Medical Headlines: Week of 3/1

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Source: Pixabay(Source: Pixabay)
Published: Mar. 6, 2022 at 8:49 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Cancer Treatments Impacted by Gut Microbes

Cancer treatments are incredibly complex, but scientists are determining that how well a particular therapy works can be impacted by the types of microbes the patient has in their gut.

We all have trillions of microbes in our intestinal systems. A recent study among melanoma patients has led scientists to believe people respond to therapies differently, depending on the types of organisms they have in their gut, some of which help, and some of which hinder their treatment. In a study published in Nature Medicine, researchers say it appears those microbes that hinder play a stronger role than those that help. But knowing that can help doctors to develop better therapies in the future.

Admitting More Older Adults in Drug Studies

The Food and Drug Administration has issued three new guidelines to researchers conducting cancer clinical trials.

The FDA is recommending that older adults be admitted to cancer clinical drug trials, especially those over age 75, who in the past have been under-represented in studies, noting that people respond differently to medications as they age.   It also recommended designing and conducting research among different groups with different purposes at the same time in order to get drugs approved and into the hands of patients faster.

Linking Obesity to Kidney Disease

Doctors have known for many years that obesity is a risk factor for type two diabetes, and with that comes the potential for kidney disease.

Research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism shows a relationship between high body mass index, or BMI...and failing kidneys. The authors say their findings show that people with diabetes who are also obese should have their kidney function checked more often. While it may not prevent kidney disease altogether, they say early treatment and work on lowering a person’s BMI could slow the progression to end-stage kidney disease.

Cocktail Cup Contamination

Fans of the cocktail Moscow Mule know that it is served in a frosty copper cup. It turns out that cup may not be good for you. The copper in the cup is thought to enhance the taste of the drinks, which are made up of ginger beer, lime juice and vodka. Researchers published in the Journal of Environmental Health say the high acid content in a Moscow Mule can cause the copper to leach into the drink. After about a half hour, they say the accumulated copper can exceed the EPA’s standards for drinking water, depending on the acidity of the ginger beer. They say the best way to avoid the issue is to finish the drink before the cup warms up.

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