British researchers have pioneered a novel way to administer life saving drugs into the heart muscles of patients suffering from a severe form of heart failure. The researchers tested the technique on 15 patients whose heart failure necessitated implantation of an assist device. In this technique, the researchers administered a combination of pharmaceutical therapies including beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and the drug clenbuterol through a left ventricular assist device. This is a pump that performs the function of the left ventricle when the chamber is unable to do so any longer. The success of the treatment is evident in the fact that it aided the removal of the device in 11 of the patients and there were nine survivors at the end of four years.
Meanwhile, researchers from the University of Calgary have determined that the efficacy of the cancer fighting vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) increases when it is given intravenously instead of directly into a tumor. The findings came as a result of a study on mice and tumor specimens. The researchers, led by Dr Peter Forsyth injected VSV intravenously into the mice. They found that it effectively spread and attacked multiple areas of the tumor. They accept that these are very early results but are hopeful that further tests would yield just as encouraging results.
An American company, Perfusion Technology claims to have achieved a possible breakthrough in the fight against brain tumor. The firm has developed a device that can open the blood brain barrier (BBB) using low-intensity ultrasound technology. This is a significant achievement as breaching the barrier will help therapeutic drugs reach the brain directly, thus leading to more effective treatments. As opposed to the current methods to breach the barrier, this is non-invasive and easy-to-use.
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