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Precisely targeted radiation therapy can eradicate all evidence of disease in selected patients with cancer that has spread to only a few sites, suggests the first published report from an ongoing clinical trial.

In the August 15, 2008, issue of Clinical Cancer Research, (published online August 12) researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center report that targeted radiation therapy had completely controlled all signs of cancer in 21 percent of patients who had five or fewer sites of metastatic disease.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – To make a discovery and get to name it is just about every scientist's dream. For one graduate student at UC Riverside that dream already has come true.

PHILADELPHIA – A combination of chemotherapy agents that have been tested in other tumor types appears to be a promising alternative to standard treatment for advanced non-small cell lung cancer, according to a report in the August 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

In a new study published today in PLoS Medicine, Eric Brunner from the Royal Free and University College London Medical School, London, and colleagues, examine the association between levels of C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation in the blood, and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Previous research has suggested that raised levels of this marker are linked with an increased risk of diabetes but to date it has not been clear whether C-reactive protein actually causes the condition.

In a systematic review of antiepileptic drugs, Philippe Ryvlin (of the Hospices Civils de Lyon, France) and colleagues show that children with drug-resistant partial epilepsy enrolled in trials seem to have a greater response to placebo than adults enrolled in such trials. This finding is an important factor to consider when designing drug trials to be carried out in children with epilepsy.

Amphibians, reigning survivors of past mass extinctions, are sending a clear, unequivocal signal that something is wrong, as their extinction rates rise to unprecedented levels, according to a paper published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Humans are exacerbating two key natural threats – climate change and a deadly disease that is jumping from one species to another.

Microbial biologists, including the University of Oregon's Jessica L. Green, may not have Jimmy Buffett's music from 1977 in mind, but they are changing attitudes about evolutionary diversity on Earth, from oceanic latitudes to mountainous altitudes.

Even if you don't like the outdoors, you're probably pretty fond of air, clean water and food.

That makes you a fan of biodiversity, because those essentials for life-human and otherwise-are maintained as a direct result of the Earth's biodiversity, the abundance and variety of species and populations on the planet. Preserving a substantial amount of biodiversity is critical to a healthy future for us, but how best to do that has been a subject of ongoing debate.

DALLAS – Aug. 11, 2008 – Small, specially designed bits of ribonucleic acid (RNA) can interfere with cholesterol metabolism, reducing harmful cholesterol by two-thirds in pre-clinical tests, according to a new study by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in collaboration with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Research led by UK and Australian scientists sheds new light on the role that our ancestors played in the extinction of Australia's prehistoric animals. The study, published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, provides the first evidence that Tasmania's giant kangaroos and marsupial 'rhinos' and 'leopards' were still roaming the island when humans first arrived. The findings suggest that the mass extinction of Tasmania's large prehistoric animals was the result of human hunting, and not climate change as previously believed.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- Despite the popularity of spicy cuisine among Homo sapiens, the hotness in chili peppers has always been something of an evolutionary mystery.

A plant creates fruit in order to entice animals to eat and disperse its seeds, so it doesn't make sense for that fruit to be painfully hot, said University of Florida zoology professor and evolutionary ecologist Douglas Levey.

But according to new research by Levey and six colleagues from other universities, chilies have a very good reason to make themselves hot. It boils down to protection.

Patients who use proton pump inhibitors for 7 or more years to treat reflux, peptic ulcers and other conditions are at greater risk of osteoporosis-related fractures, according to this large observational study, http://www.cmaj.ca/press/pg319.pdf, of 15,792 patients published in CMAJ.

There is specifically an increased risk of hip fracture after 5 years of continuous exposure and an increased risk of any fracture after 7 years continuous exposure. Short-term exposure did not appear to increase risk of fractures.

Despite the possibility of shorter waiting times for surgery, a majority of patients were unlikely to consider changing surgeons, according to this cross-sectional study of 1200 patients, http://www.cmaj.ca/press/pg327.pdf, who either were awaiting or had undergone hip or knee surgery.

Despite a median waiting time of 8 months, 63% would elect to continue with their surgeons.

This has implications for governments and healthcare policy makers in setting waiting-time guarantees.

On the eve of the Olympics, have we succeeded in addressing drug doping and its public health ramifications, asks Andrew Pipe in a guest editorial in CMAJ.

Drug doping, which has also affected athletes at the community level, has serious health risks and public health ramifications.

The anemia of chronic disease may be a beneficial, adaptive response to the underlying disease, rather than a negative effect of the illness, postulates an analysis article in CMAJ, http://www.cmaj.ca/press/pg333.pdf.

The authors argue that anemia may be beneficial to patients with inflammatory disease, and advocate restraint in treating mild to moderate forms of anemia.

"The general assumption is that anemia is a disorder and that patients would be better off without it," state the authors.