July 2009 Briefing - PulmonologyLast Updated: August 03, 2009.
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology for July 2009. 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.
UV Tanning Beds Classified as Human Carcinogen
FRIDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Ultraviolet (UV) tanning beds should be considered carcinogenic, according to a World Health Organization working group writing in the August issue of The Lancet Oncology.
Electronic Disease Surveillance Systems Vary Widely
FRIDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- Electronic disease surveillance systems vary widely from state to state and the lack of homogeneity will raise the cost of data sharing, according to a study published in the July 31 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
U.S. Health Data Network a Powerful Tool for Quality
FRIDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. health care system is on the verge of a new era in which distributed health data networks will assure local control of sensitive individual patient data, while providing medical researchers and policy makers access to powerful aggregate data on millions of patients, according to a pair of articles in the September 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Even Low Ozone Exposure Can Diminish Lung Function
THURSDAY, July 30 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to ozone can cause a significant decrease in lung function at lower concentrations than currently permitted under the National Ambient Air Quality Standard, according to a study in the August 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Pregnant Women, Children Among H1N1 Vaccine Priorities
WEDNESDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women, health care workers, and children who are aged 6 months and older should be the first to receive this fall's H1N1 swine flu vaccine, according to recommendations made July 29 by a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) panel.
Physical Activity Intensity Linked to Cancer Mortality Risk
WEDNESDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- Leisure-time physical activity at a moderately intense level or greater appears to offer more benefit in preventing cancer-related death in men than low-intensity physical activity, according to research published online July 28 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Lung Reduction May Offer Better Life Quality Than Meds
WEDNESDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- Lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) preserves quality of life for patients with chronic emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease better than medical treatment, at least in the two years post-surgery, according to a study in the August 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Agency Halts Sildenafil Trial Because of Safety Concerns
TUESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has halted a clinical trial in sickle cell disease patients almost a year early because of safety concerns, according to a July 28 release issued by the agency. The study was testing a pulmonary hypertension treatment.
Thalidomide Not Linked to Better Lung Cancer Survival
MONDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Treatment with thalidomide in combination with chemotherapy in patients with small cell lung cancer was not associated with improved survival, but was associated with a higher risk of thrombotic events, according to research published online July 16 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Resection for Lung Cancer May Improve Survival Odds
MONDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with stage IIIA(N2) non-small cell lung cancer, lung resection, preferably by lobectomy, should be considered in addition to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, according to a study published online July 27 in The Lancet.
Beta Blocker Link to Risk for Postoperative Stroke Analyzed
MONDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- The chronic use of beta blockers prior to non-cardiac surgery is not associated with an increased incidence of postoperative stroke, according to a study in the August 1 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.
Parental Stress Seen to Play Role in Pollution-Asthma Link
MONDAY, July 27 (HealthDay News) -- Children whose parents are under more stress may be more likely to develop asthma associated with traffic-related pollution or smoking in utero, according to research published online July 20 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Methods to Determine Health Care Priorities Questioned
FRIDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Evaluating health care priorities based on the attitudes of patients (direct method) or the attitudes of the general public (indirect method) can produce different results, complicating decisions on the allocation of health care resources, according to two papers published July 22 in BMJ.
Camera Phones Can Help Doctors Make Rare Diagnoses
FRIDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- A pregnant patient with an uncommon nipple condition captured images of the transient changes to her nipples and gave them to her doctor, enabling an accurate diagnosis, according to an article published online July 22 in BMJ.
Cystic Fibrosis Gene Therapy Hurdle Overcome
FRIDAY, July 24 (HealthDay News) -- A virus that normally infects lung cells and causes the common cold has been successfully used to deliver sufficient levels of the gene defective in cystic fibrosis, overcoming a major hurdle to using gene therapy to correct the disease, according to a study published online July 21 in PLoS Biology.
Flu Vaccine Effects Uncertain in Immunocompromised
THURSDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- Though roughly 1 percent of the U.S. population is immunocompromised for a variety of reasons, data on the efficacy of influenza vaccines in these individuals are scarce, according to research published in the August issue of The Lancet Infectious Diseases.
Emergency Clinicians Need Training to Treat Blast Injuries
THURSDAY, July 23 (HealthDay News) -- With the increasing incidence of terrorist attacks worldwide, civilian emergency clinicians need training on managing the unique injuries that occur in explosions, according to a paper published online July 23 in the The Lancet.
England's Pay-for-Performance Scheme Faulted
WEDNESDAY, July 22 (HealthDay News) -- The 2004 pay-for-performance scheme for family practices in England resulted in short-term quality of care improvements for asthma and diabetes, but not for heart disease, and ultimately was associated with a long-term slowing in the rate of improvement for all three conditions, according to an article published in the July 23 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Internet Asthma Program May Be Superior to Usual Care
TUESDAY, July 21 (HealthDay News) -- An Internet-based asthma management program is more effective than usual care in controlling asthma and increasing the number of symptom-free days, according to a study in the July 21 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Teen Exposure to Tobacco-Related Content on Web Analyzed
MONDAY, July 20 (HealthDay News) -- Adolescents who surf the Internet are exposed to a very small volume of tobacco-related content, and not all of the exposure is pro-tobacco, according to a study published online July 20 in Pediatrics.
Electrical Muscular Stimulation May Have Role in Rehab
FRIDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Transcutaneous neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) may help improve endurance and muscular fitness in patients with congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who cannot exercise strenuously, according to a literature review in the July issue of Chest.
Obesity Rates Highest Among African-American Population
FRIDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of obesity is far higher among African-Americans than Caucasians in America, and Hispanics also have significantly higher obesity rates, according to a study published in the July 17 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Seasonal Variation Observed in Pulmonary Fibrosis Deaths
THURSDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Death rates in patients with pulmonary fibrosis are highest in the winter compared with the summer, according to a study in the July issue of Chest.
Certain Asthma Drugs Have Little Effect on Inflammation
THURSDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Long-acting β2-agonists (LABA), such as salmeterol or formoterol, do not reduce inflammation in patients with chronic persistent asthma, according to a meta-analysis in the July issue of Chest.
Blood Biomarker Spots At-Risk Pulmonary Fibrosis Patients
THURSDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- A newly discovered blood biomarker could help clinicians identify patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) who are at risk for acute exacerbations, according to a study in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
New Staging System Developed for Lung Cancer
THURSDAY, July 16 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have developed a new staging system for non-small cell lung cancer based solely on the anatomic extent of disease, an update from the previous edition published in 2002, according to a special feature in the July issue of Chest.
Severe Pulmonary Disease Can Harm Cognitive Functioning
WEDNESDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- Severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can cause a deterioration of cognitive function in older adults over time, according to a study reported in the July 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Anti-TNF Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Linked to Tuberculosis
MONDAY, July 13 (HealthDay News) Anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) monoclonal antibody therapy is associated with a higher risk of tuberculosis than soluble TNF receptor therapy, according to research published in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
Profilaggrin Gene Mutation Linked to Allergic Disorders
FRIDAY, July 10 (HealthDay News) -- A mutation in the profilaggrin gene that governs expression of a protein used in maintaining the skin barrier is associated with several common allergic disorders, according to a study published July 9 in BMJ.
Obesity Rates for American Adults Still Going Up
THURSDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- At least 25 percent of the adult population in 32 states is now obese, and national prevalence of obesity has risen from 25.6 percent in 2007 to 26.1 percent in 2008, according to a July 8 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Gene-Therapy Death Shows Monitoring Importance
THURSDAY, July 9 (HealthDay News) -- A widely publicized death of a young woman who was taking part in a phase 1-2 gene-therapy study of rheumatoid arthritis underscores the risk of opportunistic infections in such patients and the importance of having a well-designed monitoring plan when such patients become ill, according to a brief report in the July 9 New England Journal of Medicine.
Sex-Specific Cancer Death Risk Higher in African-Americans
WEDNESDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- African-American patients with sex-specific cancers had worse mortality than patients of other races despite similar therapies and follow-up, according to a study published online July 7 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
New Heart Disease Risk Test Demonstrates Utility
WEDNESDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- The QRISK cardiovascular disease risk equation identifies those at high risk of cardiovascular disease more effectively than the long established Anderson Framingham equation and should be put into use, according to a study published online July 7 in BMJ.
Protein in Non-Metastatic Tumors May Inhibit Metastasis
TUESDAY, July 7 (HealthDay News) -- Prosaposin, a protein secreted by non-metastatic tumors, inhibits metastasis by producing factors that inhibit angiogenesis, and may be a potential cancer treatment, according to a study published online July 6 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Mechanism May Explain Quick Metastases of Lung Cancer
MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with lung cancer, the WNT/TCF cell-signaling pathway appears to play a major role in the spread of the disease to the brain and bone, according to a study published online July 2 in Cell.
Thromboprophylaxis Need Assessed in Spine Surgery
MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- In spinal trauma with or without spinal cord injury, spine surgeons agree that pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis is necessary for selected groups of patients, according to a study published in the July issue of The Spine Journal.
Swine Flu Airborne Transmission Found Inefficient
MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- The swine-origin 2009 A (H1N1) influenza virus, the so-called swine flu, does not spread as efficiently by inhaled respiratory droplets as the common seasonal flu, according to a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported July 2 in Science.
Parkinson's Drugs Show Promise Against Tuberculosis
MONDAY, July 6 (HealthDay News) -- Two existing drugs used for Parkinson's disease may be useful in treating drug-resistant cases of tuberculosis, according to research published July 3 in PLoS Computational Biology.
Mayo Clinic Streamlines Protocol Development
THURSDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- At the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, a project using focused process engineering has significantly accelerated the development and approval of clinical trials, according to a study published online June 29 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
New Pediatric CT Protocols Can Reduce Radiation Dose
THURSDAY, July 2 (HealthDay News) -- In pediatric patients, new computed tomography protocols based on clinical indications, patient weight, and number of prior studies may result in significant dose reduction and high compliance, according to a study published in the July issue of Radiology.
Preoperative Staging May Reduce Lung Cancer Surgeries
WEDNESDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with non-small cell lung cancer, preoperative staging with combined positron-emission tomography and computed tomography (PET-CT) is associated with reductions in total and futile thoracotomies and has no effect on overall mortality, according to a study published in the July 2 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Ketamine Appears Safe for Intubation in Critical Patients
WEDNESDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Ketamine is safe for use in endotracheal intubation for critically ill patients -- particularly those with sepsis -- compared to etomidate, according to research published online July 1 in The Lancet.
Online Genetic Test Results Can Help Smokers Quit
WEDNESDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Whether genetic test results indicate relatives of lung cancer patients are at high or low risk for the disease, smokers' subsequent uptake of smoking cessation services is high, according to a study published online June 30 in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Cuts Death Risk for Stroke Patients
WEDNESDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment can reduce mortality risk in stroke patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a study in the July 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Priorities Set for Comparative Effectiveness Research
WEDNESDAY, July 1 (HealthDay News) -- The extent to which large-scale public investment in comparative effectiveness research can achieve its goals of better decision making and improved uptake of new knowledge depends on engaging the medical profession and patients, according to recommendations by the Institute of Medicine published online June 30 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.