Respiratory Medicine

Clinical Outcomes of patients with Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) mutations in IPASS (Iressatm Pan Asia Study)

An epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a protein found on the surface of cells to which an epidermal growth factor (EGF) binds. When an EGF attaches to an EGFR, it activates the enzyme tyrosine kinase, triggering reactions that cause the cells to grow and multiply. An EGFR is found at abnormally high levels on the surface of many types of cancer cells, which may divide excessively in the presence of an EGF. The drug gefitinib is intended to attach to the EGFR and, thereby, inhibit the attachment of EGF and stop cancer cell division.

Advanced targeted therapies effective as first-line treatment for lung cancer

SAN FRANCISCO, August 1, 2009 — The world's top lung cancer specialists, medical professionals and researchers are convening this week in San Francisco, CA for the 13th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC), organized by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). According to a series of studies presented today at the WCLC, targeted therapies, as first-line treatment, have the potential to slow cancer growth and improve patient outcomes.

Swine flu could become resistant to Tamiflu because of over-prescribing

Dr Holden, the British Medical Association's lead authority on pandemic flu, said he thought the thresholds for issuing Tamiflu had been set too low, a policy which he fears will come back to haunt the Department of Health if the H1N1 swine flu virus becomes resistant to Tamiflu.

The GP, based in Matlock, Derbyshire, helped draft the clinical algorithm used by operators on the National Pandemic Flu Service telephone line, but said doctors are being encouraged to dish out a "pill for every ill".

Swine flu plan for schools via BBC

The BBC could be asked to clear its schedules for educational programmes if schools are closed due to swine flu, it has emerged.

Ministers are understood to have had discussions with the Corporation as part of its "contingency planning" for the pandemic.

Chris Keates, general secretary of the NASUWT teaching union, said: "The Government drew up plans to deal with a flu pandemic more than 18 months ago which give indications for contingency plans, including online learning and discussions with broadcasters including the BBC and Teachers TV."

Swine flu pandemic could fuel rise in workplace litigation

Businesses could face a spate of legal claims from employees hit by swine flu, experts warn, as concerns mount that firms are not prepared to deal with legal issues arising from affected staff.

Personal injury, health and safety, and negligence claims are all likely, according to employment lawyers, as litigation has continued to rise during the recession.

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Swine flu boosts handwash sales

Soap firm PZ Cussons has seen a sharp growth in sales of anti-bacterial handwashes as consumers look to ward off germs amid swine flu fears.

Read more at BBC News

'Dangers' of the fast-track swine flu vaccine

Plans to fast-track the swine flu vaccine have been attacked by the World Health Organisation.

Read more from DailyMail

Placenta derived stem cells may help sufferers of fibrotic lung diseases

Tampa, Fla. (July 27, 2009) – An Italian research team, publishing in the current issue of Cell Transplantation (18:4), which is now available on-line without charge at, has found that stem cells derived from human placenta may ultimately play a role in the treatment of lung diseases, such as pulmonary fibrosis and fibrotic diseases caused by tuberculosis, chemical exposure, radiation or pathogens. These diseases can ultimately lead to loss of normal lung tissue and organ failure.

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