Olympic skater Scott Hamilton to have brain tumor treatment
.c The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) - World champion figure skater Scott Hamilton will undergo a high-tech radiation therapy for a non-cancerous brain tumor, his publicist said Thursday.
Hamilton, 46, will have gamma knife treatment later this month at The Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, said Dr. Gene Barnett, chairman of the clinic's brain tumor institute.
In the outpatient treatment, pinpoint doses of high radiation are delivered to kill the tumor while causing less damage to healthy tissue.
The treatment will take only a single visit but results usually are not known for at least a month.
"In Mr. Hamilton's case, he may need other minimally invasive procedures down the road to manage his tumor," Barnett said in a statement issued by the skater's publicist, Michael Sterling.
That is because the tumor has a fluid-filled cyst that can recur.
If that is the case, "it would need to be drained by using a chemical to reduce or stop fluid production." Barnett said.
Hamilton was diagnosed last month with a slow-growing, non-cancerous tumor in the region of his pituitary gland. In 1997, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer and treated with surgery and chemotherapy.
"Scott's spirit and confidence in Dr. Barnett, his staff, and the treatment, remain very high," Sterling said. "Needless to say, Scott is no stranger to adversity and has always faced every challenge in his life with great enthusiasm and an uncommon level of optimism."
Hamilton, who lives in Los Angeles, is a four-time U.S. national champion, a four-time world champion and the 1984 Olympic gold medalist. He is now a skating show producer.
Carmona: Steroid Abuse Is Health Concern
By SCOTT SONNER
.c The Associated Press
RENO, Nev. (AP) - The surgeon general said Monday he is greatly concerned about the impact of steroid use in the major leagues on young athletes who see professional baseball players as role models.
U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona also said leaders of other pro sports should examine whether their athletes are abusing steroids.
"From my standpoint, it is less a moral or ethical issue than it is a public health issue," Dr. Carmona told The Associated Press.
Steroids can cause a host of health problems, including organ failure and cancer.
"If youngsters are seeing their role models practicing this kind of behavior and it seems acceptable, then we need to do something about that because it is a health risk," he said.
The matter has been in the spotlight since the San Francisco Chronicle reported details last week of players' testimony to a federal grand jury that indicted four people on charges of illegally distributing steroids to top athletes.
One of those indicted was the personal trainer of the San Francisco Giants' Barry Bonds, whose 73 home runs in 2001 is the game's single-season record and who is 53 homers away from breaking Hank Aaron's all-time record of 755. Bonds told the grand jury he used a cream and a clear substance but said he didn't know they were forbidden substances.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Congress should get involved if the league fails to act on its own and predicted President Bush would sign tougher prohibitions on steroid use.
"The important aspect of this issue is not Barry Bonds" or other big names, McCain, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, said on "Fox News Sunday."
"The important aspect of this issue is that high school kids all over America believe that this is the only way they can make it. Ask any high school coach."
Carmona said he has not decided whether Congress should get involved if Major League Baseball fails to enforce stronger rules against steroid abuse.
"As surgeon general, it is something that greatly concerns me but we need to get more of the facts first," he said before a speech in Reno at a "Fatherhood Summit."
Date: December 7, 2004
For Release: Immediately
Contact: HHS Press Office
Headline: HHS PURCHASES 1.2 MILLION DOSES OF FLU VACCINE
GlaxoSmithKline Vaccine Adds To 61 Million Doses In United States
HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced today that the Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of GlaxoSmithKline influenza vaccine, Fluarix, in the United States under an Investigational New Drug application. Additionally, HHS has reached an agreement with the company to purchase 1.2 million doses of the vaccine for distribution to areas most in need.
This purchase is part of the Department's ongoing effort to identify and make available additional influenza vaccine doses to protect the American public for this winter's flu season. The doses of Fluarix vaccine are in addition to the existing supply of 61 million doses of licensed influenza vaccine, which includes about 58 million doses of Aventis injectable vaccine and 3 million doses of FluMist nasal spray.
"Our public health community has done an outstanding job of making sure the vaccine gets to those who need it most," Secretary Thompson said. "With this latest purchase, we will be able to protect more high-risk Americans this flu season in communities across the country."
Beginning this week, the Fluarix vaccine will be sent to the United States for distribution by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), based on the agency's determination of communities most in need. Fluarix has not been licensed for use in the United States and will be administered under an Investigational New Drug application (IND). The Fluarix vaccine being purchased by HHS has been approved by the European equivalents of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but is considered an IND because it is not currently licensed by FDA. The IND allows the investigational use of Fluarix, and HHS is immediately purchasing 1.2 million doses that are available this month. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has agreed to make up to 4 million doses available under the IND.
Under an IND, patients who are offered the Fluarix vaccine must sign an informed consent form that provides important information and acknowledges that they are aware of the potential adverse effects associated with the investigational vaccine. Sponsors of INDs are required to monitor the use of the investigational product, maintain adequate records, control the supply of product, provide periodic reports to FDA regarding safety and other issues and make sure informed consent is obtained from individuals before receiving the vaccine. CDC will assist GSK with these activities.
FDA has, over the past month, reviewed extensive manufacturing and clinical information and conducted an inspection of the GSK manufacturing facility in Germany to determine that this vaccine is suitable for use under an IND. FDA reviewed GSK's proposed clinical study plan and informed consent document, as well as the clinical protocol and manufacturing data. The IND mechanism can be used in this situation because there is not enough time or information to allow U.S. licensure. These steps along with the conditions and controls required under the IND are designed to assure the product is safe for use during the current flu season.
Additionally, the federal government has purchased and stockpiled antiviral medicines to treat more than 7 million people. Supplies of antiviral medicines also exist in the private sector and manufacturers indicate that they have the ability to significantly ramp up production. All told, between existing stockpiles, private sector supplies and production capabilities, the FDA estimates there could be enough medicine to treat tens of millions of people through the heart of flu season.
When President Bush and Secretary Thompson took office in early 2001, HHS spent just $39.3 million on flu surveillance, research, education and vaccine procurement activities. However, President Bush and Secretary
Thompson aggressively moved HHS forward on flu-preparation activities, including producing the nation's first pandemic flu response plan, and an increase in spending to $283.1 million in fiscal year 2005.
HHS encourages those in high-priority groups to continue to check with their local health officials about availability of vaccine. Individuals who are having difficulty finding vaccine or who want additional information on influenza can call the CDC's hotline at 1-800-CDC-INFO. The high-priority groups include:
All children aged 6-23 months.
Adults aged 65 years and older.
People aged 2-64 years with underlying chronic medical conditions.
All women who will be pregnant during influenza season.
Residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Children 6 months to 18 years of age on chronic aspirin therapy.
Health-care workers with direct patient care.
Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children aged <6 months.
Finally, everyone can take practical steps to help prevent spread of flu, including:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Keep your distance from others if you are sick.
When possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick, and don't send your children to child care or school if they are sick.
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
Clean your hands often.
For more information about the flu, visit the CDC Web site: www.cdc.gov/flu.
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are
available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.
Cedars-Sinai Pituitary Center, Los Angeles, California, 90048, United
States; Not yet recruiting
Shlomo Melmed, MD 310-423-4691
Shlomo Melmed, MD, Principal Investigator
Massachusetts General Hospital NE Unit, Boston, Massachusetts, 02114,
United States; Not yet recruiting
Beverly Biller, MD 617-726-3870
Beverly Biller, MD, Principal Investigator
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104, United
States; Not yet recruiting
Peter Snyder, MD 215-898-0208
Peter Snyder, MD, Principal Investigator
Service des Maladies, Paris, 75014, France; Recruiting
Jerome Bertherat, MD 33 (0) 1 58411895
Jerome Bertherat, MD, PhD, Principal Investigator
Clinical di Endocrinologia, Ancona, Italy; Recruiting
Marco Boscaro, MD 39 071 5964740
Marco Boscaro, MD, Principal Investigator
Sir George E.Clark Metabolic Unit-Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast,
United Kingdom; Recruiting
Novartis is conducting a study to assess the effectiveness and tolerability
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