BMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7567.558 (Published 07 September 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:558

Patients with chronic conditions might be presumed to cope better over time as they get used to living with, and managing, their illnesses. But what about those with skin conditions? An 11 year follow-up of people with psoriasis found that concern over health related quality of life issues decreased over time. More surprisingly, those who reported poor health at follow-up scored three times higher in their quality of life scores than those in good health. The effect of psoriasis on quality of life seems to diminish over time and be independent of treatment seeking and psoriasis status (Journal of Investigative Dermatology 2006;126: 1480-9).

A protein encoded by the gene ERBB2 is observed in high concentrations in patients with aggressive breast cancers with poor prognoses. Researchers now think that this protein may have an accomplice. It is β4 integrin, a well known cell adhesion molecule, which seems to be able to boost the dangerous signals from ERBB2. The proteins act together to promote the activity of genes that enhance cell division and disrupt normal tissue architecture. Targeting β4 integrin could therefore greatly improve the efficacy of drugs such as trastuzumab that target ERBB2 (Cell 2006;126: 489-502).

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