A new therapy using non-thermal radio waves has been effective in blocking the growth of liver cancer cells anywhere in the body without deteriorating healthy cells. The study was conducted by the most excellent scholars in Wake Forest School of Medicine. The research aims to identify and locate the exact cascade within the tumor cells that will eventually lead to the anti-cancer effects.
With the use of animals as research models, the team delivered levels of radio frequencies to mice that were infected with human cancer cells to reproduce hepatocellular carcinoma or HCC. Hepatocellular relates to liver cells, while carcinoma is a malignant tumor that starts in the surface layer of an organ or body part and may spread to other parts of the body. HCC is known to be the most common type of liver cancer that affected humans since 1980.
Today, the use of radio frequencies delivered to patients with HCC in Europe proved to be effective in treating cancer cells. It is also in the same country where a device intended to cure HCC using radio frequencies has been permitted for medical purposes.
The research team headed by Boris Pasche, M.D, Ph.D., Chair of Cancer Biology and Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Wake Forest Baptist explained the process of the study. They utilized a device, invented by Pasche and another scientist named Alexander Barbault in Germany. The said device is designed to deliver cancer-specific, amplitude-modulated radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (AM RF-EMF) programmed correctly for HCC patients. The AM RF EMF activated a calcium passage on the surface of HCC tumor cells but not on noncancerous cells, said Pasche.
A specific calcium channel was acting like an antenna for the radio signals that researchers sent out. The radio signals will then allow calcium to penetrate the HCC cell membrane and go directly inside the affected cells, removing the growth of cancer cells. “The study showed that the radiofrequency delivered was at low and safe levels,” Pasche said. It was smaller than those generated by holding a cell phone close to the ear.
How can this device effectively cure cancer cells in the liver?
It has come to the researchers that it was the entry of calcium that stopped the growth of HCC cells and even shrunk it. In some cases, it miraculously eliminated the tumors spreading around the liver part, with the help of the said frequency device. The effect was similar when cancer had metastasized in other parts of the body; a positive indication that the tool can be helpful in the decade-long battle against cancer.
The device is licensed to TheraBionic Inc., formerly referred to as TheraBionic LCC and GmBH. It has been approved by the European Notified Body, the equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration or (FDA)in the United States. However, the device needs the approval of the FDA and is currently under evaluation before it reaches the U.S grounds.
Today, the treatment is viral in Europe and gained the public’s attention after regulators approved the device for patients with HCC. Consisting of a hand-held device about the size of a VHS tape cassette, it emits radio frequencies via a spoon-shaped element that is usually placed on the patient’s tongue. The patient can undergo treatment in the comfort of their homes three times a day for one hour only. As per Pasche, who happens to hold stock in TheraBionic Inc., the frequencies used are specific to the patient’s type of cancer as identified thru tumor biopsies or blood work.
Meanwhile, a separate study by Wake Forest Baptist researchers using the same technology in breast cancer cells was also published in the May 31 edition of EBioMedicine. Pasche and Barbault, as the primary authors of this study, have also discovered radio frequencies for 15 different types of cancer. The outcome was previously reported and published in 2009 in the Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research.
Horn-like Skull Growing Among Teens Linked To Excessive Use Of Mobile Devices
Legend says that if a human grows some horns, he or she is most likely under the spell of mythical creatures like unicorns, devils, and jackalopes. Although the presence of these creatures remained a mystery, records show that there are cases of humans growing horns at the top of their heads.
One rare occasion happened in 2015, where an 87-year old Liang Xiuzhen from Sichuan China went to a doctor to seek medical help, as she suspected to develop horns on top of her head. It started as a mole, which eventually cracked open and exposed a horn growing out of it, based on the patient’s testimony. The doctors determined the horn to be “cutaneous,” a horn-like lump that has the same substance with that of keratin in our fingernails.
Although most cases are harmless, Liang was not the only person who developed such growth on her head. Some older people in China made headlines for the same reason.
Experts believe that this kind of phenomenon happens typically in older people, mostly because it takes years to develop. However, this claim is sunken by a recent study that shows how younger generations seem to be growing the same horns in the back of their skulls.
The presence of these “horn-like” skull growths was observed by two Australian researchers who carefully examined hundreds of X-rays of younger people aged between 18 and 30. The pair found out that almost half had developed bone growths, due to the prolonged use of technology such as smartphones and tablets.
The study poses a severe threat to younger people’s health and reveals how technology can alter the form of one’s body. This medical condition occurs when a person spends most of his or her time on mobile devices, particularly daily.
The news has now gained attention because this kind of outgrowths typically occurs in hunched-over elderly ones who practiced improper posture and carried heavy loads on their bones. The fact that this also happens to the younger generation is a manifestation of too much reliance on gadgets, which can create damage to one’s body structure.
According to a study conducted by King University in 2017, technological dependency or commonly termed as “excessive use of gadgets,” is a recent issue that grows in relevance, as the massive number of individuals utilizes mobile technology. This assertion is supported by Dr. Russel Belk’s Extended Self Theory, which suggests that personal possessions like smartphones, among others, have played an essential role in how people operate daily. It further explains that they became an extension of the self, so once separated from these devices; it can lead to anxiety, irritability, and even psychological disorder.
Dr. David Shahar and Associate Professor Mark Sayers from the University of the Sunshine Coast published the study last year, which cited the danger posed by excessive use of mobile gadgets at home, especially by younger people. Both researchers examined 218 X-rays images of people aged between 18 and 30 with 41 percent had developed a “horn-like” bony bump at the back of their heads with a size ranging from 10 millimeters to 30.
The findings ruled out the idea that this condition typically takes years to form and is most likely to be experienced by the aging population. Moreover, bone spurs are shorter, but what researchers found was longer in terms of measurement — meaning that the impact of poor posture, especially in young individuals, is evident nowadays due to extended phone and gadget use.
A poll made by Common Sense Media regarding mobile device usage shows that 50% of most teens are addicted to their mobile devices. Data by Flurry Mobile revealed that in the United States alone, the average consumer spends five hours a day on their smartphones.
This implication supports the hypothesis of Dr. Shahar that the heavy load on the muscle attachment is due to the weight of the head shifting forward because of the extended hours spent on mobile devices. By turning the head forward, it can transfer the head’s weight from the bones of the spine to the muscles at the back of the head and neck.
As the study reaches various media channels, Dr. Sayers and Shahar hope that the findings will be of significant help to parents who play a substantial role in disciplining their children.
Although researchers assured that the bump is not mainly the problem, it is only a sign of sustained terrible posture, which can be corrected upon and properly instigated. The pair will continue to examine the phenomenon further and plan to make means to help avoid the growths, especially in school kids.
Robocalls Can Cause A Health Crisis; Here’s How
The horrors of robocalls seem to not have a real-life impact on a typical user. But when hospitals are receiving hundreds of robocalls a day, the effect can be disastrous and could end up in high casualty medical emergency.
In a recent investigative report from The Washington Post revealed that hospitals are receiving insurmountable amounts of spam robocalls every day and they take up valuable hospital time and the ability of human resources and emergency hotlines to respond to a real emergency on time.
Boston-based Tufts Medical Center is one of the victims of the plaguing of robocalls against hospitals and medical institutions. According to Taylor Lehmann, chief information security officer of Tufts, his facility received more than 4,500 robocalls in just two hours on April 30, 2018. Similarly, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute also received more than 6,600 times across 90 days — a process that the center’s chief information security officer, Dave Summitt, estimates took up 65 hours of hospital response time.
Spam calls across the world rose in 2018, with some countries seeing a 100% increase in time-wasting calls. Hospitals worry that the amount of time-wasting robocalls will eventually grow to a level that medical facilities can no longer handle and put the entire country in a recurring public health problem. This, according to Lehmann, may increase the chances of a health crisis all the while crippling the ability of hospitals to respond to it appropriately and timely.
And this is just one facet of the problem. Medical institutions are also receiving numerous calls a day purportedly coming from patients and turns out to be just a spoofed call coming from some unscrupulous operators. On the flipside of the coin, patients are also receiving spoofed calls from medical institutions masquerading using real area codes. “Spoofing” disguises one phone number as another, meaning scams offering insurance scams or claiming payments are much more likely to succeed because it seems as if the call is coming from a trusted source.
But to a naked eye, identifying these spoofed calls is near impossible. Meaning, hospital personnel could be fooled into responding to a “patient” call when it was all just bogus, to begin with. In the same manner, patients can also be duped into paying something just because their “medical collection agency” appeared to call them.
Combating the robocalls epidemic
Carriers and telecom companies have been trying to put an end to this problem. In the past months, major telecom providers have announced the inclusion of the SHAKEN/STIR technology in their services to combat the robocalls epidemic. AT&T and Comcast are joining forces in a move that would impact robocalls in the country. Both companies, through a joint press release, announced a cross-network authentication system to verify calls between separate providers. Verizons is also adapting the same technology.
They employed the new “SHAKEN” (Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) and “STIR” (Secure Telephone Identity Revisited) protocols meant to curb spoofed phone numbers.
“For example, a call that is illegally ‘spoofed’—or shows a faked number—will fail the SHAKEN/STIR Caller ID verification and will not be marked as verified,” the firms explained. “By contrast, verification will confirm that a call is coming from the identified number or entity.”
Meanwhile, lawmakers and regulators have also moved to try to stop the plaguing of robocalls against Americans. Only recently the Federal Communication Commission voted a move to allow carriers to block robocalls by default.
FCC Chair Ajit Pai, who was previously criticized for his commission’s unsuccessful efforts to end the robocall problems, has circulated a declaratory ruling that, if adopted, would allow phone companies and telecommunication carriers to block unwanted phone calls by default. Also, companies could enable consumers to block calls, not on their contact list.
Furthermore, the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would propose a safe harbor for providers that implement network-wide blocking of calls that fail caller authentication under the SHAKEN/STIR framework once it is implemented.
“Allowing call blocking by default could be a big benefit for consumers who are sick and tired of robocalls. By making it clear that such call blocking is allowed, the FCC will give voice service providers the legal certainty they need to block unwanted calls from the outset so that consumers never have to get them,” said Chairman Pai.“And, if this decision is adopted, I strongly encourage carriers to begin providing these services by default—for free—to their current and future customers. I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this latest attack on unwanted robocalls and spoofing.”
Boston Children’s Hospital Nabs Top Spot As Country’s Best Pediatric Hospital
For its sixth year in a row, the Boston Children’s Hospital, yet again, sits on the top of the country’s best pediatric hospital list as recognized by a report by the U.S. News and World Report.
The Best Children’s Hospitals in the U.S. News and World Report were first introduced in 2007. It is a basis to “help families with complex and rare conditions find the best medical care for their children.” The list also helps guide parents find the best medical care available in consultation with their doctors and other medical professionals.
Today, The U.S. News and World Report released its Best Children’s Hospitals list for its 13th year recognizing the top 50 pediatric facilities across the U.S. in 10 pediatric specialties.
The 2019-2020 rankings are based on the most comprehensive source of quality-related information on U.S. pediatric hospitals including patient outcomes such as mortality and infection rates, as well as available clinical resources and compliance with best practices.
In a press release approved by the Boston Children’s Hospital, both the CEO and COO expressed their gratitude for receiving such honor and recognition.
“We are deeply honored to have again earned the distinction of being the nation’s top-ranked children’s hospital,” says Boston Children’s CEO Sandra L. Fenwick. “It’s a tribute to the doctors, nurses, researchers and so many other staff whose exceptional work every day is improving the health and well-being of children from around the world and around the corner. Congratulations to the entire Boston Children’s team.”
“For our extraordinary team, this ranking is a badge of honor for the limitless dedication, imagination and compassion they bring to everything they do,” says President and COO, Kevin B. Churchwell, MD. “It’s their unyielding commitment to finding answers to the toughest questions for patients and families that continues to make Boston Children’s the best pediatric hospital in the country.”
Furthermore, Boston Children’s landed at the top of the publication’s Honor Roll, a distinction awarded to 10 hospitals that “deliver exceptionally high-quality care across multiple specialties,” U.S. News said in a statement.
The Boston Children’s Hospital also ranked No. 1 in five of the 10 specialties evaluated by the publication namely: cancer, nephrology, neurology & neurosurgery, orthopedics, and urology. In the remaining specialties it continued to get high marks, getting ranked at No. 5 for cardiology & heart surgery, No. 2 for diabetes & endocrinology, No. 4 for gastroenterology & GI surgery, No. 2 for neonatology, and No. 3 for pulmonology.
Meanwhile, other hospitals with No. 1 rankings in other specialties included Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for diabetes & endocrinology and gastroenterology & GI surgery; Texas Children’s Hospital for cardiology & heart surgery and pulmonology & lung surgery; and Children’s National Medical Center for neonatology.
Here’s the full list of pediatric hospitals that made it to U.S. News and World Report Honor Roll:
1. Boston Children’s Hospital
2. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
3. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (tie)
3. Texas Children’s Hospital (tie)
5. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
6. Children’s National Medical Center (Washington, D.C.)
7. Nationwide Children’s Hospital (Columbus, Ohio)
8. UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
9. Johns Hopkins Children’s Center
10. Seattle Children’s Hospital
The list above is drawn from a general hospital rankings report, which U.S News said included data from around 5,000 hospitals in the country. The publication then created rankings for various specialties. Of the 16 medical specialties highlighted in the rankings, only 158 hospitals performed well enough to be ranked nationally.
In related news, public schools in Boston will provide free menstrual supplies to students grades 6 through 12 as part of a $100,000 pilot program, Mayor Marty Walsh’s office, as reported by Boston.
“This pilot program is about equity in our schools, and among our young people,” Walsh said in a statement. “Nearly one in five girls in the U.S. have left school early or missed school altogether because they didn’t have access to menstrual products. I’m proud BPS continues to be a leader in equity, ensuring our students have the resources they need and access to the same opportunities.”
Supplies will be readily available in schools such as the nurse’s office.
“I’m grateful to Mayor Walsh for funding this important program, and making sure that girls in BPS don’t have to choose between taking care of their health, and going to class,” said Laura Perille, interim BPS superintendent. “Offering free, easily accessible menstrual supplies means that more students will have access to the supplies they need and are able to stay in class and focus on their education.”
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