CORRECTION: Erectile dysfunction may precede Parkinson's onset

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Results of a study suggest an association between erectile dysfunction and an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

The autonomic nervous system, which regulates involuntary bodily functions like heart rate and digestion, is often affected in Parkinson's disease, and erectile function, which is controlled by the autonomic system, is commonly compromised, the study team notes in a report.

"An important question," according to Dr. Xiang Gao, of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues, "is whether erectile dysfunction precedes the onset of motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease."

They examined the question using data from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. A total of 32,616 men free of Parkinson's disease in 1986 were included in the present study. In 2000, the men completed a questionnaire with questions on erectile dysfunction in different time periods. The relation between erectile dysfunction before 1986 and Parkinson's disease risk from 1986 to 2002 was analyzed.

During the 16 years' follow-up, 200 men were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Compared to men who reported very good erectile function before 1986, those who reported erectile dysfunction had a significant 3.8-fold increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, the investigators report.

"We further explored possible interactions of erectile function with age, body mass index, cigarette smoking, caffeine intake, and the presence of diabetes during follow-up," Gao's team explains. "None of these interactions was significant."

These findings, they conclude, support the hypothesis that the autonomic nervous system "may have been impaired years before Parkinson's disease is clinically recognizable."

SOURCE: American Journal of Epidemiology, December 2007.

26 Dec, 2007

Overactive Bladder at a Young Age? - Ask the Expert

Dear Dr. Motola,
I have had an overactive bladder for several years but for the most part it's been manageable. I am 42. Normally, I feel the urge to void about every 90 minutes. But it has started to interfere with important activities, like taking an intense admissions test for graduate school, when I need one or two extra restroom breaks. The other time I feel the urge to go more often is after ejaculating. Then, I feel the urge to go about every 30 minutes for the remainder of the day. I have finally sought treatment and my doctor gave me Vesicare which is supposed to be similar to Detrol LA but I can't see much improvement and I'm not sure if this is even what I need. I seems like it's a prostate problem, but it doesn't exactly fit any of the common problems that I've researched on the internet, like BPH. The ejaculation factor seems to be puzzling to my doctor and other experts I've consulted.

Urinary frequency occurs for many different reasons, one which may be an overactive bladder. Prior to being labeled as having an overactive bladder certain testing should occur in order to exclude other underlying conditions.

Drugs such as Detrol LA and Vesicare are used for the treatment of overactive bladder. Other drugs also exist within this category which may also be effective.

It is important for you to undergo testing to eliminate other disease processes that may be causing the urinary frequency which you are experiencing. Prostatic conditions can also occur in the early 40s, and should also be considered as a potential source of your problem.


26 Dec, 2007

Aspirin, Hormone Therapy Combo Can Shorten Lives of Prostate Cancer Patients

By Amanda Gardner

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Men undergoing hormone therapy for prostate cancer who take baby aspirin to protect their heart run a significantly higher risk of dying, new research suggests.

Apparently, baby aspirin interacts with the hormone therapy to elevate liver-function test levels. The end result is the man must stop potentially lifesaving hormone therapy.

The findings are contained in a letter published in the Dec. 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Hormonal therapy, which involves reducing levels of male hormones called androgens, is a common treatment for prostate cancer, but it can raise the risk of a heart attack. So men who are older or have known coronary risk factors such as diabetes or smoking usually take baby aspirin while undergoing hormone therapy because aspirin helps prevent blood clots.

"Aspirin is being prescribed more widely for these men so we looked to see if there was any effect of aspirin on prostate cancer outcomes," said lead researcher Dr. Anthony V. D'Amico, chief of the division of genitourinary radiation oncology at Brigham & Women's Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, both in Boston.

The authors analyzed data on 206 men with localized prostate cancers who were already enrolled in a trial to compare radiation therapy alone with radiation therapy plus hormone therapy. The hormone therapy included six months of the anti-androgen flutamide.

Flutamide had a tendency to elevate results of liver-function tests. Although these elevations were benign, they meant hormonal therapy had to be stopped, at least temporarily, D'Amico explained.

Men who didn't complete six months of hormone therapy were 3.5 times more likely to die compared to men who got the full course of hormone therapy.

"It was sort of a paradoxical finding," D'Amico said. "Men who were taking aspirin were more likely to die of prostate cancer than those who were not, which didn't make sense at first."

But when the researchers delved deeper, they realized that the men who were taking aspirin were more likely to have to stop hormone therapy.

"Liver function is something you monitor" when undergoing hormone therapy, D'Amico explained. "When the tests elevate, you take the patient off of hormone therapy till the tests normalize, then you restart the therapy."

An explanation for this interaction comes from previous animal studies, D'Amico said. For rabbits that take aspirin while undergoing hormone therapy, that aspirin is magnified 100-fold in terms of how much gets into the blood. "That makes it a toxic dose of aspirin," he explained.

Although such a study can't establish a cause-and-effect association, it does appear likely, D'Amico said.

"If a man is taking baby aspirin just to prevent heart disease, we would ask the oncologist to ask the primary-care physician if he could come off the baby aspirin for the months while he's getting cancer therapy. If the aspirin is just for prevention, this is probably the simplest thing to do," he said. "But if the patient is on aspirin because he absolutely needs it, then they'd have to treat the prostate cancer without hormone therapy. It really comes down to a trade-off: How much do they need the aspirin versus how much do they need hormonal therapy, and there are alternative treatments for prostate cancer."


27 Dec, 2007

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VetDC Achieves Key Regulatory Milestone, Nears FDA Approval of TANOVEA for Canine Lymphoma

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24 Aug 2016, 21:30
Visterra to Present New Clinical Results of VIS410 at the Options IX for the Control of Influenza Conference

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Visterra is planning to advance VIS410 into additional clinical trials in patients with influenza A to further evaluate efficacy and safety. Visterra believes that VIS410 has the potential to effectively treat severe disease caused by all strains of influenza A, including those caused by mutated and recently emerged strains. VIS410 is directed against a Hierotope on hemagglutinin, which is a surface protein of influenza viruses used for binding and entry into cells. VIS410 is designed to prevent fusion of the virus cell membrane with the membrane of infected cells by binding to hemagglutinin and thereby terminating the viral replication cycle. </p> <p> <b>About Influenza</b><br>Influenza is an infectious disease that causes illness in humans worldwide with symptoms that range in severity from mild to life-threatening. 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Visterra&#8217;s technology enables the design and engineering of product candidates which target a specific region of an antigen, or Hierotope, on a pathogen that is common across all strains of the pathogen and is resistant to mutation. The company believes these Hierotopes are critical to the structural and functional integrity of the pathogen, making them highly attractive therapeutic targets. The company is currently focused on developing therapeutics for infectious and non-infectious diseases and its lead product candidate, VIS410, is a human monoclonal antibody being developed for the treatment of hospitalized patients with influenza A, regardless of viral strain. The company&#8217;s second product candidate, VIS513, is a human monoclonal antibody for the treatment of dengue that has been shown in preclinical studies to be effective against all four serotypes of the dengue virus. Visterra was founded on the research into the fundamentals of viral evolution and epitope characterization by our scientific founder, Dr. Ram Sasisekharan at MIT. For more information, please visit <a target="_blank" href=";;esheet=51406745&#38;newsitemid=20160824005110&#38;lan=en-US&#38;;index=1&#38;md5=038003384c1708f9e6ec8e90a4107577" rel="nofollow"></a>. </p> <p> </p><br><b>Contacts</b> <br><p> <span><b>Media contact:</b></span><br>The Yates Network<br>Barbara Yates, 781-258-6153 </p> <p> </p>

24 Aug 2016, 20:00
Biothera Pharmaceuticals Expands Relationship with Merck, Enters Collaboration for Combination Cancer Immunotherapy Trials in Multiple Indications

<p> Biothera&#8217;s Imprime PGG and Merck&#8217;s anti-PD-1 inhibitor KEYTRUDA<sup>&#174;</sup> (pembrolizumab) to be evaluated in combination for patients with either advanced melanoma or metastatic triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) </p> <p> Under previous agreement, Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (BTCRC) plans to initiate a Phase 1b/2 Imprime PGG/KEYTRUDA trial in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) </p> <p>EAGAN, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--<a href="" target="_blank">#Biothera</a>--Biothera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced a collaboration with Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, to expand the companies&#8217; ongoing clinical program evaluating KEYTRUDA<sup>&#174;</sup> (pembrolizumab), Merck&#8217;s anti-PD-1 inhibitor, in combination with Biothera&#8217;s Imprime PGG, a Pathogen Associated Molecular Patterning molecule, or PAMP. Imprime PGG acts as an immunological &#8220;ignition switch&#8221; enlisting the innate immune system to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of tumor targeting, anti-angiogenic, and immune checkpoint inhibitor antibodies. </p><br><a href=""><img src=""></a> <p> Under this new collaboration, a Phase 2 clinical trial is anticipated to enroll up to 95 patients who have either advanced melanoma no longer responding to initial treatment with a checkpoint inhibitor therapy or TNBC whose disease has progressed following treatment with one or more lines of therapy for metastatic disease. Biothera will be the sponsor of the study, which is planned to begin in the fourth quarter of 2016. Merck will provide clinical supplies of KEYTRUDA for the planned studies. Other terms of the collaboration were not disclosed. </p> <p> Biothera previously announced an agreement in December 2015 for Merck to supply KEYTRUDA for a Phase 1b/2 clinical study testing combination therapy with Imprime PGG in NSCLC patients. The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium will conduct the multi-center trial, which is expected to commence this fall. </p> <p> Barry Labinger, Chief Executive Officer of Biothera, stated, &#8220;Combination therapies with breakthrough medicines such as KEYTRUDA are potentially the next major advance in the treatment of cancer. We believe that Imprime PGG is uniquely suited to complement immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy and meaningfully enhance patient outcomes. The trial will assess safety and efficacy, as well as provide biomarker and pharmacodynamic data that will inform the design of potential Phase 3 pivotal studies.&#8221; </p> <p> Eric Rubin, M.D., Vice President and Therapeutic Area Head, Oncology Early-stage Development, Merck Research Laboratories, commented, &#8220;As a leading innovator in the field of immuno-oncology, Merck is dedicated to advancing breakthrough science by continuing to identify novel combinations with potential to improve the care for people with cancer. We are pleased to expand our partnership with Biothera as we explore the potential for combining KEYTRUDA with their lead candidate.&#8221; </p> <p> <b>About Biothera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.</b><br>Biothera Pharmaceuticals is a privately held biotechnology company developing Imprime PGG, a first-in-class, mid-clinical stage cancer immunotherapy that orchestrates an integrated anti-cancer immune response in combination with checkpoint inhibitors and tumor-targeting and anti-angiogenesis monoclonal antibodies. Imprime PGG has been well-tolerated in trials in over 400 subjects and has established proof of concept in multiple clinical studies, including single-arm and randomized phase 2 studies in NSCLC, colorectal cancer, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia. </p> <p> KEYTRUDA<sup>&#174;</sup> is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp &#38; Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck &#38; Co., Inc. </p> <p> </p><br><b>Contacts</b> <br><p> <b>Biothera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.</b><br>David Walsh, 651-256-4606<br>SVP Communications<br><a target="_blank" href=""></a> </p> <p> </p>

24 Aug 2016, 19:25
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