Saturday, January 30, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Despite numerous published studies by government scientists and university laboratories that raised health concerns about bisphenol A (BPA) exposure, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to act to tighten safety standards. The agency declared the chemical safe even after a 2008 toxicology report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) said there was cause for “some concern” for BPA’s potential effects on the brain, behavior and prostate in developing fetuses, infants and children. But on Friday, the FDA shifted their long-held stance, saying it now supports the toxicology assessment of BPA and feels the issue merits further study—stopping short of calling for restrictions on its use.
“We are for the first time saying we believe there is some concern about the substance’s safety, and we’ve closed the gap between NIH and FDA,” Deputy FDA Commissioner Dr. Josh Sharfstein told reporters. He said the agency was also re-evaluating the way it regulates BPA, hoping to change its status to one that would give the FDA more power to make more timely regulatory changes if they need to.
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) has been allotted $30 million to further access the health effects of BPA. The Institute’s director, Dr. Linda Birnbaum, said the research program would focus on potential effects on behavior, diabetes, reproductive disorders, development of certain types of cancer, asthma, heart disease and effects that could be carried from one generation to the next. Officials say the research will likely be completed in 18 to 24 months.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Full Name: Jarah-Evelyn Makalapua Mariano
Birth Place: Kauai, Hawaii, USA
Ethnicity: Hawaiian, Korean and Chinese.
An abnormality in two genes can make a common class of chemotherapy drugs used to fight breast cancer less effective, U.S. researchers said on Sunday in a finding that could help doctors better tailor treatments.
They said changes in two genes on a small region of chromosome 8q made tumors resist the effects of drugs called anthracyclines, but not other types of chemotherapy drugs.
"This is useful because it helps select who might be resistant to anthracyclines," said Dr. Andrea Richardson of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, whose study appears in the journal Nature Medicine.
"This can potentially be used to help guide therapy on a more personalized way based on a patient's own tumor. That's why it's exciting," Richardson said in a telephone interview.
She said it may be possible to develop a genetic test to better tailor treatments to a patient's individual tumor.
Doctors already can test for certain genes to tell whether a woman's breast cancer is sensitive to estrogen, making her a candidate for hormone-blocking drugs such as tamoxifen.
Breast cancer patients whose tumors generate a protein called HER-2, which can fuel cancer growth, are often treated with Herceptin, or trastuzumab, a drug developed by Genentech, now a unit of Roche Holding AG.
Last month, a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium found that a gene-based test called Oncotype DX made by Genomic Health Inc helped identify women who are not likely to benefit at all from chemotherapy.