Genes May Have Role in Colorectal
and Prostate Cancers
suggest there may be a common genetic link to the development of colorectal
and prostate cancers.
Malcolm Dunlop, MD, of the
University of Edinburgh, said the findings are likely to question how the
malignancies develop, as a small percentage of patients were found to have a
common thread, although he cautions that the exact pathway is still unknown.
The results of the study, led by Brent Zanke, MD, PhD, of Cancer Care Ontario,
were reported online in Nature Genetics along with results of case
controls studies from the U.S. and U.K. According to U.S. researcher
Christopher Haiman, PhD, of the University of Southern California, this is the
first time a common genetic risk factor has been shown to be associated with
multiple cancer types.
Drug in Development May Block HIV
According to Calvin
Cohen, MD, of the Community Research Initiative of New England and Harvard
Medical School, a new drug in early development may be effective in blocking
the HIV virus from entering cells. Early results show that the drug, known as
INCB009471, exhibited a long half-life and lowered the viral load for up to
two weeks after the treatment was stopped.
The results were presented at the
International AIDS Society meeting held this summer in Sydney, Australia. The
drug is a member of a class of drugs known as CCR5 inhibitors, which block one
of the molecular pathways used by HIV to enter target cells. Dr. Cohen
indicated that an added benefit of the drug is the fact that because of its
long period of efficacy, it is possible that it might have to be taken only
every few days, rather than once or more a day. Patients in the trial
exhibited no serious adverse events and no participants dropped out of the
study because of the drug's side effects.
Diaphragms Do Not Offer More HIV
Protection than Condoms Alone
randomized, controlled studies in Africa revealed that a diaphragm and gel
does not lower a woman's risk of HIV infection any less than the use of a
condom alone. The results were documented by Nancy Padian, PhD, of the
University of California at San Francisco, and colleagues and presented online
The study, known as the Methods for
Improving Reproductive Health in Africa (MIRA) trial, was conducted to find
ways of preventing HIV transmission that, unlike condoms, would be controlled
by women. The hopes that a diaphragm would show positive results were founded
in the fact that a diaphragm can be inserted discreetly and that previous
evidence suggests they block HIV from entering especially vulnerable tissues
of the cervix.
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