July 18, 2016 |
I am sitting here with tears in my eyes and anger in my heart. I just learned that the cancer clinical trial that my husband enrolled in - gambled on, you could say - didn't work. The data show that the pancreatic cancer patients such as my husband who received an experimental combination of two immunotherapy drugs actually died a few months earlier, on average, than those who received the standard chemotherapy treatment. The results were so disappointing that the trial has been halted.
July 15, 2016
ISSUE | MEDICINE It's fine for cancer centers to run ads about their successes The story about cancer centers' ads painted the picture in broad strokes ("Report: Many cancer center ads are selling hype as hope," Tuesday). As a Fox Chase patient who very likely has the same "rare gastrointestinal tumor" as the man in Sunday's ad, I am familiar with the drug he was likely given 15 years ago during a clinical trial. There are only three drugs for the gastrointestinal stomal tumor (GIST)
June 22, 2016 |
The first testing in people of an experimental vaccine to combat the Zika virus will begin in the next several weeks, a Philadelphia-area biotech company announced Monday. Inovio Pharmaceuticals in Plymouth Meeting and partner GeneOne Life Science in South Korea said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has given approval to begin early-stage tests in 40 healthy adults. Shares of Inovio rose 6.97 percent, or 73 cents, to $11.20 after the announcement. The tests will be done at three U.S. locations, including Philadelphia, and will evaluate safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of the vaccine against the mosquito-borne virus.
October 12, 2015 |
Philadelphia's gene therapy community last week marked another milestone in its resurgence when locally based Spark Therapeutics said its most advanced product helped restore some vision in patients suffering from a rare eye condition during a clinical trial. The company plans to apply for FDA approval next year. Philadelphia was in some minds the gene therapy hub in the late 1990s, until an 18-year-old man died during a clinical trial by University of Pennsylvania researcher James M. Wilson.
October 6, 2015 |
Spark Therapeutics, a Philadelphia company at the forefront of gene-therapy research, reported Monday that patients in its most important clinical trial had some eyesight restored after treatment by Spark's product. For now, the name of the product is SPK-RPE65, which - along with Spark itself - was spun out of decades of research led by Kathy High at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the largest shareholder in the publicly traded company. "We saw substantial restoration of vision in patients who were progressing toward complete blindness," Albert M. Maguire, principal investigator in the trial and an ophthalmologist at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine, said in a statement.
May 31, 2015 |
Greg Crawford's right wrist is covered with a half-dozen multicolored plastic bracelets. "Race for Adam," reads one, for a teen in Bethlehem, Pa. "Dillon's Army," reads another, in honor of a Maryland boy. "Fight for Jessica," reads a third, for a girl in Los Angeles. "I told them I'd never take them off until we have a cure," Crawford, 50, said. The children's families gave Crawford the bracelets in 2011, the second year he biked across the country to raise money for Niemann-Pick Type C Disease, a nervous system disorder that typically strikes children.
November 9, 2014 |
Women, racial minorities, and people over 75 are underrepresented in the clinical trials that help determine the way all cardiac patients are treated, a study from Lankenau Medical Center researchers has found. This means that the recommendations that doctors use to treat heart problems may not be the best for all groups, said senior author Peter Kowey, head of Cardiology for Main Line Health. A team at Lankenau Heart Institute and Lankenau Institute for Medical Research laid out the disparities in a research letter published online by the Journal of the American Medical Association.
October 8, 2014 |
More than a decade after prostate cancer became the economic driver behind proton beam therapy in the U.S., it still isn't clear that men treated with the technology do better than those who get less costly radiation treatments. That's why expert groups have recently advised against insurance coverage of proton therapy for prostate cancer - and why some private plans are refusing to pay for it. The Catch-22 is that this pullback is hampering a clinical trial co-led by the University of Pennsylvania that would finally settle the question of superiority.
September 15, 2014 |
For the eight years since her diagnosis in 2006, drugs, surgery, and chemotherapy had kept Debra Hinkle's breast cancer at bay. But now, the conventional treatments were failing, and the disease was spreading. So when her oncologist decided it was time for the Bucks County woman to consider relatively untested therapies, she was more than willing. "I thought that if I didn't do a clinical trial now, maybe I wouldn't be able to later," said Hinkle, 54, who lives in Newtown Township and works as a software-development project manager.
June 19, 2014 |
Taxes, takeovers, and preschoolers are the topics of the moment with drugmaker Shire P.L.C., whose closing stock price reached an all-time high Monday. With official headquarters in low-tax Ireland and operations in Wayne, Exton, and Lexington, Mass., Shire is the subject of takeover speculation. That's largely due to a recent trend of health-care companies trying to buy smaller outfits registered in Ireland and other countries to avoid higher U.S. corporate taxes, a move known as a tax inversion.