BEIJING: A Chinese-led research team has made a breakthrough in the detection of brain tumors by using sequencing of patients’ tumor-derived DNA.
Brainstem gliomas are tumors difficult to cut out and have limited treatment options due to their location in the brain. The disease occurs frequently in children, and people with it survive for less than one year. Despite numerous clinical trials, chemotherapy has proven ineffective.
Traditional methods to obtain tumor tissue include surgery and biopsy for examination, but they are risky, painful and costly. Researchers from the Beijing Tiantan Hospital, along with the Duke University Medical Center of the United States, found that sequencing of circulating tumor DNA, or tumor-derived genes, from the brain fluid, could help gain tumor genetic information and track tumor progression.
“But the sequencing method is cheaper, faster and less invasive,” said lead researcher Zhang Liwei. “It would bring revolutionary changes to the diagnosis and treatment of brainstem gliomas in the future.”
Helmut Bertalanffy, director of the Department of Vascular Neurosurgery at the International Neuroscience Institute, said that the research was “an enormous help for patients suffering from such kind of tumors,” and could “replace the surgical intervention for biopsy.” The research was recently published in the international journal Acta Neuropathologica.
Healthy lifestyle reduce cancer risk: research
BEIJING: Maintaining healthy lifestyles can significantly reduce the risk of cancer, with each additional healthy lifestyle reducing the risk by 6 percent, according to recent research based on the data of over 100,000 Chinese adults.
Many studies conducted in Western populations have shown that adopting a favorable lifestyle pattern was associated with lower risks of cancer.
However, evidence regarding this relationship in the Chinese population remains limited.
Researchers from the Fuwai Hospital under the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences evaluated the association between clustering of healthy lifestyle factors and cancer risk based on data collected from more than 100,000 Chinese adults.
By referring to the international report Diet, Nutrition, Physical Activity and Cancer: A Global Perspective and the Dietary guidelines for Chinese residents, researchers listed six healthy lifestyle factors including not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, adequate physical activity, restricting alcohol consumption, adequate vegetable and fruit consumption and limited red meat consumption.
Results showed that 83.4 percent of the participants had three to five healthy lifestyle factors, whereas only 9.1 percent had all six healthy lifestyle factors. About 7.5 percent had no more than three healthy lifestyle factors.
Participants with six healthy lifestyle factors had a 17 percent lower risk of cancer compared with those with no more than three healthy lifestyle factors.
The incidence of overall cancer decreased along with an increasing number of healthy lifestyle factors. Each additional healthy lifestyle factor was associated with a 6 percent lower risk of cancer.
Healthy lifestyles are most relevant to reducing the risk of lung cancer and colorectal cancer.
Approximately 47.4 percent of liver cancer cases and 31.9 percent of colorectal cancer cases were attributed to unhealthy lifestyle factors.
The research also showed that only 4.8 percent of the male participants had all six healthy lifestyle factors and male participants with at least three healthy lifestyle factors were less than 60 percent. Among the male participants, 18.4 percent of cancers were attributed to unhealthy lifestyles, which would have been prevented with healthy lifestyle factors.
According to Gu Dongfeng, the leading researcher, the research revealed the importance of keeping healthy lifestyles in reducing cancer risk.
It also provides a reference for China’s health policies and the promotion of healthy lifestyles to reduce the increasing burden of cancer.
The research was published in the journal Cancer.
Special polio immunization drive continues in high-risk areas
ISLAMABAD: Special polio immunization campaign in high-risk areas of the country continued on Tuesday to administer anti-polio drops to 13.2 million children.
During the campaign, 90,000 frontline polio workers will go door to door in selected cities to ensure that children under the age of five-year receive drops of the vaccine to protect against polio virus.
According to Dr Rana Safdar, Coordinator for the National Emergency Operations Centre, polio drops are being administered in those cities where Polio Eradication Programme had detected the polio virus from sewage.
He said that the polio workers are delivering polio vaccination besides injection to protect the children from the disease in Karachi, Peshawar, Killa Abdullah and Pishin.
He said that the main focus was on control on the disease in those areas where new polio cases were reported or presence of polio virus.
He said that 60 experts of National Emergency Operations Centre have been deployed in different cities to facilitate preparedness and ground implementation of vaccination campaign activities by local teams in priority areas.
He said that this was a good opportunity to stem virus circulation and develop children immunity to fight against the attacks of polio virus.
He said that the government has firm resolve to defeat polio virus transmission in the country through optimum utilization of this low transmission season.
He appealed the parents to administer polio drops to their children.
He said that it was the responsibility of every countryman to protect the children from lifelong disability from the polio.
China to establish collaboration network for rare disease diagnosis, treatment
BEIJING: China will establish a national collaborative network of hospitals for rare disease diagnosis and treatment to promote the early detection and effective treatment of such diseases, according to a decision by the National Health Commission (NHC).
Comprised of 324 hospitals selected for their capacity and experience in treating patients with rare diseases, the network will facilitate the timely transfer of difficult and complicated cases between hospitals and the allocation of quality medical resources for them, an NHC statement says.
Meanwhile, hospitals in the network are urged to further train medical workers on rare disease knowledge and clinical skills, focusing on improving their abilities to identify, diagnose and treat such cases.
China will establish a system for rare disease patients to be registered, the NHC adds.