8 October 2015
A blood test can more than halve the number of people admitted to A&E with a suspected heart attack, say doctors.
They say the rapid test, which looks for a chemical in the blood, would reduce stress for patients, save money and ease pressure on hospital wards.
Trials on 6,304 people, published in the Lancet medical journal, suggested it was 99.6% accurate.
The British Heart Foundation said the test would produce faster answers without affecting patient safety.
Read more: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-34464484
Link to Open access Lancet article: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2815%2900391-8/abstract
ABC News 7 October 2015
A two-time cancer-surviving grandmother from Brisbane has won her “David and Goliath” battle against a US biotech firm that wanted to patent the BRCA-1 cancer gene.
Myriad Genetics had argued it held the patent over the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes which, if present, dramatically increase a woman’s chance of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
But Yvonne D’Arcy, 69, argued the genes existed in nature, so were discovered rather than invented.
The company succeeded twice in the Federal Court, but the High Court overturned those decisions as it ruled unanimously in Ms D’Arcy’s favour.
Brisbane Times 7 October 2015
Almost a third of all cancers could be prevented by simple lifestyle changes, landmark Queensland research has found.
The researchers crunched the numbers on 13 known cancer risk factors including smoking, diet, obesity and UV light exposure to find 37,000 cancers were preventable.
The QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute study, funded by Cancer Council Australia, used statistics analysis to track just how many cancers were caused by each risk factor.
Brisbane Times 4 October 2015
Queensland women top the nation when it comes to their breast health, with the state logging the nation’s highest BreastScreen participation rate.
The findings, from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, showed Queensland participation rates were 3.4 per cent above the national rate of 54.2 per cent.
That put Queensland on top of the rankings, which particularly pleased Health Minister Cameron Dick, who said the state had previously been third.
Brisbane Times AAP October 2, 2015
Sufferers of a specific type of blood cancer could be spared gruelling chemotherapy regimes thanks to a new test developed in Queensland.
The world-first tool helps predict how patients with a specific form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – known as Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma – will respond to standard treatments.
This means those who are unlikely to benefit from chemotherapy and immunotherapy can be detected early and spared punishing medical regimes.
Professor Maher Gandhi, who developed the test at the University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute, says being able to pick the right treatment from the diagnostic outset is critical.
Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/queensland-blood-cancer-test-a-gamechanger-20151001-gjzj08
Lancet Haematology abstract: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352302615001507
Request the source article from Information & Research Services (QH Staff only)
Gold Coast Bulletin Lucy Kinbacher October 01, 2015
MINI-Maroon Lachlan Wall was struck down by what doctors have called an extremely rare blood infection.
A pathologist’s report yesterday confirmed Lachlan died from a severe case of Group A streptococcus. The 12-year-old passionate rugby league fan died last Sunday, three days after hitting a tree on his pushbike and injuring his shoulder and knee.
When Lachlan was taken to hospital in the early hours of Sunday, doctors initially were worried he may have contracted meningococcal disease.
Gold Coast University Hospital Children’s Critical Care Unit director Dr Phil Sargent said Lachlan’s case was rare and there was nothing his parents or the hospital could have done to prevent the outcome.
Read more: http://www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/footy-fan-lachlan-wall-killed-by-extremely-rare-blood-infection/story-fnj94j0t-1227551377640?from=gold+coast+bulletin_rss
The Sydney Morning Herald Craig Butt October 1, 2015
Women who have refused to get pap smears will be able to collect their own tissue samples for testing under world-first changes to Australia’s cervical cancer screening program.
Program committee member Louise Farrell said the option to avoid the invasive test would encourage indigenous women, victims of sexual abuse and those reluctant to get pap smears for cultural reasons to get screened.
“It will attract women who don’t normally get pap smears and they have the highest rates of cervical cancer,” Dr Farrell said.
She said only women who had never had a pap smear, or were long overdue for one, would be able to collect the self-testing kits from their doctor from 2017. The advance is one of a raft of changes to the National Cervical Cancer Screening Program.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/australias-cervical-cancer-screening-selfcollection-program-a-world-first-20150930-gjyd9x.html