BMJ 1994; 309 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.309.6961.1098 (Published 22 October 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:1098

Percutaneous balloon valvuloplasty gave as good results as open heart surgery in 60 patients with rheumatic stenosis of their mitral valves in a controlled trial in the United States (New England Journal of Medicine 1994;331:961–7). These good results contrast with the disappointing outcomes in patients with stenotic aortic valves treated by balloon valvuloplasty, in whom early restenosis is common.

Oncologists may sometimes continue with chemotherapy knowing it to be ineffective rather than admit to their patients that their treatment has failed. Agreed guidelines on stopping non-investigational chemotherapy would be welcome, says an article in “Cancer Investigation” (1994;12:451–5), based on a survey of oncologists in Maryland.

Some clear advice on genetic testing of children has been given by a working party of the Clinical Genetics Society (Journal of Medical Genetics 1994;31:785–97). The main recommendations are that predictive testing is appropriate when the onset of the condition occurs in childhood or when useful medical interventions are available; otherwise testing should be deferred until the child requests it as an autonomous adult.

Tests on 99 people recruited through newspaper …

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