging, part of
the National Institutes of Health,
The government on Wednesday announced a total of $45 million in
grants for Alzheimer's research.
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