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How Can Viruses Like Zika Cause Birth Defects?

Monday, February 8th, 2016
While the link between Zika and microcephaly is uncertain, similar diseases show how the virus might be affecting infants

Thousands of infants born in Brazil have been reported to show signs of microcephaly,-image www.newcures.info

Thousands of infants born in Brazil have been reported to show signs of microcephaly, like Alice pictured here being comforted by her father. (Rafael Fabres/dpa/Corbis)

In adults, the symptoms of the Zika virus are relatively mild—rashes, fever, joint pain, malaise. Most who are infected may not even know it. But as this seemingly routine disease spreads across the Americas, so do cases of a much more severe problem: infants born with microcephaly.

This birth defect comes from malformation of the brain, leaving those inflicted with varying degrees of shrunken heads and in many cases a slew of neurologic problems. These include hearing troubles, developmental delays and intellectual impairment.

Brazil usually sees a couple hundred cases of microcephaly per year—a number that some suggest is unusually low due to underreporting. Diseases from parasites like malaria or toxoplasmosis, genetic mutations and even excessive alcohol consumption during early pregnancy can all cause microcephaly. But since October 2015, well over 3,500 infants have been reported with telltale signs of the deformation, coinciding with the explosive spread of the Zika virus in the region.

The spotty information from this outbreak is not enough to definitively say whether Zika causes microcephaly. But the link is plausible, and medical experts are looking to other viruses known to cause developmental defects to try to figure out Zika’s potential pathway to destruction.

“Certain viruses really love the brain,” says Kristina Adams Waldorf, an obstetrics and gynecology doctor who studies how infection induces preterm labor. Cytomegalovirus and rubella have relatively mild impacts on healthy adults but can cause debilitating birth defects. And varicella-zoster virus (which causes chicken pox) can cause a host of complications, including problems in the brain.

Many mosquito-borne viruses, like West Nile, also cause forms of brain injury in adults. “So it’s not a big stretch for us to make the connection between a mosquito-born virus [and] microcephaly,” she says.

Spread mainly by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, Zika was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in rhesus monkeys. Notable outbreaks struck humans on the tiny island of Yap in 2007 and in French Polynesia in 2013. But few people in the Americas had likely heard of Zika until the recent outbreak exploded in Brazil.

No one knows how the virus got there, but many have suggested that it arrived in 2014, carried in the blood of someone among the hordes of people flocking to the World Cup. Since then Zika has spread to more than 20 countries and territories. The possible link to microcephaly has sparked travel warnings for pregnant women and prompted the World Health Organization to declare Zika a global health emergency.

It’s no medical surprise that a virus like Zika can have relatively mild impacts on adults but potentially catastrophic effects on developing fetuses.

Viruses reproduce by hijacking their host’s cells, using their natural processes to make copies of themselves. These copies then strike out on their own to infect more cells. When a virus interferes, the cells can’t function normally—the virus either kills the cells or prevents them from functioning well enough to report for duty. That makes viral infections especially dangerous for developing babies.

“When the fetus is developing its brains, there are a lot of sensitive cells there that have to get to the right places at the right times,” says virologist Kristen Bernard at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. That’s a serious problem in fetuses, which don’t yet have robust ways to fight off microbial invaders.

“You’re talking about a fetus that has a minimal immune system, whereas an adult has, hopefully, a fully functioning immune system,” explains pediatrician and immunologist Sallie Permar of the Duke University School of Medicine.

This cellular vulnerability is the basis of developmental issues linked to cytomegalovirus, or CMV, says Permar. CMV is in the Herpes family of viruses and is the most common infection passed from mother to child in the United States. Between 50 and 80 percent of people in the U.S. will be infected with the virus by the age of 40, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Similar to Zika, few of these people will ever show symptoms of the infection.

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We don’t have a great understanding of how CMV-infected cell impairment results in specific neurologic defects in babies, Permar says, but there are clues. “It seems that where the virus is replicating is where you end up with some neurologic impairments.”

For example, hearing loss is a major problem for infants born with CMV. In such cases, the virus can be found in both the part of the brain that helps with hearing as well as a portion of the inner ear called the cochlea, Permar says.

Similarly, some genetic cases of microcephaly have previously been linked to the dysfunction of a particular structure in cells called a centrosome, says Adams Waldorf. This structure is where the “scaffolding system” of the cell organizes and is involved in cell replication, she explains. When the centrosome is damaged, the brains don’t develop properly.

It’s possible Zika is staging an attack on infant brain cells that mirrors the genetic condition. In December, the Brazil Ministry of Health announced identification of Zika virus in multiple tissues of an infant with microcephaly, including the brain. But it’s still too early to make a direct link.

It’s also unclear how Zika can penetrate the natural barrier between mom’s bloodstream and her placenta—although there’s already evidence that it can happen. In the same report, the Brazil Ministry of Health also confirmed two instances of Zika in the amniotic fluid of developing fetuses with microcephaly.

No matter the virus, if mom gets a severe illness during pregnancy, additional damage can be caused by the so-called “bystander effect,” says placental biologist Ted Golos of the University of Madison-Wisconsin.

When the body detects something foreign, like a virus or parasite, it triggers inflammation in an attempt to get rid of the intruder. Despite these positive intentions, “the cascade of events that happen in response to a pathogen can [poorly impact the fetus] in a collateral damage kind of way,” he says. Inflammation of the placenta, for instance, can cause miscarriages and other complications.

There’s added concern that if the link between Zika and birth defects is confirmed, many of the longer term impacts of this disease won’t be identified for years. “Microcephaly is a tragic outcome,” says Golos. “But it could very well be the tip of the iceberg. Or it might not … we simply don’t know.”

The hope now is that researchers can develop a Zika vaccine, so if the virus is causing birth defects, we can stamp out their cause.

“We have the tools to eliminate one very severe congenital infection, and that’s been rubella virus,” says Permar. “So there is a success story with a maternal vaccine.”

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Henry Sapiecha

Bats may be part of Ebola solution as well as source of outbreak: Scientist

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Fruit bats for sale at a food market in Brazzavile, Republic of Congo, December 15, 2005. image www.newcures.info

Fruit bats for sale at a food market in Brazzavile, Republic of Congo, December 15, 2005

A CSIRO research scientist says bats’ immune systems could hold the key to fighting viruses like Ebola.

Bats are suspected of being the natural host for the Ebola virus.

Dr Michelle Baker says the animals are capable of carrying large loads of the virus without suffering so much as a fever.

“If you’re a virus and your primary goal in life is to reproduce and survive, you don’t necessarily want to kill your host really quickly, so bats and viruses have achieved a nice equilibrium,” she said.

Bats live with Ebola by having certain components of their immune system constantly switched on so they are prepared before the virus enters their system.

“What we need to do now is learn how bats tolerate high levels of activation of the immune system, constantly, without any detrimental effects,” Dr Baker said.

In contrast, the immune system of humans is only activated after contact with the virus.

Initially the virus shuts down the early response which then leads to a deadly overreaction.

“By the time our immune system is activated, the virus is already out of control,” Dr Baker said.

“At this point, our immune system produces a huge pro-inflammatory response.

“The immune system’s primary role is to destroy the virus but in the case of an infection such as Ebola, when the immune system is activated to a very high level, it’s actually more damaging to the host than it is beneficial.

“A lot of the internal and external bleeding we see is actually a consequence of the immune system over-responding to the infection.”

The way bats respond to viruses could provide a clue to successfully treating deadly infections like Ebola, but translating bat immunity into humans is also problematic because over-activation of the immune system can be so damaging.

“I think we’ve got a long way to go until we come up with a therapeutic we can translate from what we’re learning from bats into humans.”

Eating, butchering fruit bats causing Ebola transmission to humans

African fruit bats first pass the virus to primates and then to humans.

Dr Baker said transmission usually occurred through meat derived from a wild animal.

“A lot of the small villages in West Africa rely on bush meat as a primary form of protein in their diet,” she said.

“So the primary risk factor is butchering and handling of the raw meat.

“We know that primates get very sick from Ebola virus so they may be acting as a secondary reservoir for Ebola.”

CSIRO’s Biosecurity Flagship director Dr Kurt Zuelke said the Ebola outbreaks and others like it, such as Hendra, Avian Influenza and SARS were the result of increased interaction between humans and wildlife.

“We see animals and people living in closer proximity as urban areas move into more rural areas,” he said.

“Three quarters of the new diseases in people are coming from animals as we see increased mobility of people.

Henry Sapiecha

HORROR STORIES OF TREATMENTS & SCARY HEALTH ISSUES ON THESE 20 VIDEOS

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

1…BLACK SALVE OINTMENT TREATMENT.

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2…Maggot found in Taiwanese woman’s ear after

she complained about earache


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3…World’s Weirdest – Larva Removed from a

Girl’s Scalp

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4…Blood Clot – Bizarre ER

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5…Massive Head Splinter – Bizarre ER

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6…Balloons in the Head | Bizarre ER

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7…Growing Up Without A Face

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8…Abigail & Brittany Hensel –

The Twins Who Share a Body

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9…The Girl Who Never Ate –

Extraordinary People – Documentary

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10…Nick Vujicic – No arms no legs no worries –

look at yourself after watching this!

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11…The Eight-Limbed Boy – Documentary

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12…The Boy Who Sees Without Eyes

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13…Tourette’s Syndrome – Life With Tourette’s

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14…10 Year Olds – Terri Calvesbert: Extraordinary

People – Documentary – My Shocking Story

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15…My Face is Eating Me Alive – Documentary

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16…The 46 Year Pregnancy – Documentary

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17…Octopus Man – Documentary

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18…I Woke Up in a Morgue – Documentary

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19…The Boy With The Incredible Brain – Documentary

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20…Shwachman – Diamond Syndrome (SDS) –

Documentary

Hope these above videos have been of value to you, if so give us a like and tell your friends about this site

Henry Sapiecha

FLESH EATING BACTERIA DEVOURS WOMANS LEG AND FINGERS

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

FLESH EATING DISEASE INFECTS YOUNG WOMAN & LOSES LIMB & FINGERS

On a Tuesday, Aimee Copeland fell from a zip line and cut her leg.

By Friday her limb had been amputated and she was fighting for life.

The 24-year-old US university student is battling a rare flesh-eating bacterial infection called necrotising fasciitis, which destroys tissue and muscle while the surface of the wound appears to be healing.

Aimee Copeland ... ice cream is the first thing she wants when she is able to eat again.
Aimee Copeland … in a critical condition.

Ms Copeland was kayaking near the Little Tallapoosa River in Georgia on May 1, and went for a ride on a homemade zip line, otherwise known as a flying fox, which snapped, the LA Times reported.

Her father Andy Copeland wrote on a blog that his daughter got 22 staples in her left calf and was still in terrible pain the next day.

The pain got worse until she was diagnosed with the infection, forcing surgeons to amputate her leg and remove infected tissue from her abdomen.

Victim of a flesh-eating infection ... Paige Copeland cries as her father Andy Copeland speaks about her sister Aimee.Victim of a flesh-eating infection … Paige Copeland cries as her father Andy Copeland speaks about her sister Aimee. Photo: AP

“We take so much for granted in life, but I never imagined that one of my daughters would face this most unlikely of situations,” Mr Copeland wrote.

Dr William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University Medical School told Reuters the infection was often quite subtle in its early stages.

“These bacteria lodge in the deeper layers of the wound. The organism is deep in the tissues, and that’s where it’s causing its mischief.”

Ms Copeland was in critical condition in the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta yesterday, a hospital spokeswoman told AP.

She will also lose her fingers, but doctors hope to save the palms of her hands so she can use prosthetics one day.

Her family have not yet told her about the exact extent of her injuries, her father wrote.

“She will learn about the loss of her beautiful leg. She will discover that her hands lack the dexterity and tactile response she has known all her life,” he wrote.

“How would you respond in such a situation? I think that moment will be one of horror and depression for Aimee.”

In more recent days Mr Copeland has updated his blog, describing his daughter’s progress as a miracle.

“The words I hear from the medical professionals to describe Aimee’s continued recovery are ‘astonishing’, ‘incredible’, ‘confounding’, ‘mind boggling’ and ‘unbelievable’.

“All those are fitting words. My favourite word is ‘miracle’.

Her parents have learnt to read lips to communicate with their daughter, who cannot speak because of a breathing tube in her throat.

Speaking on NBC’s Today show overnight, Mr Copeland said she told them she was thirsty, and that ice cream was the first thing she wants when she’s able to eat on her own.

“We just take it each day at a time,” he said.

“My daughter’s strong, she really is.”

smh.com.au with AP

SOURCED & PUBLISHED BY HENRY SAPIECHA

ANTI FUNGAL BACTERIA KILLING COATINGS FOR CONTACT LENSES & OTHER USES WHERE IT KILLS THE DREADED STAPH SUPERBUG

Monday, May 14th, 2012

MAGNETIC NANO COATING ATTRACTS BACTERIA & KILLS IT

Scientists at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have created a “magnetic-like” coating that traps and destroys 99 percent of the bacteria and fungi that it encounters. The antibacterial coating has been shown to be effective against superbugs like Staphylococcus aureus and is already being used in the manufacture of contact lenses. As well as finding numerous biomedical and household applications, the research could lead to new wound treatments and even be used to target bacterial infections inside the body without the use of conventional antibiotics.

Developed by NTU’s School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Professor Mary Chan, the coating made from Dimethyldecylammonium Chitosan methacrylate holds a positive charge that snares and ruptures bacteria cells which have a negative charge on their cell walls.

The nanoporous coating is said to be effective against “superbugs” including Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus as well as fungi that can cause corneal infections – hence the use in contact lenses.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) when in contact with coated contact lenses

“The coating can also be applied on biomedical objects, such as catheters and implants to prevent bacterial infections, which is a serious cause of concern as many bacteria are now developing resistance to antibiotics – currently our main source of treatment for infections,” Prof Chan said.

“By developing novel materials which uses physical interaction to kill bacteria cells, we envisage this can be an alternative form of treatment for bacterial infections in the near future.”

The initial work has led Prof Chan and doctoral student Li Peng to the successful development of a liquid antimicrobial solution that’s highly selective, meaning it’s effective at killing bacteria and fungi but doesn’t harm human cells. Because it attacks cell walls, it’s also difficult for bacteria to develop resistance.

This liquid material, which is based on cationic antimicrobial peptidopolysaccharide, will be developed over the next five years with a view to creating a lotion to treat chronic wounds and also as a means of treating infections internally.

“Our long term goal is to develop this into an ingestible form, so it can effectively treat bacterial infections within the body, such as pneumonia and meningitis, replacing antibiotics as the standard treatment.” says Prof Chan.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

COLIFORM BACTERIA TEST OF WATER VIA A ‘LITMUS PAPER’ STYLE TEST FOR SAFETY

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

CATCHING A COLIFORM BACTERIA INFECTION WHEN SWIMMING IS NOT PLEASANT

Nothing can put a dampener on a summer holiday like a coliform bacteria outbreak. But even worse than being told to keep out of the water in the event of an outbreak is not being told to keep out of the water in the event of an outbreak and ending up paying the price. Researchers at McMaster University have now developed a paper strip test that is cheap to produce, extremely portable, simple to use, and detects E. coli in water in 30 minutes.

While many popular recreational waters are regularly tested for coliform outbreaks, the methods used are generally slow and cumbersome, with samples often having to be sent to a lab for amplification before testing. The new paper strips developed at McMaster overcome all these problems. They work quickly, they are portable, they are simple to use, and they are cheap and easy to produce.

Using inkjet-printing technology, the paper strips are coated with chemicals that change color in the presence of E. coli. Concentrations of the bacteria are indicated by different colors on the strip. While the strips can quickly indicate if water is safe for swimming, they aren’t sensitive enough to identify if it is safe for drinking – a standard that is hundreds of times tighter than for safe swimming water.

However, the McMaster team, led by chemistry professor John Brennan, is planning to conduct field-testing on the prototype strips to help in their refinement that may lead to the development of strips capable of testing the safety of drinking water.

The test strips have been validated by scientists from the Sentinel Bioactive Paper Network, which receives funding from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The NSERC is now funding the next stage of pre-commercial development of the strips, with a possibility the final product will become commercially available in two to three years.

The team’s research is detailed in a paper appearing online in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

ENGINEERED VIRUS TO ONLY KILL CANCER CELLS IN THE BODY

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

New Virus Engineered

to only Kill Cancer Cells

September 1, 2011 | Filed under: Health | Posted by: G. Eden

A new virus that has been specifically engineered to kill cancer cells has been found to be a medical first because of its effectiveness. The virus has been engineered by medical researchers to target only cancer cells throughout the human body.

The virus is very special because it only attacks cancerous tumours and leaves healthy tissue fully intact.  The virus has been trialled on humans but so far the trials have only been quite small (23 people have only been trialled so far).

If the research goes to plan then the treatment could give cancer therapies a real transformation.

Viruses have been used before to kill cancer but they have always been injected direct into the tumour in order to avoid killing the healthy cells. This new virus will without doubt make the treatment much much easier and possibly more effective.

The new virus has been developed by scientists who modified the vaccinia virus. The vaccinia virus is more commonly used usually as a smallpox vaccine. The new form of this virus is known as JX-594.

The research was guided & inspired by a team of scientists from the University of Ottawa in the United States.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

BUT DEAR MY STD CAME FROM EITHER THE TOILET SEAT OR THE AIRPORT SCANNER

Monday, December 27th, 2010

AIRPORT screenings can give you a sexually transmitted disease

You could pick up a sex disease on your next trip – and you don’t even have to visit a hooker in a foreign city to get it.

Just a visit to the airport will do, because the perverted American government is spreading germs as it forces passengers to spread for its new “enhanced security screenings.”

You’ve probably heard a bit about these government-sanctioned gropings. One TV news producer singled out for a special pat down said the agent stuck a hand inside her pants and even felt around inside her panties.

“It was basically worse than going to the gynecologist,” she said. “It was embarrassing. It was demeaning. It was inappropriate.”

It’s also a very real public health threat.

The TV news producer didn’t mention the rubber gloves worn by the screeners, but there have been multiple reports of Transportation Security Admininstration (TSA) workers using the same gloves from one passenger to the next.

And that means every visit with a TSA worker could be like a quick dip in a Tijuana whorehouse – because these guys could be passing out everything from herpes to the crabs all day and night.

That’s a bigger threat to passenger safety than any wannabe terrorist!

A breast cancer survivor was forced to remove her prosthetic breast. A bladder cancer survivor was left covered in his own urine when TSA workers caused his urostomy bag to burst. Children have been screaming through some very personal lessons in “bad touch.”

And in one case, a nursing mother who complained to the TSA after agents X-rayed bottles of pumped breast milk was singled out for retaliatory extra screening during her next trip.

Watch her 90-minute ordeal here.

Expect more stories like these, assuming people are still allowed to talk about them – because Uncle Sam has finally succeeded. He’s groped passenger rights away – and we might never get them back.

Happy New Year!

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE LINKED TO SKIN CANCER

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

STD linked to skin cancer


Well, well, well – it looks like the mainstream has accidentally stumbled upon the truth that skin cancer might be caused by something other than the sun. Researchers have found that some strains of HPV, a common sexually acquired virus, can dramatically increase your skin cancer risk.
Read the full story.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


SEX VIRUS – OVARIAN CANCER & THROAT CANCER & THROAT CANCER

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

The Cancer-Causing Sex Virus

Matthew Herper, 07.21.10, 04:15 PM EDT

HPV–known for causing cervical cancer–is

emerging as the leading cause of throat cancer in

men. Should they get the vaccine too?

Martin Duffy, a Boston consultant and economist, thought he just had a sore throat. When it persisted for months, he went to the doctor and learned there was a tumor on his tonsils.

Duffy, now 70, had none of the traditional risk factors for throat cancer. He doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink and has run 40 Boston marathons. Instead, his cancer was caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is sexually transmitted and a common cause of throat and mouth cancer.

HPV tumors have a better prognosis than those caused by too many years of booze and cigarettes. But Duffy “is in the unlucky 20%” whose cancer comes back–despite rounds of chemotherapy and radiation that melted 20 more pounds off a lean 150-pound frame. Now the cancer has spread throughout his throat, making eating and talking difficult. “I made my living as a public speaker,” he says. “Now I sound like Daffy Duck.” Duffy believes he has only a few months left. “How do you tell the people you love you love them?” he asks.

Nine Things You Need To Know About HPV

//

Most strains of the HPV virus are harmless, but persistent infections with two HPV strains cause 70% of the 12,000 cases of cervical cancers diagnosed annually in the U.S. Other forms of the sexually transmitted virus can cause penile and anal cancer, and genital warts. The HPV throat cancer connection has emerged in just the last few years and is so new that the government doesn’t track its incidence. Researchers believe it is transmitted via oral sex. But top researchers estimate that there are 11,300 HPV throat cancers each year in the U.S.–and the numbers are growing fast as people have been having more sexual partners since the 1960s. By 2015 there could be 20,000 cases. For more surprising discoveries about HPV, read here.

These big numbers have some top researchers arguing that drug makers should test whether HPV vaccines now used to prevent cervical cancer in women can also prevent throat infections in boys. Two vaccines, Gardasil from Merck ( MRK news people ) and Cervarix from GlaxoSmithKline ( GSK news people ), are approved for preventing cervical cancer. Gardasil is approved for use in boys only to prevent genital warts.

// Vaccinating boys could stop this meteoric increase in throat cancer. “Clearly, boys need to be vaccinated,” says Marshall Posner, the incoming medical director of head and neck cancer at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York. “I want my kids to be vaccinated. I don’t see a downside to these vaccines.”

There’s only one problem: The vaccine manufacturers aren’t terribly hot on the idea. GlaxoSmithKline says it has no plans to study throat cancer. It adds that it is “committed to providing a vaccine specifically designed to protect against cervical cancer in girls and young women.”

Merck, the maker of Gardasil, seemed more interested a couple of years ago. In 2008 it funded Maura Gillison, the Ohio State University researcher who established the HPV-throat-cancer link in 2000, to do a pilot study to show that test could reliably detect HPV infection in the throat. The pilot study was successful. By early 2009 Gillison says that a larger study of the vaccine in throat cancer looked close to being green lit.

But after Merck agreed to buy rival Schering-Plough ( SGP news people ) for $41 billion in March 2009, interest in a big study seemed to evaporate, Gillison says. In a statement, Merck says that “due to competing research and business priorities, we decided not to move ahead with an efficacy study at this time.”

The drug makers’ reticence probably stems from a fear that a throat-cancer vaccine would be hard to get approved. Papilloma viruses usually cause cancer slowly, causing pre-cancerous lesions that take many years to blossom into full-fledged malignant tumors. Papilloma viruses cause the horn-like growths in rabbits that probably gave rise to myths of “jackalopes” in the American West. In the cervix, early abnormal growths can be picked up with a diagnostic test, the Pap smear. Clinical trials of Gardasil and Cervarix took advantage of this, measuring the number of pre-cancerous growths prevented by the vaccines.

But there are no easy-to-detect pre-cancers in the throat. Adolescent boys would have to be followed for decades to to see if the vaccine prevented throat cancer, an unlikely scenario. Short of this, studies could only look at the prevention of HPV throat infections, not cancer or cancer precursors directly. Approving a vaccine for wide use based on this type of short-term data would require a leap of faith that the Food and Drug Administration might not be willing to take.

Top researchers say the federal government needs to step in and fund the long study if drug companies cannot be persuaded to do it themselves. “I’m sorry Merck decided not to do it,” says Posner. “But in the end, this is a federal responsibility. It’s a public health issue.”

For his part, Martin Duffy thinks that drug companies’ complacent attitude toward throat cancer would be different if more of their employees were in his situation. “It will change real fast,” he says, “if one of their executives comes down with this disease.”

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha