HEALTH

Cancer center may have found link between GIST, targeted therapy

BY Michael Johnsen

ORLANDO, Fla. Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center uncovered a genetic pattern that may help predict how gastrointestinal stromal tumor patients respond to the targeted therapy Gleevec (imatinib mesylate). Moreover, their findings point to genes that could be suppressed in order to make these tumors respond more readily to imatinib.

“Imatinib has been the first drug that has really made a dent in GIST progression – up to 80% response – yet some GIST patients have little or no response to the drug,” commented Lori Rink, a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Andrew Godwin at Fox Chase. “We are looking to see how we can help clinicians make better decisions in applying imatinib or additional therapies to their GIST patients,” she said. “Our data indicate that if we can alter the activity of some of these KRAB-zinc finger proteins, we may be able to enhance the effectiveness of imatinib therapy.”

Rink presented their findings at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

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Joslin Diabetes Center appoints NBA star to board of trustees

BY Alaric DeArment

BOSTON A diabetes organization has sought to attract attention to Type 1 diabetes by appointing a member of the Boston Celtics and father of a child with the disease to its board of trustees.

The Joslin Diabetes Center announced Monday that it had appointed Ray Allen, whose 2-year-old son, Walker, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year. The center said Allen and his wife, Shannon, had “enthusiastically embraced” its mission and vision since then.

“When Walker was diagnosed with diabetes, our lives were thrown into a tailspin, and Shannon and I needed all the information and support we could get as we learned how to manage our son’s disease,” Allen said. “We found that and more at the Joslin Diabetes Center.”

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‘Dancing’ judge teams up with Dr. Scholl’s For Her

BY Allison Cerra

KENILWORTH, N.J. Schering-Plough announced the launch of a new Dr. Scholl’s For Her product that will make consumers kick up their heels.

Dr Scholl’s For Her High Heel Insoles, featuring an ultra-soft arch cushion that shifts pressure off the ball of foot. The insoles fit into shoes without crowding toes or making the shoes feel tight, Schering-Plough stated, and the clear gel design remains virtually invisible even in strappy sandals.

“High-heel shoes dramatically limit the mobility of the feet and reduce the shock-absorbing ability of the heel and arch. In designing this insole, we studied how a woman’s weight is shifted away from the heel and arch toward her forefoot when wearing high heels, which commonly results in ball-of-foot pain,” said Charlie Lundy, research and development director for Dr. Scholl’s For Her. “We developed the new High Heel Insoles to help shift pressure from the ball-of-foot back toward the arch and heel to make even high heel shoes comfortable.”

To help launch the product, Schering-Plough is partnering with “Dancing with the Stars” judge Carrie Ann Inaba to act as a brand ambassador and to show women that they can comfortably wear their high heels all day or all night. As part of that endorsement, Inaba is hosting the Dr. Scholl’s For Her Dance Studio online, where she will provide tips for dancers of all skill levels to maximize their dance and workout routines.

The full line of Dr. Scholl’s For Her products is available at food, drug and mass stores nationwide. For more information, visit www.drscholls.com.

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