The Health News – 10 November 2015

Overview:
• Rare cancers account for 30 per cent of cancer deaths and more research funding is needed to find effective treatments, a leading researcher from Sansom Institute in Adelaide says. Director of the Institute, Professor Ian Olver — writing in the Medical Journal of Australia — said survival rates could be improved with more targeted research funding.

• Regional communities are being advised to chlorinate their house water after a third child death from a “brain-eating parasite”. The amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, thrives in warm fresh water across large parts of inland Australia. While authorities say infection is very rare, medics warn survival is even rarer.

• The Victorian Government says good progress is being made as it prepares to close Bendigo’s institution for the disabled.About 30 residents are being moved out of Bendigo’s Sandhurst Centre and into newly-built community care homes.

News on Health Professional Radio.  Today is the 10th November 2015. Read by Rebecca Foster.  Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-09/rare-cancers-research-ian-olver/6922944

Rare cancers account for 30 per cent of cancer deaths and more research funding is needed to find effective treatments, a leading researcher says.

Director of the Sansom Institute for Health Research in Adelaide, Professor Ian Olver — writing in the Medical Journal of Australia — said survival rates could be improved with more targeted research funding.

“I think that the major thing is to make sure that a proportion of money available for research is specifically targeted at rare cancers,” he said.

“I think we need to have some priority-driven funding to drive research.”

Professor Olver said studies of rare cancers always fought for their funding share because the work to find better treatments for more common cancers benefited a greater number of people.

“We don’t want to see any of the common cancers have their funding pulled back,” he said.

“What we just want to see is a recognition that we need to add some funding that will unlock some of the problems with rare cancers.

“It may not just happen spontaneously, because there are more common cancers, but if you put some money specifically towards rare cancers, that will help shift the balance.”

Professor Olver argued treatments for such things as breast cancer could potentially benefit less common cancers too.

“Now that cancers are being understood by their genetic structure we may be able to borrow information from more common cancers and use it to determine the treatment of rare cancers,” he said.

“Now that we’re patenting our treatment of genetic defects … if we found, say, a patent with breast cancer that responded to particular target therapies and we found that same patent in a rare cancer, it would encourage us to use the same treatment.”

 …

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-09/rural-children-at-risk-of-parasite-thriving-in-fresh-water/6922432

Regional communities are being advised to chlorinate their house water after a third child death from a “brain-eating parasite”.

The amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, thrives in warm fresh water across large parts of inland Australia.

While authorities say infection is very rare, medics warn survival is even rarer.

“It causes catastrophic meningitis encephalitis, and by the time these kids are diagnosed the treatments are usually ineffective,” public health physician Dr Steven Donohue said.

“We think that probably 98 per cent of cases die even in the best of hands, even in the most modern intensive care units.”

 

One-year-old Cash Keough, from Judith Royl station in north-west Queensland, died in April this year.

While his parents are yet to come to terms with their loss they felt compelled to share their experience on Australian Story, in a bid to warn other families of the potential dangers.

“We owe it to him to let people know,” Cash’s father Laine Keough said.

“You don’t want this to happen to another family.”

The toddler’s mother, Jodi Keough, suspects he was infected while playing with a garden hose filled with untreated water.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-09/progress-made-on-sandhurst-centre-‘deinstitutionalisation’/6923222

The Victorian Government says good progress is being made as it prepares to close Bendigo’s institution for the disabled.

About 30 residents are being moved out of Bendigo’s Sandhurst Centre and into newly-built community care homes.

The institution is due to formally close next year and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is due to be rolled out in Bendigo in May 2017.

Disability Minister Martin Foley said Sandhurst residents should be settled by that time under the new public care system.

“The deinstitutionalisation of Sandhurst is now well underway,” he said.

“The process of building at least the four initial homes in the community is well progressed.

“The state will run those houses and that’s what we’ve committed to.

“Our hope is to see people moving in over the 2016-’17 year and to make sure that they’re in place, supported in their community by the time the NDIS arrives.”

 

Liked it? Take a second to support healthprofessionalradio on Patreon!