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NEWS
February 9, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
A drug that has been approved for the treatment of a type of skin cancer since 1999 appears to reverse Alzheimer's symptoms -- in mice.  Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine neuroscientist Gary Landreth and colleagues reported Thursday that bexarotene quickly cleared away beta-amyloid plaque, believed to cause the cognitive deficits of Alzheimer's disease, from the brains of genetically engineered mice.  Mice who received bexarotene...
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SCIENCE
February 5, 2014 | By Monte Morin
Scientists have identified a simple, inexpensive compound that made cancer drugs more effective in mice and helped human patients weather the toxic side effects of chemotherapy. But even as they touted their experimental results, they acknowledged that their remedy was unlikely to inspire the vigorous - and expensive - research necessary to win regulatory approval and join the ranks of mainstream medicine. The drug in question is vitamin C. When absorbed from foods such as oranges, strawberries, broccoli and kale, it feeds neurotransmitters and helps the body make collagen, among other important functions.
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SCIENCE
April 23, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Way back in 2002, Dr. Judah Folkman hit upon a tantalizing weight-loss strategy for obese mice. When given daily injections of a drug designed to fight cancer, their fat melted away. The higer the dose they got, the more fat they lost. Some of the obese mice shed so much weight that they wound up at “near normal body weights,” Folkman and his colleagues reported in this article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Whatever happened to this promising fat-busting drug?
SCIENCE
May 29, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday announced its approval of two new drugs and a diagnostic test that can be used to treat advanced or inoperable melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin disease. Advanced melanoma has joined a wide range of cancers for which treatment is increasingly personalized, with genomic diagnostics and targeted drugs that promise greater effectiveness than old-fashioned chemotherapy. The newly approved drugs , dabrafenib (to be marketed as Tafinlar)
OPINION
May 24, 1992
What will all the loggers do when the forests are gone? MARJORIE POWELL, Cypress
SCIENCE
April 7, 2007 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Terminally ill cancer patients are turning to black-market distributors for an unapproved cancer drug in efforts to extend their lives, according to a report Thursday in the journal Nature. The compound, which is known as dichloroacetate, or DCA, has caused cancers to shrink in rats without producing side effects. But DCA, which has been around for years, has a chemical structure that cannot be patented, and no pharmaceutical company has shown interest in it as an anti-cancer medication.
NEWS
August 26, 2010
An experimental anticancer drug that targets a specific genetic mutation benefits 80% of patients with metastatic melanoma, although in some cases the benefit was short-lived, researchers said Wednesday. The results came in a relatively small Phase II clinical trial, and testing will now proceed to a larger Phase III trial to gain approval for marketing the drug, called PLX4032. Researchers hope the drug might also provide benefits for some other types of tumors that share the same genetic defect.
BUSINESS
March 7, 2008 | From Times Wire Services
Amgen Inc. will pay Kyowa Hakko Kogyo Co. $100 million initially and as much as $420 million tied to the development of an experimental medicine for inflammation and cancer, the companies said. Kyowa Hakko is the Tokyo-based drug unit of Kirin Holdings Co. The deal gives Thousand Oaks-based Amgen a potential medication that could join its anti-inflammatory medicine Enbrel. Shares fell $1.01 to $44.24.
BUSINESS
February 18, 1997 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Aphton Corp. said Rhone-Poulenc's vaccines unit has agreed to pay it up to $10 million for the right to sell its experimental cancer drug, Gastrimmune. Under the agreement, Woodland Hills-based Aphton will be responsible for the development and clinical studies of the drug, which is being developed to treat patients with stomach, liver and pancreatic cancers. Pasteur Merieux, a unit of France's Rhone-Poulenc, will sell the drug in the United States, Canada, Europe and Mexico.
SCIENCE
April 23, 2013 | By Karen Kaplan
Way back in 2002, Dr. Judah Folkman hit upon a tantalizing weight-loss strategy for obese mice. When given daily injections of a drug designed to fight cancer, their fat melted away. The higer the dose they got, the more fat they lost. Some of the obese mice shed so much weight that they wound up at “near normal body weights,” Folkman and his colleagues reported in this article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Whatever happened to this promising fat-busting drug?
NEWS
March 21, 2013 | By Melissa Healy
A compounding company in Augusta, Ga., has recalled syringes of the cancer drug Avastin it supplied over five months to physicians treating vision problems after the Food and Drug Administration received word that five patients who received the compounded medication came down with eye infections that could leave them blind. The FDA announced the recall Thursday after regulators conducted a preliminary inspection of Clinical Specialties Compounding Pharmacy and found "practices at the site that raise concerns about a lack of sterility assurance.
SCIENCE
October 24, 2012 | Eryn Brown
If a medical study seems too good to be true, it probably is, according to a new analysis. In a statistical analysis of nearly 230,000 trials compiled from a variety of disciplines, study results that claimed a "very large effect" rarely held up when other research teams tried to replicate them, researchers reported in Wednesday's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Assn. "The effects largely go away; they become much smaller," said Dr. John Ioannidis, the Stanford University researcher who was the report's senior author.
OPINION
May 31, 2012
When you take medicine, there's a good chance you're getting a dose of modern global business practices as well. Eighty percent of the active ingredients in the medications that Americans use are produced overseas. In a single drug, it's quite possible that the individual components came from several countries and were assembled in yet another before arriving on U.S. shores. This diffuse manufacturing operation increases the opportunities for chicanery, which can include too-low amounts of active ingredients or substitution of different ingredients as well as adulterated ones.
NEWS
February 9, 2012 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
A drug that has been approved for the treatment of a type of skin cancer since 1999 appears to reverse Alzheimer's symptoms -- in mice.  Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine neuroscientist Gary Landreth and colleagues reported Thursday that bexarotene quickly cleared away beta-amyloid plaque, believed to cause the cognitive deficits of Alzheimer's disease, from the brains of genetically engineered mice.  Mice who received bexarotene...
BUSINESS
January 26, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Biotech giant Amgen is hoping to bolster its cancer drug pipeline by buying fellow drug developer Micromet Inc. for $1.16 billion. At $11 a share, with an Amgen subsidiary buying the majority of Micromet's stock and then the Amgen parent company picking up the rest, the price represents a 33% premium on Micromet's closing price Wednesday. Thousand Oaks-based Amgen is itself among the world's premier drug makers but hasn't had many popular drugs in years. Rockville, Md.-based Micromet, meanwhile, is testing a promising treatment for leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
HEALTH
January 17, 2012 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
A medication for people with advanced colorectal cancer who have exhausted all other treatment options appears to slow tumor growth and extend life, according to new data. Bayer HealthCare, the makers of regorafenib, said it would seek Food and Drug Administration approval of the medication this year. If approved, regorafenib would be the first new treatment for colorectal cancer in more than five years. Although chemotherapy and other medications can extend life in people with metastatic cancer (cancer that has spread throughout the body)
NEWS
December 9, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Some women stop taking their breast cancer drugs early, and a study reveals why: side effects from the medication may be more than they can bear. The study included 686 postmenopausal women who were taking aromatase inhibitors, which halt estrogen production in postmenopausal women whose cancer cells are fueled by the hormone, thus reducing the risk of the cancer returning. The recommended length of time to stay on the medication is five years. Among the participants, 10% quit after two years and 54% quit between 25 months and 4.1 years.
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