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Anchor lead: What distinguishes brain tumors from surrounding normal tissue? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Brain tumors are different from normal surrounding tissue, that much is clear.  But how can their differences be exploited to help surgeons remove tumors more accurately, while leaving normal tissue and brain function intact?  Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, a brain surgeon at Johns Hopkins, explains how tumor characteristics were used to develop a new device to assist in brain tumor removal.

Quinones: When you put this device and you put light, the light reflects and you’ll be able to distinguish between what is normal and what is cancer. Based on the nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio, on the morphology and structure of the cells, based on the chemical structure of the surrounding tissue, when brain cancer penetrates tissue it dismantles and disintegrates the cytoarchitecture of the white matter tracts, so we can actually tell that.  :29

Quinones-Hinojosa says the device may also help discern tumor edges elsewhere in the body.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead:  Can a new technique using light waves help brain cancer surgery? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Brain tumors are tricky things, often embedded in normal tissue that is involved in critical functions like memory or speech.  Now a new technology developed by Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa, a brain surgeon at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, may help surgeons remove tumors more safely.

Quinones: This latest technology is called optical coherence tomography.  We are using light to be able to see cancer cells in the brain, as we are doing a brain tumor resection, when we get to the edges we can’t tell what is normal and what is cancer. So to have a tool that call tell us with such incredible level of accuracy what is normal and what is cancer.   :27

Quinones-Hinojosa says the device has been used in a mouse model and excised human tissue but should be ready for intraoperative use soon.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead: What’s behind the furor over flibanserin, a drug for low libido in women? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Are women being manipulated by pharmaceutical companies to take a new drug for low libido, even though studies show it’s only modestly effective?  Leonard Derogatis, an expert in women’s sexual health at Johns Hopkins, examines the issue.

Derogatis: I have trouble with, well, where does the controversy come from? There are the big pharma conspiracy players, every time there’s anything it’s big pharma it’s a conspiracy, every once in a while there is a conspiracy in big pharma, but this is not one of them. Medicine and big pharma are conspiring to manipulate women and make money off them, this isn’t a real condition.  The people that held the day at the FDA were the women who got up and spoke.  :30

Derogatis says the fact that the drug only shows modest improvements is a good thing, as it heralds return to previous functioning.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead:  What do the studies show with regard to a new drug to treat low libido in women? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Men have Viagra and its cousins to treat erectile dysfunction, and now women are poised to have access to the first drug to treat their low libido, known by the scientific name flibanserin.  But critics have swarmed following the recommendation for approval to an FDA committee.  Leonard Derogatis, an expert in women’s sexual health at Johns Hopkins, describes the research.

Derogatis: if you look at the track record of flibanserin the facts are overwhelmingly positive.  I mean I’m very biased because I’ve done five flibanserin trials, I’m on the scientific advisory board of the company.  It’s extremely consistent in its efficacy, lack of serious side effects, the proportion of patients who take it and are judged as responders say oh this drug was significantly beneficial for me.   :30

Derogatis says about 60% of women will respond to the drug. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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Anchor lead: How much help is a new drug to treat low libido in women? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Flibanserin is the scientific name given to the first drug to treat low libido in women, and an FDA panel has been given the recommendation to approve it.  Leonard Derogatis, an expert in women’s sexual health at Johns Hopkins, says there is a place for this medication.

Derogatis: Now docs have something that they can treat women with, and you’ll see that more of them address this condition, because right now the number of physicians, female and male, who avoid this condition or they refer these women to psychotherapists.  :17

Low libido in women is defined in the medical lexicon.

Derogatis: Hypoactive sexual desire disorder. It’s a mouthful.  It’s in the DSM IV, now in the DSM V it’s female sexual interest and arousal disorder.  :11

Derogatis says for those women who have this condition, studies do support the use of flibanserin.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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This week’s topics include citrus and melanoma, a new oral medication for obesity, stroke treatment guidelines, and a vaccine for Helicobacter pylori.

Program notes:

0:40 Consumption of citrus and melanoma
1:40 Citrus source of photosensitizing chemicals
2:41 Is it across all citrus fruits?
3:30 Vaccine for H.pylorii
4:32 Got an oral vaccine with a lot of protein
5:31 No serious side effects
6:00 Oral agent for obesity
7:01 About 2/3 lost at least 5% of body weight
8:02 Stroke treatment update
9:01 Certain patients suitable
10:01 Published in Stroke
10:51 End

related blog:http://podblog.blogs.hopkinsmedicine.org/2015/07/04/melanoma-risk/

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This week’s topics include DVT and cancer, benefits of marijuana, bridging anticoagulation in afib patients, and reversing dabigatran.

Program notes:

0:35 Analysis of medical marijuana benefits
1:35 Nausea and vomiting due to chemo
2:31 Legalized in 23 states and DC
3:35 Reversing legalization unlikely
3:51 Reversing dabigatran
4:54 An antibody toward saw target as medicine
5:59 In patients with afib and anticoagulation?
7:00 Very small risk of clot
7:30 Unprovoked DVT and cancer
8:30 Randomized to routine screening or CT
9:20 Why do I have a DVT?
10:05 End

Related blog:http://podblog.blogs.hopkinsmedicine.org/2015/06/26/medical-marijuana/

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