Author Archives: Morris Williams

A children’s cold virus shows its effectiveness against liver cancer

Reoviruses are a family of RNA viruses that, while not usually causing any symptoms in adults, are responsible for many of colds and cases of childhood gastroenteritis. However, in addition to depleting the health of the youngest, it seems that these reoviruses, such as atonement, could also help combat some diseases associated with high mortality. In fact, a study led by researchers at the University of Leeds shows that reoviruses not only stimulate the human immune system to kill liver cancer cells, but by themselves are able to kill the Hepatitis C virus – the virus that presents as a common trigger of liver cancer.

As explained by Stephen Griffin, director of this research published in the journal “Gut”, “current treatments for liver cancer that can not be removed with surgery are mainly a palliative intention. In fact, chemotherapy aims to prolong survival rather than cure the tumor, and may have very significant side effects. And in this context, we believe that by simultaneously treating cancer and the hepatitis virus that is driving tumor growth we can offer a more effective therapy and improve the prognosis for patients”.

The study, carried out with cultures of human liver tumor cells, shows that reoviruses stimulate the release by the immune system of proteins called interferons are intended to destroy viruses and bacteria that invade the body. In addition, these interferons stimulate the release of killer cells or NK cells from the natural killer, a type of lymphocyte capable controlling and regulating the size of tumors and eliminating infected cells by HCV.

And does this benefit also occur in living organisms or is it limited to laboratory plaques? To find out, the authors used an animal model – mice – which, after inducing the development of liver cancer and infecting them with HCV, introduced a reovirus. And again, the results showed the benefit on cancer and HCV associated with reovirus administration, thus confirming possible use in immunotherapy against liver cancer. In fact, the authors are already designing a clinical trial to evaluate its efficacy and safety in humans.

This work establishes a completely new type of viral immunotherapy for the most common type of primary hepatic cancer, that is, hepatocellular carcinoma, whose prognosis in the advanced stages of the disease is, according to Alan Melcher, co-author of the research, certainly poor. Not surprisingly, our results show that reovirus therapy activates the immune system to attack cancer cells and suppresses HCV replication, which in turn is associated with many tumors. As Alan Melcher points out, “our findings also show that reovirus therapy could be used in the treatment of other cancers associated with viral infections, including, but not limited to, Epstein-Barr virus-associated lymphoma”.

Most primary hepatic cancers in which the original tumor appears in the liver and is not the result of invasion or “metastasis” of a tumor developed in another organ – appear after damage or scarring in the liver, usually following infection with hepatitis B or C viruses – and albeit at a much lower rate, for continued abuse of alcohol. One aspect to be taken into account given that, on the one hand, primary liver cancer is the third leading cause of death from any cancer disease and on the other according to the World Health Organization (WHO), There are more than 130 million people with chronic HCV infection all over the world.

And in this context, as Adel Samson, co-author of the research reports, “it is increasingly clear that one of the most powerful weapons to treat cancer is our own immune system”. However, tumors are formed by our own cells, so the immune system must strive to identify the subtle differences that distinguish tumor cells from healthy cells. And immunotherapy contemplates several strategies, such as the use of viruses as in our study, to start our immune system for better identification and fight against tumor cells.

And the use of viruses to treat cancer, is it new? No, the so-called “virotherapy” or use of oncolytic viruses – viruses genetically modified so that they can only replicate in tumor cells and not in healthy cells – is already being tested today in the treatment of different types of tumors. In fact, there is already an oncolytic virus approved for skin cancer therapy.

Seniors generate fewer antibodies against influenza vaccine

With the arrival of autumn the northern hemisphere countries implement their vaccination campaigns against flu viruses. Some campaigns are intensified in winter and that, although open to everyone, are specifically targeted at risk groups. This applies, among others, pregnant women, the morbidly obese or people with cardiovascular or respiratory diseases and also, for people over 65 years. However, according to a study carried out by researchers at the University of California, the immune response to the vaccine for older people is different from that of the younger population, reason which is less effective.

The results provide further evidence on the reduced vaccination immune response of older people. Thus, the study provides a more complete picture of how the immune system responds to the vaccine, which can help in the development of vaccines that offer longer lasting immunity and better protection for all risk groups.

More monocytes, fewer antibodies

Influenza vaccine includes virus proteins which, once inoculated into the body, causes the immune system to generate antibodies. Thus, the vaccinated acquires protection – or immunity – against the virus. However, this protection is less in the case of the elderly.

Specifically, researchers evaluated the response to the vaccine in 212 people over five vaccination campaigns – from 2007 to 2012. And also they analyzed the data published in the first study conducted with 218 other subjects.

One week after administration of the vaccine, younger participants showed high levels of B lymphocytes, cells responsible for the production of immune system antibodies. However, people over -defined in this study as those with age or after 54 years they had high levels of B cells but monocytes, cells responsible for the inflammatory immune system response. And this difference between B lymphocytes and monocytes explains why the three weeks the vaccine-induced immune response may fail in older people.

The authors suggest, observed levels of B lymphocytes and monocytes prior to vaccination should be sufficient to predict the level of efficacy of the vaccine after four weeks of administration. The concept is that the inflammatory response can be harmful to the vaccine induction of antibody production. In order to increase the effectiveness of the vaccine possibly would reduce the inflammatory response in the elderly once they are vaccinated.

Smoking during pregnancy does have long-term harmful effects on children

Smoking during pregnancy not only compromises the normal development of the baby, but also adversely affects the overall health of the newborn. A pernicious effect also remains the long term. The results of a study conducted by researchers at the University of Oulu (Finland) and published in the International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology show that young men whose mothers smoked during pregnancy have a worse physical form.

As Dr. Maria Hagnäs, director of the research, alerts “it is well known that smoking and exposure to smoke snuff during pregnancy is harmful to both mother and baby. And now, our findings provide new evidence on the long-term negative impact of snuff during pregnancy. Thus, pregnant women should be counseled and assisted to leave the snuff, as well as maintaining a healthy weight that minimizes the risks for their babies”.

Not surprisingly, the study also concludes that a body mass index (BMI) before pregnancy and excessive weight gain during pregnancy also imply that children have a lower aerobic capacity. That is, requiring more effort when performing any physical activity.

Avoid smoking at all costs

Smoking during pregnancy is associated with numerous adverse effects on the proper development of a baby; among others are cases of increased risk of spontaneous abortion, ectopic pregnancy or premature birth. Babies can suffer neurological, physiological or behavioral complications. Do not forget that, as numerous studies have shown, newborns are more likely to have asthma, pneumonia and obesity as well as of dying from sudden death. Quitting smoking is one of the most important things can do pregnant women to improve health, development and growth of their babies.

And more – smoking during pregnancy also causes long-term effects, at least in the case of men. It is seen in this study conducted with 508 young people with an average age of 19, those born by mothers who smoked one or more cigarettes daily during pregnancy – 59 total participants have a worse aerobic capacity.

Therefore, it is important that women understand the risks of smoking during pregnancy. And in the case of women who are unable to quit, it must be emphasized to refrain from smoking during pregnancy, using nicotine replacement therapies or, if necessary, to smoke as little as possible.

Another benefit of sex

For decades there have been theories about the genetic advantage of sexual reproduction, but so far none had been tested in humans. Researchers at the University of Montreal and Research Center Hospital Sainte-Justine University in Montreal (Canada) have just demonstrated how bias humanity to the disease gradually decreases as we mix our genetic material.

When humans breed, generation after generation, exchange of genetic material between man and woman makes our species evolves slowly. The chromosomes of the mother and father are recombined to create your child’s chromosomes. Scientists have long known, however, that the genomes of parents do not mix evenly. Recombine more frequently in some segments of the genome, while the recombination is less frequent in others. Said segments of low recombination frequency, eventually recombine and others, to make it take many generations.

This paper is published in ‘Nature Genetics’, specifically, the team of Canadian researchers found the following: segments that human genome do not recombine with the same frequency that others tend to carry a proportion significantly more genetic mutations linked with the onset of the disease. Until finally the chromosome recombination is made, these segments accumulate more and more bad mutations. In other words, in terms of disease susceptibility, our genetic material actually worsens instead of improving. Fortunately, mutations that favor the disease are finally eliminated of our genetic code through sexual reproduction. The process can last hundreds of generations.

The relevance of this work is that it gives us a better understanding of how we, as humans, we have more or less at risk of developing or contracting diseases, tells us where to look in the human genome to find mutations that promote disease, which should accelerate the discovery and identification of mutations associated with specific diseases. Researchers believe that this new information will help develop treatments and more effective prevention programs.

Detecting a gene facilitate handling a very common family disease

From this time it is easier to identify people with dilated cardiomyopathy, a type of familial disease that is estimated to affect one in 250 people and offer the most appropriate treatment. Thanks to British scientists, physicians are able to locate more precisely the genetic mutations in the Titin gene causing the disease of the heart, which will pave the way for a diagnosis more necessary in these people.

For a long time mutations in this gene has been linked with dilated cardiomyopathy. However this gene is the most important of those identified in the development of this pathology in particular, but in many times its mutations were not pathological.

The data published in “Science Translational Medicine” solve a problem for cardiologists and open the door to design tailored treatments for these patients. It is information about what mutations are those that indicate that a person has an increased risk of dilated cardiomyopathy. It allows to do something similar to what is done in cancer – a more individualized patient management and targeted therapy for each case. It also gives an opportunity to provide a family monitoring and diagnose more quickly to those members who are carriers of the mutation.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disease characterized by progressive weakening and thickening of the heart muscle and can lead to heart failure and premature death. It is a genetically complex disease, as it is associated with variations in at least 40 genes, but in 50-60% of cases may have unknown origin, when young patient has the heart transplantation after of myocardial infarction.

Thanks to advances in molecular diagnostic systems, researchers sequenced the titin gene of 5,267 people, including healthy volunteers and patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, and analyzed the levels of the gene in tissue samples from the heart. And the data showed that this disease causing mutations occur at the end of the gene sequence, whereas in healthy volunteers, mutations tend to occur in areas of the gene that are not at the end of the protein, allowing follow gene remain functional. Mutations in the titin gene that render the protein is shorter or truncated. This is the most common cause of this disease. However, the truncation in the gene are common – about one in 50 people has one, and most of them are not harmful, so it was difficult to develop a useful genetic test to identify these patients.

Thanks to this data scientists now have a detailed understanding of the molecular basis of dilated cardiomyopathy and may use this information to detect relatives of patients and thus identify those at risk of developing the disease. In this sense this research will benefit patients with this disease.

The difficulties to investigate mutations of this protein is that they lay in one of the greatest human proteins. The study provides, for the first time, a complete list of mutations in the gene of titin; ie, which are associated with dilated cardiomyopathy and which are harmless, information that will be invaluable to the correct diagnosis and future treatment.

New genes for easier diagnosis of pancreatic cancer

Researchers have identified new genes that are involved in pancreatic cancer. One of these genes, called Foxp1 contributes to cancer progression and is associated with metastasis. Now that it has been located, it will be easier to diagnose this cancer. This discovery provides new opportunities for improving the diagnosis and new therapeutic targets for the development of personalized treatments.

The study was the result of research with genetically modified mice. Technological innovation is that thanks to a mobile genetic element called transposon piggyback these mice can be configured to perform a specific type of cancer by avoiding suffering other tumors at the same time.

These findings offer new opportunities for improving the diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic cancer, identifying both alterations that correlate with aggressiveness of each tumor or the establishment of a specific subtype of cancer, and others that may offer new therapeutic targets for the development of personalized treatments.

In the study, the researchers created three types of mice developed cancer in the pancreas, liver or intestine specifically and then further studied mice with pancreatic cancer.

In addition to the involvement of Foxp1 in aggressiveness of these tumors, there was detected a new region of the genome important for controlling the CDKN2A gene, a tumor suppressor that is very frequently altered in pancreatic cancer in humans.

Bursitis arthritis

Bursitis arthritisThe vast majority of lesions in the joints is a consequence of their lifestyles or complication or symptom accompanying a completely different disease. In the case of arthritis synovitis are responsible both of these factors.

Generated synovium and synovial bursa it is a very specific structure. With this fluid-filled sac pond is not only properly nourished, but also allows for free movement of the muscles and tendons on the bones.

Unfortunately, due to illness or job it breaks, thus leading to mutual abrasion of the bone structures. The group most at risk are people with tuberculosis, gout (high blood uric acid leads to the destruction of the membrane), rheumatoid arthritis or allergic reaction strong. Loss of bursitis is often caused by mechanical trauma or repeat for a long time, the same monotonous movements. Damage to the bursa is observed mainly in people between 15 and 50 years of age. The most commonly affected areas should be elbow, shoulder and hip.


The most typical, as for the majority of bone diseases is pain, tenderness, and significantly reduced mobility in the affected joint. With the progress of the inflammation, patients are weak, feverish. Shortly after waking up appears so. morning stiffness of the joints, which maintains an exceptionally long time. Changes of this type usually develop very long time, and associated disease symptoms can appear with varying intensity, and sometimes completely disappear after some time to come back with a vengeance.


Arthritis bursitis usually confirmed based on the patient’s medical history and physical examination. Sometimes, in order to rule out other factors that may cause unpleasant symptoms it is recommended to X-ray the painful joint. It may happen that inflammation of the bursa is a consequence of infection, so if there is such suspicions doctor instructs additional blood test.


Relief of symptoms and fight with the disease usually occurs in several ways. In addition to rehabilitation of selected individually to the needs of the patient leads to pharmacotherapy. It is based on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (celecoxib, meloxicam) and glucocorticoids (prednisolone, triamcinolone). If the tests confirm the infection, treatment is supplemented by antibiotics.

In more serious cases, the pain attacks are very common, your doctor can easily puncture the pond and pull fluid from bursitis. Operating coincidences are performed extremely rare.

General Angina Symptoms and Atypical Signs in Women

What is angina? Because the symptoms of angina some women differ from usual angina signs? Discover how to recognize signs of angina, know when to start treatment of angina emergency.

Angina pectoris is a condition that indicates inadequate blood flow to the heart muscle. Angina is a symptom of coronary artery disease. There are several general or classic signs and symptoms of angina. Women sometimes experience different symptoms of angina than men do. It is essential for women to learn about the signs of typical angina and symptoms of variant angina females sometimes experience.

Angina usually manifests as chest pain, although this is not always the case. Angina symptoms usually occur when a person physically exerts him or herself. This is because the heart is forced to work harder. However, the symptoms of angina can also happen when a person is under emotional stress.

Signs of angina include  heaviness, chest pain that feels like pressure,  fullness and tightness. Rarely people may experience burning pain. Some persons feel angina pain in  back,  shoulders, arms,  jaw and abdomen. Other people having angina also experience  anxiety, nausea,  dizziness, difficulty breathing, sweating and fatigue.

Angina atypical signs and symptoms in women

Women are more likely to experience symptoms of atypical angina. Instead of angina chest pain that feels like pressure or tightness, women sometimes describe their chest pain as sharp, acute, or pulsating. Female breast pain is also often less intense than men. Some women experience no chest pain at all and instead experience nausea, indigestion and breathlessness. Women more often than men, experience the pain of angina in body areas other than the chest, like the chin, arms, shoulders or back.

Diagnosis of angina pectoris and when it is a medical emergency

Whenever a person starts to feel chest pain, he or she should consult a doctor. If the doctor diagnoses a person with angina, your doctor may prescribe medication and lifestyle changes to help the patient keep the condition under control. After diagnosis, an individual must monitor their condition and report any changes to the doctor. Chest pain that is unexpected occurs during rest, is more intense than normal, is not relieved by rest and medication for angina, or worsening may signal a heart attack. Seek medical attention immediately.

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How to choose right cure for Genital Herpes

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