Monthly Archives: October 2017

Faecal immunochemical tests (FIT) can help to rule out colorectal cancer in patients with lower abdominal symptoms


A systematic review published today in BMC Medicine has found that faecal immunochemical tests (FIT), which are used to detect bowel cancers, are effective in ruling out this cancer and avoiding colonoscopy in symptomatic patients in primary care. Now incorporated into new guidelines, the review shows an excellent example of research rapidly translating into clinical practice.


Philosophy and ethics in the frontiers of brain science


With large scale international programs entering new phases, upcoming meetings and a growing debate, new discoveries in brain science always keep fostering ethical and social questions. Philosophy matters, in this field more than in any other, because it reminds us that science sometimes is not only obtaining new facts, but also engaging new ways of thinking about them.


Complex cancer decisions, no easy answers

With the many different options now available for the treatment of cancer, it can be very difficult for both clinicians and patients to decide on the best possible treatment strategy, particularly when faced with a complicated cancer. In this blog, Dr Jeffrey C. Liu reflects on the challenges encountered in cancer decision making, particularly when presented with difficult cases.

Biology Health Medicine

Final challenges in the eradication of polio


The oral polio vaccine (OPV), which uses weakened strains of poliovirus to safely induce immunity, is a critical tool in the mission to eradicate polio. However, in populations with low immunity against polio, these vaccine strains can transmit between people and evolve into stronger viruses. This creates a risk of generating vaccine-derived polioviruses, hampering the drive towards eradication. Research published today in BMC Medicine uses modeling to quantify the risk of OPV Type 2 use in outbreak response, in the hopes of informing future strategies on the final eradication of polio.


Patient engagement in guidelines: reality or myth?


In recent years there has been an increased emphasis on involving patients and the public in research, guidelines, and health policy. While this sounds like a positive movement, are guideline developers actually involving patients and the public as recommended by standards set out by U.S.-based Institute of Medicine? New research published in Research Involvement and Engagement explores this issue, finding a substantial gap between standards and practice.

Medical Evidence Medicine