Ann Conkle
Mar 16, 2012

Medical Nova Weekly: Top five trends for 3/12-3/16

Here's your weekly summary of the top medical news of the week!

Texas Governor Rick Perry, a controversial stem cell patientCellTex scandal breakdown: Stem cells, Rick Perry and the FDA

There has been an explosion of news suggesting an illegal stem cell operation at the Houston-based company, CellTex Therapeutics, whose most famous client is Texas Governor, Rick Perry. Are the company’s actions scandal-worthy and what does controversy like this mean for future stem cell research?



Cadmium, found in fertilizers, has been associated with increased breast cancer riskCadmium in diet linked with breast cancer risk

Dietary cadmium, a toxic metal widely dispersed in the environment and found in many farm fertilizers, may lead to an increased risk of breast cancer, according to a a new study. “Because of a high accumulation in agricultural crops, the main sources of dietary cadmium are bread and other cereals, potatoes, root crops and vegetables,” said Agneta Åkesson, associate professor at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. Both estrogen receptor-positive and negative tumors had the same risk increase at roughly 23 percent.


A metal-on-metal hip implantMetal-on-metal hip implants more likely to fail

Hip replacements are now a common surgery. But new research is showing that certain types of hip replacements fare worse than others. Researchers analyzed data from 402,051 hip replacements tracked in the National Joint Registry of England and Wales. They found that metal-on-metal implants had high fail rates, which has lead the study authors and other physicians to conclude that metal-on-metal hip implants should no longer be used.


Sultan Kosen, the world's tallest manWorld’s tallest man stops growing

The world’s tallest man seems to have stopped growing after treatment at the University of Virginia (UVA) Medical Center. 8-foot-3-inch Sultan Kosen of Turkey has been making trips to Virginia for treatment since May, 2010. Kosen suffers from acromegaly, in which a tumor in his pituitary gland causes an excess of growth hormone and a range of health problems. Doctors treated Kosen with a combination of medication and gamma knife radiosurgery, a noninvasive procedure that delivers focused beams of radiation guided by MRI to a specific spot in a patient’s body -- in this case, Kosen’s pituitary tumor.



A man poses with packets of Sorafenib at the head office of Natco in southern IndiaThe battle over pharmaceutical patents and the Indian drug market

In recent high-profile cases, the Indian government has circumvented patent rights to allow generic versions of patented drugs to be manufactured and sold at lower prices in India, increasing access to the drugs among those who could not otherwise afford them, but causing fears about future research and development. How do we preserve pharmaceutical research and development while enhancing access to life-saving medications for marginalized populations?