New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS) Doctors at a Delhi hospital conducted a lifesaving heart surgery on a two-day old baby boy with a rare heart tumour.Baby Virin was born, to residents of Noida, with a rare congenital tumour called "intrapericardial teratoma" -- arising from the surface of the heart. The tumour was detected on a routine ultrasound of his mother at 20 weeks of gestation, the Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals said in a statement on Tuesday.The tumour had the potential of impacting the foetus growth within the womb. Hence, after the detection, his condition was monitored regularly every week by the means of foetus echocardiogram (to assess the growth of tumour and any effects on the functioning of the heart).To reduce the pressure on his heart and carry his mother's pregnancy to term, an excessive amount of fluid surrounding his heart needed to be removed once.At birth, the baby weighed 3.2 kg but had trouble breathing. He was immediately intubated and put on a ventilator. A CT Angio was conducted, and showed a 7 cm across, lobulated giant intrapericardial tumour that was pushing the heart to the left and compressing the lung, said the doctors."The baby's condition was precarious, and we planned to operate on him immediately. On day two after birth, we successfully removed the tumour, which was larger than the heart and was found to be attached to the surface of the heart, displacing the heart to the left. It had an attachment to the aorta and the right AV groove," said Rajesh Sharma, Senior Pediatric Cardiac Surgeon at the hospital."Since tumour manipulation was causing a fall in the blood pressure, and due to its proximity to the right coronary artery, the removal of the tumour was accomplished by putting the baby on the heart-lung machine, on cardiopulmonary bypass. We managed to remove the tumour in one piece," he added.An intrapericardial teratoma arising from the heart is an exceedingly rare tumour of the foetus and the newborn. A major concern with such tumours during pregnancy is the life-threatening pressure that the tumour puts on the foetus' heart and lungs."Fortunately there have been no significant deleterious effects of the tumour on the functioning of lungs or heart. Though the removal of tumour is supposed to be curative in most cases, but due to the rarity of the diagnosis, the baby will need regular follow-ups with tumour marker levels and regular echocardiographic examinations in the future. For now, the baby has shown good recovery and has been discharged," said Ashutosh Marwah, Consultant Surgeon, Pediatric Cardiology, from the hospital.--IANSrvt/in
Washington, June 24 (IANS) The US National Institutes of Health has deleted gene sequences of early Covid-19 cases from a key scientific database at the request of Chinese researchers, claimed a Seattle-based virologist.Jesse Bloom, a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, described the removal of the sequencing data in a new paper posted online on bioRxiv on Tuesday. The paper, which hasn't been peer reviewed, flags concerns that lack of the key gene sequences may dent the current probe into the origin of the pandemic by scientists.The paper claims that Chinese researchers took virus samples from some of the earliest Covid patients in Wuhan in January and February of 2020, then posted the viral sequences to a widely used US database. After three months the genetic information was removed to "obscure their existence", an editorial in the journal Science reported on Wednesday."Here I identify a data set containing SARS-CoV-2 sequences from early in the Wuhan epidemic that has been deleted from the NIH's Sequence," Bloom posted on bioRxiv."I recover the deleted files from the Google Cloud, and reconstruct partial sequences of 13 early epidemic viruses. Phylogenetic analysis of these sequences in the context of carefully annotated existing data suggests that the Huanan Seafood Market sequences that are the focus of the joint WHO-China report are not fully representative of the viruses in Wuhan early in the epidemic."Instead, the progenitor of known SARS-CoV-2 sequences likely contained three mutations relative to the market viruses that made it more similar to SARS-CoV-2's bat coronavirus relatives," Bloom wrote.Meanwhile the US NIH has confirmed that it deleted the sequences after receiving a request from a Chinese researcher who had submitted them three months earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday."Submitting investigators hold the rights to their data and can request withdrawal of the data," the NIH said in a statement.The scientist "indicated the sequence information had been updated, was being submitted to another database, and wanted the data removed from SRA to avoid version control issues," NIH said.Bloom said he started his research into the origins of the pandemic, after a team led by the World Health Organization submitted its report early in March this year. It was heavily criticised by many scientists who deemed it "extremely unlikely" that SARS-CoV-2 escaped from a laboratory.ABloom's search led him to a study which listed all SARS-CoV-2 sequences submitted before March 31, 2020, to the Sequence Read Archive (SRA) -- a database overseen by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, a division of NIH. But when he checked SRA for one of the listed projects, he couldn't find its sequences, the Science report said.Further research led him to another study by Ming Wang from Wuhan University's Renmin Hospital, China, which was published in a journal Small. While the paper lists some of the earliest Wuhan Covid patients and the specific mutations in their viruses, it doesn't give the full sequence data.Additional internet sleuthing led Bloom to discover that SRA backs up its information in Google's Cloud platform, and a search there turned up files containing some of Wang's team earlier data submissions.The paper in Small makes no mention of any corrections to viral sequences which might explain why they were removed from SRA, which led Bloom to conclude in his preprint that "the trusting structures of science have been abused to obscure sequences relevant to the early spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Wuhan", the report said.--IANSrvt/sdr/
Hyderabad, June 8 (IANS) Brain tumour patients undergoing chemotherapy should not delay taking Covid-19 vaccines as they are more vulnerable to the infection, say doctors.Brain tumour patients, especially malignant brain tumour patients, can be grouped in the high-risk category, as chemotherapy compromise immune system, making them more susceptible to Covid.On the occasion of World Brain Tumour Day, health experts recommend all such to opt for Covid-19 vaccination at the earliest, because of the vulnerabilities.Covid-19 is a novel form in the large family of viruses called coronaviruses, and this illness causes flu-like symptoms, with the major complication arising from impacts to the respiratory system.Individuals aged over 60 years, and those with chronic conditions and compromised immune systems are at a higher risk for contracting the virus as well as experiencing a more severe illness after infection."People, who are already suffering from certain pre-existing health conditions are likely to suffer more due to this novel coronavirus. Hence, it is important such individuals take vaccine shot as soon as possible to ensure their own safety," said Rajasekhara Reddy Konda, Consultant Neurosurgeon, Continental Hospitals.According to Kalyan Bommakanti, Senior Consultant - Neuro & Spine Surgeon, Aware Gleneagles Global Hospital, Covid-19 vaccines have been tested on people with different chronic underlying conditions, those who are at extremely high risk from coronavirus compared with the general population. "Though it has not been specifically tested on large number of brain tumour patients; cancer patients in general are strongly advised to opt-in to take vaccine shots. The vaccine will offer safety against the Covid-19 virus creating havoc to the human immune system and make people vulnerable," he said.Raghavendra H, Consultant Neuro & Spine Surgeon, SLG Hospitals is of the view that human immune system needs to be working at some level to respond to ailments or act against viruses; and these vaccine shots provide that much needed protection. "These vaccine shots can be given to people undergoing radiotherapy, immunotherapy as well as hormonal therapies. However, it is important such patients seeks right medical advice from their treating doctor on the best time to get the vaccine shot. This is because there may be points during the treatment when the vaccine is likely to be most effective than other times; and that can be best advised by the doctor treating the individual patient."--IANSms/in
New Delhi, April 8 (IANS) Doctors at the Fortis Hospital in Shalimar Bagh here have successfully removed a 37.4 centimetre spinal tumour, the world's largest such tumour, from a 22-year-old woman. The largest spinal ependymoma tumour recorded, till date, was measured at 28 cm.The patient approached the Fortis doctors after unsuccessful treatment with medicines and physiotherapy for persistent back pain for over an year. She also developed weakness in both legs, making it difficult for her to walk.An MRI scan revealed a large spinal tumour, which was extending across 14 vertebral columns, from the centre of the patient's back to the end of her lower back, the doctors said.In the complex surgery lasting over 12 hours, the team of doctors led by Sonal Gupta, Director of neuro and spine Surgery department, opened the spine (open door laminoplasty) through drilling and then fixed it back with plates."It was a very high-risk case as it involved many segments. The surgery had to be done on the spinal cord which comprises many nerves, so there was a chance for the patient to be bed-ridden for the rest of her life. Another challenge was that the location was within the spinal canal. We had to remove the bone at 14 levels, which could have caused the patient to develop instability of the spine," Gupta said."The bone pieces were fixed back with plates instead of nibbling of the bone. Had we done a fixation of 14 levels of spine, she would have developed a rigid back, making it difficult for her to bend forward for the rest of her life," Gupta noted.The patient is currently walking with support and is under a vigorous neuro-rehabilitation programme. She will require regular neuro rehabilitation and follow-up imaging to keep an eye on recurrence of the tumour, Gupta said.--IANSrvt/arm
London, March 18 (IANS) A simple blood test could reduce, or in some cases replace, the need for intrusive surgery when determining the best course of treatment for patients with a specific type of brain tumour, a new study finds.The researchers have discovered a biomarker, known as the protein Fibulin-2 (FBLN2), which helps to distinguish whether meningioma -- the most common form of adult primary brain tumour -- is grade I or grade II.The grading is significant because lower grade tumours can sometimes remain dormant for long periods, not requiring high risk surgery or harsh treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Tumours classified as grade II can progress to become cancerous and more aggressive treatment may be needed in order to try to control their spread."In this study, we identified FBLN2 as a novel biomarker that can distinguish grade II from grade I meningiomas. Higher levels of this biomarker were found in tumour samples from grade II meningioma compared with the grade I form," said researcher C. Oliver Hanemann from the University of Plymouth in the UK."We also showed that higher levels of FBLN2 can be detected in blood samples from grade II meningioma patients, compared to those from grade I meningioma patients. The identification of FBLN2 as a biomarker for meningioma has significant potential to improve the diagnosis, treatment, prognosis and follow-up of meningiomas," Hanemann added.The researchers said that this novel biomarker has not previously been shown to play a role in meningioma development, although it has been linked to other types of cancer such as forms in the lung, liver, breast and pancreas.For the study, published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, using tumour samples, cancer cells grown in the laboratory and liquid biopsies from patients, the team was able to distinguish grade I from grade II tumours. In a smaller sub-study, the researchers have shown that levels of the biomarker could differentiate between good (slower growing) and bad (faster growing) grade tumours as defined by genetic make-up.--IANSvc/bg
New York- Researchers have uncovered a potential new way to target pancreatic tumours that express high intratumooural interferon signalling (IFN).
The team found that high type I IFN signalling is present in a subset of pancreatic tumours and it triggers a decrease in the level of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) and nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide hydrogen (NADH) in pancreatic cancer cells, which are vital cofactors in critical metabolic processes.
"This is a study that identifies a potential vulnerability created by type I IFNs in pancreatic cancer that can be leveraged for what appears to be an effective therapeutic strategy," said researcher Timothy Donahue from the University of California - Los Angeles, in a mice-based study.
After the researchers delineated the mechanism by which the NAD depletion occurs, they demonstrated that cells with high IFN signalling were more sensitive to Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) inhibitors, which inhibit a major pathway in NAD synthesis.
Based on this mechanism, recently developed second-generation NAMPT inhibitors could potentially be used in combination with new systemic drugs, called STING agonists, which increase type I IFN signalling, according to a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences .
When tested in mice, the combination of IFN signalling and NAMPT inhibitors not only decreased pancreatic tumour growth, but also resulted in fewer liver metastases.
"With the advent of these two new and improved therapeutics, our findings are timely as their combination may sensitize tumours to NAD depletion," said lead author Alexandra Moore from the varsity.
The findings provide evidence that if tumours with high IFN signaling can be identified, or if IFN signalling can be amplified in tumour cells, those tumours may have greater sensitivity to treatment with NAMPT inhibitors. If so, the combination could potentially help improve the prognosis for one of the most difficult cancers to treat, the team said. (IANS)