Doctor Aims to Expose Improprieties

REDONDO BEACH, CA, March 26, 2008 – Gregory A. Smith, MD, the Medical Director of Comprehensive Pain Relief Group (CPRG) is crusading for change. As a physician who deals with chronic pain relief issues, he has seen more than his share of patients who are addicted to prescription painkillers. Over recent years it has become the focus of his practice. This is a condition he is committed to rectifying.

The fastest growing segment of prescription drug abusers is kids between the ages of 13 and 17. That’s because they have access to these drugs in their family medicine cabinet. Dr. Smith has seen these kids raid their family medicine cabinets only to abuse and sell these drugs. He wants this to stop. Read More….

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Scientists’ discovery that cancerous cells grow like fetal cells could lead to better, safer medications

Tumour study offers drug hope

Scientists’ discovery that cancerous cells grow like fetal cells could lead to better, safer medications

Mar 13, 2008 04:30 AM


Health Reporter
Harvard University scientists have discovered a fundamental mechanism of tumour growth, a breakthrough that may lead to more effective and less toxic treatments for cancer.

Indeed, two studies, published today in the journal Nature, may lead researchers to a potential “magic bullet” drug, that could attack many different forms of the disease, a top Canadian cancer expert says. 

“This (research will present) one of the cancer (drug) targets that potentially could hit a whole variety of cancers. And there aren’t very many (drugs) like that,” says Philip Branton, head of cancer research with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

The twin Harvard studies show that cancer cells switch on the same sugar metabolizing enzymes as those found in fetal cells, explaining for the first time why tumours are able to grow so rapidly.

Like fetal cells, whose main job is to grow and divide to make a baby in just nine months, tumour cells grow and proliferate much more rapidly than normal adult tissues.

And to do so, both cancer and embryonic cells need to utilize energy, derived from sugary fuels, differently than their normal adult counterparts, Harvard biologist Lewis Cantley, the senior study author on both papers, said.

It’s been known for almost eight decades that tumour cells metabolize – or create energy from nutrients – at a much different rate than normal cells. This is the Warburg effect. What was unclear, says Cantley, was how they did this and whether or not the altered metabolic process was essential to tumour growth.

In the studies, scientists at the Harvard Medical School and Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre showed that an enzyme that breaks down sugars in adult cells was switched to its embryonic version in cancer cells. Known as pyruvate kinase, the enzyme has an adult version, called M1 and a fetal version, M2.

“What our papers show is the embryonic form (M2) is designed to use glucose to make cells grow … the glucose gets incorporated into making DNA, RNA, proteins, lipids. It’s made into the cell building blocks,” Cantley says. “An adult cell is no longer growing so it uses glucose for energy.”

Branton says the study represents a significant breakthrough in cancer research. “It’s a major advance in understanding one of the oldest enigmas of cancer, which is the Warburg effect,” he says.

Critically, the Nature studies show that without the M2 version of the enzyme, tumour growth is slowed or outright halted. To show this the researchers genetically knocked out the ability to create M2 in several forms of human cancer cells, transplanting an M1 production component instead.

“We demonstrated that if you replaced the M2 the tumour cell has with the adult M1 form and implant that into a mouse, if fails to grow,” Cantley says.

He says the importance of M2 enzyme in tumour growth will make it an intriguing new target for better, safer cancer drugs.

Because normal adult tissues use the M1 version, a drug that specifically targeted M2 would, presumably, have minimal effect on anything outside of the tumour itself, Cantley says.

“That’s why we’re very excited about this as major tissues like the heart, the brain, the liver, those tissues don’t use the M2 form at all,” he says.

“If you had a (drug) that hit M2 … that should have no effect on the heart or the brain or the liver, which are the tissues you most worry about with cancer drugs. It should be far less toxic than … current chemotherapy.”

Branton, however, cautions that a drug that would specifically

Tamiflu: Flu drug can kill, FDA warns

Tamiflu, one of the front-line drugs against flu, can kill, a new warning from America’s drug regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has revealed this week.

The drug can cause hallucinations, delirium or abnormal behaviour which sometimes “results in fatal outcomes,” the FDA has said.

These new reactions have been discovered by doctors who suspected the drug of being the cause, and so there’s no way of knowing how widespread the problem is.

Tamiflu’s manufacturer, Roche, has this week written to every practitioner in the USA about the new reactions, and it has been instructed to change the warnings on the drug’s patient information sheet. 

The drug is also being used as a defence against avian flu, and governments around the world have bought billions of dollars worth of supplies to be used to protect key workers.

(Source: FDA web site).

MMR and Autism: US court says there’s a link, and awards compensation

The MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine can cause autism, a US court has concluded. 

In a secret ruling that has only just come to light, the US Court of Federal Claims has conceded that the mercury-based preservative thimerosal, which was in vaccines until 2002, caused autism in the case of one child.

The ruling is one of 4,900 cases currently being considered for compensation payments, and it is feared by health officials that it could open the floodgates for even more claims.  It also appears to support the controversial findings of Dr Andrew Wakefield, who, in 1998, suggested a link between the vaccine and autism.

The ruling, made by US Assistant Attorney General Peter Keisler, was made last November, and was one of three test cases into the MMR-autism link that was being considered by a three-member panel, which Keisler chaired.

In his conclusion, Keisler said that “compensation is appropriate”.  

The case involved a child who, when she was 18 months old, received nine vaccinations in July 2000, two of which included thimerosal.  Within days, the girl, who had previously been healthy, suddenly exhibited no response to verbal direction, loss of language skills, no eye contact, insomnia, incessant screaming, and arching.

A diagnosis of autism was confirmed seven months later.

In its defence, the US government said the girl had a pre-existing mitochondrial disorder that was aggravated by the vaccine.

(Source: The Huffington Post, February 25, 2008).

The Aftermath Of Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, Fen-Phen, & Many Other Serotonergic Drugs

By Dr. Ann Blake Tracy – Executive Director,
International Coalition For Drug Awareness
www.drugawareness.org
5-6-00
Dr. Ann Blake Tracy, a PhD in Psychology and Health Sciences, has specialized for 10 years in adverse reactions to serotonergic medications. She is the executive director of the International Coalition for Drug Awareness (www.drugawareness.org) and author of the book PROZAC: PANACEA OR PANDORA? (800-280-0730)

Click Here for the full story

Antidepressants study shakes up medicine

Prescriptions keep mounting. Power of belief shown to be behind improvement more so than the drug

Published: 8 hours ago

Depression is a serious medical illness caused by imbalances in brain chemicals that regulate mood. But while everyone feels miserable from time to time, and maybe even feel low for a couple of weeks, “there’s an important difference between feeling depressed and having clinical depression,” Scoboria, of the University of Windsor, said.

He said it takes training and experience to do a proper assessment. But a chronic shortage of psychiatrists means an “extraordinary” number of prescriptions for antidepressants are written by family doctors.

Time pressures makes it easier to order a pill. Read More….