Bacteria targets pancreatic cancer in mice

29 04 2013


An experimental therapy that uses Listeria bacteria to infect pancreatic cancer cells and deliver tumour-killing drugs has shown promise in mice, say US scientists.


Radioactive bacterium: Ninety per cent of mice treated with radioactive listeria showed no evidence of cancer spread after three weeks(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Radioactive bacterium: Ninety per cent of mice treated with radioactive listeria showed no evidence of cancer spread after three weeks(Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

While it remains unknown whether the method might work in people, the researchers say they are encouraged by its ability to halt cancer’s spread.

“At this point, we can say that we have a therapy that is very effective for reducing metastasis in mice,” says co-author Dr Claudia Gravekamp, associate professor of microbiology and immunology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York.

The experimental technique described in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science works by using a weakened form of Listeria, a bacterium which in its wild form can cause foodborne illness.

Pancreatic cancer tends to spread quickly through the body and is particularly lethal, since it is often discovered only once it has progressed beyond the pancreas.

Untreated patients usually die within three to six months, and the five-year survival rate is just four per cent.

In previous research, Gravekamp’s team discovered that Listeria could be used to infect tumour cells with antigens. While the bacterium was cleared from normal cells by the body’s immune system within three to five days, it accumulated in the immunosuppressed tumours.

“Based on these results we hypothesized that Listeria could be used to deliver anticancer agents such as radionuclides,” they write.

In this experiment, the researchers attached a radioactive isotope to the bacteria and injected it into mice with pancreatic cancer. They found the radioactive bacteria infected cancer cells but not normal cells.

Ninety per cent of mice with pancreatic cancer treated with the technique showed no evidence of cancer spread after three weeks.

Researchers halted the experiment at 21 days because that is when the control mice, who had pancreatic cancer, but were not treated, began to die.

The treatment stopped the cancer’s spread in most cases, and appeared to have no ill effects on the mice, but more work needs to be done to see if it may extend survival time.

“With further improvements, our approach has the potential to start a new era in the treatment of metastatic pancreatic cancer,” says Gravekamp. [en línea] Sydney (AUS):, 29 de abril de 2013 [REF. 23 April of 2013] Available on Internet:

TO. Carracedo: "Only 50% the first line drugs you are effective"

25 04 2013


Professor of Legal Medicine and director of the genomic medicine of the University of Santiago de Compostela, Ángel Carracedo spoke of the challenges of future of pharmacogenetics in the field clinic. It was the past 15 in March at a Conference within the framework of the IDIBELL seminars.

El investigador Ángel Carracedo

The researcher Ángel Carracedo

Currently only a 50% of the first-line drugs are effective and the adverse effects of the drugs are the fourth cause of death in the United States and the eighth in Europe. According to Angel Carracedo "two individuals do not respond just like a drug or health conditions or", much less, in disease conditions. One of the factors that determine this answer is genetics".


Learn about the genetics of the patient could allow give only the appropriate drugs and save you the side effects of those drugs that you would not be effective. In fact, as explained Carracedo, the FDA and the EMEA (the agencies, regulators of drugs in the United States and Europe respectively) they have already made several recommendations on the technical sheet of various drugs, especially chemotherapy, in such a way that the genetic analysis before your prescription is required. However Carracedo has warned that "not all clinicians this information reaches them and not always used properly".


"We must continue working," said Carracedo "in the validation of new biomarkers that have a cost-effectiveness Assumable and find the way to implement the pharmacogenetics in the most efficient way in clinical practice". [en línea] Barcelona (ESP):, 25 April of 2013 [REF. 20 March of 2013] Available on Internet:

They develop a molecule with potential applications in the treatment of Parkinson's disease

22 04 2013

A study led by the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) It has developed a molecule that decreases the neuroinflammation and neuronal death, and modulates the neuroplasticity in the substantia nigra of the brain, Parkinson's disease-affected area.




“It's a potential new drug for Parkinson's disease. It has an innovative mechanism of action that could change the course of neuronal loss associated with this disease”, noted researcher at the CSIC Institute of chemical medical Ana Martinez.

The compound S14, that has already been patented and licensed, It has been tested successfully on mice and, in a couple of years, It could enter into a phase of human clinical trials, as explained from the CSIC

According to the study, that have been presented at the 11th International Conference on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's in Florence (Italy), the S14 is capable of inducing the formation of new dopaminergic neurons in mice damaged by 6-hydroxydopamine, the neurotoxin more employed in the development of experimental models of Parkinson's in rodents.

Today the treatment of this disease is palliative and tends to replace the action of neurotransmitters lost through the administration of l-dopa and other agents, with the aim of increasing the level of dopamine and its effects.

The researchers point out that the main problem related to this treatment is that prolonged use of l-dopa produces abnormal, involuntary movements in patients, What worse quality of life.

The exploitation license has been acquired by Araclon Biotech, company Grifols; While pre-clinical development of the new drug has been partially funded by a public-private partnership program INNPACTO project.

“Given the good results obtained in mice, the preclinical development works have begun, in order to request the authorization for, in a couple of years, start the clinical phase in humans”, Adds the researcher.

Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disease in which dopaminergic neurons are progressively lost and the cause that produces it is unknown for now.

The disease affects one in every thousand people worldwide and is the second most frequent in elderly neurodegenerative disease, only surpassed by Alzheimer's.  In Spain, According to data from the Spanish society of Neurology, There are some 150.000 affected by this disease.

The main symptoms are movement disorders, as a resting tremor, muscle stiffness and slowness of movement.  Also other symptoms such as cognitive loss associated, disorders of sleep and depression, among others. [en línea] Madrid (ESP):, 22 de abril de 2013 [REF. 10 April of 2013] Available on Internet:

First results of the project Help to treat Parkinson's disease

18 04 2013

Telefónica, the Garraf Health Consortium and the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya · Barcelona Tech (UPC) We have presented, within the framework of the international day of Parkinson's disease, the first results of the project Help. The objective is to improve the quality of life of those suffering from Parkinson's through a system of monitoring and medication a distance in real time. The first phase of the project ended with a pilot project about seven patients, six of them in Spain.


Una persona se coloca el sensor pegado a su cuerpo.

Someone placed the sensor attached to your body.

The system monitors symptoms of patients in real time and given the necessary medication according to the symptoms


The Help system consists of a small portable sensor, It captures the movements of the patient, and a subcutaneous pump, that manages medication for the control of disease. The sensor detects the worsening of the patient and informs the system that, via mobile phone, It gives instructions drug pump to increase the dose and treat the symptoms. When the patient improves, the dose of medication administered by the pump returns to normal.


Thus the patient always receives the necessary dose in real time to treat symptoms related to the disease. The information of the sensor and the reactions of the patient before the medication are sent to a service centre, also forming part of the system. Since this service centre, physicians can control the devices through Internet and observe the evolution of the patients who use them, as well as interact with the patient and to intervene in cases where it is necessary.


Currently there is no treatment for these patients who resolve the symptoms just when they occur. Usually, is prescribed to patients a fixed pattern of medication. This is insufficient to control symptoms at certain times and, on the other hand, is excessive in others, so that patients may experience adverse effects. With this project, It works dynamically and in real-time depending on the symptoms by which considerably improves the quality of life of the patient.


This project is the result of the work of a European consortium led by Telefonica and participated by German companies and institutions (HSG-IMIT and Neusta), Israelites (Nevet i Peh-Med), Italian (Telecom Italy and the University of Palermo) and Spanish, as they are Telefónica I d, the technical research centre for dependency and the autonomous life (TCDC) the UPC and the Foundation Hospital Comarcal Sant Antoni Abat de Vilanova i la Geltrú (Barcelona).


The first phase of the project has already been completed with a pilot on seven patients, six of them in Spain. The pilot experiences in Spain began in November of 2012 and ended in March of 2013. In four of the six patients significant benefits are appreciated. Two of them, forced to use injections of “rescue”, they saw how the number of these was reduced and the other two increased considerably the time without symptoms. The researcher from the UPC is Joan Cabestany, Director of the TCDC. [en línea] Barcelona (ESP):, 18 de abril de 2013 [REF. 11 April of 2013] Available on Internet:

Digital health could solve primary care shortage, Frost analyst says

15 04 2013

If digital health technologies take hold the way many believe they will, the U.S. may no longer have to worry about a pressing shortage of primary care physicians, projected by the Association of American Medical Colleges to reach 65,800 doctors by 2025.

“There are a lot of ways to deliver primary care,” explains Greg Caressi, senior vice president for healthcare and life sciences at market analysis firm Frost & Sullivan. A key function of primary care is to screen to determine if a patient needs to see a specialist. Remote technology and midlevel providers are more than adequate for triage and testing, he says.

Caressi noted that Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, predicted last year that technology eventually could replace 80 percent of physicians. Accountable care organizations and other payment reforms – as well as changing consumer preferences – are going to force healthcare organizations to reevaluate how they deliver care in the next dozen years or so, according to Caressi.

Caressi shared these ideas at Frost & Sullivan’s 18th annual executive exchange on medical devices last month and spoke to MobiHealthNews this week.

“Some of the business aspects really need to change radically,” Caressi says. “If hospitals are going to survive, they’re going to have to leverage telehealth.”

And makers of medical devices are going to have to pay attention, he added. Quite a few device companies are only contemplating incremental changes in care delivery, says Caressi.

“The world has changed and the way people get information has changed,” he continues. There is a strong opportunity here for healthcare providers to reach young adults and others in generally good health who might not care about seeing a particular physician as long as they can get care when they need it.

This is like the Kaiser Permanente model, where patients are tied to a clinic rather than a single primary care doctor, Caressi notes.

This notion may seem to conflict with the patient-centered medical home, which stresses care coordination by making sure patients have a “home” for all their healthcare needs, in the form of a primary care physician. “This is almost at odds with that,” Caressi says, but he asks an important question: “Is the primary care physician the hub or is primary care the hub?”

In his vision, primary care, not the physician, is the focus, and the most important individual in the entire equation is the patient.

Though he did not say this in his talk last month, Caressi tells MobiHealthNews that electronic health records and interoperability of health data underlie this whole concept because clinicians need accurate information to make informed decisions. Having a complete patient history, medical record, data from remote monitoring devices and clinical decision support makes it easier and safer to care for patients, he explains.

Caressi says clinicians of all levels need to practice to the fullest extent of their licenses, saving physicians for the most difficult tasks. He says hospitals have given lip service to this idea, “but they could do more.” This includes beefing up telehealth services and relying more on call centers staffed by nurses to expand access to care and manage larger panels of patients.

“If you want higher touch at lower cost, you need to leverage technology,” Caressi says. [en línea] Mebane, NC (USA):, 15 de abril de 2013 [REF. 04 April of 2013] Available on Internet:

A virtual neuronavegation for brain research

11 04 2013

Brain Dynamics, a spin-off the University of Malaga, It has developed a system of neuronavigation which allows a three-dimensional reconstruction of brain. The tool will facilitate research and teaching about the brain and help make brain operations less invasive, more efficient and safe for the patient, According to those responsible for the project.


The company Brain Dynamics, a spin-off the University of Malaga, specializing in neuroscience and ICT, It has developed a system of neuronavigation which allows a three-dimensional reconstruction of brain. The project has been funded by the technological Corporation of Andalusia (CTA).

According to Antonio Garcia Linares, Director of it spin-off, the new tool will facilitate research and teaching about the brain and also help that the brain surgery is less invasive and safer, Since it will allow the surgeons 'entering' the patient's brain and see what are the most suitable surgical routes to cause the least possible damage.

"The surgeon can plan the intervention even within the same operating room. Using this tool, You can see if you are on the right track in terms of the approach that has planned", highlights.

In addition, the new system of neuronavigation has as value added integration with the database of knowledge, also developed by the company, It brings together and interrelates more important data about the brain from bibliographic sources, connections tractograficas (Neural tracts), functional studies, Alpha patterns, etc., and interprets them according to the criteria of evidence-based neuroscience, explains the Steering.


Data flow

This flow of data will enable consultations, comparison with previous cases, obtaining diagnosis and analysis of the evolution of a disease, among other options.

Garcia indicates that applications of the system in the field of teaching, students may have a brain with a capacity for information and additional knowledge that did not exist before. In research, the neuronavegation is a fundamental tool that integrates all articles that have been published on this subject so far.

This project has counted with the collaboration of the Group of computational intelligence at the University of Malaga, as well as the Hospital Regional Universitario Carlos Haya of Málaga, and University and Polytechnic Hospital la Fe de Valencia.

The Brain Dynamics project is part of the around 50 initiatives in the area of biotechnology funded to date by the technological Corporation of Andalusia, He considers this sector as one of its seven strategic areas. [en línea] Madrid (ESP):, 11 de abril de 2013 [REF. 05 April of 2013] Available on Internet:

The 11% of errors resulting from the digital clinical record it harms the patient

8 04 2013

The m-Health are among the main technological innovations of the world


Javier Barbado. Madrid

The 11 percent of the errors of the health information technology (Health Information Technology or HIT, in its English expression) It is associated with damage to the sick (and even aware of four deaths from misuse), According to a scientific article which CITES us Evaluation Agency FDA (Food and Drug Administration) that echo, at the same time, the Institute of medicine and the Instituto ECRI from the same country, in the case of the latter through the report of new trends in health technology published in the first quarter of each year and he has had access Medical writing.


In this document, the electronic register of data appears in the first place in the ranking of the ten most notorious technological elements in the field of health. It is followed by the telemedicine or m-Health, understanding by all such devices in support of medical practice in the distance as the smartphone and the Tablet. They also appear as new Bariatric Surgery and the cancer screening of lung by means of low-dose computed tomography, as you have pointed out sources of the Spanish society of Electromedicine and engineering Electromedica (IEEE), that it also highlight the inclusion in the "Top 10 Suite Watch List"- as it is called the list of Institute - technologies already included in previous editions, case of alarms or electronic medical record management, aspects that continue to occupy an important place in the management of health organizations.

With regard to the HIT, the ECRI report recalls the results of the document that the entity publishes each year too (usually in the month of December) and that analyzes, in effect, the most frequent errors in the field of patient safety (“PSO analysis Deep Dive”). In this way, the American body - which has of 250 workers full-time and enjoys great prestige in the international scientific community - summarized in five main adverse events related to the electronic registry of health data (in order of frequency): inadequate transfer between this kind of technology operating systems; input or incorrect data entry; failures in the configuration of the system; faulty data recovery and incident in the functionality of the software.

These five errors of management and exchange of health information represent the 64 per cent of all incidents detected in the analysis (211 security flaws). The most recent document of the ECRI also reveals that, Despite the difficulty of accurately measuring, the application of the HIT reduces the adverse effects of the drugs and the iatrogenic, but then considers whether the rapid proliferation of this technology medical and computing leads to "new opportunities" for mistakes.


In this context, the President of the Seeic, Licinius Jesus Manzanares, does not hesitate to declare to Medical writing his conviction that, at least in Spain, overflowing sanitary technologies advance has caught off guard the sector, Since assistance professionals often lack specific training to take advantage of them, and, on the other hand, "technologists and engineers not are valued to do so, When our preparation puts us in the ideal for this position". Licinius Manzanares claims why the creation of multidisciplinary committees in which the latter play a prominent role, Since, in his opinion, networks and agencies of Central and autonomic technology evaluation "are neither efficient nor effective because", either they are not advised, either they are manipulated from the political point of view", what constitutes "a barrier to incorporate technology and to measure it in the national health system".

Hybrid operating rooms and equipment

The ECRI report also includes among ten trends of the most influential in health technology of minimally invasive cardiac surgery; the image in the surgical area; the hybrid use of PET and MR (magnetic resonance imaging and Positron Emission Tomography, whose inclusion list this year is a novelty); pacemaker implantation; and the radiation dosed according to the parameters of patient safety. In relation to the minimally invasive surgery, sources of the IEEE - that, for years, made their own interpretation of the results of the ranking of the U.S. entity - have highlighted that, over the past years, great advances have been made in this field which have generated significant benefits in many respects, such as the decrease in the time of patient admission, faster recoveries and an overall reduction of costs. And include "hybrid operating rooms" because they "represent the main tool to carry out this type of interventions".

They also stress that the document of the ECRI rethinks issues such as when and in what kind of health centres are needed highlights technological advances. And it warns of radiation in some procedures overexposure and the need to monitor the prescribed dose monitoring.

The same institution in Spain

"In Spain there a body that plays a role similar to the ECRI Institute, impartial, aseptic and realistic, that measure, evaluated, and ultimately, change the current model of evaluation of health technology. This body should carry out, among other measures, an analysis of cost-effectiveness of the process as a whole and a paradigm shift towards an agency responsible for such analysis", He completed Licinius Manzanares. [en línea] Madrid (ESP):, 08 April of 2013 [REF. 13 March of 2013] Available on Internet:

3D printers: applications in health

4 04 2013

The entry yesterday We finished it with a series of questions related to the relationship between the health world and 3D printing it is actually making a real object from a series of substances and a virtual three-dimensional model that contains the model code.

We are talking about the possibility to create parts of Anatomy 3D models (something simple since these parts are made from resins and polymers) but we can do more complex things that today are already a reality.

A few months ago we were outstanding for Liam, a child born in South Africa that was born with the syndrome of the amniotic constriction bands or ADAM complex. It is a congenital syndrome where are severe malformations in the extremities.

Liam is news because they have made for it a functional prosthesis of your hand designed through free software and manufactured with a printing system in 3D.

Everything began in the year 2011. Richard Van As after an accident had lost some fingers of his hand and his insurance coverage was not covering a prosthesis. Ivan Owen created a model of a robotic hand for a convection of science fiction fans.

Owen posted a video on YouTube showing this model (a viral with more than one million of accumulated visits)

The mother of Liam saw the project and made contact with Van As and, between the two, they developed the hand of Liam.

The development of prostheses is something simple and that could reduce costs of them if they were made by this printing technique, but ultimately they are mechanical models.

Would that happen if we could print fabrics? could it be a solution to create artificial skin? could we print cells? and genetic code?... let your imagination fly.


Posted on 7 March, 2013by Jose f.. Avila [en línea] Madrid (ESP):, 04 April of 2013 [REF. 08 March of 2013] Available on Internet:

Dr VALDERAS: When what you have are patient health outcomes: a utopia essay?

1 04 2013


Jose M Valderas

Director of the research group in services and health policy in the Department of primary care at the University of Oxford.



The British national health service (National Health Service (NHS)) It is engaged in a unique initiative in the world in the field of patient-reported outcomes (patient reported outcomes) known as the PROMS programme (by patient Reported Outcome Measures). For the first time, the usual rhetoric about the importance of these measures has given way to an ambitious project whose long-term vision is that extend their use to all areas of health care where feasible.

From 2009, collected measurements of reported outcomes for all patients and four elective surgical procedures funded by the NHS, whether they are carried out in public hospitals and private. Is currently in pilot testing phase expansion to coronary revascularization procedures, cancer, chronic disease in primary care and dementia. The United Kingdom is placed in this way once more as spearhead and authentic ideas in health services research laboratory, nearly a decade after the implementation of the primary care incentive system known as the Quality and Outcomes Framework.


Following in the footsteps of the previous programme, one of the key features of the PROMS initiative lies in the objectives are focused on the use of information to encourage the improvement of the quality of care as a whole. It relies therefore on aggregate information (by professional, Center and sanitary areas), But even if you are exploring applications of such information as support to areas as diverse as health technology assessment and the preparation of contracts between the primary care groups and providers of health services of second level, There currently is no plan to advance the clinical use of information. And yet this is a limitation that necessarily has to be seen by initiative of the own professional, to overcome the gap between an assessment by indicators and a clinical practice in which this information is absent.


In these matters the implementation is absolutely essential and in a few years we will know if it has been known to extract the maximum fruits to this opportunity and prepares the ground for its application to other areas and countries, or if on the contrary the harsh reality of the resistance to change is imposed again in clinical practice based on the poor implementation of the best ideas.




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