The Word ‘Cancer’ Still Affects How Patients Feel About Their Disease, Even if Low Risk

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Peter R. Dixon, MDDepartment of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck SurgeryInstitute of Health Policy, Management and EvaluationUniversity of TorontoToronto, Ontario, Canada 

Dr. DIxon

Peter R. Dixon, MD
Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery
Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: The word ‘cancer’ is often associated with an aggressive and lethal disease. Innovations in screening and diagnostic tests detect some ‘cancers’ that — even if left untreated — pose very low-risk of any symptoms, progression, or mortality. Still, many of these low-risk cancers are treated aggressively and those treatments can have harmful consequences and side-effects.

We were interested in determining how influential the word ‘cancer’ is in decisions made by patients about low-risk malignant neoplasms relative to other labels for the same disease.

Continue reading

NUEDEXTA® (Dextromethorphan and Quinidine) Studied for ALS and MS but Primarily Use in Dementia

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Michael Fralick, MD, FRCPC, SM, PhD (Cand) Clinical Associate, General Internal Medicine, St Michael’s Hospital Phillipson Scholar, Clinician Scientist Program, University of Toronto  PhD Candidate, IHPME, University of Toronto Affiliated Faculty, Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University

Dr. Fralick

Michael Fralick, MD, FRCPC, SM, PhD (Cand)
Clinical Associate, General Internal Medicine
St Michael’s Hospital
Phillipson Scholar, Clinician Scientist Program, University of Toronto
PhD Candidate, IHPME, University of Toronto
Affiliated Faculty, Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard University

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: This medication is a pill that combines two ingredients: dextromethorphan (the active ingredient in cough syrup) and quinidine (used to increase the concentration of dextromethorphan). The medication was primarily studied and evaluated in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)   or (multiple sclerosis) MS, but anecdotal evidence suggested it was being prescribed to patients with dementia. We used data from two nationwide healthcare databases to understand how the medication was being used in routine care.

Continue reading

What Causes ‘Chemo Brain’ in Women?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Nicole J. Gervais, Ph.D. Postdoctoral fellow | Einstein lab University of Toronto, Department of Psychology Toronto, ON

Dr. Gervais

Nicole J. Gervais, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral fellow | Einstein lab
University of Toronto, Department of Psychology
Toronto, ON 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?  

Response: Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) including letrozole are given as an adjuvant therapy for postmenopausal women with hormone receptor positive breast cancer. Women taking this drug have reported a number of symptoms including hot flashes, memory complaints and mood changes. However, not all studies report memory issues. This might be due to the fact that studies in this population are hampered by confounds, such as chemotherapy/radiotherapy, stress and disease stage, all of which can also adversely impact memory. These confounds make it challenging to observe the independent effects of AIs on memory. By using a non-human primate model, we were able to examine the effects of aromatase inhibition on these symptoms as well as brain function without these confounding effects.

Continue reading