Post-op pain management for kids: Hold the morphine

Clinical Brief – October, 12th

The Brief

To manage pain after a kid gets surgery for something like implant removal or joint repair, would you pick morphine or a non-prescription painkiller?

A Canadian trial reported that over-the-counter painkillers may manage pain after an orthopedic surgery just as well as morphine, but comes with fewer side effects. Continue reading “Post-op pain management for kids: Hold the morphine”

Underreported: Law-enforcement-related deaths in America

Clinical Brief – October, 11th

The Brief

Yesterday, a study published in PLoS Medicine reported that a federal US government database designed to track law-enforcement-related deaths may be missing more than half of all deaths involving law enforcement.

In contrast, a nongovernmental database that scans media reports was found to have documented over 90% of deaths involving law enforcement.

Other worrying trends identified by the study’s researchers included underreporting when law-enforcement-related deaths are not caused by gunfire and underreporting in low-income counties. Continue reading “Underreported: Law-enforcement-related deaths in America”

What happens when lymph overflows

Clinical Brief – October 10th

The Brief

Limb lymphoedema is when lymph flows into the tissue after the nodes are surgically removed. It’s a fairly common procedure for the treatment of advanced-stage cancer including melanoma.

As a surgical complication, lymphoedema isn’t exactly a good thing to have. A recent study went further and detailed its negative psychological and physical impacts on patients with melanoma.

Researchers hope these results would help raise awareness of this complication and to improve its prevention and treatment. Continue reading “What happens when lymph overflows”

Notes on ESMO17: Breast cancer

Clinical Brief – October 9th

ESMO, or the European Society of Medical Oncology Congress, is an annual gathering of cancer experts and patient advocates. This is the last bit of my notes on some of the studies presented at this year’s ESMO that may be of use.


Adding a targeted therapy to endocrine therapy for HR+ breast cancer can increase the risk of side effects. But some targeted therapies may pose greater risks than others.

Researchers from the Institut Jules Bordet, Belgium, led a meta-analysis of trials to profile the comparative risks between classes of add-on targeted therapies. Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Breast cancer”

Notes on ESMO17: Supportive care

Clinical Brief – October 2nd

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.


Drug interactions range from those that are harmless, to ones that pose serious risks that could put someone in a hospital. So, does a given cancer med have potentially worrisome drug interactions?

Look it up on Cancer-Druginteractions.org. Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Supportive care”

Notes on ESMO17: Tumors of the brain and spinal cord

Clinical Brief – September 29th

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.


Glioblastoma multiforme is an aggressive type of brain cancer. Lowering the dose of bevacizumab (Avastin) for progressive glioblastoma multiforme may not have a detrimental impact on overall survival.

Researchers from Ireland reviewed the records of patients in their prospective national neuro-oncology center database. Nearly 120 patients were Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Tumors of the brain and spinal cord”

Notes on ESMO17: Psycho-oncology

Clinical Brief – September, 28th

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.


Physicians and patients might have different takes on side effects when it comes to cancer treatments, says a study led by researchers at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden.

The study looked at data collected from a randomized Phase III trial comparing different chemo regimens in women with high-risk breast cancer. Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Psycho-oncology”

Notes on ESMO17: Cancer immunotherapy

Clinical Brief – September 27th

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.


Final results of a Phase III trial confirm survival benefits of adjuvant chemo + cell-based immunotherapy for non-small-cell lung cancer.

Between 2007 and 2012, researchers from the Chiba Cancer Center, Japan, led an independent study Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Cancer immunotherapy”

Notes on ESMO17: Public health on cancer

Clinical Brief – September 26th

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.


Researchers from the EU and Canada found that “in patients with advanced solid tumors, fewer than half of randomized controlled trials supporting FDA approval meet the threshold for clinically meaningful benefit using the ESMO-designed scale.

Researchers found 109 randomized controlled trials from the FDA’s database, which supported the approval of 63 drugs for Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Public health on cancer”

Notes on ESMO17: Health economics

Clinical Brief – September 25th

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.


A study led by researchers from Turkey found that over 90% of their patients taking a targeted cancer treatment was also on another prescription med. More than half of these patients had a drug-drug interaction involving their cancer treatment.

Drug-drug interactions happen when Continue reading “Notes on ESMO17: Health economics”