Promising melanoma drug
A NEW drug for the treatment of advanced melanoma almost doubles survival times in patients with BRAF gene mutations, according to an international study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The researchers treated 132 patients in the US and Australia with previously treated BRAF V600–mutant metastatic melanoma with oral BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib. Median overall survival was 15.9 months and the most common adverse events were arthralgia, rash, photosensitivity, fatigue and alopecia. The research was reported by BBC News.

More open access for research
THE Australian Research Council encourages but does not demand open access publishing by grant recipients , the council’s chief executive Professor Margaret Sheil has told The Australian. Professor Sheil was responding to a declaration by NHMRC chief executive Professor Warwick Anderson that all NHMRC-funded research will have to be deposited in an open source repository within 12 months of publication. Professor Anderson wrote an article for The Conversation website saying the NHMRC had updated its policy on open access to published research. The change would take place from July this year.

More evidence for colonoscopy
NEW research has provided further evidence that colonoscopic removal of adenomatous polyps prevents death from colorectal cancer. The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved 2602 patients who had adenomas removed. After a median of 15.8 years, 1246 patients had died from any cause and 12 had died from colorectal cancer compared to an estimated 25.4 expected deaths from colorectal cancer in the general population. The research was reported by Reuters.

Young avoid donor talk
YOUNG people are the most likely to avoid conversation about organ and tissue donation according to new Australian research. The research commissioned by the Organ and Tissue Authority, found up to 80% of young people are willing to become donors but many haven’t made their wishes known to their families. In Australians aged 18–29 years, 53% expressed concern that doctors might not try as hard to save their lives if they had decided to become an organ and tissue donor. The research was reported by the ABC PM program.

Chiropractic mea culpa
THE president of the British Chiropractic Council, Richard Brown, has given his account of the much publicised libel suit that the council instigated against UK journalist Simon Singh. Singh criticised chiropractors who used treatment on children with conditions such as colic and asthma. The Guardian reported an article published in The Chiropractic Report by Richard Brown reflecting on the lessons learnt from the backlash against the profession.

Posted 27 February 2012

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