The Health News – 15 November 2016

Overview:
•  Researchers have uncovered a strange way that asbestos-related tumours grow, which could pave the way towards better treatments.
The scientists at Adelaide’s Flinders University have found that malignant mesothelioma tumours are able to transform into blood vessels, promoting their own growth.

• Indigenous Australians continue to be disproportionately represented in HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates compared to the wider population, new research has found.

• E-health files in the United States are being used for identity fraud and by paedophiles, according to a new report that highlights the vulnerabilities of online health systems. Washington-based Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology’s Your Life James Scott told Future Tense the level of hacking was “massive”, and that many health organisations have simply failed to keep pace with network security needs.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the  15th of November 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-14/treatments-to-prolong-life-for-mesothelioma-patients-closer/8023700

Researchers have uncovered a strange way that asbestos-related tumours grow, which could pave the way towards better treatments.

The scientists at Adelaide’s Flinders University have found that malignant mesothelioma tumours are able to transform into blood vessels, promoting their own growth.

Associate Professor Sonja Klebe said the behaviour was unusual.

“Instead of waiting for the outside of the tissue to grow blood vessels in, the tumour cells themselves branch out, growing blood vessels that reach out into surrounding tissues, tapping into the native vasculature,” she said.

Existing tumour treatments target blood vessels that grow into the cancer, and not the other way around.

“So I think a future approach would involve treating both of these types of vessels to more or less starve the tumour of blood supply,” Associate Professor Klebe said.

About 12 Australians die each week from cancer caused by asbestos exposure and the nation has one of the highest rates of disease in the world.

Asbestos has been banned in Australia since 2003, but the deadly material is still found across the country.

Asbestos-laced products are still being illegally imported and ending up in buildings.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-14/indigenous-hiv-rates-double/8023272

Indigenous Australians continue to be disproportionately represented in HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates compared to the wider population, new research has found.

An annual report by the University of New South Wales’ Kirby Institute found the reported cases of HIV in Indigenous men, who make up three per cent of the country’s population, doubled in the past five years from 6.2 per cent to 12.4 per cent.

Meanwhile non-Indigenous rates of HIV fell by 12 per cent.

The research found more cases of HIV in the Indigenous population were attributed to heterosexual contact and intravenous drug use than in non-Indigenous people.

The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute’s Aboriginal health advisor, Associate Professor James Ward, said the emphasis on treatment and prevention of HIV for the wider population had not reached remote Australia.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-12/your-health-information-is-neither-safe-nor-secure/8005338

E-health files in the United States are being used for identity fraud and by paedophiles, according to a new report that highlights the vulnerabilities of online health systems.

That finding is contained in the Washington-based Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology’s Your Life, Repackaged and Resold report into hacking.

The institute’s James Scott told Future Tense the level of hacking was “massive”, and that many health organisations have simply failed to keep pace with network security needs.

He said the health sector had come under increasing pressure from criminal gangs as vulnerabilities in other key sectors such as finance had gradually been addressed.

Although the report focuses on America, it has implications for other nations such as Australia, where efforts to move health-related information online have been gaining pace.

Just last month, the Capital Markets Cooperative Research Centre released its own study criticising the “fragmented” nature of Australian health data and called for a great emphasis on connected information systems.

But e-health records were extremely vulnerable to theft, said Mr Scott, because the personal information they contained had street value.

He also pointed out that healthcare providers in the United States were not required to report a security breach unless it involved more than 500 patients’ records, so many victims of information theft remained unaware their data had been compromised.