Reduction in breast cancer deaths is due to treatment not screening, finds study

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The fall in breast cancer mortality seen after widespread mammography screening was introduced in the US was mainly due to improved systemic therapy and not earlier detection of tumours, a comparison of national cancer data before and after the introduction of screening programmes has shown.

Initial drug treatment in Parkinson’s disease

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Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterised by tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia, and a wide spectrum of non-motor symptoms including sleep disorders, hyposmia, bladder and bowel dysfunction, fatigue, dementia, and other neuropsychiatric symptoms.

Although the disease has no cure, available treatments effectively control motor symptoms and improve quality of life. Several drug classes are licensed for use as monotherapy in early Parkinson’s disease and adjuvant therapy in later disease

Gene therapy trial for cystic fibrosis shows modest benefits

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A gene therapy trial has shown a small but notable health benefit in people with cystic fibrosis—proof of principle that, after a long wait, hopes of effective treatments for inherited diseases may one day be realised.

In a trial involving 136 cystic fibrosis patients aged over 12 who used nebulisers to inhale the correct gene wrapped in an envelope of fat, modest benefits were observed over a range of measurements when compared with patients inhaling a placebo. The main aim was to show that the treatment, given monthly for a year, would improve lung function measured by the volume of air the patients could expel in one second.

Management of the unstable shoulder

The shoulder is the most commonly dislocated joint in the human body. The incidence of shoulder dislocation is increasing. Recurrence is common and occurs in as many as 67% of cases. Patients often mention a painful, weak arm and a shoulder that readily dislocates with trivial movements.

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The aim of this review is to provide a simple framework for the clinical assessment, investigation, and treatment of the unstable shoulder for non-specialists and to highlight key patient groups that benefit from early specialist input.

Diagnosis and treatment of cancer using genomics

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The field of cancer diagnostics is in constant flux as a result of the rapid discovery of new genes associated with cancer, improvements in laboratory techniques for identifying disease causing events, and novel analytic methods that enable the integration of many different types of data. These advances have helped in the identification of novel, informative biomarkers