Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

NIH researchers create comprehensive collection of approved drugs to identify new therapies

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                                                                                                   http://www.ncgc.nih.gov/

From the 27 April 2011 Eureka News Alert

Researchers have begun screening the first definitive collection of thousands of approved drugs for clinical use against rare and neglected diseases. They are hunting for additional uses of the drugs hoping to find off-label therapies, for some of the 6,000 rare diseases that afflict 25 million Americans. The effort is coordinated by the National Institutes of Health’s Chemical Genomics Center (NCGC).

“This is a critical step to explore the full potential of these drugs for new applications,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “The hope is that this process may identify some potential new treatments for rare and neglected diseases.”

The researchers assembled the collection of approved drugs for screening based on information from the NCGC Pharmaceutical Collection browser at http://tripod.nih.gov/npc. This publicly available, Web-based application described in a paper appearing in the April 27 issue of Science Translational Medicine, provides complete information on the nearly 27,000 active pharmaceutical ingredients including 2,750 small molecule drugs that have been approved by regulatory agencies from the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan, as well as all compounds that have been registered for human clinical trials……

Related Rare Diseases Resources

April 29, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News, Public Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness (Journal Article)

From the March 18 2011 DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB **posting

Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
The March 2011 issue of this journal includes an article titled,
“Supporting Evidence-based Health Care in Crises: What Information Do Humanitarian Organizations Need?” ***as well as a selection of open access articles relevant to the Japan earthquake. [Submitted by Anna Gieschen]

Abstract

Supporting Evidence-based Health Care in Crises

What Information Do Humanitarian Organizations Need?

Tari Turner, PhD, Sally Green, PhD and Claire Harris, MBBSAuthor Affiliations: Dr Turner and Dr Green are with the Australasian Cochrane Centre, Monash University, Victoria, Australia; and Dr Harris is with the Centre for Clinical Effectiveness, Southern Health, Victoria, Australia.

In crisis situations, there is an enormous burden of disease and very limited resources. To achieve the best possible health outcomes in these situations and ensure that scarce resources are not wasted, knowledge from health research needs to be translated into practice. We investigated what information from health research was needed by humanitarian aid workers in crisis settings and how it could be best provided. Semistructured interviews were conducted by telephone with 19 humanitarian aid workers from a range of organizations around the world and the results analyzed thematically. Participants identified a clear and currently unmet need for access to high-quality health research to support evidence-based practice in crisis situations. They emphasized that research into delivery of health care was potentially morevaluable than research into the effectiveness of particular clinical interventions and highlighted the importance of includingcontextual information to enable the relevance of the research to be assessed. They suggested that providers of health research information and humanitarian aid organizations work together to develop these resources. [editor Flahiff’s emphasis]


**DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB is a discussion group for librarians, information specialists and othersinterested in disaster information outreach to their communities and responding to information needs for all-hazards preparedness, response and recovery.
The DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB archives are available at
https://list.nih.gov/archives/disastr-outreach-lib.html.

*** For information on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here

March 20, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News, Public Health | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

IU Personalized Medicine Institute to develop targeted and individualized treatments

IU Personalized Medicine Institute to develop targeted and individualized treatments

David Flockhart, M.D., Ph.D. Director, Indiana Institute for Personalized Medicine

 

 

From the February 9 2011 Eureka news alert

Indiana University has announced a major commitment to research in one of health care’s most promising fields with the creation of the Indiana Institute for Personalized Medicine.

The institute’s members will be drawn from the IU schools of medicine, informatics and nursing, with $11.25 million in funding provided by the School of Medicine, the school’s Department of Medicine, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, the Indiana Physician Scientist Initiative and the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer. The Indiana Physician Scientist Initiative is funded by a $60 million grant from the Lilly Endowment.

Building on modern research techniques that have made it possible to decipher the genetic code, detect slight genetic differences between patients and determine how those affect the way the body metabolizes drugs, physicians are beginning to be able to select more appropriate treatments for individual patients. Research to make such tools broadly available remains in the early but promising stages, institute leaders said.

“Much of the future of health care is in personalized medicine, meaning more precise targeting of the right medication to the right patient at the right time,” said David Flockhart, M.D., Ph.D., who has been named director of the institute.

“We believe it should lead to cost benefits – it clearly will be better for patients,” said Dr. Flockhart, Harry and Edith Gladstein Professor of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics and director of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology.

“The Indiana Institute for Personalized Medicine is a not only a logical extension of our academic mission but is also part of our strategic plan to be a global leader in translational medicine,” said David S. Wilkes, M.D., executive associate dean for research affairs at the IU School of Medicine.

Some of the earliest examples of personalized medicine have come in the field of cancer treatment. Oncologists now can test a breast cancer patient’s tumor to determine not only whether it is the type that is stimulated to grow by the hormone estrogen, but whether it is a subtype that can be treated with hormone therapy or another type that requires chemotherapy. Cardiology, pediatrics and obstetrics also will be important areas of focus for the institute, said Dr. Flockhart.

“To identify more precisely which drugs are likely to be more effective — or less effective and more toxic — will have a substantial impact on optimizing health care delivery and rationally curbing costs. In no discipline is this more keenly needed than in cancer care where drugs can be extremely costly and toxic,” said Patrick J. Loehrer Sr., M.D., director of the IU Simon Cancer Center.

IU scientists have been working on related research for at least a decade, but creating an institute “allows you to really jump start research and raise the level participation of an institution in both the laboratory and in the clinic, in a broad range of research interests,” Dr. Flockhart said.

For example, Janet Carpenter, Ph.D., R.N., professor in the School of Nursing and a member of the institute, sees personalized medicine playing a key role in improving the treatment of menopause.

“About 6,000 American women enter menopause every day yet personalized medicine has not been well-integrated into their health care,” she said. “The institute will play a very important role in ensuring that women receive the most appropriate and effective menopausal symptom management therapies.”

Mathew Palakal, Ph.D., associate dean for graduate studies and research at the School of Informatics noted that “research in personalized medicine spans a broad spectrum from systems biology to nanomedicine to gene therapy. Our research in such areas as systems biology, biological network analysis and proteomics, along with our graduate programs in health informatics and bioinformatics, will enable informatics and the School of Informatics to play a significant role in the success of the institute.”

“This science will enable physicians to prescribe the right medicines at the right dosages and intervals to maximize efficacy and prevent unwanted toxicity. It should be a very exciting next 10 years of research,” said D. Wade Clapp, M.D., chairman of the Department of Pediatrics…..

 

 

February 13, 2011 Posted by | Health News Items | , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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