Wednesday, June 3, 2020
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Vulnerable Groups Weigh Risks as Country Reopens


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Broad guidelines are hard to issue for high-risk people because disparities come into play. Some may have a choice to stay home and quarantine, while others won’t be able to do that.

Type 1 Diabetes Costs $2,500 a Year With Insurance


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Out-of-pocket costs for Americans with type 1 diabetes average $2,500 a year, a new study says.

CMS data: Nearly 26,000 Covid-19 deaths reported in nursing homes


After finding that nearly 26,000 Covid-19 deaths have taken place in nursing homes, CMS is ratcheting up penalties for noncompliance with infection control. 

Boston Sci’s DIRECTSENSE Ablation Monitoring Tech Coming to U.S.


Boston Scientific is releasing in the United States its DIRECTSENSE Technology for live monitoring of cardiac tissue during radiofrequency ablation procedures. The capability is designed for use on the company’s RHYTHMIA HDx Mapping System along with the INTELLANAV MiFi Open-Irrigated ablation catheter and it works by measuring the change in electrical impedance of the tissue around the catheter as it is being irradiated.

It is currently very difficult to create sufficient lesions that alleviate cardiac arrhythmias while also minimizing unnecessary damage to surrounding tissues. Physicians have to perform a good deal of estimation based on patient anatomy combined with previously acquired knowledge and experience in similar procedures. As such, too often there’s insufficient ablation or overablation, which either don’t resolve the cause of an arrhythmia or cause additional side effects.

“Knowing the change in impedance around the tip of the catheter provides unique information about local tissue characteristics and the development of the lesion,” said David J. Callans, M.D., professor of medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, in a Boston Scientific announcement. “Unlike existing products on the market, the DIRECTSENSE Technology assists physicians in evaluating pre-ablation tissue health, while supporting better clinical understanding of how they are influencing that tissue to guide minimal, predictable ablation during a procedure.”

Some related study data from the announcement:

According to chronic data from the LOCALIZE clinical trial, a retrospective analysis of the DIRECTSENSE Technology presented by Ignacio Garcia-Bolao, M.D., director of cardiology and cardiovascular surgery, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain at Heart Rhythm Society 2020 Science, a local impedance decrease of ≥16.6 ohms with an inter-lesion spacing of ≤ 6mm showed a ≥ 98% positive predicative value of durable pulmonary vein block at three months in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF).

Product page: DIRECTSENSE Technology

Via: Boston Scientific

Combinations seen as preferable for Amgen drug whose ASCO data got ‘meh’ reception


T-cells attacking cancer cell illustration of microscopic photosT-cells attacking cancer cell illustration of microscopic photos

An investigator in the Phase I/II trial of Amgen’s AMG 510 said that while data for colorectal cancer indicated low activity as a single agent, it nevertheless represented a doubling in progression-free survival over what is seen from currently available treatments.

COVID-19 Cases Drop in Warm Weather, But Not Much



In search of an answer, researchers at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Mass., studied the effects of temperature, precipitation and sunlight (UV index) on the number of COVID-19 cases across the United States during the spring.

COVID-19 Exacts Emotional Toll on Doctors


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Chinese and American researchers found that for more than 380 medical residents in Shanghai, their mental woes were greater than among last year’s first-year residents.

Coronavirus Daily Digest: June 2, 2020


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A roundup of the latest news about COVID-19

Shortages of Hydroxychloroquine for Lupus Patients


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More than one-third of U.S. lupus patients who take hydroxychloroquine have struggled to fill prescriptions for the drug during the COVID-19 crisis, a new survey finds.

BMS’ myeloma CAR-T trial enrolling patients with prior therapies using same drug target


In a presentation of data at ASCO on the Phase I/II study of orvacabtagene autoleucel in patients with heavily pretreated multiple myeloma, it was stated that the study added a new cohort of patients with prior exposure to therapies that, like orva-cel, target the BCMA antigen.


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