New Adjuvant Treatment for Breast Cancer approved by FDA

HER2-positive breast cancer is a breast cancer that tests positive for a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), which promotes the growth of cancer cells. This type of breast cancer is more aggresive than other types of breast cancer.

The drug neratinib (Nerlynx, Puma Biotechnology) was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration as an adjuvant of the treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer.

According to a pivotal phase 3 randomized clinical trial performed on 2840 patients with early stage HER2-positive breast, the 1 year  administration of neratinib led to a disease-free survival rate of 94.2%, comparable with 91,9% at patients treated with placebo. Patients received the study drug and placebo after the treatment with trastuzumab.

The pharmacological action of neratinib is determined by the inhibition of tyrosine kinase and it works by blocking several enzyme that promote the grown of the cancer cells.

More information can be found here.

Proton-pumps inhibitors (PPIs) may be linked to an increased risk of death

Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are widely use for controlling stomach acid and they are available for sale without prescription in many countries.

According to a new clinical study performed by Yan Xie, PhD, from the Clinical Epidemiology Center, Research and Education Service, Veterans Affairs Saint Louis Health Care System in Missouri, and colleagues, use of PPIs can lead to increased risk of death. They analyzed data for more than 6 million people for nearly 6 years — until 2013 or death. Three comparison groups were analyzed: first group, PPIs vs histamine-2 (H2)–blockers, second group  PPI users vs non-users and third group, patients receiving neither PPIs nor H2-blockers.


The results have shown that use of PPIs is associated with  increased risk of death compared with use of H2 blockers or no known exposure to any acid suppression therapy.

For more information, please access the full text article.


Development of new antibiotics

Antibiotics resistance represents one of the biggest problems of global health. Many infections, such as tuberculosis, pneumonia and gonorrhoea are harder to treat because the antibiotics used for their treatment become less effective.

In order to reduce the antibiotic resistance, European Medicines Agency (EMA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Japanese Pharmaceutical and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) encourage the clinical development of new antimicrobial agents. During the meeting in Vienna, the representatives from the three regulatory agencies have discussed about the design of new clinical trials for testing new treatments for several bacterial infections.

For more information please access European Medicines Agency website.

The effects of chocolate in cognitive function improvement

Nowadays, decline of cognitive function represents a major health issue and new studies are focused on the detection of preventive agents for cognitive decline and dementia.

Interest in nutraceuticals and functional food has increased in last years. Cocoa represents a rich source of flavonoids, a class of nutraceuticals with polyphenolic structure and several effects on human health, like cardioprotection, neuroprotection, and neuromodulation. Flavonols have antioxidant properties, meaning that they have the ability to reduce the effects of cell damage caused by oxidative stress.

According to a new review published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, by Valentina Socci and her colleagues from University of L’Aquila in Italy cognitive function could be improved within few hours after cocoa flavonols consumption. Furthermore, it was found that regular, long-term intake of cocoa flavonols protects againts cognitive decline.

For more information please access the full review article here.