The week in brief

September 11th – 15th

Hi there, hope you had a great week! Here are your recent updates in the world of medical research and policy.

Lazy eye is a childhood condition where vision in one eye doesn’t develop properly.

The USPSTF now recommends screening kids between 3 to 5 years old at least once for lazy eye or its risk factors (USPSTF = US Preventive Services Task Force).

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic published a report on how they managed 10 patients who experienced immune-mediated neurological side effects after treatments with nivolumab (Opdivo) or pembrolizumab (Keytruda).

Reports like these teach us more about the possible harms of immunotherapies and balances the studies that are designed to show their efficacies.

ESMO, or the European Society of Medical Oncology Congress, is an annual gathering of cancer experts and patient advocates. Here are some studies from this year’s ESMO that may be of use.


  • Treatment with radioactive iodine may be linked to the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia, or AML.
  • Benefits of relatively modern treatments may benefit both younger and older patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma.
  • Infusion-related reactions to daratumumab (Darzalex) may be managed with pre- and post-infusion meds.
  • Autologous stem cell transplantation may be considered for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who are over 65.
  • Screening patients for multi-drug resistant bacteria may help predict sepsis involving such bacteria after chemotherapy.

Cancer prevention and screening

  • A social experiment looked at how citizen’s jury may handle decisions on policy about breast cancer screening.
  • A report summarized clinical features and outcomes of a serious but rare neurological side effect linked to treatment with bevacizumab (Avastin).
  • Cervical cancer screening is on the decline in France.
  • H. pylori infection may be linked to increased risk of stomach cancer in Japan.
  • Colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in Iran, but public awareness may be lagging behind.

Head and neck cancer

  • EBV viral load may be used to assess the risk of relapse and worse disease outcomes for non-metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (a rare type of head and neck cancer).
  • Researchers from two cancer centers in Spain looked at their patients on immunotherapies in search for signs of hyper progression.
  • Collaboration between oncologists and geriatricians may help optimize treatment for elderly patients with head and neck cancer.
  • Radiation with high-dose chemo isn’t necessarily better than with low-dose chemo for head and neck cancer.


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