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[ Researchers Test Nanoscale Carbon Clusters For Chemotherapy ]

Researchers Test Nanoscale Carbon Clusters For Chemotherapy

A mixture of current drugs and carbon nanoparticles shows potential to enhance treatment for head-and-neck cancers, especially when combined with radiation therapy, according to new research by Rice University and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The work blazes a path for further research into therapy customized to the needs of individual patients. The therapy uses carbon nanoparticles to encapsulate chemotherapeutic drugs and sequester them until they are delivered to the cancer cells they are meant to kill. A paper on the research was published this month in the American Chemical Society journal ACS Nano. The new strategy by Rice chemist James Tour and Jeffrey Myers, a professor of head-and-neck surgery at MD Anderson, combines paclitaxel (PTX) and Cetuximab (Cet) with hydrophilic carbon clusters functionalized with polyethylene glycol, known as PEG-HCC.

Somatosensory Neurons Remain Overactive After Exposure To Loud Noises

It is common knowledge that it takes a while for the hearing to become 'normal' again after listening to music that is too loud. The American Tinnitus Association estimates that there are almost 50 million people in the U.S. and millions more worldwide who suffer from tinnitus, which can range from being intermittent and mildly annoying to chronic, severe and debilitating. There is no cure for tinnitus. A new study published in the first February issue of The Journal of Neuroscience has shown that researchers at the University of Michigan Health System suggest that over-exposure to noise can actually cause more lasting changes to our auditory circuitry that potentially lead to tinnitus, commonly known as ringing in the ears. In a previous study, the researchers proved that touch-sensing "somatosensory" nerves in the face and neck could become overactive after hearing damage.

Antibiotic Amoxicillin No Better than Placebo for Most Sinus Infections

If you have a sinus infection, taking a course of amoxicillin, an antibiotic medication, does not help you recover faster or reduce symptoms any more effectively than taking an inactive placebo, according to a new study by Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, that is published in the 15 February issue of JAMA. First author Dr Jane M Garbutt is a research associate professor of medicine at the School of Medicine. She told the media that she and her colleagues believe antibiotics are overused in primary care, and referred to efforts by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to encourage more judicious use of the drugs. "We hope this study provides scientific evidence that doctors can use with patients to explain that an antibiotic is not likely to help an acute sinus infection, " said Garbutt.

Cochlear Implants Can Be Safe And Effective For Kidney Transplant Patients Who Lose Their Hearing

Some people who undergo organ transplants lose their hearing as a side-effect of the antibiotics and immunosuppressive drugs they have to take. And while cochlear implants that restore hearing can raise the risk of getting ear infections and are thus not normally considered for patients with weakened immune systems, Kenneth Charles Iverson and Brian John McKinnon, of the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta, suggest that under certain conditions they may be safe and effective for kidney transplant patients. They write about their study in the January issue of the American Journal of Otolaryngology. The inner ear contains a finite number of dark cells. These produce the tiny amounts of fluid that help transform sound vibrations into neural signals that can be processed by the brain.

Do Sinus Infections Respond To Antibiotics?

A new study released in JAMA claims that the use of the antibiotic amoxicillin for acute uncomplicated rhinosinusitis, commonly known as a sinus infection, is not effective in treating symptoms. This news comes after researchers used the amoxicillin on some patients, and a placebo on others - the results were not significantly different. Acute Rhinosinusitis is very common, affects millions of people, and can result in more serious health problems. The article states: "Considering the public health threat posed by increasing antibiotic resistance, strong evidence of symptom relief is needed to justify prescribing of antibiotics for this usually self-limiting disease. Placebo-controlled clinical trials to evaluate antibiotic treatment have had conflicting results, likely due to differences in diagnostic criteria and outcome assessment.

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