Showing posts from February, 2014

'Living Drug' Kills Leukemia

A new approach to killing cancer cells that uses a patient's own immune system has beaten back leukemia in 88 percent of adults, US researchers said.

The report by scientists in New York offers more good news for the burgeoning field of cancer immunotherapy, which uses what some describe as a "living drug" that was hailed by Science magazine as the breakthrough of 2013.

The latest trial, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, involved 16 people with a kind of blood cancer known as adult B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Some 1,400 people die of ALL in the United States each year, and while it is among the most treatable cancers, patients often become resistant to chemotherapy and eventually relapse.

For this study, 14 of 16 adult patients achieved complete remission after their T cells were genetically engineered so that they could focus on eradicating cancer. The patients' median age was 50, and they were all on the brink of death when they…

Marijuana Compound Found Superior To Drugs For Alzheimer's

Could the active ingredient in marijuana, responsible for its characteristic "high," help turn the tide against the accelerating Alzheimer's epidemic?

A remarkable study published in the journal Molecular Pharmacology in 2006, found that this long vilified plant contains a compound with not one, but two therapeutic properties ideal for addressing both the surface symptom (memory problems) and root cause (brain plaque) of Alzheimer's disease. This is an ironic finding, considering that the prevailing stereotype is that using marijuana "fries" the brain, leading to debilitating memory issues.

Researchers discovered that the psychoactive component of marijuana, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), both "competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) as well as prevents AChE-induced amyloid β-peptide (Aβ) aggregation."

On the first account, THC's ability to inhibit the AChE enzyme, is not unlike the mechanism of action behind most Alzhei…

Garlic Treatment for Warts

Human papillomavirus, or HPV, is the primary pathogen that causes common warts to manifest on the hands, feet and sex organs of both men and women. HPV can be transmitted through sexual contact and some varieties have been linked to cervical cancer in women.

Although there is no recognized cure for HPV, garlic is a natural remedy that displays antiviral properties and might reduce virulence. Genital warts can have life-threatening consequences, so consultation with a health professional is recommended before starting any new treatments.

HPV Infections

HPV is one of more than 50 varieties of virus that can lead to the formation of warts on human skin, but it is considered the most common and potentially the most dangerous, as cited in the "Professional Guide to Diseases."

The National Cancer Institute states that HPV genital infection is the most commonly transmitted sexual disease and recognized as a significant cause of cervical cancer, which claims the lives of more than …