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Drug trial offers new hope for those with metastatic breast cancer

Breast Cancer

Drug trial offers new hope for those with metastatic breast cancer

Scientists have launched a new trial that could offer hope to those with incurable breast cancer. They are studying whether an existing drug, talazoparib, also known by the brandname Talzenna, may offer a new treatment to people with incurable breast cancer that has spread to the brain.

Secondary breast cancer, also known as metastatic breast cancer, occurs when the cancer has spread from the breast to other parts of the body, where it becomes incurable. Last month, it claimed the life of Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding.

The new trial, funded by the charity Breast Cancer Now, will see researchers assess whether talazoparib could help those with terminal breast cancer. The drug is a PARP inhibitor, which works by preventing cancer cells from repairing, forcing them to die.

Experts from RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences in Dublin will use tumours and breast cancer cells donated by patients to see in the lab whether talazoparib is effective in treating secondary breast cancer in the brain. Further tests will examine the drug in mice, as well as models that mimic the brain’s protective system.

“Our previous research has shown that, in many cases, secondary breast cancer tumours in the brain have changes in the way they repair their DNA and we believe this could make them vulnerable to PARP inhibitor drugs like talazoparib,” said Prof Leonie Young, one of the co-leads of the research team.

Natalie Woodford, 57, from Surrey, who was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer in 2017, welcomed the launch of the research.

“It’s really encouraging to learn about the new secondary breast cancer research happening,” she said. “I hope that this study will be a success and lead to new treatments for women like me in the future.”

Dr Simon Vincent, director of research, support and influencing at Breast Cancer Now, added: “An estimated 35,000 people in the UK are living with incurable secondary breast cancer, and the fear and uncertainty around when this devastating disease will cut their lives short.

“We desperately need to discover new ways to treat this incurable disease, including for those whose breast cancer has spread to the brain and who have very limited treatment options.”

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Health

AIDS Agency Chief Says 1 Out Of 100 Persons Positive In Kaduna

The Executive Secretary of Kaduna State Aids Control Agency (KADSACA), Dr Isa Baka has said a survey had revealed that one out of 100 people is positive to the AIDS disease in the state.

Baka disclosed this speaking shortly after a walk in commemoration of the World AIDS Day, on Thursday in Kaduna.

The theme of the year’s’ World AIDS Day is “Equalise to End AIDS: Equal Access to Treatment and Prevention Services’’.

He said the present statistics was a remarkable development against previous survey which gave 11 of every 100 people in the state.

Baka added that the AIDS prevalence in Kaduna, which is at 1.1, being a survey carried out by the state government itself, was later done at the national level, where that of Kaduna was confirmed as very accurate.

“At the national level, the prevalence of the virus (AIDS) was at 1.4 (four people out of 100 test positive), while that of Kaduna is confirmed to be 1.1, was in determination of the state government and KADSACA’s efforts to ensure minimal prevalence of the virus,” he said.

He said as part of efforts to continue reducing the prevalence of AIDS in the state, government initiated programmes across the 23 LGAs.

He said one of the UNICEF anchored programmes, which is the ‘Adolescent and Youths Living With HIV and AIDS’ programme, was present and effective in at least, 18 LGAs and 24 sites in the state.

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Health

Malawi Commences Large Scale Malaria Vaccination- First In The World

Malawi has commenced large-scale vaccination of children against malaria.

This is the first large-scale malaria vaccination campaign since the World Health Organisation (WHO) endorsed the widespread use of the RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) malaria vaccine in October 2021.

The endorsement followed a two-year vaccination programme, which involved more than 800,000 children in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.

Recommended for children from five months of age to around 18 months, the vaccine  has an efficacy of 39 percent.

The first phase of the vaccination in Malawi is expected to cover 11 of the country’s 28 districts.

In a tweet on Tuesday, the WHO in Malawi said the expansion of access to the malaria vaccine will enable more children at risk of malaria to benefit from an additional prevention tool.

“Malawi has expanded access to the first malaria vaccine! The expansion of the RTS,S Malaria vaccine, into the 11 districts that participated in the malaria vaccine implementation program (MVIP) has been launched today. The vaccine offers a glimmer hope for Malawi,” WHO wrote.

Michael Kayange, Malawi’s national malaria control programme manager, told the BBC’s Focus on Africa that although the vaccine has low efficacy, “in malaria control, there is no single intervention that does it all”.

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Health

Nigeria Yet To Attain 70% Covid-19 Vaccination Coverage- NPHCDA

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has disclosed that Nigeria is yet to achieve 70 percent coverage for COVID-19 vaccination.

Faisal Shuaib, executive director of NPHCDA, said on Tuesday that as of November 25, a total of 56,790,371 eligible persons targeted for COVID-19 vaccination are fully vaccinated while 12,492,646 are partially vaccinated in 36 states and the FCT.

“We are 21.6 million eligible persons away from reaching its target of fully vaccinating 70 percent of its eligible population by December 2022,” he said.

“But 62 percent of the country’s eligible population is at least partially vaccinated against COVID-19.

“The country has fully vaccinated half of the total population eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.

“We have also fully vaccinated an additional over 25 percent of its eligible population, in the last 110 days of SCALES 3.0 implementation.”

The executive director said 13.2 percent of fully vaccinated persons in the country have received the COVID-19 booster dose for additional protection against the virus.

He commended the COVID-19 strategy group for achieving 50 percent vaccination coverage in the country and promised that the momentum would be sustained.

Shuaib said he has also directed the team to intensify efforts toward the attainment of herd immunity.

“Until this is achieved, the strategy group will continue to develop strategies that will help the country achieve health security,” he said.

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