May 17, 2020

New cream can cure cases of skin cancer without surgery

skin cancer
2 min
A new radioactive cream can cure skin cancer
Scientists have developed a new cream which can cure cases of skin cancer and remove the need for patients to undergo radioactive therapy or surgery. T...

Scientists have developed a new cream which can cure cases of skin cancer and remove the need for patients to undergo radioactive therapy or surgery.

The treatment, which is being described as a radioactive paste or paint, has already been tested on 700 patients and has had a success rate of 95 percent.

It is effective when used against tumours resulting from the most common strains of skin cancer and works in just two hours.

There are now hopes the cream will be used to cure 3,000 patients of skin cancer every year.

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According to the scientists who developed the cream, it is a painless treatment and comes with minimal side effects.

Additionally, the radioactive elements in it promote new skin growth and therefore do not leave patients with unsightly scars.

However, the team has said it is only suitable for use on patients with non-melanoma skin cancer and cannot be used on those suffering from malignant melanomas, the most fatal form of the cancer.

The cream contains a radioactive isotape known as rhenium-188 and during the treatment a piece of foil is placed over the tumour area with the cream painted on top of it.

It is then removed after one to two hours.

Results of the initial patient trails of the treatment were promising – the skin cancer was cured in 85 percent of patients after just one treatment and after three goes 95 percent had seen their skin cancer disappear.

German technology firm ITM developed the groundbreaking therapy and Oliver Buck, its chief executive, said: “These people sometimes have to go through horrible surgery which removes part of their face.

“By contrast this treatment is generally done in a single non-invasive session.”

“The radiation does not affect surrounding tissue and also seems to activate the body’s healing mechanisms,” he added.

“This means that patients with large and difficult-to-treat tumours not only have hope but keep their quality of life under what would otherwise be dire conditions.”

Buck believes it will be considerably cheaper than current skin cancer treatments and those who are likely to benefit most from the innovation are patients with tumours that cannot be removed surgically.

Additional trials of the cream are now underway in Germany and Australia.

The Healthcare Global magazine is now available on the iPad. Click here to download it.

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Jun 17, 2021

Peloton vulnerable to cyber attacks, McAfee research finds

2 min
​​​​​​​Software security experts McAfee discovered exercise bikes by Peloton are vulnerable to cyber attacks, which the company have since resolved 

Peloton, the popular exercise bikes, were found to be vulnerable to cyber attacks in the latest research from McAfee. 

Peloton is a brand of electric bikes that combines high end exercise equipment with cutting-edge technology. Its products use wi fi to connect to a large tablet that interfaces with the components of the exercise device, and provides an easy way for physical activity enthusiasts to attend virtual workout classes over the internet several times a week.

Peloton has garnered attention recently around the privacy and security of its products. So McAfee decided to take a look for themselves and purchased a Peloton Bike+.

The problem

Researchers looked at the Android devices and uncovered a vulnerability  that could allow an attacker with either physical access to the Bike+ or access during any point in the supply chain to gain to hack into the bike’s tablet, including the camera, microphone and personal data. 

For the person using it there would be no indication the Bike+ has been tampered with, potentially putting Peloton’s 16.7 million users at risk.  

The flaw was found in the Android Verified Boot (AVB) process. McAfee researchers were able to bypass the Android Verified Boot process, which normally verifies all code and data before booting. They were then able to get the device to boot bypassing this step. 

This could potentially lead to the Android OS being compromised by an attacker who is physically present. Even worse, the attacker could boot up the Peloton with a modified credential to gain privileges, granting them access to the bike remotely. 

As the attacker never has to unlock the device to boot it up, there would be no trace of their access on the device. This type of attack could also happen at any point from construction to warehouse to delivery, by installing a backdoor into the Android tablet without the user ever knowing. 

The solution

Given the simplicity and criticality of the flaw, McAfee informed Peloton while auditing was ongoing. The vendor was sent full details,  and shortly after, Peloton confirmed the issue and released a fix for it. 

Further conversations between McAfee and  Peloton confirmed that this vulnerability had also been present on the Peloton Tread exercise equipment. 

Peloton’s Head of Global Information Security Adrian Stone, commented on the research: “This vulnerability reported by McAfee would require direct, physical access to a Peloton Bike+ or Tread. Like with any connected device in the home, if an attacker is able to gain physical access to it, additional physical controls and safeguards become increasingly important.

"To keep our members safe, we acted quickly and in coordination with McAfee. We pushed a mandatory update in early June and every device with the update installed is protected from this issue.”

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