Advanced Medicine with Dr. Rashid A. Buttar!!
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Get ready to learn things not traditionally taught to medical doctors!
Some of the things you will hear Dr. Buttar and Robert talk about in this week’s show are:
New study views cancer treatment as a game to find strategies that improve patient outcomes – Game theory can be utilized to identify potential flaws in current cancer treatment approaches and suggest new strategies to improve outcomes in patients with metastatic cancer, according to a new article published online today by JAMA Oncology. The study, which is authored by a mathematician, an evolutionary biologist and clinical physicians from Moffitt Cancer Center and Maastricht University, challenges the decades old standard of treatment for metastatic cancers in which drugs are typically administered continuously at the maximum-tolerated dose (MTD) until the tumor progresses. The study shows that, by viewing cancer therapy as a game between the treating physician and the cancer cells, continuous administration of the same drug or drugs at MTD fails to exploit critical advantages possessed by the physician. Instead, the authors encourage oncologists to develop flexible strategic treatment plans. By exploiting his/her knowledge of the cancer’s evolutionary dynamics, the oncologist can continuously adjust drugs and doses to delay or prevent cancer progression caused by the evolution of resistance. With each adjustment, the oncologist updates information on the cancer’s response.
Scientists find that common dietary elements cure lethal infections, eliminating the need for antibiotics
– Antibiotic use is driving an epidemic of antibiotic resistance, as more susceptible bacteria are killed but more resilient
strains live on and multiply with abandon. But if antibiotics aren’t the end-all solution for infectious disease, what is? Salk Institute researchers report that giving mice dietary iron supplements enabled them to survive a normally lethal bacterial infection and resulted in later generations of those bacteria
being less virulent. The approach, which appears in the journal Cell
on August 9, 2018, demonstrates in preclinical studies that non-antibiotic-based strategies—such as nutritional interventions—can shift the relationship between the patient and pathogens
away from antagonism and toward cooperation. “Antibiotics and antimicrobials are one of the most important advances in medicine, and we definitely need to continue efforts focused on developing new classes of antimicrobials,” says Associate Professor Janelle Ayres, who holds the Helen McLoraine Developmental Chair and is senior author of the new paper. “But we need to learn from history and think about other ways to treat infectious diseases. Our work suggests that instead of killing bacteria, if we promote the health of the host, we can tame the behavior of the bacteria so that they don’t cause disease, and we can actually drive the evolution of less dangerous strains.
Obesity and diabetes—two reasons why we should be worried about the plastics that surround us – Today, nearly 40 percent of U.S. adults and 21 percent of youth are obese. This trend is on the upswing and the worldwide population is becoming more obese – which is increasing the risk of other conditions like Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease whose prevalence has doubled globally in the last 30 years. But you may be surprised to learn that it’s not just food that is making us fat. Experiments using animal models have shown that exposure to chemicals used in industry and found in plastics, preservatives, pesticides and flame retardants, just to name a few, may be important contributors to the growing number of metabolic disorders – including obesity. One of the research goals in my lab is to identify environmental chemicals that may contribute to these increased rates of metabolic diseases and to decipher the mechanisms through which they act. This line of work began with the unexpected discovery that a chemical (tributyltin, or TBT) we were studying for other reasons could activate a hormone receptor linked to the development of fat. We went on to show that TBT could make mice exposed during prenatal life fatter and that this trait could be transmitted to future generations.
Is it time to remove the cancer label from low-risk conditions?
– Over the past few decades, our understanding of cancer has changed. We now know some cancers don’t grow or grow so slowly
that they’ll never cause medical
problems. But the way we label disease can harm. The use of more medicalised labels, including cancer, can increase levels of anxiety and the desire for more invasive treatments
. Given this growing evidence, my colleagues and I argue in The BMJ
today that it may be time to stop telling people with very low-risk conditions that they have “cancer” if they’re unlikely to be harmed by it. Cancer screening for people who have no symptoms and the use of increasingly sensitive technologies can lead to overdiagnosis
– a diagnosis that causes more harm than good. Overdiagnosis is most common in breast, prostate and thyroid cancer. Thyroid cancer diagnoses, for example, have dramatically increased
in developing countries. This has mainly been driven by an increase in the detection of papillary thyroid cancers. These are a sub-type of thyroid cancer which are often small (less than 2cm in size) and slow-growing. But death rates from thyroid cancer remain largely unchanged. And tumour growth and spread in patients with small papillary thyroid cancer who choose surgery are similar to those
who just monitor their condition.
Question of The Day!
I know two children currently in the hospital that were bitten by a mosquito that was infected with la crosse encephalitis . They are currently on morphine and antibiotics. What can I do to help??
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