Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Oral Rinse Doxepin Relieves Painful Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer

English: Doxepin Polski: Doxepin - Doksepina
English: Doxepin Polski: Doxepin - Doksepina (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The ASCO Post: "Doxepin oral rinse significantly improved oral mucositis in patients treated with radiation therapy for head and neck cancer according to results of a phase III trial presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in Boston. However, the improvement was modest."

Study Details
"N09C6 was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial of 140 patients with head and neck cancer who had oral mucositis pain scores above 4 (out of 10). Patients with head and neck cancer were enrolled between December 2010 and May 2012 and treated with radiation at doses above 50 Gy involving more than one-third of the oral cavity. Patients assigned to doxepin used an oral rinse at a dosage of 25 mg in 5 mL of water for 1 minute on day 1; patients then crossed over to the other treatment arm on day 2. Continued treatment with doxepin was allowed on an as-needed basis.
Pain was measured by the area under the curve (AUC) on a pain scale over time. On day 1, doxepin-treated patients reported a pain reduction to –9.1 vs –4.7 for placebo recipients (P = .0003). Crossover data from day 2 showed similar findings, with an AUC pain score of –7.9 in the doxepin group vs –5.6 in the placebo group (P = .009).
Doxepin was well tolerated, but was associated with more stinging and burning (mean pain score of 3.7 for doxepin vs 1.1 for placebo) as well as an unpleasant taste (mean unpleasant taste score at 5 minutes of 2.9 for doxepin vs 1.6 for placebo), and caused greater drowsiness (mean drowsiness score of 3.9 for doxepin vs 2.8 for placebo). During the optional continuation phase, the majority of patients (64%) elected to continue doxepin."

64% of patients chose to continue doxepin after study completion.

*Click here to see full article.

From Oncology Times:

"Patients were asked to rate their pain at baseline and at 5, 15, 30, 60, 120, and 240 minutes later. The median pain score at baseline was 5.5 points, “which is the point at which it starts to interfere with eating and drinking,” he said.

During the four-hour period after the drug was administered, pain scores dropped an average of one point in the  placebo group compared with two points for the doxepin group, a significant difference, he said. After the two-day period two-thirds of patients elected to continue doxepin."
“There are many, many local institutional recipes for mouth rinse and numbing rinses, so it is nice to see a controlled trial. However, the trial looks at only one single aspect of oral mucositis -- pain, and I would like to have seen swallowing and other endpoints evaluated as well.”

He also questioned how clinically meaningful “a transient improvement of one point on a 10-point pain scale really is to patients who are already on narcotics. Perhaps the same could be achieved by giving them one extra pill when they have breakthrough pain, rather than introduce an entire new class of drugs with its own set of side effects.”

The fact that patients on placebo improved one point on the pain scale could be just “a wonderful testament to the placebo effect,” Harari added.

The bottom line: Before the doxepin rinse is considered for widespread use, there should be a Phase III trial comparing the rinse with an extra narcotic capsule or with a numbing rinse, rather than placebo, he said."
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Saturday, November 10, 2012

BiovaxID: An Interview with Dr. Eduardo M. Sotomayor (Part 4 of a series)

BiovaxID: An Interview with Dr. Eduardo M. Sotomayor (Part 4 of a series)

By Ross Bonander, November 09, 2012 


"In this next installment in my ongoing series,"BiovaxID: On the Trail of the Lymphoma Vaccine", I interviewed one of the world's leading authorities on lymphoma, Dr. Eduardo M. Sotomayor.

Dr. Sotomayor serves as Chair of the Department of Malignant Hematology and holds the Susan and John Sykes Endowed Chair in Hematologic Malignancies at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida."

"Dr. Sotomayor served as one of the principal investigators in the Phase III clinical trial evaluating BiovaxID in the consolidation setting against follicular lymphoma and co-authored the ensuing paper in the Journal of Clinical Oncology 1.
We discussed BiovaxID, the response to the vaccine by regulatory agencies in Europe and the US, as well as a similar lymphoma vaccine under development at Moffitt, and the mystery that is mantle cell lymphoma, among other things.

The Interview

Ross Bonander: Were you surprised when the FDA requested a second Phase III trial for BiovaxID?
Sotomayor: Yes. But you have to look at the history of this vaccine. The trial began in 2000. That was really before the widespread use of rituximab. Most of the patients in the trial received PACE chemotherapy. After ritiximab became common practice we had to modify the trial to allow patients to be treated with chemotherapy that included rituximab.
So one of the questions the FDA had was, 'This trial began before rituximab, how can you apply trial results to the current practice?'"
To read the full article and to view the other 3 parts of this series, click here.
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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Is The End Of Illness Attainable? - Terre Magnum : Terre Magnum

Is The End Of Illness Attainable? - Terre Magnum: David Agus

Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, in human beings of whom they know nothing. (1760)
-          Voltaire

Allow me to introduce you to David Agus: the now famed oncologist and author of New York Times bestsellerThe End of Illness is also known for his involvement in the treating of such icons as Lance Armstrong and the late Steve Jobs.
“Take a moment to imagine what it would be like to live robustly to the ripe old age of 100 or more. You wouldn’t die of any particular illness, and you wouldn’t gradually waste away under the spell of some awful, enfeebling disease that began years or decades earlier.
It may sound far-fetched, but it is possible to live a long, disease-free life. Most of the conditions that kill us, including cancer and heart disease, could be prevented or delayed by a new way of looking at and treating health. The end of illness is near.
Today, we mostly wait for the body to break before we treat it. When I picture what it will be like for my two children to stay in good health as independent adults in 10 or 20 years, I see a big shift from our current model.”
Ladies and gentlemen, we are not there yet. With a shift in focus as the author alludes to, perhaps the end is somewhere on the horizon.
The book does provide some familiar yet vital information with respect to preventative medicine and measures one can take to help fend off the plethora of illnesses that can result in distress to human homeostasis. As well, he includes a healthy dose of unique insight. I still think the truth is yet to be told on many of the ideas presented, but others are indisputable in their benefits.
In terms of ending illness, the author merely describes how the future of medicine may look in the decades ahead. He likens genomics to a recipe; with proteomics (the study of proteins and one of the focuses of his company Applied Proteomics) being what comes out of the kitchen. Proteomics, then, lets one know what’s happening in the body at any given time. It’s already happening, but proteomics has to continue to evolve.
The future of medicine does indeed look brilliant.
“Any man who is intelligent must, on considering that health is of the utmost value to human beings, have the personal understanding necessary to help himself in diseases, and be able to understand and to judge what physicians say and what they administer to his body, being versed in each of these matters to a degree reasonable for a layman.”
-          Hippocrates
Youtopia will be a regular column at Terre Magnum with hopes of being a catalyst for readers to take the necessary steps en route to preventing illness and perhaps even the eventual end of all maladies.
Stay connected (Twitter @KryzRolf)and check back often as Youtopia explores many of the concepts raised byThe End of Illness and beyond in the world of health.
From the publisher of The End of Illness (Simon & Schuster):
This indispensable book is not only a manifesto—a call for revising the way we think about health—it’s also filled with practical but impossible-to-ignore suggestions, including:
• How taking multivitamins and supplements could significantly increase our risk for cancer over time.
• Why sitting down most of the day, despite a strenuous morning workout, can be as bad as or worse than smoking.
• How sneaky sources of daily inflammation—from high heels to the common cold—can lead to a fatal heart attack, and even rob us of our sanity.
• How three inexpensive medications—aspirin, statins, and an annual flu vaccine—can substantially change the course of our health for the better.
• How taking shortcuts to health via blending fruits and vegetables, and sometimes even by purchasing what we think is “fresh,” could be shortchanging our health.
• The single most important thing we can do today to preserve our health and happiness that costs absolutely nothing.
Dr. Agus also offers insights and access to breathtaking and powerful new technologies that promise to transform medicine in our generation. In the course of offering recommendations, he emphasizes his belief that there is no “right” answer, no master guide that is “one size fits all.” Each one of us must get to know our bodies in uniquely personal ways, and he shows us exactly how to do that so that we can individually create a plan for wellness.


David Agus Bio:
Dr. Agus is professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and the Viterbi School of Engineering and heads USC’s Westside Cancer Center and the Center for Applied Molecular Medicine. He received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton and his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He trained at Johns Hopkins and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. A staunch advocate for personalized medicine, he chairs the Global Agenda Council on Genetics for the World Economic Forum, and is co-founder of Applied Proteomics and Navigenics, two health-care technology and wellness companies.
This article was originally publish at Terre Magnum

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Monday, October 1, 2012

The Tomorrow Project (Alberta, Canada)

Cancer touches the lives of all Albertans – 1 in 2 men will develop cancer in their lifetimes and 1 in 3 women will receive a cancer diagnosis.

One in four Albertans will die of cancer. (1)

The Tomorrow Project is the largest health research project undertaken in Alberta. Its goal is to find out more about the causes of cancer and other health conditions so researchers will be able to develop better strategies to improve our health in the future.

The Tomorrow Project is looking for 50,000 volunteers aged 35 to 69 who have never had cancer to participate. Once enrolled, participants are asked to fill out a survey about their health and lifestyle, and go to a study centre located in Calgary or Edmonton where they will be measured by trained staff, and asked to donate a sample of urine and blood or saliva. Those who can’t get to a study centre can request a mail-in saliva collection kit to use and send back.

To enroll today, simply call toll-free 1 877 919 9292 or visit Tell as many friends, family, neighbours and colleagues about this important province-wide health initiative, and encourage them to join. The commitment made today will help create a cancer-free tomorrow.

The Tomorrow Project is supported by the Alberta Cancer Foundation, the Alberta Cancer Prevention Legacy Fund (administered by Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions), the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, and Alberta Health Services.

1. Cancer Surveillance: 2008 Report on Cancer Statistics in Alberta. Edmonton: Surveillance and Health Status Assessment, Alberta Health Services, 2010.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

If Hockey Won't Fight Cancer, Hockey Fans Will : The Hockey Writers

If Hockey Won't Fight Cancer, Hockey Fans Will : The Hockey Writers:

HFFC logo

A great cause intiated by my colleague at The Hockey Writers, Ross Bonander who is also a healthcare journalist.


"The other day I wrote “Who Fights Cancer in a Lockout?” at Overtime, noting that should the lockout cancel games in October, it also cancels the biggest charity initiative of the NHL season, “Hockey Fights Cancer” (HFC). This means that the league, the players, and the fans won’t take part in the league-wide initiative, resulting in about $1 million not going to cancer charities this year.

Well if the NHL won’t do it, and the NHLPA can’t do it, then we the fans should.

To that end, I’ve created a grassroots fundraising team with the Livestrong Foundation entitled “Hockey Fans Fight Cancer.”

100 % of donations go to Livestrong.

100 % of donations go straight to Livestrong, meaning your donation never changes hands except from you to them.
Charity & foundation watchdog CharityWatch ranks Livestrong among the highest cancer charities operating today so you can trust your donation is being put to good use.
The lockout means plenty of leftover hockey-related revenue. All I’m asking is a donation of $1 to $5 per fan.
To visit the team page or to make a donation, click HERE.
The NHL can afford to act leisurely. Cancer patients cannot. As a cancer care advocate for people diagnosed with blood disorders, and as someone who has lost somebody close to me to cancer, I can vouch for that reality. If you prefer to donate to another charity, like Susan G. Komen or Prostate Cancer Canada or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, please do.
This is a chance to show the world that the bottom-line driven, fan-neglected choices made by NHL ownership don’t define us as a fan base."
Ross Bonander, hockey fan

This article was originally published at The Hockey Writers:


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Two Hundred Years of Cancer Research — NEJM

Two Hundred Years of Cancer Research — NEJM

Excellent article from NEJM; the full article available at above link.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Study Divides Breast Cancer Into Four Distinct Types -

More Breast Cancer Treatments Hinted in Study - "In findings that are fundamentally reshaping the scientific understanding of breast cancer, researchers have identified four genetically distinct types of the cancer. And within those types, they found hallmark genetic changes that are driving many cancers.

These discoveries, published online on Sunday in the journal Nature, are expected to lead to new treatments with drugs already approved for cancers in other parts of the body and new ideas for more precise treatments aimed at genetic aberrations that now have no known treatment.

The study is the first comprehensive genetic analysis of breast cancer, which kills more than 35,000 women a year in the United States. The new paper, and several smaller recent studies, are electrifying the field.

“This is the road map for how we might cure breast cancer in the future,” said Dr. Matthew Ellis of Washington University, a researcher for the study."

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Who Fights Cancer In A Lockout? | Overtime

English: Mario Lemieux at the HSBC Arena in Bu...
English: Mario Lemieux at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In depth article by THW Overtime's Ross Bonander on the effects of the NHL lockout felt well beyond hockey.

Who Fights Cancer In A Lockout? | Overtime:


"Ingenuity brought Gleevec to life, but money was a key player. It didn’t buy a cure, it bought the many expenses associated with getting there.

Organization or industry-led fundraising initiatives against cancer or any disease generally come from personal exposure. The most obvious example for hockey fans is the Mario Lemieux Foundation. Mario created the Foundation in 1993, the same year he was diagnosed with early-stage Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the same year he was cured of Hodgkin’s by radiotherapy, and the same year he won the Art Ross Trophy by scoring 39-65-104 points in 40 games before his diagnosis and 30-26-56 points in the 20 games following treatment.

The contributions made to the fight against cancer by the Mario Lemieux Foundation over the past 20 years are by any measure extraordinary, but arguably the most extraordinary is yet to come. The Mario Lemieux Center for Blood Cancers at the Hillman Cancer Center is scheduled to open this winter. It will change the otherwise complicated and frustrating journey of blood cancer patients as profoundly as Mario changed hockey."

Full article link:
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pain Management - Oncology News Article | Onabotulinumtoxina for treatment of focal cancer pain after surgery and/or radiation |4134185

Pain Management - Oncology News Article | Onabotulinumtoxina for treatment of focal cancer pain after surgery and/or radiation |4134185

Pain Medicine, 07/17/2012 Clinical Article

Mittal S et al. – Local treatment with onabotulinumtoxinA can significantly reduce pain and improve quality of life in cancer patients suffering from pain in the area of surgery and radiation and was well tolerated in cancer patients.


Authors studied the effect of onabotulinumtoxinA in seven cancer patients who suffered from severe focal pain (visual analog scale >5) at the site of local surgery or radiotherapy or both.

OnabotulinumtoxinA (20–100 units) was injected into the focal pain areas (skin or muscle or both).

Five of seven patients were followed beyond 1 year (1.5–5 years) with repeat treatment.


All seven patients reported a significant improvement in pain (mean drop in visual analog scale score of 5.1).

They described their response on the patient global assessment as satisfactory (two patients) or very satisfactory (five patients).

Six of seven patients found the pain relief associated with significant improvement in quality of life.

One patient developed weakness of jaw muscles after bilateral masseter injection that was not observed during second injection (reduced dose).

Improvements with treatment persisted with repeat injections during long–term follow–up (five patients). "


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

BBC News - US teen invents advanced cancer test using Google

TEDatNewYork_0726_IMG_2149_1920 (Photo credit: TED Conference)
BBC News - US teen invents advanced cancer test using Google:


"Fifteen-year-old high school student Jack Andraka likes to kayak and watch the US television show Glee.

And when time permits, he also likes to do advanced research in one of the most respected cancer laboratories in the world.

Jack Andraka has created a pancreatic cancer test that is 168 times faster and considerably cheaper than the gold standard in the field. He has applied for a patent for his test and is now carrying out further research at Johns Hopkins University in the US city of Baltimore.

And he did it by using Google.

The Maryland native, who won $75,000 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in May for his creation, cites search engines and free online science papers as the tools that allowed him to create the test."

'via Blog this'
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Friday, August 17, 2012

Hockey, Cancer, and the Chaos of Desperation

Leo Tolstoy 1848
Leo Tolstoy 1848 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Ross Bonander


"Cancer. Cancer is the Word.

In 1886 Leo Tolstoy's novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich was published. To make a short story even shorter, Ivan is a carefree guy until he gets sick. Nobody can or will say what illness he has, but it's clear he's dying. Of the many interpretations of the book's meaning, I find Susan Sontag's to be most compelling: that he has the one disease that has traditionally been such a scourge on humankind that saying the word itself in some cultures is taboo: Ivan has cancer.
Because of the inability or unwillingness of anyone to confront the disease, Ivan dies.
That was a fictional story from 1886.
Here's a real one from 11 August 2012: it is not uncommon for women in the Vietnamese community to die from untreated cancers because of the many taboo associations with the disease. [Loury, Erin. "In Vietnamese community, treating taboos on cancer." Los Angeles Times. ]"

Read full article here.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pain Medicine News - Is It Time To Change the Way We Report Pain?

Pain Medicine News - Is It Time To Change the Way We Report Pain?


"A study by the Initiative on Methods, Measurement, and Pain Assessment in Clinical Trials (IMMPACT) found that, in addition to the importance of assessing pain relief and improvement in physical and emotional functioning, a comprehensive outcome measure must also consider changes in “fatigue, sleep, home and family care, social and recreational activities, interpersonal relationships, and sexual activities.”13 In 2005, IMMPACT recommended several core outcome measures to be used in clinical trials14; however, few of these measures were designed specifically to evaluate the efficacy of pain management treatments, or were normed on a pain population (e.g., Beck Depression Inventory, Profile of Mood States, etc.). Casarett et al15 found that in addition to the reduction of pain, patients commonly cited improvement in sleep and increased ability to function as meaningful clinical end points. Moreover, Robinson et al16 found patients considered decreased fatigue, distress and interference as indicators of treatment success.
In response to these concerns, the global pain scale (GPS) was created. The GPS was designed to capture the multidimensionality of pain but also to provide a single score that could be used to track changes (e.g., as the result of a clinical intervention).17 Rooted in the biopsychosocial model, the GPS assesses physical pain, affective effects of pain, specific clinical outcomes, and the degree to which the pain interferes with ADLs.

We believe the GPS can be used as a standardized measure of treatment efficacy. It uniquely tracks clinical outcomes after a pain-relieving treatment has been initiated. The GPS can be administered to the patient in the waiting room and scored by the support staff, thus resulting in a robust assessment of pain in one numerical score that the physician can employ to formulate treatment plans. For research, the GPS can be used to measure pain scores and to follow pain treatment efficacy. The GPS is available free for physicians’ use in their practices or research studies, at​global-pain-scale .


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Calcitonin-containing drugs: Health Canada assessing potential cancer risk with long-term use

"Health Canada is informing Canadians that it is assessing the possibility of an increased risk of cancer with long-term use of the drug calcitonin. Patients who are taking a calcitonin medicine who have questions should speak to their health care professional before they consider stopping their calcitonin treatment."



From Medscape:

"July 20, 2012 — The European equivalent of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday recommended withdrawing calcitonin nasal spray — indicated for treating osteoporosis in the European Union — because of an increased risk for cancer.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) also said that the long-term use of calcitonin-containing medicines delivered by injection or infusion increases the risk for cancer. As a consequence, the EMA recommended that these drugs be used only on a short-term basis for 3 conditions for which they had previously been approved in the European Union: Paget's disease, acute bone loss resulting from sudden immobilization, and hypercalcemia caused by cancer.
Calcitonin in any formulation should not be used to treat osteoporosis at all, the agency said.
In the United States, 2 nasal-spray versions of calcitonin are FDA-approved for treating postmenopausal osteoporosis in women: Fortical (Upsher-Smith Laboratories) and Miacalcin (Novartis). Neither of the labels for the 2 drugs contains restrictions on how they should be used or a warning about the risk for cancer.
Calcitonin, also called calcitonin-salmon, is a synthetic copy of a polypeptide hormone secreted by the ultimobranchial gland of salmon."

Read more:


Monday, July 30, 2012

Book Review: Dead End Deal by Neurosurgeon Allen Wyler

Dead End Deal is an enthralling read; a unique blended style of novel that one might sum up as James Patterson meets Robin Cook meets an episode of National Geographic Channel’s “Locked Up Abroad”.

The author is a world renowned neurosurgeon turned thriller novelist. Make no mistake; Wyler weaves an excellent plot with surgeon-like precision with crafty creativity evident throughout the novel.

The Backdrop

This is the first book that I’ve read that had Seoul, South Korea as one of the main settings. It was fantastic to get a glimpse into this intriguing metropolis and culture. Dead End Deal takes the reader from Seattle, Washington to Seoul to Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

The author paints an excellent picture of each and every place the characters make their way to.

The Characters

The author creates believable personalities and characters that the reader can easily relate to. You can almost envision the most suitable actor/actress who could play the respective character in a movie adaptation of the novel. After reading, feel free to comment with your starring and supporting cast.

The Plot

World renowned neurosurgeon Jon Ritter is on the verge of a medical breakthrough that will change the world.  His groundbreaking surgical treatment, using transplanted non-human stem cells, is set to eradicate the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease and give hope to millions.  But when the procedure is slated for testing, it all comes to an abrupt and terrifying halt.  Ritter’s colleague is gunned down and Ritter himself is threatened by a radical anti-abortion group that not only claims responsibility, but promises more of the same.

Faced with a dangerous reality but determined to succeed, Ritter turns to his long-time colleague, corporate biotech CEO Richard Stillman, for help.  Together, they conspire to conduct a clandestine clinical trial in Seoul, Korea.  But the danger is more determined, and more lethal, than Ritter could have imagined.

After successful surgical trials, Ritter and his allies are thrown into a horrifying nightmare scenario:  The trial patients have been murdered and Ritter is the number one suspect. Aided by his beautiful lab assistant, Yeonhee, Ritter flees the country, now the target of an international manhunt involving Interpol, the FBI, zealous fanatics and a coldly efficient assassin named Fiest.

Dead End Deal is a fast paced, heart-pounding, and sophisticated thriller. Penned by master neurosurgeon, Allen Wyler—who often draws from experience, actual events and hotbutton issues when writing—Dead End Deal is unmatched as a technical procedural. Its medical and scientific details can impress even the most seasoned medical practitioners. And yet, the technical expertise is seamlessly woven into a riveting plot, with enough action and surprises to engross even the most well-read thriller enthusiast.

A smart, unique, page-turner, Dead End Deal delivers.”

What Others Are Saying

Dead End Deal is a medical thriller of the highest order, reviving the genre with a splendid mixture of innovation and cutting edge timeliness.  Neurosurgeon Allen Wyler knows of what he speaks, and writes, and the result is a thriller that equals and updates the best of Robin Cook and Michael Crichton.  His latest is terrifyingly on mark, riveting in all ways and a masterpiece of science and suspense.”
--Jon Land, bestselling author of Strong at the Break
“The suspense builds and builds in this riveting page-turner.  It’s a skillful merging of the medical thriller and political thriller…Tom Clancy meets Tess Gerritsen!”
--Kevin O’Brien, NYTimes Bestselling Author of The Last Victim and Killing Spree

Where to get your copy:

About The Author

Allen Wyler is a renowned neurosurgeon who earned an international reputation for pioneering surgical techniques to record brain activity.  He has served on the faculties of both the University of Washington and the University of Tennessee, and in 1992 was recruited by the prestigious Swedish Medical Center to develop a neuroscience institute.

In 2002, he left active practice to become Medical Director for a startup med-tech company (that went public in 2006) and he now chairs the Institutional Review Board of a major medical center in the Pacific Northwest.

Leveraging a love for thrillers since the early 70’s, Wyler devoted himself to fiction writing in earnest, eventually serving as Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization for several years. After publishing his first two medical thrillers Deadly Errors (2005) and Dead Head (2007), he officially retired from medicine to devote himself to writing full time.

He and his wife, Lily, divide their time between Seattle and the San Juan Islands.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Olympic Medicine — NEJM

Thomas Hicks running the marathon at the 1904 ...
Thomas Hicks running the marathon at the 1904 Summer Olympics (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Brilliant and timely read from the New England Journal of Medicine.


"Performance-enhancing drugs have cast a long shadow on the modern Olympics. Whether the agents are the strychnine, heroin, cocaine, and morphine that athletes used in Athens in 1896 or the amphetamines, steroids, and erythropoietin that some use today, the dilemma remains the same. As a sports medicine specialist noted in 2004, the “attraction of performance-enhancing drugs is simply that they permit the fulfillment of the mythical promise of boundless athletic performance — the hubristic `faster, higher, stronger' motto of the Olympic Games” (2004). The ensuing systems of medical surveillance have led, inevitably, to “a new type of competition,” in which some athletes try to stay one step ahead of the authorities (2001).
The arms race will continue as medical science produces ever newer means of performance enhancement. Will future athletes try growth factors or gene therapy?3 One thing is certain: the Olympics will remain an object of medical fascination."
Olympic Medicine — NEJM
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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cancer Patients Health and Wellbeing Resources - Great programs available for Alberta patients

The following is just a sampling of some fantastic programs available to cancer patients in Alberta:

1. Wellspring

"At Wellspring, people living with cancer tell us what helps them the most – having access to information, receiving support, and learning new ways to cope. Wellspring Calgary exists to inform, support, and empower patients, families and caregivers by helping them to address the fear, isolation, disruption and practical problems which cancer can bring to our lives. All of our programs, services and resources are offered free of charge and without referral."


Sampling of programs offered free of charge:

  • Peer Support - One-to-one support with trained volunteers who are cancer survivors or have been caregivers to a person with cancer to assist you through your cancer journey, for as long as you need
  • Energy Programs - Reiki, Reflexology, Therapeutic Touch are gentle and soothing approaches to promoting health and well-being.
  • Relaxation and Visualization - Also known as "Guided Imagery", uses mindfulness-based imagery and scripts to help reduce stress and achieve a sense of relaxation and calm.
  • Expressive Arts - Class options include Chinese Calligraphy, Watercolor Techniques, Contemplative Arts Mixed Media, Journaling and more.
  • Yoga - Yoga combines body awareness techniques through gentle stretching and movement with meditative and breathing exercises. It can help reduce stress as well as help you to achieve a sense of calm and well-being.
  • Brain Fog - Brain fog, chemo brain and chemo fog are informal terms used to describe the cognitive deficits often associated with cancer and cancer treatment. Brain fog is an educational and experiential program that introduces participants to cognitive enhancement strategies.
  • Healthy Steps - Moving you to Better Health with the Lebed Method, is a therapeutic research-based exercise and movement program designed to help you thrive!
  • Return to Work Program - An eight-week program that covers: personal readiness to work, managing health, employment standards and legal rights and the management of finances and benefits.

2. Thrive Centre (University of Calgary Faculty of Kinesiology)

What: An innovative fitness facility aiming to empower and improve the quality of life of people affected by cancer. It is free for use for cancer patients, survivors and their support people. The gym is monitored by exercise specialists and volunteers who have specific cancer and exercise training.

Location Link
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About Onco-PRN

Welcome and thanks for visiting Onco-P.R.N. - The oncology website with a focus on all things oncology pharmacy/pain/palliative care-related. It is intended to be an information resource for those pharmacist and relevant health care professionals involved in whatever fashion with cancer and palliative care. Stay tuned for the latest and greatest links and information with respect to: oncology medications, continuing education, pharmaceutical care initiatives, pain and symptom control, supportive care topics, and whatever else that might fit into the theme.

*Note: This website is not affiliated with Alberta Health Services (AHS) or CAPhO and the opinions expressed herewithin are that of the author(s).

Pharmacy History

"The earliest known compilation of medicinal substances was ARIANA the Sushruta Samhita, an Indian Ayurvedic treatise attributed to Sushruta in the 6th century BC. However, the earliest text as preserved dates to the 3rd or 4th century AD.
Many Sumerian (late 6th millennium BC - early 2nd millennium BC) cuneiform clay tablets record prescriptions for medicine.[3]

Ancient Egyptian pharmacological knowledge was recorded in various papyri such as the Ebers Papyrus of 1550 BC, and the Edwin Smith Papyrus of the 16th century BC.

The earliest known Chinese manual on materia medica is the Shennong Bencao Jing (The Divine Farmer's Herb-Root Classic), dating back to the 1st century AD. It was compiled during the Han dynasty and was attributed to the mythical Shennong. Earlier literature included lists of prescriptions for specific ailments, exemplified by a manuscript "Recipes for 52 Ailments", found in the Mawangdui tomb, sealed in 168 BC. Further details on Chinese pharmacy can be found in the Pharmacy in China article."

From Wikipedia:

Journal of Palliative Medicine - Table of Contents

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