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How alternative cancer therapies kill you

Popular Science

There's a decent chance you'll get some kind of cancer at some point. If you're a man, your odds are one in two. Your risk of dying from cancer is only slightly lower: one in four and one in five, respectively. This is a scary thought. A cancer diagnosis often means intense, brutal therapies are on the horizon.


Kite Pharma shares soar 25% after cancer therapy study shows good results

Los Angeles Times

An experimental gene therapy that turns a patient's own blood cells into cancer killers worked in a major study, with more than one-third of very sick lymphoma patients showing no sign of disease six months after a single treatment, Kite Pharma Inc. said Tuesday. In all, 82% of patients had their cancer shrink at least by half at some point in the study. Shares of Santa Monica-based Kite soared. They were up more than 25%, at $71.31, shortly before the closing bell. Kite is racing Novartis AG to become the first company to win approval of the treatment, called CAR-T cell therapy, in the U.S. It could become the nation's first approved gene therapy.


Gene therapy to fight a blood cancer succeeds in major study

Boston Herald

An experimental gene therapy that turns a patient's own blood cells into cancer killers worked in a major study, with more than one-third of very sick lymphoma patients showing no sign of disease six months after a single treatment, its maker said Tuesday. In all, 82 percent of patients had their cancer shrink at least by half at some point in the study. Its sponsor, California-based Kite Pharma, is racing Novartis AG to become the first to win approval of the treatment, called CAR-T cell therapy, in the U.S. It could become the nation's first approved gene therapy. A hopeful sign: the number in complete remission at six months -- 36 percent -- is barely changed from partial results released after three months, suggesting this one-time treatment might give lasting benefits for those who do respond well. "This seems extraordinary ... extremely encouraging," said one independent expert, Dr. Roy Herbst, cancer medicines chief at the Yale Cancer Center.


Pair of drugs 'eliminate 20% of tumours'

BBC News

A fifth of people with advanced melanoma have no sign of tumours in their body after treatment with a pair of immunotherapy drugs, a study shows. The first survival data on using ipilimumab and nivolumab in combination showed 69% of patients, in a trial on 142, were still alive after two years. UK doctors leading the trial said the results were "very encouraging". It kills more than 2,000 people in Britain each year. However, there are many "brakes" built in to stop it attacking our own tissues.


The Fragmentation of Health Data – Travis May – Medium

#artificialintelligence

To illustrate the data that is generated by a single patient visit, let us follow the hypothetical case of patient Jane Doe. Jane has been seeing her primary care doctor for years and goes in for a routine check-up. Over the course of the 8–12 minutes of face time that she spends with her doctor, a number of different data elements are generated. The EHR's billing module then prepares an insurance claim for Jane's insurer. The draft claim is sent to a clearinghouse that checks the draft for errors, reformats the claim to match the insurer's standards, and then sends the claim to the insurer.