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The Morning Report provides a quick look at today’s medical news, research and features.  









Anti-Vaccine Doc’s Advice to Parents: “Unfortunately, People Die”
One of those children exposed to measles at the Arizona clinic was Eli Jacks, who is 10 months old and too young for the first MMR vaccine, which is given at 12 months.  His parents are not only concerned for his health, but also for their 3-year-old daughter Maggie, who has leukemia.  Any active vaccine was likely wiped out when Maggie received chemotherapy.

“My biggest fear is that I’ll lose my child,” Anna Jacks, mother of Maggie and Eli, told CNN. A nearby cardiologist, unrelated to the Jacks’ exposure, refuses to vaccinate his children and was unsympathetic and defensive when asked about how his decisions may directly affect the health of the surrounding community and kids like Maggie and Eli.

“It’s unfortunate that people die but, unfortunately, people die,” said Dr. Jack Wolfson.  ”I’m not going to put my children at risk to save another child.”

“It’s not my responsibility to be protecting their child,” said the physician, who was obviously absent on Hippocratic-oath day at medical school. “If a child is so vulnerable like that, they shouldn’t be going out into society,” he said in reference to kids with cancer or those under 12 months old. Dr. Wolfson is now under investigation by an Arizona medical board. (See video interview at Physicians News)

Coffee Linked to Lower Risk of Endometrial Cancer
Ladies, a heavy coffee habit might do more than perk you up. New research suggests it may also reduce your risk of endometrial cancer. Using data on more than 456,000 women from two large ongoing studies, researchers evaluated the dietary habits of more than 2,800 women diagnosed with cancer of the endometrium, the lining of the uterus. Compared to women who drank less than a cup a day, those who drank about four cups daily had an 18 percent lower risk of getting this cancer, they found.

“We were not surprised by the results that a high versus low intake of coffee was associated with a reduced risk for endometrial cancer, because they were consistent with what has been observed in previous studies,” said study leader Melissa Merritt. She is a research fellow in cancer epidemiology at Imperial College London in England.

“We used similar methods to investigate the association between coffee intake and endometrial cancer as previous studies,” she said. “This is important so we can compare results across different studies.” One trial concluded 37 ounces of coffee daily reduced endometrial cancer risk by 18 percent. The other found a similar reduction associated with 26 ounces a day. (PND)

Patients Needed for Constipation Study
Chronic constipation is a common problem that affects approximately 15 percent of the U.S. population, according to the American Gastroenterological Association. Temple University Hospital is the only hospital in the Philadelphia region participating in a nationwide clinical trial to test an innovative, vibrating capsule for patients with chronic constipation.

The randomized, double-blind trial is investigating whether the non-drug therapy can help alleviate constipation. The non-drug, non-secreting treatment involves the use of a tiny, motorized capsule that is programmed to start vibrating six to eight hours after being swallowed. This is the average amount of time that it takes the capsule to travel from the stomach to the large intestine. The stimulation caused by the vibrating capsule has been shown to produce contractions in the intestine, which helps move stool through the digestive tract efficiently.

Patients who meet the clinical criteria for participation in the trial will be randomized into two groups with half of them receiving the vibrating capsules and the other half receiving a placebo. They will all swallow two capsules per week for 8 weeks. Patients are required to keep diaries where they will record information on bowel movement frequency and completeness, abdominal pain, straining during bowel movement and the dates and times that they take the capsules.

Temple is currently pre-screening patients for the trial. Interested individuals may call LaVette Dibble, Clinical Research Coordinator, at 215-707-9900, or email her at LaVette.Dibble@tuhs.temple.edu. (PND)



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