Archive for September, 2010

Experimental drug seems safe, effective against prostate cancer

Charlie Schmidt

Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

A study published in the journal Lancet found that the experimental drug MDV3100 is both safe and effective for prostate cancer patients with advanced disease that no longer responds to hormone therapy.

Statins may stop prostate cancer’s return

Nancy Ferrari

Senior editor, Harvard Health

A 2010 study finds that statins, a class of drugs taken to lower cholesterol, may prevent prostate cancer from recurring after surgery.

Naps for young doctors

Peter Wehrwein

Contributor, Harvard Health

Doctors-in-training should be encouraged to do some on-the-job napping, according to the organization that sets the standards for residency programs around the country. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) issued new standards yesterday that came out in favor of a well-timed snooze. The guidelines, which are scheduled to go into effect next year, say this: Programs must encourage residents to use alertness […]

Avandia: Fishing with the wrong bait?

Peter Wehrwein

Contributor, Harvard Health

The news yesterday that FDA is putting tighter restrictions on Avandia (rosiglitazone), the diabetes drugs, was important but not surprising. In July, an advisory panel to the agency took a rather dim view of the drug.  Ten of the 32 votes were for increased warnings and tighter restrictions, and 12 were for pulling the drug off the market completely (which is what European regulators decided to […]

Strong warning on diabetes drug Avandia


Former Executive Editor, Harvard Health

Rosiglitazone (Avandia) should be used only by people who can’t control their diabetes other ways, the FDA said today. Across the Atlantic, the European Medicines Agency ordered rosiglitazone off the market until its maker, GlaxoSmithKline, can supply “convincing data” that there exists a group of people with diabetes for whom the blood-sugar-lowering benefit of taking rosiglitazone […]

Synthetic biology: Really cool science not yet ready for prime time

Ann MacDonald

Contributor, Harvard Health

One of the joys of working at Harvard Medical School, at least for those of us who are nerds, is the chance to attend free lectures by scientists who are pushing the boundaries of how we understand the world. So while we usually cover practical health-related topics in this blog, I thought I’d take a […]

Distinguishing depression from normal adolescent mood swings

Ann MacDonald

Contributor, Harvard Health

Parents often wonder how to distinguish normal teenage mood swings and rebellions from actual symptoms of depression. I asked Dr. Nadja N. Reilly, a member of the editorial board of the Harvard Mental Health Letter, for some advice on this topic. Dr. Reilly has a particular interest in finding ways to identify and prevent youth […]

No big whoop: Adult pertussis may not produce the whooping cough

Peter Wehrwein

Contributor, Harvard Health

Whooping cough is the nickname for pertussis, a childhood disease that is now affecting teens and adults and becoming less true to its onomatopoeic moniker. People with pertussis make a whooping sound because they run out of breath after coughing hard several times in row; the whoop is the sound of a sudden, hard inhale. You’ll find a good audio […]

Those biking Bankers: Active commuters to the World Bank

Peter Wehrwein

Contributor, Harvard Health

After the article on cycling in the August 2010 issue of the Health Letter, we heard from Gary Reid, a public sector management specialist at the World Bank in Washington, D.C. Reid is impressive. He commutes by bicycle 14.5 miles one-way (29 miles round-trip) from his home in McLean, Virginia, to the Bank headquarters, which is a just couple […]

Eating for prostate health

Marc B. Garnick, M.D.

Editor in Chief, HarvardProstateKnowledge.org

Patients frequently ask for a list of foods they can eat to help shield them from prostate cancer. Although some foods have been linked with reduced risk of prostate cancer, the proof of their effectiveness is lacking.