Pharmacology

The public may be critical of the War On Cancer and its hundreds of billions of government money, but pharmaceutical companies have continue to make progress. A new study finds that 80 percent of bowel cancers could be treated with existing JAK inhibitors.

The risk of getting colorectal cancer increases with age, more than 90% of cases occur in people 50 years old or older, and it is the second leading cause of cancer death in the US. But there is a genetic commonality in 80 percent of those, and that is where JAK inhibitors come into play. 


 An analysis of death certificates from 1999 to 2010 has found that medications are the leading cause of allergy-related sudden deaths in the U.S. The study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology also found that the risk of fatal drug-induced allergic reactions was particularly high among older people and African-Americans and that such deaths increased significantly in the U.S. in recent years.  



When a dog is rabid, it's time to run. Credit: Mytoenailcameoff, CC BY-NC-SA

By Katie Hampson, University of Glasgow

Afatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, significantly improved progression-free survival compared to methotrexate in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck after failure of platinum-based chemotherapy, the results of a phase III trial presented at the ESMO 2014 Congress in Madrid show.

The Lux-Head&Neck 1 trial showed that patients who received treatment with 40 mg/day oral afatinib had a 20% reduction in risk of progression or death compared to patients who received methotrexate, with a median progression-free survival of 2.6 months. 


By:  Karin Heineman, Inside Science

(Inside Science TV) – Dogs and cats can suffer from some of the same illnesses as humans such as allergies, cancer and even Alzheimer's disease. Currently pets are often given drugs designed for the human body that may not work the same way in the body of another species.

For example, dogs with allergies are often prescribed the popular allergy drug Allegra. But, the formula was not designed for use by a dog and may not work correctly.

Now, researchers at Kindred Biosciences in Burlingam, California are developing new drugs made just for pets.

Even a single dose of  the commonly prescribed antidepressant SSRI (serotonin reuptake inhibitor) is enough to produce dramatic changes in the functional architecture of the human brain. Brain scans taken of people before and after an acute dose of SSRI reveal changes in connectivity within three hours, according to results in Current Biology.


Between 2006 and 2011, high-dose opioid prescribing in Canada increased by 23 percent despite clinical guidelines recommending that most patients should avoid high-doses of these drugs, according to new research. 

Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) found that rates of high-dose opioid dispensing across Canada increased from 781 units per 1,000 people in 2006 to 961 units per 1,000 people in 2011.


We inherit certain traits that are predetermined but the field of epigenetics postulates that we might be able to change genes play by taking certain drugs or changing diets.  


Recently a study was published in the Milbank Quarterly analyzing the voting patterns of FDA Advisory Committee members with apparent conflicts of interest.

A protein called Nrf2,continually moves in and out of the nuclei of human cells to sense the cell's health and vitality and when Nrf2 is exposed to threats to the cell's health, it oscillates faster and activates an increase in the cell's defense mechanism, including raising the levels of antioxidants.