Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Scientists Identify Gene for Stubborn Breast Cancers
Scientists have identified a gene linked to about 70 percent of
breast cancer cases that are resistant to hormone treatments.
Since hormones can trigger the growth of tumors, treatments that
inhibit those hormones can be key to treating certain breast
cancers, researchers at the Massachusetts-based Whitehead Institute
for Biomedical Research wrote in the journal
Nature. Examples include tamoxifen and a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors, BBC News said.
The newly identified gene -- dubbed PHGDH -- was much more
active in most tumors that do not respond to hormone therapies, the
The researchers said identification of the gene could one day
lead to a drug that inhibits the gene's harmful activity,
BBC News reported.
FDA Has Concerns About New Diabetes Drug
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is concerned about cases
of bladder cancer and breast cancer among people who have taken an
experimental drug to help treat type 2 diabetes, the
Associated Press reported.
Dapagliflozin is a once-daily drug designed to help cut down on
excess sugar by passing it in urine. In an online review, FDA
regulators noted more cases of cancer among those who took the drug
than a placebo, the wire service said.
An expert panel advising the FDA will meet Tuesday to recommend
whether the full agency should approve the drug. The FDA also has
asked the experts to evaluate the drug's effects on the kidneys and
Dapagliflozin is produced by pharmaceutical firms Bristol-Myers
Squibb and AstraZeneca.
Could Smelly Feet Be a Weapon Against Malaria?
Mosquito netting and bug spray are common weapons in Africa's
fight against deadly malaria, but researchers now have identified
another contender: smelly feet.
In a new project funded by the Gates Foundation, scientists will
use foot odor to lure disease-carrying mosquitoes to a trap where
they will be poisoned, the
Associated Press reported Thursday. If successful, the
project could lead to development of mosquito traps for widespread
use outside the home, the news agency said.
Dr. Fredros Okumu, director of the research project at
Tanzania's Ifakara Health Institute, said he combines eight
chemicals to replicate the musky scent of human feet. He told the
news agency his customized scent attracts four times as many
mosquitoes as a human and that the poison eradicates nearly all of
the flying insects.
It was actually a Dutch scientist who discovered the mosquitoes'
fondness for feet, he said. Supposedly, the Dutchman undressed in
an unlit room and then observed where he was bitten.
Each year, more than 220 million new cases of malaria occur
worldwide and almost 800,000 deaths, the