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Category: Pharmacy | Monthly Briefing

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February 2011 Briefing - Pharmacy

Last Updated: March 01, 2011.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pharmacy for February 2011. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Edarbi Approved for Treatment of Hypertension

MONDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Edarbi (azilsartan medoxomil) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adults with hypertension.

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Failure Much More Likely in Transmitted Drug-Resistant HIV

MONDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- A substantial portion of antiretroviral-naive patients are infected with transmitted drug-resistant HIV with one or more drug-resistant mutations, and they are much more likely to experience treatment failure, according to research published online Feb. 28 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Tranexamic Acid Lowers Post-Op Blood Loss in Neck Surgery

MONDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Tranexamic acid (TXA) used in cervical laminoplasty significantly reduces perioperative blood loss, mainly through reduced postoperative bleeding, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in Spine.

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Mycophenolate Mofetil and Placebo Show Similar Efficacy

MONDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and placebo showed similar efficacy in treating symptoms of refractory interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/PBS) before the premature termination of the trial, according to a study published in the March issue of The Journal of Urology.

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Cochrane Review Examines Safety of Biologic Agents

MONDAY, Feb. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients taking biologic agents for rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions may experience a higher rate of adverse events, withdrawals from studies due to adverse events, and tuberculosis reactivation, compared to placebo, according to a literature review published online Feb. 16 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

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Denosumab May Delay Skeletal-Related Events

FRIDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Denosumab prevents skeletal-related events for longer than zoledronic acid in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer with bone metastases, according to research published online Feb. 25 in The Lancet.

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Trastuzumab Tied to Disease-Free Survival at Four Years

FRIDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- In women with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive early breast cancer, treatment with trastuzumab for one year after chemotherapy is associated with significant disease-free survival at a four-year follow-up, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Editorial (subscription or payment may be required)

Esophageal Eosinophilic Infiltration Responsive to PPI Rx

THURSDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy may bring about remission of esophageal eosinophilic infiltration (EEI), calling into question the use of EEI as a histological tool to diagnose eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), according to a study published in the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Metastatic Breast Cancer Treatment Guidelines Updated

THURSDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- The American Society of Clinical Oncology has issued updated guidelines for the use of bone-modifying agents (BMAs) in treating breast cancer patients with bone metastases to include a new drug, denosumab, and provide new advice regarding a potentially serious complication of treatment, osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ); an overview of the guideline update was published online Feb. 22 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Bupropion Improves Sexual Function in Type 2 Diabetes

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with type 2 diabetes who are treated with bupropion (BU) for major depressive disorder (MDD) show significant improvement in sexual function, according to a study published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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Herpes Zoster Risk Tied to COPD

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), especially those using oral steroids, are at increased risk of developing herpes zoster, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in CMAJ, the journal of the Canadian Medical Association.

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Nitroglycerin Strengthens Bones in Older Women

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Nitroglycerin ointment appears to increase bone mineral density (BMD) and decrease bone resorption in postmenopausal women when administered daily, according to research published in the Feb. 23 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Aspirin May Lower Type 2 Diabetes Atherosclerosis Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Low-dose aspirin therapy may lower the risk of atherosclerotic events in patients with type 2 diabetes with mild renal dysfunction, according to a study published in the February issue of Diabetes Care.

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FDA Issues Label Changes for Antipsychotic Drug Class

TUESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has notified health care providers that the Pregnancy section of drug labels for the entire class of antipsychotic drugs has been updated. The new drug labels include additional and consistent information regarding the potential risk for abnormal muscle movements (extrapyramidal signs [EPS]) and withdrawal symptoms among newborns whose mothers received the drugs in the third trimester of pregnancy.

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Children With Hepatitis C May Benefit From Ribavirin

TUESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The combination of pegylated interferon (PEG) plus ribavirin is better than PEG plus placebo for treating children infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), according to a study published in the February issue of Gastroenterology.

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New Therapy for Helicobacter Pylori Eradication

TUESDAY, Feb. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Compared to standard therapy, quadruple therapy is better at eliminating Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection in adults and should be considered as the first-line treatment in clarithromycin-resistant H. pylori, according to a study published online Feb. 22 in The Lancet.

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Immunosuppressants Benefit Children With Liver Failure

MONDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Most children with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) who have liver failure respond well to immunosuppression therapy and can delay or avoid liver transplants, according to a study published in the February issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

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Fostamatinib Safe, Not Effective in Rheumatoid Arthritis

MONDAY, Feb. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Fostamatinib disodium (R788), an oral spleen tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is safe but ineffective for treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who failed biologic therapies, according to a study published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Warfarin Lot Being Recalled Due to Mislabeled Bottle

FRIDAY, Feb. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Upsher-Smith Laboratories Inc. is voluntarily recalling a single lot of warfarin after one bottle labeled to contain 3 mg tablets was found to contain 10 mg tablets, the company and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have announced.

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FDA Warns Against Terbutaline for Preterm Labor

THURSDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Injectable terbutaline should not be used for prevention or prolonged treatment of preterm labor in pregnant women because of the potential for serious maternal heart problems and death, according to a warning issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency also warned that oral terbutaline should not be used for prevention or any treatment of preterm labor because of similar safety concerns and the fact that it has not been shown to be effective.

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Oral Bisphosphonates May Lower Colorectal Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Use of oral bisphosphonates for more than one year in postmenopausal women is associated with a 59 percent decrease in the relative risk of colorectal cancer, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Analgesic Efficacy Altered by Patient Beliefs

THURSDAY, Feb. 17 (HealthDay News) -- An individual's expectation of a drug's effect influences both its therapeutic efficacy and the pain-related brain pathways that are activated during treatment, according to a study published in the Feb. 16 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

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Bevacizumab Monotherapy Effective for Infant Retinopathy

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Bevacizumab, a vascular endothelial growth factor inhibitor, appears to be more beneficial for zone I stage 3+ retinopathy of prematurity than laser treatment, though more research is needed to determine the therapy's safety, according to research published in the Feb. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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New U.S. Report on the Nation's Health 2010 Released

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics' 34th annual report, presenting the latest information on health status and determinants, utilization of health care, health care resources, expenditures, and a special feature on death and dying, was published Feb. 16.

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Mometasone Furoate Reduces Ocular Allergy Symptoms

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Mometasone furoate nasal spray (MFNS) and other intranasal corticosteroids reduce ocular symptoms in patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) and perennial allergic rhinitis (PAR), according to a meta-analysis published online Jan. 25 in Allergy.

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Zinc May Reduce Duration and Severity of Common Cold

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Zinc taken within 24 hours of common cold symptoms reduces symptom duration and severity; and preventive zinc therapy in children reduces cold incidence, missing school, and antibiotic prescriptions, according to a review published online Feb. 16 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

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Steroids Up Risk of Bowel Perforation in Arthritis Patients

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients treated with glucocorticoids or with a history of diverticulitis have increased risk of gastrointestinal (GI) perforation, according to a study in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Increased Errors With Liquid Medications and Inhalers

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The administration of medicines in liquid form, or by devices such as inhalers, injections, or transdermals, is associated with a significantly increased likelihood of errors, according to a study published online Feb. 7 in BMJ Quality & Safety.

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Most Recalled Medical Devices Given Lenient Approval

TUESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- The majority of medical devices recalled from 2005 to 2009 for risk of serious health hazard or death were approved by the less strict 510(k) process intended for devices considered low or moderate risk, according to a study published online Feb. 14 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Corticosteroid Effective Asthma Rescue Addition

TUESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Inhaled corticosteroids as rescue medication with albuterol may be a useful step-down strategy for children with well-controlled, mild asthma as it is more effective at reducing exacerbations than is use of rescue albuterol alone in this population, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in The Lancet.

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High Body Mass Index Linked to Poor Infliximab Response

TUESDAY, Feb. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who have a high body mass index (BMI) respond less well to infliximab, even when adjusting for disease activity and anti-citrullinated protein antibody status, according to a study published in the February issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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New Drug Offers Alternative to Warfarin

MONDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- The American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF) and the American Heart Association (AHA) have issued an updated guideline, describing the newly approved medication dabigatran as an alternative to warfarin for patients with atrial fibrillation who need anticoagulation therapy; the guideline update has been published online Feb. 14 in Circulation.

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Researchers Explore Nature of Difficult Clinical Encounters

MONDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Both patients and physicians can bring qualities to a clinical encounter that result in its being perceived as difficult, and patients involved in these types of encounters have worse short-term outcomes, according to research published online Jan. 25 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Different Black Box Warnings Common in Same-Class Drugs

MONDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Labeling differences of black box warnings (BBWs) in drugs of the same class are common and affect perceptions of safety of similar agents, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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Undefined Liver Failure Linked to Acetaminophen

MONDAY, Feb. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with acute liver failure (ALF) from an uncertain cause have a relatively high prevalence of unrecognized acetaminophen toxicity, according to a study published in the February issue of Hepatology.

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Antipsychotic Drugs May Reduce Brain Tissue Volume

FRIDAY, Feb. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The use of antipsychotic drugs for the treatment of schizophrenia appears to have a modest, but measurable influence on brain tissue loss over time, according to a study published in the February issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Low-Molecular-Weight Heparin May Not Prevent Thrombosis

THURSDAY, Feb. 10 (HealthDay News) - Low-dose low-molecular-weight-heparin (LMWH) does not effectively prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE) in high-risk pregnant women, according to a study published online Jan. 13 in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

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Drugs Promising for Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The results of two phase 3, randomized controlled trials suggest that two therapies, sunitinib and everolimus, hold promise in the treatment of patients with advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors; the findings of these trials have been published in the Feb. 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Public Sector Plays Big Role in Drug Research

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Public-sector research institutions (PSRIs) appear to play a bigger role in drug discovery than was previously thought, contributing to the discovery of about 10 to 20 percent of drugs approved for new drug applications since 1990, according to research published in the Feb. 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Errors in Hospital Analgesia Prescriptions Nearly 3 in 1,000

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Analgesic drug errors in hospitals occur at a rate of almost three per 1,000 prescriptions, and more than twice that among pediatric patients, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Pain.

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Earlier Onset of Psychosis Linked to Cannabis Use

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Cannabis use is related to the earlier onset of psychotic symptoms among users of the drug compared to nonusers, according to a review published online Feb. 7 in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Cancer Prognosis Similar After Biologics Therapy

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Cancers that develop after anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are similar with respect to stage at presentation and survival rates, according to a study published online Jan. 18 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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TXA Reduces Mortality Risk in Trauma Patients

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- The administration of tranexamic acid (TXA) appears to reduce the risk of death due to bleeding in acute trauma patients, according to a literature review and analysis published in The Cochrane Library.

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Propranolol Does Not Prevent Posttraumatic Stress

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical results do not support the use of propranolol to prevent posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), although, it may help with the physiological response, according to a study published online Jan. 10 in CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.

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Ondansetron Helps Alcoholics With Select Genes Cut Back

MONDAY, Feb. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Ondansetron can be used to reduce severe drinking and to increase the number of days of abstinence in alcoholics with specific polymorphisms in the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) gene, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in The American Journal of Psychiatry.

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Drug Approved to Help Prevent Preterm Birth

FRIDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Makena (hydroxyprogesterone caproate) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help prevent birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy in women who have had at least one prior early delivery.

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Single Dose of H1N1 Vaccine Highly Effective in Young

FRIDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- A single dose of H1N1 vaccine administered during the fall of 2009 in Canada appears to have been more than 90 percent effective in protecting recipients, particularly children and young adults, from the pandemic, according to research published online Feb. 3 in BMJ.

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Among Statin Users, Smoking Cessation Deserves Emphasis

THURSDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients taking statins for coronary heart disease (CHD), smokers are still more likely to suffer a major cardiovascular event (MCVE), when compared with nonsmokers, according to a study published in the Jan. 15 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

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Different Antiretroviral Drugs Found Effective in Children

THURSDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Protease inhibitors (PIs) and non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) appear to be equally effective as part of first-line treatment for HIV-infected children, and delaying the switch to second-line drugs has minimal impact on long-term viral load outcomes, according to a study published online Feb. 1 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Good Response to Omalizumab at 16 Weeks Is Predictive

THURSDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- For the majority of patients, response to omalizumab is an effective predictor of continuing persistent response to omalizumab, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in Allergy.

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Givinostat a Promising Treatment for Juvenile Arthritis

THURSDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment of systemic onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SOJIA) with Givinostat, an orally active histone deacetylase inhibitor, for 12 weeks appears to be safe, well-tolerated, and effective, according to a study published online Jan. 18 in Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Timing of Hormone Therapy Influences Breast Cancer Risk

THURSDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- For women taking postmenopausal hormone therapy, breast cancer risk is greater among users of estrogen-progestin formulations, and those who begin treatment earlier, according to a study published online Jan. 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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H1N1 Vaccine Appears Safe

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Adverse events associated with influenza A (H1N1) vaccine appear to be limited and relatively rare, and there is no evidence of an increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome associated with the virus, according to research published online Feb. 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Vaccine Prevents Human Papillomavirus in Males

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Vaccination against human papillomavirus (HPV) appears effective in preventing HPV-6, 11, 16, and 18 as well as the development of external genital lesions in boys and men, according to research published in the Feb. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Fidaxomicin Reduces C. difficile Recurrence

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Fidaxomicin, a macrocyclic antibiotic, may offer greater protection than vancomycin against recurrence of Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) infection associated with non-North American Pulsed Field type 1 strains, and rates of clinical cure after fidaxomicin treatment are noninferior to those after vancomycin treatment, according to research published in the Feb. 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Adoptive Immunotherapy Used to Treat Epithelial Cancer

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- A T-cell receptor (TCR)-based gene therapy directed against NY-ESO-1 cancer/testis antigen may represent a new therapeutic approach for patients suffering from melanoma and synovial cell sarcoma, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Bevacizumab Plus Chemo Increases Mortality Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The number of fatal adverse events (FAEs) in cancer patients treated with the angiogenesis inhibitor bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy or biological therapy is higher than those treated with chemotherapy alone, according to a review published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Age, Race, and Wealth Affect Arthritis Drug Receipt

TUESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Among Medicare-managed rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, receipt of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) varies based on demographic and other factors, according to a study published in the Feb. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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FDA: B. Braun Safety Infusion System Recalled

TUESDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and B. Braun have notified health care providers and consumers of a class 1 recall of the B. Braun Outlook 400ES Safety Infusion System upgraded with the Motorola compact flash hardware and supporting software. The recall was issued because, when the system is used in a network environment that utilizes temporal key integrity protocol authentication, it can potentially induce a memory leak that may cause the management processor to become non-responsive.

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