May 17, 2020

Plaster casts could be phased out by new technique

plaster casts
1 min
New surgery could spell the end of plaster casts
A revolutionary new treatment technique for certain types of limb injuries could see the end of plaster casts. Surgeon Gordon Mackay has developed the...

A revolutionary new treatment technique for certain types of limb injuries could see the end of plaster casts.

Surgeon Gordon Mackay has developed the new style of treatment, which utilises an internal support which is inserted into the body and injured limb via keyhole surgery.

He believes the new healing method is much more effective than traditional plaster casts as it avoids the issue of wasted muscle mass that comes with wearing a cast for long periods of time.

Plaster casts can also be quite uncomfortable to wear and can be a large source of inconvenience for the bearer.


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Professor MacKay said in an interview: “I think anyone who's had the experience of trying to put a knitting needle down the cast to get to an itch will realise that it is extremely movement.”

Professor MacKay, who is from the Ross Hall Hospital in Glasgow, has used the treatment on 20 patients in the UK so far.

He is now partnering with the Steadman Clinic in the US which is a popular treatment centre for athletes. 

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Jun 16, 2021

NHS opens 8 clinical trial sites to assess cancer treatment

2 min
NHS and OncoHost to launch clinical trials analysing cancer patients response to immunotherapy

The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is opening eight clinical trial sites to assess patients' responses to personalised cancer therapy. 

The trials will analyse how patients diagnosed with advanced melanoma or non-small cell lung cancer respond to immunotherapy, to help predict their response to treatment.  They will be hosted at Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust facilities. 

Immunotherapy helps the body's own immune system fight cancer, but while it has achieved good results for some cancer patients, it is not successful for everyone. Finding ways to predict which people will respond to the treatment is a major area of research.

OncoHost, an oncology startup,  will provide advanced machine learning technology to develop personalised strategies aiming to improve the success rate of the cancer therapy. The trials will contribute to OncoHost’s ongoing PROPHETIC study, which uses the company’s host response profiling platform, PROphet®

“Immunotherapy has achieved excellent results in certain situations for several cancers, allowing patients to achieve longer control of their cancer with maintained quality of life and longer survival,” said Dr David Farrugia, Consultant Medical Oncologist at NHS, and chief investigator of all eight NHS clinical trial sites.

“However, success with immunotherapy is not guaranteed in every patient, so this PROPHETIC study is seeking to identify changes in proteins circulating in the blood which may help doctors to choose the best treatment for each patient." 

"I am excited that Gloucestershire Oncology Centre and its research department have this opportunity to contribute to this growing field of research and I am determined that our centre will make a leading national contribution in patient recruitment.”

Previous studies in the US and Israel have shown that PROphet® has high accuracy in predicting how patients with cancer will respond to various therapies.

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