Minerva

Minerva

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6937.1178 (Published 30 April 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:1178

In June 1992 a Canadian woman with familial hypercholesterolaemia had some liver tissue removed, infected with a retrovirus carrying the missing gene, and returned to the bloodstream. After 18 months' monitoring her serum concentration of low density lipoprotien cholesterol is 17% lower than that before the procedure (Nature Genetics 1994;6:326-6). This is, says Sir David Weatherall's commentary, a promising result: gene therapy is now vivibly coming over the horizon.

Most regimwns of adjuvant treatment for patients treated surgically for colorectal cancer are of minimal or no benefit, says a review in the “New Engalnd Journal of Medicine” (1994;330:1136-42). The exception is a combination of fluorouracil and levamisole, given three to five weeks after surgery. Trials have shown that this treatment reduces the recurrence rate by around 40% and the death rate by around one third in patients followed up for a median of five years.

Doctors campaigned effectively against neclear weapons, and some hardened veterans of those campaigns have now widened the interests of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War to include all threats to global ecosystems and human health. One important issue examined in their new journal (Medicine and Global Survival 1994;1:18-22) is hte scourge of antipersonnel mines, responsible …

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