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Watchdog: 900,000 vets may have pending health care requests
2 Sep 2015 at 4:30pm
WASHINGTON (AP) ? Nearly 900,000 military veterans have officially pending applications for health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs, the department's inspector general said Wednesday, but "serious" problems with enrollment data make it impossible to determine how many veterans were actively seeking VA health care.
Killer T-cell therapy shows promise against leukemia
2 Sep 2015 at 4:17pm
A cancer-killing therapy that engineers a patient's own immune cells to wipe out chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) has shown long-term success in a handful of people, a US study said Wednesday. Experts said the approach is on the cutting edge of a growing field known as immunotherapy, which coaxes the body to kill off cancer and may someday revolutionize oncology by ending the use of toxic chemotherapy. The method, known as CTL019, was developed by the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center and Perelman School of Medicine, which is now reporting the first long-term results on a group of 14 initial patients.
Criminal investigators hired by charities as pressure mounts over fraud
2 Sep 2015 at 4:10pm
By Tom Esslemont LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Rising mistrust of international charities and a public push for greater transparency on spending in corruption-prone crisis zones are compelling some non-government organizations (NGOs) to hire a new recruit - the criminal investigator. In a bid to prevent as well as report fraudulent activity, Plan International, Oxfam GB, Americares and International Medical Corps are among those to have appointed trained counter-fraud directors at their head offices. Others, such as Medicins Sans Frontieres, Handicap International and Action Against Hunger use auditors and finance officers to handle cases of fraud.
Pennsylvania judge rejects parents' move to stop gender change surgery
2 Sep 2015 at 3:56pm
A Pennsylvania judge on Wednesday rejected an effort by the parents of a 48-year-old transgender woman to block her gender reassignment surgery after they said she is incompetent. Christine Kitzler's surgery had been scheduled to take place in New Hope, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, Sept. 1, but on Monday her parents filed an emergency petition in a Bucks County courthouse in suburban Philadelphia to stop the surgery. Kitzler, who lives in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was in a pre-operative appointment when she received news the surgery was halted, her lawyer, Angela Giampolo, said.
Washington state sues U.S. over toxic vapors at nuclear waste site
2 Sep 2015 at 2:57pm
By Eric M. Johnson SEATTLE (Reuters) - The U.S. government has failed to adequately safeguard crews involved in the decades-long cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Washington state, leaving workers sickened by exposure to toxic vapors, the state said in a lawsuit filed on Wednesday. The 18-page complaint, filed in federal court in Spokane, cited more than 50 instances since January 2014 of workers being exposed to hazardous fumes at the sprawling World War Two-era site along the Columbia River. One worker was treated last year for chemical pneumonitis, an inflammation of the lungs caused by chemical exposure, the complaint said.
Special Report: Renowned U.S. drug-rehab program spun out of control
2 Sep 2015 at 2:52pm
By Kristina Cooke and Robin Respaut NEW YORK (Reuters) - Martin Szczupak had already been in and out of rehab when, for a misdemeanor possession charge, a judge sent the 21-year-old heroin addict to a century-old estate in the wooded hills of upstate New York for another chance to clean up. Belle Terre, the former home of a 19th-century copper baron, housed the 168-bed Phoenix House Delaware County Center, a private, nonprofit residential drug treatment facility. When Szczupak arrived in June 2012, all was not well behind Belle Terre?s stately walls.
DIY Skin Care Using Items Found in Your Pantry
2 Sep 2015 at 2:28pm
Lavish skincare products needed for beautiful and radiant skin can be found right in your own home. There is little to no need to spend a fortune on products that promise brighter, softer and more vibrant skin. The best part of DIY skin care is getting amazing results while avoiding putting your skin in contact with potentially harmful...
Review examines risks, responses to in-flight medical emergencies
2 Sep 2015 at 2:17pm
By Gene Emery (Reuters Health) - An airplane in flight is one of the worst places to have a medical emergency, even if there's a doctor on board. The New England Journal of Medicine has published a review for doctors of the types of urgent problems they might encounter on board and some of the challenges they'll face if they try to treat them. Fortunately, the odds of having a medical emergency on a particular flight are long - by one count, about 1 in 600.
Ryan White HIV/AIDS program offers needed patient support
2 Sep 2015 at 2:15pm
By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - A 25-year-old program named for Ryan White, who was expelled from school at age 13 because he had HIV, now provides essential services to nearly three-quarters of HIV-positive patients in the U.S., a new analysis shows. Compared to other outpatient HIV treatment facilities, those funded by the federal Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program (RWHAP) offer more case management, mental health and substance abuse support services, and those services make a difference in patient outcomes, according to researchers from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Facilities that applied for and received funding through the RWHAP have served more vulnerable populations, including the poor or recently homeless or incarcerated, said lead author Dr. John Weiser of the CDC?s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.
Sierra Leone to vaccinate 200 people connected to Ebola victim
2 Sep 2015 at 2:02pm
Sierra Leone is to vaccinate around 200 people who came into direct or indirect contact with a woman who died of Ebola on Saturday, a spokeswoman for the U.N. World Health Organisation said on Wednesday. The death of the woman, a trader from Kambia District near the border with Guinea, sets back efforts to end an 18-month epidemic that has infected more than 28,000 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and killed more than a third of them. The 67-year-old woman died five days after Sierra Leone started a 42-day countdown to being declared free of Ebola. "We will vaccinate those in the (Tonko Limba) chiefdom who came into direct contact with the deceased and those contacts they also came into close contact with," said WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris.
Syria's ailing water network could spark epidemics: Red Cross
2 Sep 2015 at 1:53pm
By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - Syria's water network, heavily damaged by bombs and shelling, is at risk of collapse as its civil war drags on, increasing the threat of deadly typhoid or cholera outbreaks, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Wednesday. Millions of people in Aleppo and Damascus are cut off from water supplies for days at a time, a tactic used by all warring sides to exert control in divided cities, the ICRC said. ICRC aid workers have helped water boards and engineers to maintain and repair aging pumping stations throughout Syria since the conflict began in March 2011.
Dozens of North Carolina Students Sent Home Due to Mysterious Illness
2 Sep 2015 at 1:48pm
More than 100 students from two North Carolina schools had symptoms.
Amgen cannot stop imminent sale of Neupogen copycat: appeals court
2 Sep 2015 at 1:12pm
A U.S. appeals court has cleared the way for Novartis AG to launch the first biosimilar drug in the United States as it declined on Wednesday to stop the sale of the company's copycat version of Amgen Inc's blockbuster cancer drug Neupogen. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in July said Novartis could begin to market its biosimilar drug, to be sold under the name Zarxio, after Sept. 2. Amgen had sought an injunction while both companies ask the court to clarify federal regulations on when close copies of biologic medicines may be brought to market.
Some leukemia patients see durable results from Novartis therapy
2 Sep 2015 at 12:42pm
Some leukemia patients who had exhausted other treatment options have no trace of the disease more than four years after being treated with an experimental type of therapy called CAR T cells in a small pilot study at the University of Pennsylvania. The 14-patient study, which began in the summer of 2010, enrolled patients who had failed to benefit from standard treatments for chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a cancer of white blood cells that most commonly affects adults. The first patient to receive the therapy is cancer-free after five years and another of the first three enrolled patients also remains in remission, the university said on Wednesday.
Massachusetts attorney general OKs marijuana ballot initiatives
2 Sep 2015 at 12:37pm
By Jacqueline Tempera BOSTON (Reuters) - Ballot initiatives from two marijuana advocacy groups were approved by the Massachusetts attorney general on Wednesday, leaving it up to voters to decide whether pot smoking should be legal in the state. The proposals, submitted to State Attorney General Maura Healey by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol and the Bay State Repeal, argue that legalizing the drug will make it easier to regulate its sale and prevent underage kids from accessing it. In Massachusetts, 53 percent of voters told a Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll in February that they would favor legalizing marijuana with just 37 percent opposing.