Archive for the 'medical treatments' Category

New Victory in the War against Cancer

Amazing progress has been made this year toward prolonging the lives of patients with advanced skin cancer.  In March the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Bristol-Myers Squibb’s injectable drug Yervoy, which was found to extend the lives of end-stage melanoma patients an average of 10 months.  In a study which was presented on June 5 at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, another drug, vemurafenib, was revealed to have a 63% reduction in the risk of death compared to patients given the chemotherapy drug dacarbazine.

Unlike chemotherapy, which attacks cancer cells with chemicals, Yervoy belongs to a novel class of immuno-therapy drugs that work by mobilizing the body’s immune system to destroy the cancer. Vemurafenib is a so-called targeted therapy which counteracts the effect of a mutation in a gene called B-RAF that causes tumors to grow and spread.

More than life extension
Some observers believed that prolonging the life of patients with metastatic melanoma as much as two years is not significant.  “Two years is nothing when you’re 30,” said Dr. Anna C. Pavlick, head of the melanoma program at New York University.

However, many doctors and patient groups welcomed the progress because until now treatment of melanoma that had spread beyond the skin to other organs was uncontrollable.  “Late-stage melanoma is devastating, with very few treatment options for patients, none of which previously prolonged a patient’s life,” Richard Pazdur, MD, director of the FDA’s cancer drugs office, said in a news release.

The number of melanoma cases has been rising steadily, unlike for many other types of cancer.  Doctors say this is because of unprotected sun exposure and the proliferation of tanning salons.  More than 68,000 people in the United States and 160,000 worldwide are diagnosed with melanoma each year, according to the American Cancer Society.  The five-year survival rate for the aggressive cancer is just 15%.

First in a Series
These two new drugs, with possible rare exceptions, do not cure melanoma.  More than half of patients with the disease will not be helped much or at all by either drug.  Experts say more needs to be done, especially since melanoma affects more young adults than many other types of cancer.

However, Tim Turnham, director of the Melanoma Research Foundation told the Associated Press, “Clearly this is not a home run, but it’s a solid base hit, and because we see other things in the pipeline, we think this is the first in a series of important new therapies for melanoma.”


Brand-new Schiller AT-2 Plus EKG at an amazing price of $1,999.00 – while supplies last. 
Alphanumeric keyboard 6/12 channel representation of all 12 simultaneously acquired leads; large, high resolution backlit monitor for easy preview of ECG quality; automatic and manual mode; fullsize 8 ½” x 11” reports; integrated rechargeable battery lasts up to 3 hours or normal use.  Read more.

GE MAC 1200 EKG machine (pre-owned) $2,200
Resting ECG system whose true one-button operation makes it especially suitable for routine use in private practice, emergency medicine or hospitals; standard, built-in battery; independent battery operation together with the electrode application system KISS with device-integrated suction pump (optional); brilliant graphic display where 12 leads can be displayed quickly in 3-lead sequences. Read more.

Burdick ATIRA 3100 EKG machine (pre-owned) $3,500
Automatic, manual or 12-lead rhythm operation for maximum flexibility; advanced functionality in a compact package; easy-to-use keyboard and menu driven interface; optional, powerful interpretation algorithm based on five clinically significant criteria, as well as pediatric analysis and pacemaker enhancement.  Read more.

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Unusual Medical Treatments: Part II

If you thought that the extreme medical treatments involving urine, heroin and cigarette smoking were unbelievable, wait until you read this follow-up piece… except that one of the cures is still being used.

Psychic surgery
Actually used by the comedian, Andy Kaufmann in 1984, as a treatment for lung cancer, psychic surgery first came on the scene in the 1940s and 50s in Brazil and the Philippines.  Self-proclaimed healers often appear to remove ugly black leaves and other gruesome objects from the bodies of the ill.  While slight of hand is generally used to create the effect of spiritual intervention, the theoretical premise is that these objects were implanted as the result of dark magic or sorcery.

These cases of psychic surgery center around healers whose talents are said to be guided by powerful spirits.  Operations are performed without the benefit of anesthesia or antisepsis, under unsterile conditions, often without even the benefit of a knife. Blood appears. Tissue is removed. And yet, when the procedure is completed there is often no trace of a wound or an opening.

Early hemorrhoid suppository treatments
In 400 BC Hippocrates composed a treatise on the treatment of hemorrhoids.  In it he suggests a fanciful suppository concoction which he described this way, “the shell of the part fish a third part of plumbago, bitumen, alum, a little of the flos aeris, galls, a little verdigris; having poured a small quantity of boiled honey on these, and formed an oblong suppository, apply until you remove them.”

Medieval physicians used cautery irons to treat the problem.  Read more.

Maggot therapy
Maggots have been known for centuries to help heal wounds. Military surgeons noted that soldiers whose wounds became infested with maggots had better outcomes than those not infested. William Baer, while at Johns Hopkins University in the 1920s may have been the first in the Northern Hemisphere to have intentionally applied larvae to wounds in order to induce wound healing.

In many cases, the maggots can help treat festering wounds that have been open for weeks, even years, within only a day or two. While the treatment is pretty disgusting looking, patients rarely feel anything and when they do, it’s generally an itching or tickling sensation and nothing more. In January 2004, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began regulating medicinal maggots, and allowed the production and marketing of one particular strain of Phaenicia sericata larvae marketed under the brand name Medical Maggots (TM)

Malaria therapy
Until the early 1900s, there was no treatment for the sexually transmitted disease (STD) when Viennese neurologist Wagner-Jauregg had the idea to treat syphilis patients with malaria-infected blood. The patients would then develop malaria, which would cause an extremely high fever that would destroy the syphilis bacteria. When that happened, they would be treated with the malaria drug quinine and cured of both ailments.

Of course, there were the side effects–such as the high fever, but they were worth the outcome, especially without any other options. Wagner-Jauregg even won the Nobel Prize for malaria inoculation in 1927, and the treatment was common until the development of penicillin came along and doctors had a safer and more efficient cure for the STD.

21st-Century Medical Equipment from Ganim Medical

This week we are featuring some great deals on ultrasounds.

Aloka SSD 500 ultrasound (pre-owned)  Click here to make an offer.
Applications include general abdominal, obs/gynae & surgical; convex sector/inear scanner; outstanding image quality; extensive measurement & calculation package; annotation function with full alpha-numeric keyboard. Read more.

Aloka Alpha 7 ultrasound (pre-owned)  Click here to make an offer.
Broadband harmonics imaging; reduced side lobes and multiple echoes; higher penetration in deeper areas; directional eFLOW; enhanced spatial and time resolutions.  Read more.

Aloka SSD 1000 ultrasound (pre-owned)  Click here to make an offer.
Employs super high-density transducers; convex sector & linear scanning as standard; dynamic frequency scanning; swivel operation panel and monitor; ABC (Automatic B-gain Control).  Read more.


refurbished anesthesia machine
Ganim Medical's selection of pre-owned and refurbished medical equipment and furniture can save you hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars over purchasing new. Click on the above image to view our product offer.
Our biomedical engineering technicians are highly skilled specialists who not only repair medical equipment but also take preventive measures to ensure that your equipment doesn't malfunction at critical moments. Click on the above image for more information.
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