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Health - Pharmacology - 15.01.2021
Analysis: We have entered a dangerous new phase of the pandemic
Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Epidemiology & Health) explains why the new, more infectious, strain of Covid-19 is a cause for concern and suggests what must be done to reduce transmission of the disease. On the last day of 2019 the World Health Organization (WHO) received the first reports of an unusual cluster of pneumonia cases in Wuhan, China.

Health - Pharmacology - 15.01.2021
DNA test can quickly identify pneumonia in patients with severe COVID-19, aiding faster treatment
Researchers have developed a DNA test to quickly identify secondary infections in COVID-19 patients, who have double the risk of developing pneumonia while on ventilation than non-COVID-19 patients. Using this test, we found that patients with COVID-19 were twice as likely to develop secondary pneumonia as other patients in the same intensive care unit Andrew Conway Morris For patients with the most severe forms of COVID-19, mechanical ventilation is often the only way to keep them alive, as doctors use anti-inflammatory therapies to treat their inflamed lungs.

Health - Pharmacology - 15.01.2021
Government is missing its key healthy ageing targets and must act now, report finds
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted stark inequalities in healthy life expectancy, according to a report into healthy ageing published today. The report into health ageing has been published by the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee , following an in-depth inquiry for which the University of Birmingham's Professor Janet Lord was special adviser.

Health - Pharmacology - 14.01.2021
COVID-19: Mortality risk increases by 20% when ICUs are full
Patients admitted to very full hospitals have an increased chance of dying which is equivalent to being up to 11 years older, according to a new study co-led by UCL researchers. The study, published as a pre-print* on MedRxiv , analysed data from 4032 patients with COVID-19 who were admitted to Intensive Care Units (ICU) with presumed or confirmed Covid-19 in the first lockdown.

Health - Pharmacology - 06.01.2021
’Virtual biopsies’ could replace tissue biopsies in future thanks to technique developed by Cambridge scientists
A new advanced computing technique using routine medical scans to enable doctors to take fewer, more accurate tumour biopsies, has been developed by cancer researchers at the University of Cambridge. This is an important step towards precision tissue sampling for cancer patients to help select the best treatment.

Health - Pharmacology - 05.01.2021
Bedside EEG test can aid prognosis in unresponsive brain injury patients
Assessing the ability of unresponsive patients with severe brain injury to understand what is being said to them could yield important insights into how they might recover, according to new research. A team at the University of Birmingham has shown that responses to speech can be measured using electroencephalography, a non-invasive technique used to record electrical signals in the brain.

Health - Pharmacology - 21.12.2020
Large study in UK NHS labs shows gold-standard accuracy of Oxford Nanopore’s COVID-19 test LamPORE for both symptomatic and asymptomatic patients
A study of more than 23,000 samples carried out by teams across the UK shows Oxford Nanopore's COVID-19 test, LamPORE, is highly accurate for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, in both symptomatic and asymptomatic population settings. The study was performed on both swab and saliva samples across four NHS sites, showing very high LamPORE test accuracy, as follows: These data support the use of LamPORE for testing of both symptomatic people, and those without symptoms.

Health - Pharmacology - 18.12.2020
AI-supported test predicts eye disease three years before symptoms
A pioneering new eye test, developed by scientists at UCL in collaboration with the Western Eye Hospital, London, may predict wet AMD, a leading cause of severe sight loss, three years before symptoms develop. Researchers hope their test could be used to identify the disease early enough so that treatment can effectively prevent any vision loss.

Pharmacology - Health - 16.12.2020
Common drug for build-up of blood following head injury worse than placebo
A commonly-used treatment for chronic subdural haematoma - the build-up of 'old' blood in the space between the brain and the skull, usually as a result of minor head injury - could lead to a worse outcome than receiving no medication, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge. Our trial sought to determine if dexamethasone should be offered routinely to all patients with chronic subdural haematoma or if its use should be abandoned.

Health - Pharmacology - 16.12.2020
Study highlights stark inequality in survival after cardiac surgery between paying and NHS patients
A new study has revealed paying patients are 20 per cent less likely to die or develop major complications, such as reintervention or stroke, after cardiac surgery than NHS patients - findings researchers say cannot be explained by socioeconomic factors alone. The study, led by academics at the University of Bristol, looked at the data of over 280,000 patients who underwent adult cardiac surgery over a ten-year period from 2009 to 2018 at 31 NHS cardiac units in England.

Health - Pharmacology - 14.12.2020
Remdesivir likely to be highly effective antiviral against SARS-CoV-2 for some patients
The drug remdesivir is likely to be a highly effective antiviral against SARS-CoV-2, according to a new study by a team of UK scientists. Writing , the researchers describe giving the drug to a patient with COVID-19 and a rare immune disorder, and observing a dramatic improvement in his symptoms and the disappearance of the virus.

Health - Pharmacology - 11.12.2020
New study to evaluate antibiotic use in COVID-19 hospital patients
A group of researchers is to evaluate whether a simple blood test for bacterial infection could help to reduce the use of antibiotics in patients with COVID-19. A procalcitonin blood test (PCT) is used in hospitals to distinguish between bacterial and viral infections and guide antibiotic treatment.

Health - Pharmacology - 11.12.2020
New treatment could spare early-stage rectal cancer patients life-altering side effects
A new and less invasive treatment developed by Cancer Research UK researchers is safer than standard major surgery for early-stage rectal cancer, giving patients a better quality of life with fewer life-altering side effects, results from a pilot study show. Results from the TREC trial show that a combination of local keyhole surgery and radiotherapy, rather than major surgery that removes the whole rectum, prevents debilitating side effects, such as diarrhoea, or the need for a permanent colostomy bag.

Health - Pharmacology - 08.12.2020
First peer-reviewed results of phase 3 human trials of Oxford coronavirus vaccine demonstrate efficacy
Our vaccine work is progressing quickly. To ensure you have the latest information or to find out more about the trial, please visit the  Oxford COVID-19 vaccine web hub  or visit the  COVID-19 trial website .

Pharmacology - Health - 08.12.2020
Better education needed to give patients improved understanding of gene therapies, new review highlights
A new review of research bringing together patient, carer and public views of cell and gene therapies has highlighted a need for appropriate education to better inform people including how clinical trials work and the risks and benefits of various treatments. Over the last decade, new cell, gene and tissue-engineered therapies have been developed to treat various cancers, inherited diseases and some chronic conditions.

Health - Pharmacology - 04.12.2020
Analysis finds four repurposed antiviral drugs have little or no effect on patients hospitalised for COVID-19
Repurposed antiviral drugs - remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir and interferon - to treat COVID-19 appear to have little or no effect on patients hospitalised for the disease, in terms of overall mortality, initiation of ventilation and duration of hospital stay. The interim findings from the WHO Solidarity trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), followed 11,266 adults at 405 hospitals in 30 countries.

Health - Pharmacology - 01.12.2020
Scientists identify warning signs over effectiveness of HIV ’wonder drug’ in sub-Saharan Africa
Dolutegravir, the current first-line treatment for HIV, may not be as effective as hoped in sub-Saharan Africa, suggests new research published on World AIDS Day. The study finds that this so-called 'wonder drug' may be less effective in patients resistant to older drugs. Dolutegravir was very much seen as a 'wonder drug', but our study suggests it might not be as effective in a significant number of patients who are resistant to another important class of antiretroviral drugs Ravi Gupta As HIV copies itself and replicates, it can develop errors, or 'mutations', in its genetic code (its RNA).

Pharmacology - Psychology - 27.11.2020
Treatment for drug addiction - how do patients cope in lockdown?
There are encouraging signs that people in treatment for drug addiction can manage their medication when they are entrusted with a substantial quantity of opiate substitutes and told to take it in small daily doses, finds a new 'early insight' report from researchers at the Universities of Bristol and Bath.

Health - Pharmacology - 25.11.2020
New immunotherapy shows promise against rare childhood cancer
A novel CAR T-cell therapy developed by researchers at UCL and designed to target cancerous tumours, has shown promising early results in children with neuroblastoma, a rare form of childhood cancer. For this proof-of-principle study, researchers at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute for Child Health (GOS ICH) and the UCL Cancer Institute modified the patient's own T-cells (a type of immune cell), equipping them to recognise and kill neuroblastoma tumour cells.

Pharmacology - Health - 25.11.2020
New breakthrough in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis
People with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) could soon benefit from a new drug treatment that not only suppresses inflammation but also significantly reduces patient reported pain scores. Otilimab is a monoclonal antibody, biologic drug, which targets and suppresses the inflammatory cytokine GM-CSF. In a multicentre, dose-ranging trial, led by Professor Chris Buckley at the Universities of Oxford and Birmingham, and sponsored by the Pharmaceutical company GSK, researchers explored the clinical effects of otilimab to prevent inflammation, tissue damage and pain in people with RA.