New York, July 15 (IANS) Johnson & Johnson is pulling out its Neutrogena and Aveeno spray sunscreens from US stores after some samples showed presence of benzene -- a potentially cancer-causing chemical."While benzene is not an ingredient in any of our sunscreen products, it was detected in some samples of the impacted aerosol sunscreen finished products. We are investigating the cause of this issue, which is limited to certain aerosol sunscreen products," the company said in a statement on Wednesday.The recalled sunscreen products are packaged in aerosol cans. These include Aveeno Protect + Refresh aerosol sunscreen, and four Neutrogena sunscreen versions: Beach Defense aerosol sunscreen, CoolDry Sport aerosol sunscreen, Invisible Daily Defense aerosol sunscreen and UltraSheer aerosol sunscreen.The company noted that although the levels detected in the testing would not be expected to cause adverse health consequences, it cautions against the use of the products."Consumers should stop using these specific products and appropriately discard them," the statement said.The company, which is one of the world's biggest sellers of consumer health products by sales, said it is also notifying distributors and retailers to stop selling the products, and arranging for the return of the products.Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen, a substance that could potentially cause cancer depending on the level and extent of exposure. It is ubiquitous in the environment, and humans around the world have daily exposures indoors and outdoors from multiple sources. Benzene can be absorbed, to varying degrees, by inhalation, through the skin, and orally.--IANSrvt/vd
New York -The airway cells of patients with chronic lung diseases are "primed" for infection by the Covid-19 virus, resulting in more severe symptoms, poorer outcomes and a greater likelihood of death, according to a study.
The study, published in Nature Communications, found that chronic lung disease causes genetic changes in the molecular makeup of a variety of cells, including the epithelial cells that line the lung and airways.
The changes enable SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, to enter the body, replicate and trigger an out-of-control immune response that fills the lungs with fluids and often results in patients needing respirators and lengthy hospitalisations.
"Our results suggest that patients with chronic lung disease are molecularly primed to be more susceptible to infection by SARS-CoV-2," said Nicholas Banovich, Associate Professor at Translational Genomics Research Institute, a non-profit genomics research institute in Arizona, US.
In addition, older-age, male-gender, smoking, and comorbidities such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, are all Covid-19 risk factors that are exacerbated by chronic lung diseases, such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Interstitial Lung Disease, and especially Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, a progressive scarring and stiffening of the lung tissue.
For the study, the team used single-cell RNA sequencing technology to spell out the genetic code of 611,398 cells from various databases, representing those with both healthy (control) lungs and those with chronic lung disease. Sequencing and analysis allowed researchers to identify molecular characteristics that may account for worse Covid-19 outcomes.
Researchers specifically searched for changes in AT2 cells -- a major lung epithelial cell type, focusing on cellular pathways and expression levels of genes associated with Covid-19. They established a "viral entry score," a composite of all genes associated with SARS-CoV-2, and found higher scores among cells from patients with chronic lung disease.
Further, exploring changes in immune cells, they discovered dysregulated gene expression associated with hyper-inflammation and with sustained cytokine production -- two signature symptoms of severe SARS-CoV-2 infection. So-called cytokine storms in Covid-19 patients unleash a cascade of immune cells that flood the lungs, causing severe organ damage, the team explained. (Agency)
Bhubaneswar, July 12 (IANS) On the occasion of the Rath Yatra, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday laid the foundation for two state-of-the-art cancer care institutions here at Infovalley.He laid the foundation stone for Bagchi-Sri Shankara Cancer Hospital & Research Centre and for Bagchi-Karunashraya Palliative Care Centre. Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA) chairman Subrato Bagchi and his wife Sushmita have donated Rs 340 crore for the establishment of these two cancer-care institutions.While Sri Shankar Foundation will run the 750-bed cancer hospital, Bengaluru-based hospice foundation will run the palliative care unit.The palliative care unit will have 110 beds and will provide free service.Addressing a gathering on the occasion, Patnaik said that both the institutions will help the patients of Odisha, especially the poor in accessing quality health care facilities. He assured that the state government will provide all support for its early completion.He congratulated the Bagchi couple for their philanthropy and noble efforts to create two world-class institutions in Odisha. Their philanthropy is an inspiration for Odisha and the people will remember them for their contribution, he stated.Sri Shankara Cancer Foundation, led by Dr Srinath, is setting up the cancer hospital which will work on a cross-subsidy model, he said."I am very happy to learn that the hospital will now be 750 beds with the latest technology. I am sure this centre will become the leading research institution and attract oncologists from across the world to serve humanity," Patnaik added.The chief minister informed that Kishore Rao and Gurmeet Randhawa, founders of Bangalore Hospice Trust and their team have been serving the dying for over 25 years through their Karunashraya."We are happy that such a kind institution providing world-class palliative care is now being set up in Odisha. It's heartening to note that world class palliative care would be completely free of cost," the chief minister said.Joining the programme, Dr Srinath said that the hospital will be a one stop cancer centre with all the treatment facilities including bone marrow transplantation. The hospital will have a PG Training facility on oncology, he added.Randhawa said that the palliative centre in Bhubaneswar will be developed as the best palliative care facility in the world. They will train over 25,000 youth, including tribal girls, in the next five years.--IANS bbm/skp/bg
Chennai, July 12 (IANS) Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have developed an Artificial Intelligence-based mathematical model to identify cancer-causing alterations in cells.The algorithm uses a relatively unexplored technique of leveraging DNA composition to pinpoint genetic alterations responsible for cancer progression, which is difficult using present methodologies. The results are published in the peer-reviewed International Journal Cancers.Understanding the underlying mechanism of these alterations will help identify the most appropriate treatment strategy for a patient in an approach known as 'precision oncology'."One of the major challenges faced by cancer researchers involves the differentiation between the relatively small number of 'driver' mutations that enable the cancer cells to grow and the large number of 'passenger' mutations that do not have any effect on the progression of the disease,a said Prof B. Ravindran, Head, Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and AI (RBCDSAI), IIT Madras, in a statement.In this study, the researchers decided to look at this problem from a different perspective. The main goal was to discover patterns in the DNA sequences -- made up of four letters, or bases, A, T, G and C surrounding a particular site of alteration.The underlying hypothesis was that these patterns would be unique to individual types of mutations -- drivers and passengers, and therefore could be modelled mathematically to distinguish between the two classes.Using sophisticated AI techniques, the researchers developed a novel prediction algorithm, NBDriver and tested its performance on several open-source cancer mutation datasets."Our model could distinguish between well-studied drivers and passenger mutations from cancer genes with an accuracy of 89 per cent. Furthermore, combining the predictions from NBDriver and three others commonly used driver prediction algorithms resulted in an accuracy of 95 per cent, significantly outperforming existing models," Ravindran said.In addition,"NBDriver could accurately identify 85 per cent of the rare driver mutations from patients diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), a particularly aggressive type of cancer affecting the brain or spine," said Karthik Raman, Associate Professor, Department of Biotechnology, Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta School of Biosciences, IIT Madras.NBDriver is available publicly and can be used to obtain predictions on any user-defined set of mutations. In short, given a new mutation and its surrounding DNA makeup, one would be able to predict its class -- driver or passenger.--IANSrvt/in
Hyderabad, July 11 (IANS) A female resident doctor of the Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow was Sunday airlifted to the KIMS Hospital Secunderabad here for lung transplant.Dr Sharda Suman, a postgraduate resident at RMLIMS's Gynaecology Department, had contracted Covid-19 on April 14. She was 32 weeks pregnant then. When her health condition deteriorated, she was put on a ventilator and emergency C-section surgery was done on May 1 to save the child.After the delivery, she was put on ECMO supportm but her condition didn't improve. RMLIMS Director Dr Sonia Nityanand constituted a 3-member committee which recommended that she should undergo a lung transplant. As her family was not in a financial position to afford the process, Dr Nityanand personally met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and explained the situation. He immediately sanctioned Rs 1.50 crore required for the procedure.After consulting the hospitals in Hyderabad and Chennai, they finally decided to undergo the transplant procedure at KIMS Hospitals, where already several transplants were done with utmost success.Sharda Suman was shifted to Hyderabad through an air ambulance. A green corridor was formed with the help of Hyderabad police to bring the patient to the hospital from airport without any delay.--IANSms/vd
London, July 4 (IANS) Patients with a wide range of cancers, taking aspirin as part of their treatment, could help to reduce their risk of death by 20 per cent, a major review of existing research has suggested.Academics at Cardiff University carried out a systematic review of 118 published observational studies in patients with 18 different cancers.They pooled the results and found that in a total of nearly 2,50,000 patients with cancer, who reported taking aspirin, this was associated with a reduction of nearly 20 per cent in cancer deaths.The review said the available body of evidence on its efficacy and safety "justifies its use" as a supplementary treatment in a wide range of cancers" and patients should be informed of this.Their review is published in the open access journal ecancermedicalscience."In recent years, my research team and I have been struck by the actions of aspirin on the biological mechanisms relevant to cancer -- and these seem to be the same in many different cancers," said lead author Peter Elwood, Professor at the varsity."Overall, we found that at any time after a diagnosis of cancer, nearly 20 per cent more of the patients who took aspirin were alive, compared with patients not taking aspirin," he addedThe team also considered the risks of aspirin -- a small number of patients had experienced a bleed, but there was no evidence of any excess deaths attributable to bleeding in the patients on aspirin, the review said."Our research suggests that not only does aspirin help to cut risk of death but it has also been shown to reduce the spread of cancer within the body -- so-called metastatic spread," Elwood added.The team said there is now a considerable body of evidence to suggest a significant reduction in mortality in patients with cancer who take aspirin -- and that benefit appears to not be restricted to one or a few cancers."Aspirin, therefore, appears to deserve serious consideration as an adjuvant treatment of cancer and patients with cancer and their carriers should be informed of the available evidence," Elwood added."However, we must also stress that aspirin is not a possible alternative to any other treatment," he noted.--IANSrvt/khz