Public Health Roundup: Experts Debate Cancer ‘Moonshot;’ Best Time To Induce At 39 Weeks?
News outlets also report on developments related to end-of-life care, a family hit by the same heart ailment, exercise guidelines for kids, digital tools helping seniors cope with loneliness and the fallout from lax medical research.
Health Experts Offer Their Support For — And Skepticism Of — The Cancer Moonshot
The National Cancer Moonshot Summit, to be held on Wednesday, is an effort by the White House to promote efforts championed by Vice President Joe Biden to find a cure for cancer. At the same time, dozens of associated regional conferences will take place around the country, bringing together scientists, patients, and health care experts. In advance of the summit, STAT reporters interviewed various individuals in the worlds of science, medicine, and health for a sampling of opinion on Biden’s initiative. They range from skepticism to support. (Skerrett, 6/28)
The Washington Post:
Should Pregnant Women Be Induced At 39 Weeks?
When doctors who treat pregnant women recently met to debate the best time to induce labor, they came up with a surprising answer: 39 weeks — three weeks earlier than currently recommended. Their organization, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), has not changed its guidelines on late-term pregnancies. The guidelines say that doctors may consider elective induction at 41 weeks and should proceed with it at 42 weeks. But the question has some doctors reconsidering their assumptions about induction and has sparked criticism by women who contend there is already too much interference with uncomplicated pregnancies. (Margulies, 6/27)
Kaiser Health News:
End-Of-Life Care Better For Patients With Cancer, Dementia: Study Finds
A new study offers surprising findings about end-of-life care -- specifically, physicians tend to be more likely to accommodate the advanced-care wishes of patients with cancer or dementia than renal disease, congestive heart failure, pulmonary disease or frailty. “There’s been a lot of focus on end-of-life care for cancer,” said Melissa Wachterman, the study’s principal author and a physician at the VA Boston Healthcare System and the Boston-based Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “But most people don’t die of cancer. And the quality of end-of-life care for those dying of other conditions … is not as good.” The research was published online Sunday in JAMA Internal Medicine. (Luthra, 6/27)
The Washington Post:
These Sisters Are Surviving A Dangerous Heart Ailment Together
Traditionally, sisters share everything. “There isn’t anything we keep from one another,’’ Nicole Fearrington says of herself and her sisters. “We are best friends.’’ She pauses. “Of course, this was something we did not expect — or choose — to share,’’ she says. By “this,” she means the heart condition that killed their father in 2003, and thus far afflicts four of six sisters, Nicole, 41, LaWanda, 39 , Candice, 34, and Kasi, 27. (Cimons, 6/27)
Los Angeles Times:
To Do Better In School, Kids Should Exercise Their Bodies As Well As Their Brains, Experts Say
Attention parents: If you’d like to see your kids do better in school, have them close their books, set down their pencils and go outside to play. That’s the latest advice from an international group of experts who studied the value of exercise in school-age kids. “Physical activity before, during and after school promotes scholastic performance in children and youth,” according to a new consensus statement published Monday in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. (Kaplan, 6/27)
Seniors Go Virtual To Relieve Pain, Loneliness
For a Bay Area virtual reality entrepreneur, (Sonya) Kim has an unusual target audience: the elderly. (Virginia) Anderlini is the first private client for Kim’s Aloha VR program, which Kim envisions as a way to help people relax, an alternative to endlessly watching TV, and a change of scenery for those who can’t get out much. (Platoni, 627)
The New York Times:
An N.Y.U. Study Gone Wrong, And A Top Researcher Dismissed
New York University’s medical school has quietly shut down eight studies at its prominent psychiatric research center and parted ways with a top researcher after discovering a series of violations in a study of an experimental, mind-altering drug. A subsequent federal investigation found lax oversight of study participants, most of whom had serious mental issues. The Food and Drug Administration investigators also found that records had been falsified and researchers had failed to keep accurate case histories. (Carey, 6/27)