SciTech

Health Line

Aspirin aids colorectal cancer patients

A recent study has found that aspirin may increase the chance of survival for patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Previously, it was known that aspirin aided in prevention of
the cancer, but studies show that even after diagnosis, patients are more likely to survive.

The patients in the study were observed over a period of 12 years and were all diagnosed
with localized cancers. The study found that patients who took aspirin regularly before
their diagnoses were one-third as likely to die from the cancer as those who did not, and patients who began taking aspirin after diagnosis reduced their chance of death by half compared to other patients.

Source: New York Times

Antidepressant suicide risk decreases with age

The risk of suicide as a result of antidepressant use decreases significantly with age, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Officials have determined that suicide risk
is highest among children and adolescents.

Studies were conducted to determine suicide risk, which was based upon evidence of suicidal thoughts and behavior. Risk was higher with some forms of antidepressants than others, and the lowest risk is associated with sertraline, the generic form of Zoloft.

Doctors have taken these results into account, but they stress that all antidepressants
cannot be assumed to carry the same risks, so patients should consult with their physicians
regarding the risks of their particular medications.

Source: U.S. News & World Report

Gene therapy may help cure inherited blindness

Inherited blindness is caused by a mutation in the RPE65 gene. Researchers have found
that by injecting healthy copies of this gene into the retinas of patients, vision was improved
enough that patients were able to see dim lights. This provides hope for both
doctors and patients, as this brings researchers closer to finding a cure for inherited
blindness caused by this mutation. In addition, similar techniques
may be adapted to other conditions, especially those affecting
vision.

Source: U.S. News & World Report

New osteoporosis drug reduces risk of spinal fracture

A new drug, Prolia, created to treat osteoporosis, has been found to reduce the risk of spinal
fracture in post-menopausal women and in men being treated for prostate cancer.

The drug has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, but the company
that produces it, Amgen, expects the treatment to cost around $2000 a year. Insurance
companies are already pushing patients to use the generic versions of current drugs, and it is unclear whether they will cover Prolia.

Despite reduced risks of spinal fracture, the drug has not shown evidence of reducing the
risk of non-spinal fractures in the studies that have been conducted.

Source: Los Angeles Times