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Friday’s COPD Newsletter from COPD Support, Inc.

Posted Aug 20 2010 8:30am

newspaper12
Volume 10, Issue 38
August 20, 2010
Richard D. Martin, Co-Editor

This new blood test, called Early CDT-Lung, provided by OncImmune, aids in the early detection of lung cancer. It may one day replace the need for invasive procedures. This is an important new option for us, because occasionally, nodules develop in our lungs, and it needs to be determined whether or not they are cancerous. Although the majority of the nodules we develop are non-cancerous, and the list of causes of those nodules long, those of us with COPD are at a much greater risk of developing lung cancer than people without COPD. Standard PET and CAT scans might initially indicate nodules, but they might not be able to accurately determine the nature of a nodule. Ordinarily, the next step is usually an invasive procedure such as a needle biopsy or perhaps a bronchoscopy. Needle biopsies, however, are often risky or contraindicated for those of us with damaged lungs. When needle biopsies are considered too problematic, we often have to “wait and see” what happens to the nodules over time to determine whether or not they behave or grow like cancers. This requires us to go for periodic scans, and it often feels like we’re waiting “for the other shoe to drop.” This simple blood test can assist in assessing the risk of the nodule being cancerous.

The following article in “Indystar,” an Indianapolis news service, writer Shardi Rudavsky, interviews Dr. Richard K. Freeman who briefly explains the new blood test currently offered by 400 doctors in the United States. The interview is short, to the point, and can be found at http://tinyurl.com/393uwdw

The CDT-Lung test looks for “markers” to identify cancer. These “markers” indicate the presence of specific molecules, called antigens. The antigens they are looking for are produced by tumors, suggesting, therefore, that cancer is present. The article above, as well as the manufacturer’s web site, explains the accuracy and proper use of this test. It has limitations. For example, it can’t be used on people with a history of cancerany type of cancer.

The manufacturer’s web site (the link is below) provides more information about the test and how to get it. Although they have 400 doctors who are currently offering the test, they are informing other doctors of this new test by appealing directly to potential patients, who they hope will bring information about this new test directly to their doctors. They bill Medicare Part B or your insurance company. Their representative states that at the present time, they are taking Medicare payments as payment in full. The test is also currently available only in the United States and Canada, but they hope to expand to other countries. It is approved in all states except New York, where approval is pending, and could be approved at any time. You can order a sample collection kit, but you must have a prescription from your doctor for your sample to be processed. Their web site also provides information for physicians and a patient brochure. Their sample collection kit provides promotional and informational material for your physician. They can be contacted at (888) 583-9030, and are more than willing to answer any of your questions.
http://www.oncimmune.com/

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SOURCES
: News items summarized in The COPD-NEWS are taken from secondary sources believed to be reliable. However, the COPD Family of Services does not verify their accuracy.
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- NOXIOUS SMELLING HOSES: MEMBERS HELPING MEMBERS
- NEW MEDICATION “ONBREZ BREEZHALER” (INDACATEROL) NOW LAUNCHED IN THE EUROPEAN UNION AND OTHER COUNTRIES FOR TREATMENT OF COPD
- FDA APPROVES A NEW, NON-INVASIVE, RADIATION-FREE LUNG IMAGING SYSTEM
- POTENTIAL NEW TREATMENT FOR PULMONARY HYPERTENSION
- RESEARCH INTO USING BONE MARROW STEM CELLS TO TREAT CRITICALLY ILL PATIENTS CLOSE TO RESPIRATORY FAILURE
- LOW ZINC LEVELS COULD MAKE US MORE VULNERABLE TO PNEUMONIA
- SUPERBUG MIGHT BE RESISTANT TO ALL ANTIBIOTICS
- FDA GIVES APPROVES TO N30 PHARMA, LLC TO INITIATE FIRST-IN-CLASS PHASE I CLINICAL TRIAL FOR TREATMENT OF ACUTE ASTHMA AND COPD EXACERBATIONS
- MISCELLANEOUS
FREE AUDIO BOOKS
RIDDLES
POEM HUNTER
SEASONAL SHOPPING TIPS

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COMMERCIAL FREE:
We do not accept any paid advertising. Any corporations, products, medicines (prescription or over the counter) mentioned in this newsletter are for informational purposes only and not to be construed as an endorsement or condemnation of same.
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As an active member always ready to help others, Valerie Weeding, who resides in Wyoming had a concern and question of her own. She posted, “If anyone has any ideas for me, I would greatly appreciate it. The last several days when my A/C unit kicks on, it is throwing off a smell of paint. Our humidity has been very high and I am wondering if the moisture might have something to do with it. Whatever the culprit, it is really bothering me, and I need to do something about it. Before I pay for a weekend call to the A/C company, I thought I would first ask here.”

Well, Valerie later discovered that it wasn’t her A/C at all. At the encouragement of her partner Ron, she changed her tubing to “see what happens.” In her words, “Voila, within a few minutes, all was fine! No more smelling and no more nauseous stomach.” She adds that her bad reaction occurred even after she aired out her tubing for several days.

Robert C., a member from Fortuna, California, responded to Valerie’s request with his own observation and some good recommendations. He explained that he found that some brands are worse than others, and added that one brand in particular also made him physically sick and nauseous, even after scrubbing the cannula. He now uses Salter brand cannulas, which although he finds still have an odor, it is not as bad as other brands he’s tried. He handles the odor in the following manner: “I turn my oxygen concentrator up to 5 and put on the new Salter cannula, and go to the kitchen sink and put liquid soap on the part that feels tacky, the part you put in your nose. I then scrub it like crazy, rinse it and then dry it. I also leave the unwrapped cannula out for a few days to help it air out. I hope that helps someone.”

Most authorities recommend oxygen users change their cannula at least once every two weeks, and more often when ill. Many also recommend thoroughly washing cannulas a couple times a week, and some even recommend washing them daily. Some oxygen providers will only provide them when asked, and impose limits, but it never hurts to ask for as many as is needed. Cannulas can also be purchased privately without a prescription in bulk at reasonable prices (around 70 cents US each). A one-foot supply tube rather than the usual 7 foot length usually supplied, allows users to insert a swivel within reach and also avoid stepping on the connection link.

This new bronchodilator (a long-acting beta agonist) only needs to be taken once daily. Manufactured by the Swiss company Novartis, it comes in a capsule and is used with an inhaler device. Remarkably, it works within 5 minutes and lasts 24 hours. Known more commonly as QAB149 in the United States, it is waiting for FDA approval. The manufacturer Novartis has not announced when this drug might become available in the United States, however, there doesn’t seem to be any significant concerns about the safety of this drug that might delay its approval.
http://www.pharmiweb.com/pressreleases/pressrel.asp?ROW_ID=26347

Israeli company DeepBreeze, LTD has gotten FDA approval for a new imaging system called “Vibration Response Imaging” (VBI), and has entered partnership with GE Healthcare in the United States for distribution.
http://www.deepbreeze.com/deepbreeze/home/products/vrixp.aspx.aspx

Medical researchers at the University of Alberta, Canada, have come closer to being able to treat pulmonary hypertension, also known as high blood pressure in the lungs. It is a disease that is associated with COPD. This condition is caused by excessive growth of cells in the wall of the lung blood vessels and leads to blood vessel constriction. The researchers have found ways to reverse this excessive growth in animals, and this research may lead to a new treatment for those of us with this condition. Current treatment, by contrast, is limited to dilating the constricted blood vessels. You’ll find more information at http://tinyurl.com/3xu5767

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MEDICAL DECISIONS.
Your physician should be consulted on all medical decisions. New procedures or drugs should not be started or stopped without such consultation. While we believe that our accumulated experience has value, and a unique perspective, you must accept it for what it is… the work of COPD patients. We vigorously encourage individuals with COPD to take an active part in the management of their disease. They do this through education and by sharing information and thoughts with their primary physician and pulmonologist. However, medical decisions are based on complex medical principles and should be left to the medical practitioner who has been trained to diagnose and advise.
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Science News reports that researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, write in the Journal of Biological Chemistry that a type of bone marrow stem cell helps damaged lungs by restoring the barrier that helps keeps fluids from entering the lungs. It should be mentioned, however, that this research remains in the lab and has not been tested on humans. For more information, visit http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/08/100811162352.htm

The USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tuff University reports that low zinc levels may make older people more susceptible to pneumonia. You’ll find a good review of the research at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-08/usdo-aze081010.php

The British Broadcasting Corporation reports that health authorities in the United Kingdom have found about 50 cases of illnesses caused by bacteria that make an enzyme named NDM-1. These infections were contracted by patients who went abroad for cosmetic surgery – specifically to India and Pakistan. Frightening, is that the enzyme can also exist in other dangerous bacteria and make them resistant to drugs. Infections have also been identified in the USA, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands. For more information, please read http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-10925411

The pharmaceutical company with the name of N30 Pharma, LLC (yes, that’s really their name), has been given permission to begin the very first in a series of studies to see if a drug they’ve created will be beneficial in the treatment of acute exacerbations. This drug is important because it is within a whole new class of drugs. To better understand what this potential treatment is about, visit http://tinyurl.com/2b53esb

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The Newsletter, like all the other endeavors of the Family of COPD Support Programs , is provided to you by COPD-Support, Inc . a non-profit member organization with IRS designation 501(c)(3). If you would like to be
involved and help us provide these programs to the individuals who benefit from them, please consider joining us as a member. Further information is available at: http://copd-support.com/membership.html
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Some of us are visually impaired and find reading fine print books just too difficult. Sometimes our condition creeps up on us, and we realize it had been a few years since we read a book due to “floaters,” cataracts, or other conditions. If this describes you or someone you know, you should be aware of this free audio book lending service available at http://www.talkingpages.org/

Here’s a riddle site, but it comes with two warnings: First, there are over 1,000 riddles from simple to complex. If you start with the simplest, you might just find it insults your intelligence. You may want to start with riddles that are rated higher. You can accomplish this by clicking “show hardest first” at the top of the page. Second warning: you will notice a link to their “jokes” section. If accidently visit the jokes section, you will find many of them are very “adult” – no, make that downright dirty. If you bypass the riddles section and go directly to the “adult” section, you should be ashamed of yourself!
http://www.riddlesandjokes.com/index_riddles.php

Have you ever recalled a line or two from a poem, and want to know where it came from, or worse, forget a line or two from a poem you memorized as a child that you now you want to teach your grandchildren? For the forgetful, inquisitive, or poetic, this site will help you find the full poem as long as you remember a line.
http://www.poemhunter.com/

We’ve all heard that there are certain months or seasons to get the best deal on major purchases, but frankly, who remembers them (other than, perhaps automobiles and appliances)? Apparently, there are “good months” to buy a wide variety of things, and this web site will let you know what to buy when http://lifehacker.com/5440376/the-best-times-to-buy-anything-all-year-round

Until next Friday,
Richard D. Martin, Co-Editor


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