Monday, January 17, 2011

Hepatitis C And Liver News Of The Day Jan 17th

Surgeons spooked by -- and overreacting to? -- 2007 HIV-positive organs incident
In November 2007, four organ transplant recipients in Chicago contracted HIV and hepatitis C from a deceased "high risk" organ donor. It was a nightmare scenario, to be sure, but it was also an extreme rarity: the first documented case of HIV transmission through an organ transplant in more than 20 years. Still, the ripple effect for surgeons who perform organ transplants has been significant, according to a study published Monday in the journal Archives of Surgery . Nearly a third of 422 practicing transplant surgeons surveyed by a Johns Hopkins research team in early 2008 changed the way they evaluate organs from "high risk" donors as a result of the 2007 incident, they reported.
Complete response for advanced liver cancer during sorafenib therapy: Case Report

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the fifth most common neoplasia, In former times, treatment of advanced HCC with conventional antineoplastic drugs did not result in satisfactory outcomes: recently , in this patient population the oral multikinase inhibitor sorafenib has been able to induce a statistically significant improvement of overall survival. .Similarly to other anti-angiogenic drugs employed in other tumour types, also sorafenib seldom induces the dimensional tumour shrinking usually observed with conventional cytotoxic drugs: data gathered from studies carried out with sorafenib and other competitors under development do not report any complete response in HCV-induced HCC.Case presentationAn 84-year old man with a long-lasting history of chronic HCV hepatitis was referred to our Institution for an ultrasonography investigation of a focal hepatic lesion. To better characterize the liver disease and clearly define the diagnosis of the focal hepatic lesion, the patient was hospitalized in our department.Laboratory and instrumental investigations confirmed the clinical picture of HCV-related liver cirrhosis and identified a hepatic lesion of about 6 cm featuring infiltrating HCC with thrombosis of the portal trunk. Due to the advanced stage of the disease, therapy with sorafenib 400 mg bid was started. Right from one month after the treatment start, a reduction of alpha-fetoprotein level was observed which, by the third month, turned down within the normal limits. In addition CT scan showed 50% reduction of the neoplastic lesion along with canalization of the portal trunk.At the sixth month the normalization of alpha-fetoprotein level at the lower limit of normality was confirmed and MRI showed complete disappearance of the neoplasia. In addition a reduction of a metallo-proteinase serum level was obserdved.At present the patient is in a follow-up programme to evaluate the duration of the complete response. Conclusions: This case is worth mentioning since, to the best of our knowledge, it represents the first evidence of complete response to sorafenib in an elderly patient with advanced HCV-related HCC.Author: Rodolfo SaccoIrene BargelliniGianluigi GiannelliMarco BertiniElena BozziEmanuele AltomareValentina BattagliaAntonio RomanoMichele BertoniAlfonso CapriaGiampaolo BresciCarlo BartolozziCredits/Source: BMC Gastroenterology 2011, 11:4

New drugs take aim at hepatitis C, spur debate on whether to test baby boomersBy Lauran Neergaard (CP) – 1 hour agoWASHINGTON — There's new hope for an overlooked epidemic: Two powerful drugs are nearing the market that promise to help cure many more people of liver-attacking hepatitis C — even though most who have the simmering infection don't know it yet.Surprisingly, two-thirds of hepatitis C sufferers are thought to be baby boomers who've harboured since their younger, perhaps wilder, years a virus that can take two or three decades to do its damage.What could be a treatment revolution is spurring the government to consider if it's time to start screening aging baby boomers for hepatitis C, just like they get various cancer checks."We're entering a whole new era of therapy," says Dr. John Ward, hepatitis chief at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We really want to begin that clarion call for action for this population who's at risk."Today's two-drug treatment for hepatitis C cures only about 40 per cent of people with the most common variety of the virus, and causes some gruelling side effects. Now major studies show that adding a new drug —either Vertex Pharmaceuticals' telaprevir or Merck & Co.'s boceprevir — can boost those cure rates as high as 75 per cent. And they allow some people to cut treatment time in half, to six months, thus lessening how long they must deal with those side effects. Read More...

High incidence of liver problems found among highly paid workers2011/01/17 19:33:32
Taipei, Jan. 17 (CNA) Health reports show a high incidence of liver problem among employees in certain high-paying occupations, a local clinic said Monday.Test results from last year show that people working in the electronic information industry, general manufacturing industry, and the constructions industry tend to have fatty liver disease (FLDand elevated levels of GPT, an indicator of liver functions, the Lianan Clinic said... read more

Apple's Steve Jobs Takes Medical Leave Again
CEO Who Had Liver Transplant in 2009 Says He Needs to Focus on His Health but Will Remain Involved in Company Decisions

NEW YORK - Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs sent a note Monday to employees saying he's taking a medical leave of absence so he can focus on his health. He says he will continue as CEO and be involved in major decisions but has asked Tim Cook to be responsible for all day-to-day operations. Jobs says he loves Apple and hopes to be back as soon as he can. He says he and his family would appreciate respect for their privacy. Jobs returned to work in June 2009 after a five-and-a-half-month medical leave, during which he received a liver transplant.. read more..

Proposed pot rules generate comments
Another request brought up by a commenter was to include more illnesses in the list of those acceptable for treatment by medical marijuana. Many asked the department to include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, social anxiety disorder and others. The current qualifying conditions include: cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease or a chronic disease that causes any of the following: wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe or persistent muscle spasms. There is a process to have additional illnesses added to the list. Other people asked the department to better define some of the current illnesses on the list to make sure that people who did not need the drug did not gain access to it by claiming they had a debilitating illness or pain when they really didn' more..

Former talk show host Montel Williams was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee. TSA reportedly found a pipe used for smoking marijuana in Williams' baggage. Williams has openly stated that he uses marijuana to relieve the chronic pain he suffers as a result of multiple sclerosis, which he was diagnosed with in 1999. William has become a medical marijuana advocate since a similar incident at the Detroit airport years ago. Williams reportedly paid the $484 citation and was released to continue his travel.

Proponents of medical marijuana argue that it can be a safe and effective treatment for the symptoms of cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, pain, glaucoma, epilepsy and other conditions. Scientists have confirmed that the cannabis plant contains active ingredients with therapeutic potential for relieving pain, controlling nausea, stimulating appetite, and decreasing ocular pressure.
In a report to the California Legislature in February 2010, CMCR summarized the findings of several of the studies done at the center. Four trials tested smoked marijuana’s ability to relieve neuropathic pain, which is a very difficult-to-treat type of nerve-pain associated with cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, spinal cord injury and many other debilitating conditions. Each of the trials found that cannabis consistently reduced patients’ pain levels to a degree that was as good or better than currently available medications.
Another study conducted by the center’s scientists looked at the use of more..

Featured Hepatitis C Articles At Medscape
Current Therapies for Chronic Hepatitis C

How long is peginterferon and ribavirin therapy for hepatitis C?
Pharmacotherapy, January 2011

Amarillo Biosciences' CEO Does Live Interview on
Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. (ABI) (OTCBB: AMAR) -- ABI announced today that a new audio interview with ( is now available. The interview can be viewed at
Amarillo Biosciences, Inc. (OTCBB: AMAR) is developing low-dose oral interferon for human and animal health. The product is safe, inexpensive, stable at room temperature, easy-to-administer and modulates the immune system by helping regulate interferon sensitive genes. The company asserts that low dose oral interferon can achieve many of the benefits of high dose injectable interferon without the toxicity reported by most patients given high dose injectable interferon.
In the interview, the CEO notes: "Our new license and supply agreement with Oasis Diagnostics is expected to generate revenues this year." To listen to the entire interview visit:

About is a small-cap research and investment commentary provider. strives to provide a balanced view of many promising small-cap companies that would otherwise fall under the radar of the typical Wall Street investor. We provide investors with an excellent first step in their research and due diligence by providing daily trading ideas, and consolidating the public information available on them. For more information on ChartPoppers, please visit

Half A Liver Provides On Whole Life

Jan 15 2011

Southland woman Pare Taua Corran went to Starship children's hospital to offer support to her baby nephew and ended up donating half her liver to his cause.
The Otautau shearer underwent major surgery to give the best chance possible to Utiku Poihakena-Jackson, who has been battling a failing liver since he was born 13 months ago.
Baby Utiku and his mother Gina Malcolm have arrived back in Invercargill after eight months in Starship waiting for a suitable liver and recovering from surgery... read more..

Healthy You

Bt brinjal can damage liver, hit immunity: Study
Mahyco had concluded that there were no health effects of Bt brinjal - which was readily accepted by the regulator. But a close scrutiny of the same data revealed "serious indications that consumption of Bt brinjal can cause inflammation, reproductive disorders and liver damage".
The analysis was done by Dr Lou Gallagher - an epidemiologist from New Zealand. The data shows that rats fed with Bt brinjal experienced " organ and system damage and had ovaries at half their normal weight, enlarged spleens with white blood cell counts at 35 to 40 per cent higher than normal with elevated eosinophils, indicating immune function changes". Toxic effects to the liver were seen in the form of elevated bilirubin... read more...

Compound Used In Plastic Products Found Harmful To Women

BPA levels associated with increased male sex hormone levels in women with PCOS
A recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM), found higher Bisphenol A (BPA) levels in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) compared to controls. Furthermore, researchers found a statistically significant positive association between male sex hormones and BPA in these women suggesting a potential role of BPA in ovarian dysfunction.

BPA is a very common industrial compound used in food and drink packaging, plastic consumer products and dental materials. PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder of women of reproductive age and is characterized by excessive secretion of androgens which are masculinization-promoting hormones. The syndrome raises the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, infertility and heart disease.

“Our research shows that BPA may be more harmful to women with hormonal and fertility imbalances like those found in PCOS,” said Evanthia Diamanti-Kandarakis, MD, PhD, study co-author and professor at the University of Athens Medical School in Greece. “These women should be alert to the potential risks and take care of themselves by avoiding excessive every-day consumption of food or drink from plastic containers.”

In this study, researchers divided 71 women with PCOS and 100 healthy female control subjects into subgroups matched by age and body composition. Blood levels of BPA were nearly 60 percent higher in lean women with PCOS and more than 30 percent higher in obese women with the syndrome when compared to controls. Additionally, as BPA levels increased, so did concentrations of the male sex hormone testosterone and androstenedione, a steroid hormone that converts to testosterone.

“Excessive secretion of androgens, as seen in PCOS, interfere with BPA detoxification by the liver, leading to accumulation of blood levels of BPA,” said Diamanti-Kandarakis. “BPA also affects androgen metabolism, creating a vicious circle between androgens and BPA.”
Other researchers working on the study include: Eleni Kandaraki of Huddersfield Royal Infirmary Hospital in West Yorkshire, United Kingdom; Antonis Chatzigeorgiou, Sarantis Livadas, Eleni Palioura, Frangiscos Economou, Michael Koutsilieris and Sotiria Palimeri of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece; and Dimitrios Panidis of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece.

The article, “Endocrine disruptors and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS): Elevated serum levels of Bisphenol A in women with PCOS,” appears in the March 2011 issue of JCEM.
Founded in 1916, The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, The Endocrine Society’s membership consists of over 14,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 100 countries. Society members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology.
The Endocrine Society is based in Chevy Chase, Maryland. To learn more about the Society and the field of endocrinology, visit our site at .
Contact: Aaron Lohralohr@endo-society.org240-482-1380The Endocrine Society

Today is 'Fat Day' in the U.K.
By: Michele R. Berman, MD January 17, 2011
According to statistics compiled by the Transform Cosmetic Surgery Group, the third Monday in January is the day that many British women experience their lowest self-esteem related to December holiday increases in weight which averages 11 pounds. It is on this day that there is an annual surge in call center inquiries about not only weight loss surgery and liposuction, but breast augmentation as well. The third Monday in January has therefore been dubbed 'Fat Day' in the U.K. more..

In Case You Missed It

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, KY - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is asking drug manufacturers to limit the strength of acetaminophen in prescription drug products, which are predominantly combinations of acetaminophen and opioids.

This action will limit the amount of acetaminophen in these products to 325 mg per tablet, capsule, or other dosage unit, making these products safer for patients. In addition, a Boxed Warning highlighting the potential for severe liver injury and a Warning highlighting the potential for allergic reactions (e.g., swelling of the face, mouth, and throat, difficulty breathing, itching, or rash) are being added to the label of all prescription drug products that contain acetaminophen.

These actions will help to reduce the risk of severe liver injury and allergic reactions associated with acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is widely and effectively used in both prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) products to reduce pain and fever. It is one of the most commonly-used drugs in the United States. Examples of prescription products that contain acetaminophen include hydrocodone with acetaminophen (Vicodin, Lortab), and oxycodone with acetaminophen (Tylox, Percocet).

OTC products containing acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol) are not affected by this action. Information about the potential for liver injury is already required on the label for OTC products containing acetaminophen. FDA is continuing to evaluate ways to reduce the risk of acetaminophen related liver injury from OTC products. Additional safety measures relating to OTC acetaminophen products will be taken through separate action, such as a rulemaking as part of the ongoing OTC monograph proceeding for internal analgesic drug products.For more information on safety considerations for acetaminophen, visit the following link on the FDA web site: Acetaminophen Information

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