AstraZeneca breast cancer drug shows trial success

Enhertu, which is in a late-stage clinical trial, helps patients with a particular type of breast cancer live longer, expanding other treatment options. This is the first therapeutic success of its kind against metastatic breast cancer in patients with low levels of a protein called HER2.

Bloomberg: AstraZeneca reports positive data on breast cancer drug Enhertu

AstraZeneca Plc has reported data from a late-stage trial showing its drug Enhertu helps patients with one type of breast cancer live longer, potentially expanding treatment options for the disease. Enhertu increased survival rates in patients with unresectable and metastatic HER2-low breast cancer, the British drugmaker said on Monday. This is the first time such therapy has shown benefit in patients with this form of breast cancer, AstraZeneca said. (Mulier and Paton, 02/21)

Reuters: AstraZeneca bolsters oncology credentials on successful breast cancer trials

AstraZeneca (AZN.L) said its cancer drug Enhertu has been shown to significantly help women with a type of breast cancer that leaves them with poor treatment options, opening the door to a much larger group of potential patients. AstraZeneca, which is working on the drug with Japan’s Daiichi Sankyo (4568.T), said Monday that Enhertu prolongs survival and slows the progression of metastatic breast cancer with low levels of a protein known as HER2. . The improvement was “clinically significant” compared to standard chemotherapy, he said, adding that detailed results from the late-stage trial would be presented at an as-yet-undisclosed medical conference. (Hamburger, 02/21)

The Washington Post: AI outperforms radiologists at identifying hip fractures, study finds

When it comes to hip fractures, time is of the essence. Delays in surgery are associated with the risk of death and pressure sores, and patients with broken hips should ideally be operated on within 48 hours. But radiologists are in short supply, and the national shortage is exacerbated by a growing demand for radiology services. And rushed radiologists and human error can lead to incorrect identification and classification of hip fractures. Artificial intelligence could help, suggests a recent study. When researchers pitted machine learning against human radiologists, the computer won, classifying hip fractures with 19% accuracy compared to human experts. (Blakemore, 2/20)

In heart health news —

Press Association: Eating vegetables may not protect against heart disease, study finds

A diet rich in vegetables does not protect against heart disease, according to a new study. The findings challenge previous research that suggests eating more vegetables is linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) – which can lead to strokes, heart attacks and death. The researchers say that previous studies may not have taken into account lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption and meat consumption – and socio-economic factors such as a person’s education, income and wealth. They add that evidence from previous studies has been inconsistent. (2/21)

The Washington Post: Loneliness may increase risk of heart disease by 27% in older women

For older women, loneliness and social isolation can increase the risk of developing heart disease by up to 27%, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Network Open. The finding adds heart disease to a list of potential health effects of loneliness and isolation, including dementia and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. (Burning, 2/20)

CNN: Sexual harassment and assault linked to high blood pressure in women, study finds

According to a new study, women who experience sexual violence, sexual harassment at work or both have a higher long-term risk of developing high blood pressure than women who do not experience such trauma. Hypertension is a key risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year, reports the American Heart Association. (LaMotte, 02/22)

CNN: Infertility treatments increase risk of heart and pregnancy complications, study finds

If you are one of the millions of women who are considering using infertility treatments to have a baby, know that new research has found that women may be at increased risk for vascular and pregnancy-related complications, especially if they are 35 or older. “Advancing maternal age — particularly being 35 and older — increases the risk of having or developing conditions, such as chronic high blood pressure, that increase the risk of pregnancy complications,” said Study author Dr Pensée Wu, Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Obstetrician and Maternal Fetal Medicine Subspecialist at Keele University School of Medicine in Staffordshire, UK, in a statement. (LaMotte, 02/22)

A suggestion for delaying autism diagnoses –

WUFT: FAU researchers suggest delays in autism diagnosis in black children may reflect providers’ racial bias

Yvonne Westerman’s grandson was fine at 15 months. He ate it all. He responded to his name, Chance. He said words. Until the day he didn’t. She took him to the doctor, who told her everything was fine; Chance was just developmentally delayed. But Westerman thought it was something more. She did her own research. She learned that with the label “developmental delay” instead of an autism diagnosis, it would be harder to get services like behavioral therapy. No one had told her that, she said. (Hyson, 2/18)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage by major news outlets. Sign up for an email subscription.

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