MASSDEVICE ON CALL — After a quick FDA turnaround, an implantable melanoma vaccine is beginning a Phase I clinical trial. The technology was co-developed by the Wyss Institute and Dana Farber Cancer Institute
Researchers developed a tiny, biodegradable disk made of growth factors and elements of each patient’s tumor. Once implanted, the disk dissolves and prompts the body to attack the tumor as though it were an infection.
The vaccine-like approach to cancer treatment showed so much promise in mice that the FDA moved quickly to allow human testing, according to the Boston Business Journal.
Melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, is projected to cause 9,480 deaths this year, according to the American Cancer Society.
Drones fly AEDs to heart attack victims on site
German drone-making company Heigh-Tech partnered with the non-profit group Definetz to develop a drone that can quickly fly AEDs to heart attack victims. Drones have traditionally been used in combat for their versatility and ability to fly just about anywhere. Now Heigh-Tech envisions a drone that can save precious minutes by flying a defibrillator to a person suffering from a heart attack. The company’s drone, called Defikopter, is not yet on the market.
Snowden says medical records were among those hacked by U.S., U.K.
Still a fugitive in Russia while making new disclosures, whistleblower Edward Snowden has recently claimed U.S. and U.K. governments also hacked the personal medical records of their citizens. The Guardian reported that the medical record hack campaigns were called ‘Bullrun’ in the U.S. and ‘Edgehill’ in the U.K., both names reflecting important battles in national history. Snowden contends that the American National Security Agency and the British GCHQ both used illegal tactics to gain access to private medical records.
New compound shows promise as a blood-clot busting stent coating
Blood clots and other complications are common side-effects of stenting, a process of widening arteries with a mesh tube. Researchers have identified a new chemical compound that shows promise as a stent-coating to reduce the likelihood of clotting. Drugs currently used in stents to prevent artery re-narrowing also prevent the healthy growth of a blood vessel cell lining called the endothelium. This new compound, tested successfully in animals, allows the endothelium to grow while still preventing re-narrowing of the arteries.
Philips Healthcare backs British sleep apnea campaign
Philips Healthcare (NYSE:PHG) signed on as a corporate sponsor for the national sleep apnea campaign in Britain, pledging $398,667
to the British Lung Foundation. The Philips funds have backed employment of a project manager and several awareness-raising events for the 3-year campaign. The British Lung Foundation is pushing for more national "sleep services" to support patients suffering from this breathing condition.