The Health News – 2 March 2016

Overview:
• Health Minister Sussan Ley has promised to act on concerns about the number of people needing organ transplants after taking herbal supplements.

• Dental waiting times are more than a year across most of South Australia’s public system and as long as 17 months in the state’s south-east. South Australian Dental Service executive director Geoff Franklin said he hoped the waits could be cut to three to six months.

• A breakthrough study of over 450 pancreatic cancer genomes, published in Nature, has shown that pancreatic cancer is in fact four distinct diseases. The study was led by researchers from the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative, Garvan, the University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland.

News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 2nd of March 2016. Read by Rebecca Foster. Health News

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-01/health-minister-promises-action-on-herbal-supplement-concerns/7211126

Health Minister Sussan Ley has promised to act on concerns about the number of people needing organ transplants after taking herbal supplements.

at least six Australians needed organ transplants in the past five years after taking herbal remedies.

Data obtained from national organ donation registries shows that since 2011 three liver transplants and three kidney transplants have been given to people who got sick after taking some kind of herbal supplement.

Ms Ley said she wanted to reassure people she was well-aware of the issue and would do something about the concerns.

“I’m going to talk to the Therapeutic Goods Administration, but they’re already across this,” he said.

She said it would be up to the Therapeutic Goods Administration as to whether there were warnings put on supplements with green tea extract.

Liver transplant specialist Dr Nick Shackel from Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital said he had dealt with multiple cases of liver failure and transplants associated with herbal supplements.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-01/long-public-dental-waits-in-sa/7209856

Dental waiting times are more than a year across most of South Australia’s public system and as long as 17 months in the state’s south-east.

South Australian Dental Service executive director Geoff Franklin said he hoped the waits could be cut to three to six months.

In the state’s south-east, prospective patients wait an average of 16.9 months at Mount Gambier, a rise from 16.4 a year earlier.

But Dr Franklin said those figures were better than even longer waits back in 2012.

Across regional South Australia, the average waiting time for dental care is now 13 months, but that is down from 13.7 a year ago.

Adelaide’s average waiting time for public dentists jumped from 10 months to 12.3 in the past year.

Dr Franklin said more people were now seeking public dental care.

He said there had been a 52 per cent increase in people seeking public care at Mount Gambier since 2013.

http://www.garvan.org.au/genomics-yields-a-new-understanding-of-pancreatic-cancer

A breakthrough study of over 450 pancreatic cancer genomes, published… in Nature, has shown that pancreatic cancer is in fact four distinct diseases.

The study was led by researchers from the Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative, Garvan, the University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland.

The research, … also defines ten genetic pathways that are key to the transformation of normal pancreatic tissue into cancer.

Study participants were recruited through the Garvan-based Australian Pancreatic Cancer Genome Initiative (APGI), a part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium. The authors carried out comprehensive genomic analysis, including whole genome sequencing and RNA expression profiling, on 456 pancreatic cancers of study participants.

The analysis identified four distinct tumour subtypes … with distinct histopathological characteristics and differential outcomes.

Amber Johns, of APGI and Garvan, says, “This paper marks a huge step forward in our understanding of pancreatic cancer. We have previously shown that pancreatic cancer is not one disease but several – but now we have identified distinct subgroups in detail, along with the genetic drivers that underpin them.