Cancer Moonshot Summit Emphasizes Collaboration and Innovation: On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden led a “Cancer Moonshot Summit” in D.C. to encourage medical professionals and research scientists in their efforts to beat cancer. The summit, in addition to 270 smaller events across the nation, was a part of a national initiative to cure cancer, first introduced in President Obama’s State of the Union Address in January. At the summit, Biden called for interdisciplinary collaboration and “exponential progress” in the fight against cancer, while also criticizing those who keep clinical trial results secret and lamenting the expensive costs of treatment. (The News Journal)
A Possible Zika Vaccine: Researchers have discovered a unique combination of vaccines that offered full protection against the Zika virus in mice. One of the two vaccines contains a latent form of the virus, while the other involves distinctive DNA sequences. Although further studies and clinical trials will be necessary, these vaccines could be the key to defeating the devastating virus. (CNBC)
First Pill to Treat All Forms of Hepatitis C: On Tuesday, the FDA approved the first ever pill to treat all six “major forms” of hepatitis C. The pill, Epclusa by Gilead Sciences, contains a combination of two drugs, sofosbuvir and velpatasvir, and is authorized for patients with or without liver disease. The effects of the pill were tested in a 12-week clinical trial, by the end of which 95% of the subjects had no trace of the hepatitis C virus. (CBS News)
Top 10 Causes of Death in the U.S. Remain Unchanged: Yesterday morning, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention released data on the causes and rates of mortality in 2014. The top 10 causes of death remained the same between 2013 and 2014, with heart disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory disease comprising the top three. However, the overall age-adjusted death rate decreased from last year, now at 724.6 deaths per 100,000 in the U.S. (CDC)
Vaccine Fails in Preventing Malaria: In a study published by The New England Journal of Medicine, it was found that three doses of the world’s first malaria vaccine, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals’s (RTS, S), is not enough to prevent the onset of malaria. In fact, the vaccine was shown to result in a higher prevalence of the disease after four years, referred to as the “malaria rebound effect.” Hence, it is speculated that the “vaccine didn’t prevent but only delayed infection,” as reported by STAT News. As a short -term solution to this vaccine resistance, a resolution has been made to add a fourth dose to the vaccine protocol. (STAT News)
Anokhi is an editorial intern at MedTech Boston and a student in the Medical Scholars program at the University of California, San Diego. She is extremely passionate about journalism and science and hopes to combine them in her future as a physician. In her free time, Anokhi loves dancing, baking, and hanging out with her friends.
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