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Health briefs for July 10

Health briefs for July 10
by Ken Raymond Published: July 10, 2012


Possible new treatment

A promising clinical trial could provide hope for advanced lung cancer patients.

Dr. Rajagopal Ramesh, now an Oklahoma TSET Cancer Research Scholar at the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center, was a lead investigator of a Phase 1 clinical trial at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

He worked with cancer patients who had not responded to other treatments.

The research focused on reintroducing Tumor Suppressor Gene TUSC2, into lung cancer cells, according to a news release. Humans already produce such genes, which inhibit cells from growing, but in lung cancer patients one or more of the genes are mutated or lost. Without those suppressors, cells divide uncontrollably and spur cancer growth.

“The idea was if we reintroduce this TUSC2 gene into lung cancer cells, then the gene would express the protein in the cancer cells and make the cells either stop dividing and growing or make them die,” Ramesh said in the release.

Nanoparticles were used to guide the gene into lung cancer cells. Thirty-one patients received the genes intravenously for months.

“The treatment was well tolerated by patients,” the release states. “Some fatigue and dizziness were the only side effects reported. It also stabilized cancer growth in one in six of the patients enrolled in the trial and who showed clinical response.”

Reintroducing the genes is cheaper than many cancer treatments, but more research is required before the technique sees wider use.

“Realistically speaking,” Ramesh said, “we are saying that this is something which might work, and this is something that doesn't hurt, and this is something that doesn't really cost the patient much.”

Findings were published in a recent issue of the PLoS ONE, an online medical journal.

For more information, go to


Make road trips easier on kids

It's an unavoidable truth of summer travel: Your children only have to go to the bathroom when you're miles away from the nearest rest stop.

That's where Kalencom's Potette Plus comes in. Foldable, portable and inexpensive (about $16 suggested retail or $10.95 on, the Potette Plus is a travel toilet designed specifically for kids.

The device features a contoured seat, lockable legs and leakproof liners that can be disposed of like diapers, according to a news release. It also can be used to help toilet train small children. The whole thing folds down into a drawstring carrying bag that can fit in a diaper bag.

Kalencom offers other products to help children survive road trips. Among them are Seat Belt Snoozers, which attach by Velcro to the shoulder strap on seat belts. Snoozers, which are shaped like the letter L, pillow children's heads so they can sleep. They can be used with all children who have graduated beyond car seats.

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by Ken Raymond
Book Editor
Ken Raymond is the book editor. He joined The Oklahoman in 1999. He has won dozens of state, regional and national writing awards. Three times he has been named the state's "overall best" writer by the Society of Professional Journalists. In...
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