Open Reading Frame brings together a selection of recent publication highlights from elsewhere in  the open access ecosystem. This week we take a look at the past few weeks in medicine.


Chemotherapy feasible in hepatitis C patients

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the main causes of liver disease. While there are guidelines on managing hepatitis B during chemotherapy, there is little knowledge on treating HCV patients with cancer. A retrospective analysis of HCV patients with breast cancer has shown that chemotherapy does not change HCV viral load. Although more research is required, these findings indicate that chemotherapy is safe and feasible in patients with HCV, and should not be withheld from these patients.
Miura et al. Journal of Cancer


Personalized risk prediction for women’s cancers

Researchers have developed a new prediction model to assess a woman’s risk of developing breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer. The models, which take known risk factors for these cancers into account, can predict individual risk of developing cancer, and could be used in the clinic to identify those who will benefit from screening. The authors caution that the model was developed using Hispanic women over 50, so will require further validation in other populations, but the models should provide realistic information about cancer risk.
Pfeiffer et al. PLoS Medicine


Linking mental and cardiovascular health

People suffering from a heart attack often experience mental health problems afterwards, including anxiety and depression. New research has shown that poor mental health in heart attack patients is linked to increased risk of further cardiovascular problems and death, suggesting that mental health should be prioritized in these patients.
Nielsen et al. BMJ Open


Moving towards pain-free wound healing in children?

Tissue adhesive, or ‘skin glue’, is commonly used in children for treating minor cuts, and some children find the experience painful. Now, a clinical trial has shown that a topical pain relief gel containing idocaine, epinephrine and tetracaine reduced pain following tissue adhesive application in children aged between three months and 17 years, suggesting that the gel could be a simple way to lessen pain during wound healing in children.
Harman et al. CMAJ


Why do people opt out of flu vaccination?

Although flu vaccination is the most effective way to prevent infection, many people choose not to be vaccinated. Researchers from Canada have investigated the reasons why people do not receive vaccination, finding that “respondent did not think it necessary” and “have not gotten around to it” were the most common reasons. The authors conclude that we need to increase awareness of the importance of flu vaccination in order to motivate people to get vaccinated.
Chen et al. Vaccine: Development and Therapy


Should men undergo PSA testing? More shared decision making required

There is a great deal of controversy surrounding prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing for prostate cancer. While PSA testing can identify men with prostate cancer and potentially save lives, there are concerns about its accuracy, with a high rate of false positive results leading to unnecessary anxiety. For these reasons, guidelines recommend shared decision making between doctors and patients to decide whether individuals should be screened. The latest research, however, found that most men in the US reported little shared decision making in PSA screening, so improvements are required to ensure patients are more involved in PSA screening choices.
Han et al. Annals of Family Medicine


Written by Claire Barnard, Senior Editor for BMC Medicine.



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