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Health - Pharmacology - 09.06.2021
Experts call for new standards for diagnostic tests to address testing problems during the COVID-19 pandemic
The Royal Statistical Society (RSS) has today published its review of the statistical evidence needed to assure the performance of future diagnostic tests, so we are better prepared for future pandemics. The RSS Working Group on Diagnostic Tests, which is co-chaired by University of Birmingham's Professor Jon Deeks , is calling on the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to review and revise the national licensing process for in vitro diagnostic tests, to ensure that reliable evidence about the performance of tests is available and public safety is protected.

Health - Pharmacology - 09.06.2021
Welsh study to transform UK brain tumour trials to find ’kinder’ therapies
A new Welsh study is aiming to revolutionise how clinical trials measure the impact of new brain tumour drugs on a patient's physical and emotional wellbeing, alongside assessment of their survival. Led by Professor Anthony Byrne from Cardiff University, and in collaboration with Professor Melanie Calvert from the University of Birmingham, the research will culminate in a consensus that will define the most important outcomes to measure, according to brain tumour patients, carers and professionals.

Pharmacology - Health - 08.06.2021
Drug used to reduce blood sugar in diabetic patients can benefit hearts
Drug used to reduce blood sugar in diabetic patients can benefit hearts
A drug used to treat people living with Type 2 diabetes could also help improve their heart function, according to new research. An estimated 3.7 million people in the UK are diagnosed with the condition which can damage the walls of the arteries and lead to a heart attack or heart failure. Researchers at the University of Leeds' School of Medicine have discovered that Empagliflozin, which is typically prescribed to help reduce blood sugar levels in patients with Type 2, could also enhance the function of their hearts.

Health - Pharmacology - 04.06.2021
Many patients with COVID-19 produce immune responses against their body’s own tissues or organs, finds study
A University of Birmingham-led study funded by the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium has found that many patients with COVID-19 produce immune responses against their body's own tissues or organs. COVID-19 has been associated with a variety of unexpected symptoms, both at the time of infection and for many months afterwards.

Health - Pharmacology - 03.06.2021
Study of UK dental professionals reveals extent of occupational risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection
A University of Birmingham-led study of over a thousand dental professionals has shown their increased occupational risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the first wave of the pandemic in the UK. The observational cohort study , published today (3 June 2021), in the Journal of Dental Research, involved 1,507 Midland dental care practitioners.

Health - Pharmacology - 02.06.2021
Opioid Agonist Therapy reduces mortality risk among people with opioid dependence
A new global review has found that receiving Opioid Agonist Therapy (OAT) is associated with lower risk of multiple causes of death among people with opioid dependence. The review, published in JAMA today [2 June], found that people with opioid dependence were less likely to experience overdose-related, suicide, alcohol-related, cancer, and cardiovascular-related mortality while receiving OAT.

Health - Pharmacology - 02.06.2021
Kidney failure patients among worst affected during COVID-19
Kidney failure patients among worst affected during COVID-19
The main risk factors associated with the significantly higher numbers of COVID-19 infection in dialysis patients, have been revealed in a study led by UCL researchers. In the UK, around 30,000 people with kidney failure or disease must visit a medical centre several times a week for dialysis treatment, which helps filter waste products from the blood.  Globally the figure is around two million.  As a result, these patients have been unable to self-isolate during lockdown, leaving them far more exposed to COVID-19 infection.

Health - Pharmacology - 02.06.2021
Very high use of antibiotics in COVID-19 treatment could be reduced
The very high use of antibiotics in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 is often not necessary, and risks worsening global antimicrobial resistance. New research led by the University of Glasgow as part of the ISARIC (International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infections Consortium) WHO Clinical Characterisation Protocol UK (CCP-UK), found that antibiotic use was very high in hospitalised COVID-19 patients in the UK during the first wave despite confirmed bacterial infection being uncommon.

Pharmacology - Health - 31.05.2021
Diabetes remission diet lowers blood pressure and reduces need for medication
New research has shown that if people achieve and maintain substantial weight loss to manage their type 2 diabetes, many can also effectively control their high blood pressure and stop or cut down on their anti-hypertensive medication. A weight management programme, developed by researchers at the Universities of Glasgow and Newcastle for the Diabetes UK-funded DIabetes REmission Clinical Trial (DIRECT), has proved effective at lowering blood pressure and reducing the need for anti-hypertensive medications, as well as bringing remission of type 2 diabetes.

Health - Pharmacology - 28.05.2021
Pioneering single-dose radiotherapy for breast cancer treatment
Pioneering single-dose radiotherapy for breast cancer treatment
A breast cancer therapy that requires just one shot of radiotherapy is as effective as traditional radiotherapy, and avoids potential damage to nearby organs, according to a paper by UCL experts. The results, published in the British Journal of Cancer, mean that eight out of ten patients who receive the treatment, TARGIT-IORT, will not need a long course of post-operative external beam radiotherapy (EBRT).

Pharmacology - 27.05.2021
Switching off heart protein could protect against heart failure
Switching off heart protein could protect against heart failure
Switching off a heart muscle protein could provide a new way for drugs to combat heart failure in people who've had a heart attack, according to research led by the University of Cambridge and published in the journal Nature . After years of research we've revealed an entirely new and promising way that could help the recovery of failing hearts Xuan Li There is an unmet need to find drugs that can successfully improve the heart's ability to pump blood efficiently after it's been damaged following a heart attack.

Health - Pharmacology - 25.05.2021
New insight into when CAR T is effective against childhood leukaemia
Scientists and clinicians at UCL and Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) studying the effectiveness of CAR T-cell therapies in children with leukaemia, have discovered a small sub-set of T-cells that are likely to play a key role in whether the treatment is successful. Researchers say 'stem cell memory T-cells' appear critical in both destroying the cancer at the outset and for long term immune surveillance and exploiting this quality could improve the design and performance of CAR T therapies.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 25.05.2021
Racemases: The hunt for drugs to neutralise these critical enzymes
Racemases: The hunt for drugs to neutralise these critical enzymes
Bath scientists explore racemases and propose strategies for finding drugs that target these important enzymes. Last updated on Tuesday 25 May 2021 Bath academics explore racemases - an important type of enzyme that is linked to certain cancers and other life-threatening diseases while also being critical to cell function - in a paper published in the prestigious journal Chemical Society Reviews.

Health - Pharmacology - 20.05.2021
Opinion: The danger of journals being seen as substitute regulators
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the risks associated with seeing journals as authoritative voices on the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, says Dr Chris Van Tulleken (UCL Infection & Immunity). A superficial reading of the history of vaccination might lead you to believe that it is simple.

Health - Pharmacology - 14.05.2021
New immunotherapy 'highly effective' against hepatitis B virus
New immunotherapy ’highly effective’ against hepatitis B virus
Scientists at UCL have identified a new immunotherapy to combat the hepatitis B virus (HBV), the most common cause of liver cancer in the world. Each year, globally, chronic HBV causes an estimated 880,000 deaths from liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma/liver cancer (HCC). The pioneering study used immune cells isolated directly from patient liver and tumour tissue ,  to show that targeting acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT), an enzyme that helps to manage cholesterol levels in cells*, was highly effective at boosting immune responses.

Health - Pharmacology - 14.05.2021
New imaging technique could lead to better bio-implants for patients
University of Birmingham scientists have developed a new microscopic imaging approach to take a closer look at 3D-printing for developing future patient implants, as well as improved disease modelling and drug screening. Additive manufacturing (3D printing) platforms create bioprinted structures by moving a special bioink, containing cells, biomolecules and materials, through a narrow tube, but the process can result in cells becoming damaged as they pass through the tiny tube.

Health - Pharmacology - 13.05.2021
Screening for ovarian cancer did not reduce deaths
A large-scale randomised trial of annual screening for ovarian cancer, led by UCL researchers, did not succeed in reducing deaths from the disease, despite one of the screening methods tested detecting cancers earlier. Results from the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening (UKCTOCS) have been published in a report in the medical journal The Lancet .

Pharmacology - 13.05.2021
Childhood abdominal pain may be linked to disordered eating in teenagers | University of Oxford
New research shows that people who suffer from recurrent abdominal pain in childhood may be more likely to have disordered eating as teenagers. This is the first study to provide prospective evidence of an association between recurrent abdominal pain at aged 7-9 years and fasting to control weight at aged 16 years.

Health - Pharmacology - 10.05.2021
TB immune response discovery could significantly reduce disease harm
TB immune response discovery could significantly reduce disease harm
A pioneering study by UCL scientists has discovered the presence of a harmful inflammatory protein in patients with symptomatic tuberculosis (TB). Researchers say, by targeting the IL-17 cytokine, a component produced naturally by the immune system in response to infection, excessive and damaging lung inflammation caused by TB may be significantly reduced to help speed up patient recovery.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 04.05.2021
Aggressive brain tumours can mimic normal brain repair processes
Aggressive brain tumours can mimic normal brain repair processes
Scientists at the UCL have made a 'surprising' discovery that glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, mimics normal brain repair in white matter, which leads to the tumour becoming less malignant. In the study on mice to harness this response (feature) and treat the cancer. Using the pre-clinical mouse models, the researchers found that Pranlukast, a drug clinically approved for treating asthma in people, suppressed glioblastoma growth.
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