Weekly Roundup – 11-15-13

Many people this week are disappointed, chagrined even, to realize that Thanksgiving is not next week. Well, if not many, then me. Seriously, it is very late this year….and it is my favorite holiday.  Still, I am somewhat grateful for the extra week to complete the menus, iron all the table linens and have the house so clean that you would think I was putting it up for sale.

And so we had a full week this week and a full week next. Here is a bit of what happened in this:

  • New Approval for Rare Cancer – Imbruvica, a new treatment for patients with a rare type of cancer called mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) was the second treatment to be approved with breakthrough therapy designation, FDA announced this week.  MCL represents approximately 6 percent of the cases of non-Hodgkin lympohma and by time it is diagnosed, it has often spread to other parts of the body.  Imbruvica inhibits the enzyme needed by the cancer to multiply and spread and is the third drug approved to treat MCL and is intended for use after patients have received at least one prior therapy.
  • Device Approval for Treatment of EpilepsyFDA announced approval of a device that is intended to be used to help reduce the frequency of seizures in epilepsy patients who have not responded well to medications.  The device is a small neurostimulator which is implanted under the scalp which detects abnormal electrical brain activity and responds with electrical stimulation.  FDA noted that epilepsy is the third most common neurological condition after strokes and Alzheimer’s and 40 percent of patients continue to have seizures despite treatment.
  • FDA Announces Recall of Dietary Supplement Products – People have often asked me if FDA ever issues a press release on a weekend.  Here, my friends, is evidence.  When there is a public health issue at stake, it would seem the FDA press office is ready, willing and able to send out a release.  In this case, it was Sunday, November 10 and the release was about the recall of OxyElite Pro dietary supplements that were linked to liver illness that was quite serious in nature.

That’s all for me this week.  Even though next week is apparently NOT Thanksgiving, I hope you have wonderful, restful, happy and safe weekends.

Photo courtesy of Anne Becker.

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