Highlights of the important and interesting in the world of healthcare.
MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Study: Fetal surgery treats spina bifida. Surgery inside the womb to repair an unborn baby’s myelomeningocele, the most common form of spina bifida, "may result in better neurologic function than repair deferred until after delivery," according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Turning breast cancer treatment on its head. A study indicating that certain breast cancer patients can avoid lymph node surgery, turned 100 years of standard medical practice on its head writes The New York Times. The publication asked the report’s author, Denise Grady, to answer questions from readers.
Doctors grow defective heart cells to test heart defect drugs. Using skin cells from children with a heart defect, Stanford University researchers created functioning heart cells in the lab with the same cardiac defect, allowing the scientists to test new drugs in human cells instead of mice, according to a report published in Nature.
Diet soda could increase stroke risk. Even if you drink diet soda — instead of the sugar variety — you could still have a much higher risk of vascular events compared to those who don’t drink soda, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2011.
Healthcare reform’s success may depend on timing. “President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul is headed for a showdown in the Supreme Court, and the timing – still undetermined – could be everything,” writes assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Peter Brown for The Wall Street Journal.