Clinical trials drive medical advancement, but cancer clinical trials seldom meet their goals in recruiting patients. Experts discuss causes, consequences, and actions being taken to meet needs.
Dr. David Ahern, Director, Program in Behavioral Informatics and EHealth, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School, and co-author, Oncology Informatics: Using Health Information Technology to Improve Processes and Outcomes in Cancer
Dr. Bradford Hesse, Chief of HealthCommunication Informatics, National Cancer Institute, and co-author, Oncology Informatics: Using Health Information Technology to Improve Processes and Outcomes in Cancer
Dr. Julie Brahmer, Co-Director, Upper Aerodigestive Department, Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, and Professor of Oncology and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Fatigue in the workplace carries enormous costs in loss of productivity and injury. Experts are beginning to measure its precise effects in real time using wearable motion sensors, with some surprising results that will shape solutions. An expert who has studied this shares insights.
Dr. Lora Cavuoto, Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Buffalo
A cancer diagnosis can create stress that goes beyond the breaking point. A new study in the journal Nature Communications shows that people with cancer are more than four times more likely to commit suicide compared to other people. White men and people who receive a diagnosis at a younger age are most likely to complete suicide, along with people who are diagnosed with lung, head and neck, and testicular cancers. Researchers say that even though cancer is a major cause of death in the U.S., most cancer patients survive it and die of other causes.
Electric scooters are a rapidly rising cause of injury, and a new study shows that one in three people involved in an e-scooter accident is injured badly enough to need treatment in the E.R. The study in the journal JAMA Network Open shows that 40 percent of those hurt had head injuries and another 32 percent had fractures. Only four percent of those hurt were wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Falls rather than collisions made up nearly three-quarters of the accidents.
And finally… it turns out that people who are good navigators are almost always good at identifying smells as well. A study in the journal Nature Communications finds that the same area of the brain is used for both of these two very different tasks, and that the brain region is bigger in people who are good at them. Scientists admit the finding surprised them.
Since the introduction of antibiotics in World War II, doctors have prescribed courses of treatment that typically ran longer than necessary. Bacterial resistance is forcing a reevaluation, shortening courses sometimes to just a few days and even prompting doctors to advise not using all pills if patients feel better.
Dr. Brad Spellberg, Chief Medical Officer, Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center
Dr. William Schaffner, infectious disease specialist, Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Dr. Louis Rice, Chairman, Department of Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University
Hormones were unknown until a little more than 100 years ago, and experts admit we still have a lot to learn. An expert author details the discovery of hormones and how our growing knowledge has shaped treatment of many diseases and conditions.
Dr. Randi Hutter Epstein, Yale University, Columbia University, and author, Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything
A drinkable cocktail of designer molecules is showing promise in stopping the development of dementia. A study in the journal Cell Reports finds that a cocktail based on an old antibiotic can keep amyloid beta peptides from binding to prion proteins—one of the first steps in Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers say the cocktail has also repaired synapses in the brains of rats… restoring memories. Scientists will now start testing the cocktail for toxicity.
If you’re using sugar substitutes as part of a weight loss resolution, a new study says “don’t bother.” In fact, the study in the journal BMJ finds there’s no compelling evidence that sugar substitutes help regulate any important health variable. Blood sugar levels and the risk of heart disease or cancer did not benefit from the use of saccharin, aspartame, or other artificial sweeteners. People who used plain old sugar ended up pretty much in the same place health-wise.
And finally… shaming people for what they do isn’t right… even though new research suggests that it can get people who engage in dangerous activities to quit. A study in the Journal of Consumer Affairs shows that smokers are more likely to quit if they’re told that their peers disapprove of smoking. However, experts warn that shaming people leads others to think that the bad effects of a bad habit are all their fault… and they deserve what they get.
It’s well known that the number of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias is rising… but the speed of the increase is stunning researchers. A study in the journal Lancet Neurology finds that the number of people with dementia around the world has more than doubled since 1990. Researchers estimate that within about 30 years… more than 100 million people will be affected with dementia.
Air pollution is bad for your health… but researchers haven’t been able to quantify just how bad until now. A Danish study in the journal Environment International used advanced models to simulate the effects of pollution on large populations. It shows that cutting city pollution to the level found in the country could increase the lifespan of the average urban dweller by one full year.
And finally… it doesn’t take long to believe your own lies. And the older you are, the less time it takes. A study in the journal Brain and Cognition used EEG’s to monitor brain activity of people purposely telling lies… then telling the truth to the same questions 45 minutes later. Researchers found that people over 60 are much more likely than young people to accept as the truth a lie they had told less than an hour earlier. Apparently, scientists say, telling a lie scrambles the memory so people ultimately accept it as what really happened.