Although the blood thinner heparin has been used for several decades to prevent and treat blood clots, researchers are now questioning whether the drug could be effective in treating cancer. Even though results from large studies have been promising, a study by investigators from McMaster University and the University at Buffalo, suggests that these studies still fail to provide precise answers to key questions, with regard to the benefits of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) for cancer patients. The study is published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. Commenting on an editorial in the same issue of the journal, the researchers explain that although the anti-clotting effect of heparin is well established, the speculated anti-tumor effect is not. Therefore, the researchers question whether cancer patients who don't have clotting problems should be offered the drug.
A landmark study published Online First in The Lancet Oncology, describes the discovery of a unique matching mechanism that affects the outcome of blood stem cell transplants and helps improving survival rates for sufferers from leukemia and other blood cancers. Often, the last glimmer of hope for blood cancer sufferers who remain unresponsive to all other treatment options is to receive blood stem cells, also called haemopoietic cells, from an unrelated, living donor. An allele is an alternative form of a gene, i.e. one member of a pair that is located at a specific position on a specific chromosome. Doctors look for matches of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) type of five key alleles that occur in a blood stem cell to achieve a 10/10 match to reduce the risks linked to transplants, such as acute Graft versus Host Disease (aGvHD).
A researcher at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City is part of a select panel of international experts to help develop new evidence-based clinical guidelines used by physicians worldwide for the diagnosis and treatment of blood-clotting disorders, one of the most common cardiovascular diseases in the United States. Scott M. Stevens, MD, co-director of the Thrombosis Clinic at Intermountain Medical Center, says the new guidelines are critically-needed to ensure that clinicians worldwide are using the most advanced information and protocols available to properly diagnosis deep venous thrombosis, or DVT. The new guidelines, which will become the global standard of care for the diagnosis of DVT, are published in the February issue of Chest, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.
For decades, the blood thinner heparin has been used to prevent and treat blood clots. Could it be just as effective in treating cancer? In an editorial published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers from McMaster University and the University at Buffalo suggest conclusive answers to key questions on the benefits of low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) for cancer patients remain elusive - despite promising results from large studies. Co-authors of the editorial are Dr. Elie Akl, associate professor in the Department of Medicine in UB's School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and in McMaster University's Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Dr. Holger SchÃ nemann, professor of medicine and chair of the Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, McMaster University.
In a study presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting™ , in Dallas, Texas, researchers reported findings that show that in women with acute postpartum anemia, due to excessive blood loss during delivery, red blood cell transfusion led to a statistically significant decrease in physical fatigue. While excessive blood loss during delivery caused severe physical fatigue, the effect of red blood cell transfusion on this fatigue was small. This study, RBC Transfusion Leads to an Improvement of Physical Fatigue in Women with Acute Postpartum Anemia: the WOMB Study, is the first study worldwide to investigate the blood transfusion policy among postpartum women, a very specific population of mostly healthy, young women who develop an acute anemia due to postpartum hemorrhage.