Published in IJCP January 2024
Medicine Update
January 11, 2024 | Veena Aggarwal
Family Medicine

A New Treatment for Bladder Cancer

The combination of enfortumab vedotin-ejfv and pembrolizumab has received FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval for the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic cancer of the urinary bladder, irrespective of their eligibility for cisplatin-containing chemotherapy… (Source: US FDA. Dec. 15, 2023).

Metformin Reduces Risk of ARMD in Patients without Diabetes

Use of metformin reduces the likelihood of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by 17% in patients without diabetes. This association was independent of dose of metformin… (Source: JAMA Ophthalmology. Nov. 30, 2023).

SARS-CoV-2 can be Detected in Lungs for up to 2 Years Post-infection

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus can persevere in the lungs for up to 2 years after the infection, according to a preclinical study conducted jointly by the Institut Pasteur and the Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission published in the journal Nature Immunology. The amount of the virus that remained in the alveolar macrophages in the lungs was lower for the Omicron strain compared to the original strain of the virus. The persistence of the virus has been attributed to the failure of innate immunity… (Source: Pasteur Institut. Dec. 5, 2023).

Histologic Activity Increases Risk of Serious Infections in IBD Patients

Presence of histologic inflammation in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at high risk of serious infections including opportunistic infections and sepsis compared to those who achieved histological remission. The risk persisted even after adjusting for medications… (Source: Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. Oct. 30, 2023).

A Steroid-free Topical Foam Treatment for Seborrheic Dermatitis

A topical steroid-free foam treatment for seborrheic dermatitis has been accorded FDA approval. Roflumilast 0.3% is approved for use in individuals aged 9 years and older. It is to be applied once in a day… (Source: Dermatology Times. Dec. 15, 2023).

ACOG Recommends Flu Vaccine for Pregnant Women

In its Committee Statement, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has recommended all pregnant women should take the influenza vaccine during the influenza season. It further states that all obstetricians and gynecologists should recommend influenza vaccination and counsel them about the benefits of vaccination. Both influenza and COVID-19 should be considered in the differential diagnosis of pregnant women presenting with symptoms… (Source: Obstet Gynecol. Nov. 28, 2023).

Patients with Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma Now have Another Treatment Option

Belzutifan has been approved by the US FDA for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma who have been treated with a programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) or programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor and a vascular endothelial growth factor tyrosine kinase inhibitor (VEGF-TKI). The dose is 120 mg once daily orally until there are signs of progression of disease or intolerable adverse effects occur… (Source: US FDA. Dec. 14, 2023).

Recent Surge in Respiratory Illness in China Due to Seasonal Infections, Says China: WHO

Chinese health authorities attribute the sharp increase in the number of cases of children with respiratory diseases including pneumonia in Northern China to known pathogens such as influenza, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and SARS-CoV-2 as well as the advent of winter, says the World Health Organization (WHO). The organization is “closely monitoring the situation and is in close contact with national authorities in China”… (Source: WHO. Nov. 23, 2023).

The PROFID EHRA Trial Enrolls Its First Patient

The first clinical trial to examine the benefits of defibrillator implantation along with drug treatment vis-a-vis medical treatment alone in post-myocardial infarction patients with symptomatic heart failure and left ventricular ejection fraction of ≤35% has started with enrollment of the first patient from Germany. Some of the outcomes to be examined in the trial include all-cause death and sudden cardiac death. The PROFID EHRA noninferiority trial will be conducted in 13 countries with around 3,505 patients. Results are expected in early 2027… (Source: ESC. Nov. 21, 2023).

AGA Publishes Updated Guideline for Use of Biomarkers in Crohn’s Disease

The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) recommends use of serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and fecal calprotectin to monitor patients with asymptomatic or symptomatic Crohn’s disease rather than relying on symptoms alone. It advocates a cut-off of <150 µg/g for fecal calprotectin and/or <5 mg/L for CRP to exclude active inflammation in patients with symptomatic and endoscopic remission, whereas patients with symptomatic but not endoscopic remission should undergo endoscopy to exclude active inflammation… (Source: Gastroenterology. Dec. 2023).

Lebrikizumab Approved in Europe for Moderate to Severe Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis patients who have not responded to topical therapies can now be treated with lebrikizumab, a monoclonal antibody, which inhibits interleukin-13. It has been approved by the European Commission for the treatment of patients aged ≥12 years with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis… (Source: Medscape. Nov. 20, 2023).

Upper GI Endoscopy Enables Diagnosis of Iron Deficiency Anemia Etiology in Children

The use of upper gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy enabled identification of the cause of iron deficiency anemia in ≥70% of children with severe unexplained iron deficiency anemia. Sixty-eight percent were found to have polyps, gastronodularity or erosions, while 12% had duodenitis or ulcers. Histopathology revealed gastritis in 72% and Helicobacter pylori in 50% of children… (Source: HCPLive Oct. 23, 2023).

A Catheter Lock Solution for Renal Failure Patients on Chronic Hemodialysis

A catheter lock solution containing taurolidine and heparin has been approved by the US FDA to prevent catheter-related bloodstream infections in patients with renal failure on chronic hemodialysis via a central venous catheter. It is available in single dose 3 mL and 5 mL vials and is to be used only as a catheter lock solution. The product carries a warning about heparin-induced thrombocytopenia… (Source: US FDA. Nov. 15, 2023).

Study Links Hippocampal Atrophy to Cognitive Decline

Decrease in the volume of the hippocampus is associated with cognitive impairment. The Harvard Aging Brain Study reported that the faster the atrophy of the hippocampus occurred, faster was the cognitive decline. These observations were independent of amyloid-beta (Aβ) and tau levels… (Source: AAN. Nov. 15, 2023).

The First Home Diagnostic Test for Common STIs

LetsGetChecked’s Simple 2 Test has been accorded marketing approval as the first diagnostic test for 2 common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) Chlamydia and gonorrhea for patients aged ≥18 years. It is available over-the-counter and the sample can be collected at home… (Source: US FDA. Nov. 15, 2023).