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DNA sequencing-based method to detect brain tumor

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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.

 

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Quality healthcare services

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RAWALPINDI: Federal Minister for National Health Services, Regulation, and Coordination Amir Mehmood Kiani today said the PTI government under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan was taking revolutionary steps for the promotion of health sector.
He expressed these views during a visit to Rawalpindi Cantonment General Hospital here today. The minister said the government was going to start a health insurance programme in the country and it would distribute 25 million Health Insurance Cards (HIC) to the poor and needy people by the beginning of next month.
He said the healthcare system of Pakistan was beset with numerous problems mainly because of the apathy of the
past governments toward the health sector, which was evident from the fact that the previous governments had failed to develop a “National Health Policy” due to which the country miserably failed to meet the health-related targets.
Criticizing the opposition, he said it was not a real opposition and that most political leaders had united to save their financial interests.  He said people would see improvement in all sectors and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government would put the country on the path of development and prosperity.  He said the PTI government brought a considerable change in the health sector adding that four new hospitals were being built in Islamabad to lessen the load on available hospitals.

 

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Diabetes-linked chronic kidney disease cases on rise

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ISLAMABAD: The probability of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in different age groups is increasing in Pakistan due to diabetes, according to a recent research conducted at the Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS).
The annual incidence of new cases of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) was 100 per million population in Pakistan while diabetes was the leading cause of CKD, Nephrologist and Head of Kidney Transplant Unit at PIMS, Dr. Khawar Sultan said on Sunday while sharing details of a cross-sectional study conducted by the Nephrology Department of PIMS.
He said the research also revealed that chronic kidney disease was progressively increasing in South Asian countries like Pakistan, and the reason for it was multifactorial. Most of the people had inadequate knowledge about health-care provision due to lack of health education and, most importantly, the increasing prevalence of risk factors for CKD such as diabetes and hypertension.
In addition, other causes like glomerulonephritis and renal stones were prevalent due to infections and dry weather conditions, Dr Khawar added.
He said a total of 500 patients were considered for final analysis based on data adequacy. The mean age of the population was 46 years, with a minimum age of 20 years and the maximum being 83 years.
The common causes of CKD identified in the patients included diabetic nephropathy 28% (140 patients), glomerulonephritis 22% (110 patients), hypertension 14.6% (73 patients), tubulo-interstitial disease 13.4% (67patients)and renal stone disease 8% (40 patients, he added.
Dr Khawar said the cause was unknown in a significant percentage of patients which was 10.6% ((53 patients). Other causes including post-partum renal failure, constituted 2% of the cases.
He said 268 of the patients were below the age of 50 years. The common etiology of CKD in that age-group included glomerulonephritis (33.2%), diabetic nephropathy (17.9%), tubulointerstitial disease (10%) and renal stone disease (13.8%). The patients who had CKD of unknown cause comprised 12.31%.
Among the 232 patients, who were over 50 years, the causes of CKD were identified as diabetic nephropathy (39.6%), hypertension (19.8%), renal stone disease (12.9%), tubulointerstitial disease (5.6%) and adult polycystic kidney disease (3%). Only 8.6% of patients in this age-group had CKD of unknown etiology.
Dr. Khawar said CKD was a worldwide public health issue, the incidence, and prevalence of which were increasing, resulting in high cost and poor outcomes.
He said nephrology unit at PIMS, which was part of a large tertiary care hospital, catered to a large population in the region. The average population served by the center belonged to a vast area of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu Kashmir, and the Federal Capital.
He said there were a separate dedicated CKD clinic and transplant unit, besides the outpatient department. Daily around 70 patients visited the PIMS dialysis center and received free services, he added.
Dr. Khawar said a sufficient number of paramedical staff, nurses and doctors performed their duties at the dialysis center and Nephrology ward at PIMS.
He said keeping in view the increasing burden of chronic kidney disease in Pakistan, there was a need for aggressive screening to check the presence of kidney disease in the population. He advised the people for early investigation on suspicion of kidney disease.

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Country facing adulterated food problem 

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BAHAWALPUR: Provincial Minister for Food, Sami Ullah Chaudhary Sunday that people had been vulnerable to diseases as they were forced to eat adulterated food sold at markets.
He was addressing a ceremony held in connection with the organization of annual supports and parents days at Danish School in Hasilpur tehsil of Bahawalpur district.  Member Punjab Danish Authority, Colonel. Ghulam Abbas, Principal Danish Boys School, Saeed Ullah Chaudhary, Principal, Danish Girls School, Aaliya Ayyub Chhatha, Admin Officer, Colonel. Ashraf, Assistant Commissioner Hasilpur, Muhammad Tayyab and a large number of parents, teachers, and students attended it. He said that some elements were involved in food adulteration to mint money and to become rich shortly.
He said that such elements were considered as enemies of people as they were damaging their health by selling out sub-standard food. Chaudhary said that food adulteration had been considered as food terrorism and vowed the government would deal with the menace like that it had been dealing with terrorism. He appealed people to point out the elements involved in food adulteration so that immediate action could be taken against them.
He appreciated the role of Danish school system in imparting standard education to children belonging to poor families. “Siblings of poor families including laborers and farmers have been getting standard education and all required facilities at Danish schools at per like that are being provided to others at modern schools,” he said. He said the government had been paying special attention towards the provision of all basic civic amenities to people in education, health, and other sectors.
He said that the national economy had been getting a boost due to sound policies being introduced by the sitting government.  He emphasized the need to introduce the same syllabus at all educational institutions across the country. Delivering their speeches, the principals of both sections including boys and girls of Danish School said that 210 students of Danish School Hasilpur got A and A+ grade in annual examinations of middle-class held under the supervision of Punjab Education Commission. They further said that 100 students of the school got success in matriculation examinations and 99 students out of total 180 appeared in matriculation examinations got A and A+ grade.
They further said that 171 students of Danish School Hasilpur appeared in intermediate examinations and added that out of them, 106 secured A and A+ grade. They said that students of Danish School Hasilpur were also awarded awards, medals, and trophies in curriculum and supports events held at national level. On the occasion, PT and gymnastic show and science exhibition were also organized.

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