Are you up-to-date on what the latest advice is on getting a COVID-19 vaccine or booster? If you’re not, you are not alone. Public awareness of a new booster is “modest,” according to the results of a non-profit organization’s survey called the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, published September 30th. Their survey found that fully half of...Read More
Predicting the Risk of Getting Type 2 Diabetes: How do they know?
Are you ever skeptical when you see drug claims? One of my first questions when I read about a new drug or a statistic of some kind is: How do they know that? When I read about two new weight loss drugs presented at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Stockholm, Sweden (19-23 Sept), my antennae went up. Here’s the story. Drug...Read More
Air Pollution Links to Lung Cancer
While smoking remains the primary cause of lung cancer, 10 – 20% of people who develop non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) never smoked. NSCLC in non-smokers happens more often to women, and at an earlier age, than it does in smokers. What would cause cancer to develop without smoking?  One theory is that environmental factors,...Read More
Biomarkers, Combination Therapy, and Lung Cancer
KRAS, one gene present in some cancers, was considered “undruggable” for years. Mutated KRAS is an important target for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) because it’s present in 20-25% of cases. Finally, one drug, sotorasib (Lumakras), is approved to treat one mutant form of KRAS gene, KRAS G12C. This mutation appears in...Read More
Coffee: The upside and the precautions
Recent studies contribute to the evidence that there are benefits to drinking coffee. Here’s the current scientific thinking on the subject. Recently published research: One study, published in 2022, examines data from a 16,000 person study called Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC). ARIC’s study goal is to see if there’s any...Read More
MMRD Rectal Cancers Disappear in Clinical Trial
Fourteen people no longer have stage 2 or 3 rectal cancer because of an experimental use of immunotherapy. Enrolling in a clinical trial has, for the past 25 months and counting, spared them from surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, which are the standard treatments for colorectal cancer.  Fourteen people may not sound like many, but it...Read More
New standard of treatment for metastatic breast cancer
Each year in the United States, approximately 264,000 women and 2,400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer. Of those people, about 30% will go on to develop metastatic breast cancer (cancer that has spread beyond the breast, often to the brain, lungs, bones, or liver). Biopsies of breast cancer tissue determine if the surface of the cancer cells...Read More
Re-engineering Venom into Medicine
Looking at other animals, reptiles, and insects with suspicion these days? Despite the fact that the actual origins of the COVID-19 virus are still unknown, bats and the endangered pangolin were maligned as possible sources. We do know that the monkeypox virus originated in laboratory monkeys in 1958. To balance the bad publicity, there is also good...Read More
Should CAR-T be used earlier for NHL patients?
CAR-T therapy is a relatively new immunotherapy treatment for advanced B-cell lymphomas, including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). It is usually reserved for patients who have had more than one previous line of treatment but relapsed anyway. The standard course of treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is chemotherapy, which cures about 70% of...Read More
Diabetes prevalence differs by race
Diabetes is complex. Many factors influence your risk of developing diabetes, including race. The way race is associated with diabetes risk may change the way physicians screen patients for the disease. Size Being overweight has been identified as a factor in diabetes, and may serve as a cue for screening. The United States Preventive Services...Read More
Taking daily aspirin? Talk to your doctor.
Do you take a dose of baby aspirin once a day? Are you doing this under doctor’s orders or just because you heard it prevented heart attack or stroke? There is growing evidence against taking a low-dose aspirin daily for preventing cardiovascular events. But many well-intentioned people still take daily aspirin. A 2019 report by Harvard...Read More
Every Month is Stress Awareness Month, right?
Welcome to April, which is also Stress Awareness Month. For many of us, every month feels like stress awareness month. You don’t need one more article that says “stress is bad,” and that “you should go for a walk.” Or do you? Ask yourself this question: Do you think that stress is just a feeling? Maybe you think stress is...Read More