Handheld 3D Bio-ink Printer for Wound Healing

Incidence of burns:

Burns are the leading cause of deaths and deformities worldwide. According to an estimate of WHO (World Health Organization), more than 180,000 deaths were caused by burns in the year 2018. Healing of the burn wounds is an intricate and slow process that can even be very painful.

Burn wounds are fatal because they can weaken the body’s immune system and remove the skin barrier to several foreign objects and organisms which can enter inside the body and cause infections by getting their way into the bloodstream.

Handheld 3D Printer
Source: 3dprintingindustry

Innovative invention:

According to recent research conducted by the University of Toronto, they have invented a device known as a handheld 3D printer, which is capable of depositing bio-ink loaded with stem cells directly into the wounds like burns for promoting tissue healing. This device resembles the paint-roller, which can be applied to the surface of the wound in stripes containing biomaterial for the healing of the wound.

According to a recent advance in research, this hand-held device can be used to deposit the bio-ink inside the tissue to accelerate the healing speed. Mostly, skin grafting is a technique used to manage large burn wounds. But now, with the development of this printer, researchers hope that it will help in managing large wounds that are otherwise difficult to treat with conventional treatments as skin grafting.

Currently, skin grafts are used to replace the lost tissues in burns. However, in cases of large wounds or burns, it can be challenging to find healthy skin for skin grafting. According to the researcher involved in this research, big wounds don’t have enough and healthy skin available for healing, which eventually leads to death.

In 2019, A New Gene Therapy Technique has developed that will change the dynamics of treatment.

In order to address this issue, researchers have invented an innovative handheld device that aims to provide a great alternative for skin grafting. The first prototype of this device was revealed in the year 2018, but in recent years they have actually shown how this device can be used for regeneration of wound surface.

According to Axel Guenther, a researcher involved in this innovative research, previously, they could only prove that it is possible to deposit cells inside the burn tissue, but now they have demonstrated that how the process can be carried out? and what are the benefits of wound healing?

Working of the device:

This device uses a microfluidic printhead (single-use), helping to preserve the process of sterility. In order to transfer the bio-ink from printer to wound surface, a soft wheel-like roller depositor is attached to the printer tip, which can transfer it in a stripped and even manner. This bio-ink gets to set inside the wound surface within two to three minutes, which helps it to stay in place.

Bio ink Printer
Source: medgadet

Bio-ink used in this printer is composed of some biomaterial like MSC (mesenchymal stromal cells), which are capable of differentiating and helping the healing of a wound by accelerating its speed and less development of post-healing wound scars. Bio-ink also contains other materials as fibrin and collagen, which are otherwise present in the skin usually.

Mesenchymal stromal cells can differentiate and divide into any type of specialized cells depending upon the environment in which they are kept. In the case of bioprinters, these mesenchymal cells help in the reduction of scarring and promotion of skin regeneration.

Collagen is a body protein that helps in the growth of cells, and fibrin is another protein that helps in healing the wounds by promoting blood clotting.

The weight of this device is about 0.9 kgs, which makes it more portable and easier to use in comparison to currently used 3-D bioprinters, which are rather bulky or work with low working speed leading to more expenses and incompatibility in the clinical application of these devices.

How is this device useful?

According to a research member Dr. Marc, this device is a “game-changer” for saving the lives of people because it can totally change the approach and practice currently used to manage burns and care of trauma.

This bioprinter lets the surgeons have full control over the composition and dimensions of the sheet, which means they can print the new cells on to the affected area with accuracy, precision, and effortlessly without making the procedure complex and painful.

Since the year 2018, this device has been through ten redesigns as the research team aims to develop a design that surgeons can easily use inside the operation theatre. The current design of the device is single-use printhead (microfluidic) for ensuring sterilization and a soft wheel to allow the more precise control to handle the case of the wider wound area.

wound healing via technology
Image Source: medgadet

Researchers have also said that they want to reduce the amount of post-healing scars along with the acceleration of healing. The main focus of researchers will be to move forward towards the in-vivo side.

According to researchers, this handheld device will be regularly used in practice within four to five years after some important and crucial technical adjustments. This device can be proved to change medical practice totally.

Future aims of the study:

As described earlier, this device will be regularly used in medical practice within 5 years, but along with the aim to accelerate the wound healing, researchers are also focusing on making the wound scarring minimal as a result of wound healing for giving a more acceptable and aesthetic look to the body.

Summary:

Burn wounds are one of the leading causes of death globally. Management of burn wounds is a time taking, complex, and painful experience. Wounds tend to give an entry to foreign impurities inside the body to cause infections and inflammations. The current treatments or managements offered for wounds are skin grafting, but in the case of larger wound areas, availability of healthy and clear skin from other body parts is quite challenging.

 In order to compensate for this challenging issue, research has developed a handheld bioprinter that directly deposits the skin sheets over the larger area of the wound. Bio-ink composed of biomaterial present in these printers can help in the acceleration of the healing process. This device tends to cover the area of wound in an even and stripped manner.

First Drug for Peanut Allergy Nears FDA Approval

Introduction to peanut allergy:

Peanut allergy is an allergic condition of the body in which the immune system of the body identifies the minute amount of peanut as a harmful foreign object, mistakenly. These reactions are unpredictable in nature as they can present and occur unpredictably, varying in intensity of their nature. Some individuals can even have a severe intensity of reactions just by a trace amount of peanut in the body.

Peanut Allergy
Source:Global News

Sign and symptoms of peanut allergy:

Physical symptoms of peanut allergies can occur immediately after exposure to peanuts.

These symptoms include:

  • Skin reactions like swelling, redness, and hives.
  • The discomfort of the digestive system.
  • More dangerous and fatal reactions.
  • Several conditions of airways and throat.
  • Loss of blood flow in the normal amount to vital organs inside the body.

Incidence of peanut allergy:

Peanut allergy is found to be affecting about one million children approximately in the US, and only one out of five children can outgrow this allergy in the lifetime.

The reason for the severity of this allergy is that there is not any cure for it, and individuals suffering from this allergy are strictly advised to avoid the peanuts; otherwise, it can end up into life-threatening and dangerous reactions.

The researchers say that even following the strict avoidance from peanuts, one can unintentionally or accidentally get exposed to peanuts.

A new gene therapy strategy, courtesy of nature. Scientists turn a natural cellular process into a drug delivery system

First-ever drug for peanut allergies:

Recently, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved a drug known as Palforzia to fight the allergic reactions caused by peanuts, which may occur after the physical exposure to peanut or peanut products. The treatment of this drug can be given to individuals ranging in ages between 4 years to 17 years, having a diagnosis of allergy from peanuts.

Individuals undergoing peanut allergy treatment with this drug must avoid intake of peanuts in their diet during the treatment phase.

If this drug is used in conjunction with avoidance from peanuts, then according to FDA, Palforzia can be given as an available treatment option for reducing the risk of allergic reactions associated with peanuts among children.

Palforzia
Source: Medpage

How does treatment occur?

The treatment with this drug occurs in the three main phases.

  1. Initial escalation of the dose.
  2. Up-dosing phase.
  3. Maintenance phase.

Phase-one is given only on a single day.

Phase-two consists of 11 levels of doses, which occurs over several months. The phase one and phase two are performed under the strict supervision of health care providers or under some health care facility, which is capable of coping with any emergency allergic reaction inclusive of anaphylaxis.

As the anaphylaxis can occur unpredictably at any time of the day during the treatment with this drug, therefore, patients are usually at high risk during the treatment after the initial escalation of dose and up-dosing levels.

During the second phase, if a patient is capable of tolerating the first dose, then the patient can be advised to continue the same dose levels at home, daily. Once the patient has completed all the levels of up-dosing, then he or she can maintain that dose for the rest of the treatment. Patients who are suffering from specific reactions on account of Palforzia should discontinue the use of this drug and modify their schedule of dosing.

How to consume this drug?

Palforzia is in a powdered form that is manufactured with peanuts and packaged in a capsule form for phase-one and phase-two use, while for phase-three, it is available in sachet form.

This powder can be emptied form packed capsules or from the sachets, which is mixed with some semi-solid food like pudding, yogurt, or applesauce. Then the patient is asked to consume it.

How effective is this drug?

In order to find the effectiveness of this drug, a double-blind and placebo-controlled trial was conducted, enrolling 500 patients suffering from peanut allergy in Europe, Canada, and the US. The effectiveness was evaluated by the participants of the study who were successfully tolerating the 600mg dose of this peanut protein (two times a day, maintenance with Palforzia), leading to no more symptoms of allergy after going through six months of treatment. The results of the study showed that about 67.2 percent of the population successfully tolerated 600 mg dose in the challenge, while 4.0 percent population was receiving the placebo treatment.

Safety of the drug:

For the safety assessment of Palforzia, two double-blinded and placebo-controlled studies were conducted enrolling about 700 patients suffering from a peanut allergy. The most prominent side-effects associated with this drug were anaphylaxis, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, hives, wheezing, tingling sensation in the mouth, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and itching. It is not advised to give this drug to patients suffering from uncontrolled episodes of asthma.

FDA Approved Drug
Source: Yahoo

FDA’s guidelines for the drug:

To cope with the risks associated with this drug, the FDA has issued REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy) for its approval which ensures that:

  • This drug will only be available through specialized and certified health practitioners, pharmacies, health care facilities to patients who are already enrolled in this program.
  • Practitioners and other healthcare facilities that are practicing this drug for treatment should be well-educated about the risks of anaphylaxis related to this drug.
  • The phase one and two must be carried out in any health care facility, which should be equipped with all the equipment to monitor the patients for earlier identification and management of anaphylaxis.
  • Patients or their caregivers should always be counseled for the need of their patients to get epinephrine injected, in need of immediate use.
  • They should know how to avoid the use of peanuts and how to accurately recognize the signs and symptoms associated with anaphylaxis of drugs.

Aimmune therapeutic has gained approval of Palforzia from FDA.

Summary:

Peanut allergy is the most dangerous and fatal allergy associated with peanut consumption. There isn’t any proper treatment for this allergy. FDA has approved its first-ever drug for treatment but with specific guidelines to avoid its side-effects and anaphylaxis.

No. 1 Medical Innovation for 2020: Dual-Acting Osteoporosis Drug

What is osteoporosis?

According to the criteria of WHO, osteoporosis can be defined as:

Bone mineral density which lies between standard deviations of 2.5 or even less than the average value for women who are young and healthy”.

Fractures of bones are a constant concern for people suffering from osteoporosis. According to twelve prospective studies (population-based, cohort studies), osteoporosis is a significant risk factor for hip fractures. These cohort studies involved the Dubbo osteoporosis study from Australia, two cohort studies from Sweden, studies from Pan-European, Canada, USA, UK, Netherlands, Finland, Japan, and France. All the participants in these studies had a baseline assessment of osteoporosis.

Top Medical Innovation for 2020
Source:Cleveland clinic

Osteoporosis is most of the time “silent culprit” because the loss of bone density occurs without showing apparent symptoms. Most of the people don’t even know about the disease they are going through until they face a fracture on account of bone weakness and inability to sustain pressure anymore.

Initially, the fractures of the vertebra or collapsed vertebrae can be felt like excruciating back pain, height loss, deformities of the spine, and kyphosis (forward head or stooped posture) but later on it shows the severity of the problem.

Incidence of osteoporosis:

Osteoporosis is a leading cause of bone problems worldwide. Women and men are equally prone to developing osteoporosis in certain age groups.

In the United States, about more than 53 million population is either suffering from osteoporosis or is already at high risk of developing low mass density.

Throughout our lives, old bones are continuously replaced by new bones. We live through childhood to our teenage years in which new bone formation is faster than bone removal. Until the late 20s, the resorption and strengthening of bones are completed. From this age onwards, resorption of bones begins slowly, which outweighs the new bone formation.

Long term learning: New Nerve Insulation will significantly benefit  patients suffering from memory-related problems as PTSD

Among women, osteoporosis gains its peak during the period of menopause. In menopausal women, osteoporosis continues to occur even in the post-menopausal years of her life.

One main reason for osteoporosis is that bones of the body might not have reached its peak mass during the years of bone-building.

Drugs for osteoporosis:

Until now, patients suffering from osteoporosis were being treated either with anabolic medications or antiresorptive medications. Anabolic medications tend to stimulate the formation of bones, but they can stimulate the resorption of bones as well. While antiresorptive medicines help in a slow loss of bones, but they don’t help in the stimulation of new bone formation.

Dual-Acting osteoporosis drug
Source:Cleveland clinic

A new drug has been developed recently for the treatment of osteoporosis known as Romosozumab. Romosozumab is a dual-acting drug that has combined the effects of other drugs that were being used earlier.

This drug can help in the increase of new bone formation and simultaneously help in decreasing the resorption of the bones. This drug was recently approved by the FDA, which said that this drug is capable of building more bones in comparison to other drugs that were previously used to treat osteoporotic patients.

The new drug for osteoporosis is being marketed under the trade name Evenity. According to a medical director Kendall Moseley, medicines that have been used recently for building new bones and stopping bone breakdown are limited. According to him, patients genuinely need and want medicine that can actually help them in developing their bones.

Indications of the drug:

Romosozumab is indicated for the interventions in patients suffering from the post-menopausal period who are actually at high risk of developing osteoporosis. This drug is actually more concerned about women who have a history of osteoporosis, fractures on account of osteoporosis, multiple risk factors for causing fractures, or the women who have been intolerant or didn’t show any positive response to some interventional therapies used for osteoporosis.

How can this innovation be beneficial?

More than about 10 million population is currently diagnosed with osteoporosis, and in an additional estimate, about 44 million people are expected to be suffering from low bone density. This ratio of osteoporosis has increased the risk of fractures.

In a normal woman’s life, there is a possibility of bone fracture once in a lifetime due to osteoporosis. This increasing incidence of osteoporosis is more alarming than other diseases as breast cancer, stroke, and even heart attack.

In the recent clinical trials of romosozumab, more than about 70 percent of the population (who were taking this medicine) were observed to have an increase in their bone density, and 15 percent of them showed a quite extraordinary jump in terms of their bone density.

According to the medical professor from the University of Colombia, Felicia Cosman, this drug is proved to be effective twice as that of other medications used for the treatment. This drug is actually powerful.

According to the researchers, this drug has a unique or different mechanism of action, which is dual in nature. It can simultaneously stimulate bone growth and decrease or inhibit the breakdown of bones.

Evenity drug is a monoclonal antibody which blocks the sclerostin (a protein which is produced by a bone referred to as osteocyte). As this new drug has a different mechanism of action, therefore, it can be used in addition to previously used drugs for bone-building.

According to the results of clinical trials done for this drug, this medicine is more potent in terms of treatment compared to other drugs having good standards for therapies in comparison to therapies currently available in the market.

osteoporosis drug
Source: New York Times

Now, Evenity or romosozumab has become a first-line treatment for patients suffering from high-risk of developing osteoporosis.

This drug has opened the most innovative treatment for osteoporosis. This innovation has absolutely a bright future. As this drug has compelling advantages, at the same time, the FDA has warned the patients who have recently suffered from a heart attack or stroke not to use this drug. Physicians are advised to look for risks of cardiovascular disease in patients before actually prescribing them this drug. Researchers further added that there is still a need for a detailed discussion with the patients about the use of this drug for their problems.

Long-term learning: New Nerve Insulation

Most of our memories fade in a few days or a week while some of them stay for even months and years or sometimes for good. There are a few experiences in our lives that tend to leave some long-lasting imprints in our minds and neural circuits. This is also a question that which factors make this memory to persist?

In fact, this is an old question in the field of neurobiology, which has not been solved yet, but a few new pieces of research and evidence have provided surprisingly new solutions to this question.

On February 10th, 2020, a study was published in the journal of Nature Neuroscience, San Francisco, in which scientists discovered that learning on account of “fearful responses” was quicker in mice. But in order to gain this response and to make it long-lasting, cells in our brain need to increase the amount of certain insulating material in nerves referred to as Myelin.

New Nerve Insulation
Source: University of California San Francisco

Myelin tends to stabilize and reinforce the newly generated connections in our nervous system. Although the duration and processes of short-term learning are quick but to change it into long-term memory, brain cells need this fatty material.

According to these researchers, a continued effort and research on myelin role in the nervous system will help us to deal with problems associated with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). PTSD patients tend to have intrusive and unwanted memories, which are continuously reprocessed because these memories are strongly coded inside our brain cells.

No. 1 Medical Innovation for 2020 A new drug has been developed recently for the treatment of osteoporosis.

What is myelin?

Myelin is a smooth, white, and fatty substance which tends to cover our nerve fibers or axons. Myelin is made up of some specialized cells in the brain known as oligodendrocytes. These brain cells wrap the fibers of the nerves originating from cells. If this wrapping continues and repeats, then a thick covering is created around nerves made up of fat and proteins.

Myelin is known for its insulating role, which forms a sheath over the nerve fiber. This sheath is some times interrupted with some bare spots referred to as Nodes of Ranvier. These nodes allow the impulses of nerves to travel from node-to-node or in a series, instead of continuously traveling along the nerve fiber length. This phenomenon helps to increase the impulse traveling speed.

The function of myelin:

The function of the myelin sheath is very crucial in nerve conduction and impulses traveling. Information networking in the brain functions with the traveling of impulses to and from the source. In these areas of the brain, high-speed neurons (axons) can stretch to even three feet or more, which makes a long nerve pathway.

With the formation of these long neuronal pathways, the ability of the brain to quickly respond to even the slightest information or command to move a specific body part or muscle group, increases.

Neuronal pathway
Source: newsmedical

In neurology, several neurological diseases occur due to the destruction of this myelin sheath. In MS (multiple sclerosis), which is a progressive muscular degenerative disease, myelin loss, and the damage is the main culprit, which results in loss of functions and muscle control.

When is myelin formed?

According to some important researches, myelin is produced inside the brain when we make some long-term memories or specifically when an individual tends to learn some complex movement of muscles like that in roller-skating. This medical discovery is a very crucial and important addition to the fact that neuronal connections are formed when some process of long-term memory takes place.

According to the well-renowned scientist and member of UCSF, Weill Institute for Neurosciences, a brief and single experience of fear-learning can lead to some long-term modifications in myelination of nerves and other neurophysiological changes associated with it inside the brain. These changes can even be detected after a month.

How was the study performed?

The scientists used a few mice that were kept in a specific chamber having a range of cues with small electric shock given to their feet individually. The researchers observed that these mice were more rapidly learning the subject in a fearful environment as with the shocks.

They put one mouse in shock and removed it after a while. After some time, the same mouse was placed in that environment, but no shock was given, and still, the mouse was frozen. This experiment proved that fearful experiences are associated with memories of the specific environment.

In the second part of the study, scientists replaced the experiment with some mice who were modified not to produce myelin genetically. When the same experiment was performed on these mice, they froze for one time when no shock was applied, but their memory of this event faded quite quickly. This experiment proved that without the formation of myelin, even the fearful memories can’t stay permanent and consolidate. These modified mice were found to have some alterations in their neural activities as well.

Nerve fibers
Source: Boston Children’s Hospital

How will this study be beneficial?

This study can help in finding the exact role of the myelin sheath in learning and the formation of memories.

For instance, patients with PTSD, MRI of their brains showed that the hippocampus region in their brain was having more than enough myelin content. This was an interesting event as it showed that most of the memory transformation from short-term duration to long-term duration occurs in this part.

This study can help treat patients with PTSD and other related neuropsychological disorders. Other than it, this discovery can help create a strong foundation for learning quickly and persisting it for the long-termed duration.

 Summary:

The human brain is a complex organ. A number of neuronal connections are present in the brain. Nerve fibers are often insulated or covered by some fatty and thick material known as the myelin sheath, which helps in an increase of conduction speed in the brain. Other than it, a recent study proved that some fear-based learning can help in the plasticity of myelin in brain cells, which can change the short-term memories into long-term memories. This study won’t only help strengthen human memory but will also provide treatment to patients suffering from memory-related problems as PTSD.

A new gene therapy strategy, courtesy of nature. Scientists turn a natural cellular process into a drug delivery system

Innovative research:

In December 2019, researchers published a research in the journal named as Nature Biomedical Engineering which showed that scientists have successfully developed a new technique of gene therapy in which they will transform the human cells into nano-sized, tiny particles mass producers which will be full of genetic information having a potential actually to reverse the process of disease.

Drug delivery system
Source: Genengnews

The initial purpose of the research:

The initial purpose of this research was to get proof of an already used concept that “with experimental therapy, we can slow down the growth of tumors and can prolong the survival” of mice suffering from gliomas. These gliomas tend to make up to 80% malignant diseases or brain tumors in the human brain.

How does this technique work?

This new technique can have an advantage from fluid-filled and sac-like cells referred to as exosomes, which provide a way for communication with the neighboring and other cells.

These fluid-containing sacs-like cells have a ground for acting as biologically-effective carriers for certain interventional or therapeutic materials either due to their availability (a lot of them are present) or due to their no action towards immunity and responses of the immune system (don’t motivate or prompt the response).

Now scientists are finding a tricky technique to find a particular way of incorporating huge genetic information and instructions of genes inside their minute bodies in a way to have the best therapeutic result through gene therapy.

The technique used in this invention is to donate specific human cells as adult or mature stem cells and to spit out plenty of exosomes from them. These exosomes are then gathered and purified to make them function as mini or nano-carriers for certain drugs required in the body to combat disease.

Bio-Ink Printer For Wound Healing  is the best invention for promoting tissue healing.

When these nanocarriers are injected inside the bloodstream, they already know their targeted area and mechanism of action inside the body even if they need to act in the brain.

According to the researcher and senior writer L.James Lee who is a professor at The Ohio State University, these exosomes can be considered similar to Christmas gifts. He resembled them to Christmas gifts because gifts always come wrapped inside some container, which is already shipped, paid, and ready to be delivered.

Gene Therapy
Source: Genengnews

He further added that biological phenomenons in our body have already given us these tiny cells as a gift of nature for the purpose of therapeutic and interventional processes.

In the year 2017, a researcher named as Lee, along with his colleagues, made exceptional medical news in which he did the discovery of TNT or tissue nano transfection (a regenerative process). This therapeutic technique used the nano-technology based specific minute chips for delivery of biological material directly inside the skin to proceed an action of converting adult body cells into any type of required cells for treatments of different diseases in the patient’s own body.

Further investigations and researchers in TNT to find the exact mechanism of this technique showed that exosome cells were the actual secret for delivery of those regenerative biological materials to a good distance, like even inside the skin surface.

In this new study, the same technique form TNT was adapted, but it was termed as cellular nanoporation by Zhaogang Yang, a senior researcher at the University of Texas.

The researchers place one million of donated cells on a silicon wafer (which was nano-engineered), while a synthetic DNA with the help of slight electrical stimulus was injected into these cells. As a result of this DNA incorporation, unwanted material was expelled out of the cells, and repairing of the holes had begun in the membranes.

By this process, two advantages were gained from one outcome measure:

  1. Dumping out of cellular garbage (garbage which was excreted out was exosome cell and the drug which was injected into the cells).
  2. Fixation of cellular leakage.

The electrical stimulation given to the cells had an additional effect, with the thousand times more benefit in increasing interventional genes as a more significant number of exosome cells were released. This is considered to be a significant sign of how technology is now capable of producing enough amount of nanoparticles to be used in humans for therapeutic purposes.

Researchers are also doing work on finding the specific genes required to be delivered for fixing a specific medical condition. For this purpose, they did a test by introducing PTEN genes for glioma tumors of the brain. This gene is a cancer-suppressing gene, and mutation of this gene or turning off its suppression can lead to unchecked growth of cancerous cells in the body.

Advantages of the study:

The advantages of this research are that:

  • This technique won’t is be provoking any immune response in the body.
  • There won’t be any risk of toxicity.
  • Exosome cells tend to travel anywhere in the body, and they are capable of even crossing the blood-brain barriers, which most of the medicines and drugs can’t pass.
  • Exosomes aren’t wandering or go to the wrong targets, but they are already planned and programmed to hit the specific target and only kill the cancerous cells; that’s why they know their place and target.
  • In animal trials, as in mice, it was proved that these exosomes traveled to the brain tumors inside their brains, which slowed down the growth of the tumors and controlled the cancerous growth in comparison to other methods used for tumor control.
 Cellular nanoporation
Source: docwirenews

Future of the research:

As this research is a strong basis for new researchers in the future, it will provide the best way to control certain fatal diseases as gliomas and brain tumors. According to the researchers of this research, if we get to know about the type of gene required to treat a specific disease and we successfully combine the genes, then we can effectively treat and cure that disease.

This research promises its advances in Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease for drug delivery to cross the blood-brain barrier. This research has a bright future, which will bring more innovations to the field of medicine.

Coronavirus composition, Types of Coronavirus, Coronavirus isolation

Coronavirus belongs to the family of viruses, which is in Nidovirales order, refers to the viruses capable of replicating by using a nested mRNAs set (Nido means nest). The subfamily of coronavirus is further classified into:

  • Alpha
  • Beta
  • Gamma
  • Delta.

The existing human coronavirus comes in 2 of these four genera:

  • Alpha coronavirus as HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-229E.
  • Beta coronavirus as HCoV-OC43, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and HCoV-HKU1.

Composition of the virus:

Coronavirus is a medium-sized RNA strand that is enveloped. The name of coronavirus is derived from its crown-like characteristic appearance, which becomes visible under the electron microscope. Until now, these viruses are considered to be having the largest viral RNA genome ranging in length from 27 kb to 32 kb. Replication of RNA of this virus takes place in the cell cytoplasm of the host through a unique mechanism that involves polymerase binding of RNA with a leader sequence, which then detaches and re-attaches on multiple sites, thus, allows the production of a set of mRNAs (nested) molecule with 3’ends.

coronavirus composition
Source: Express UK

This viral genome encodes for four or five structural proteins as E, M, S, N, and HE.

SARS coronavirus, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-229E possess 4 genes that encode the E, M, S, and N proteins, whereas HCoV-HKU1 and HCoV-OC43 contain 5th gene which encodes HE protein.

  • The spike protein “S” projects out through the envelope of the virus and forms a characteristic shape of the crown. This crown is richly glycosylated, which probably forms a homotrimer, and helps in the mediation of receptors binding along with fusion with membranes of host’s cells. Antigens which stimulate the antibodies (neutralizing antibodies) and important cytotoxic lymphocytes, as well, are present on the S protein.
  • The membrane protein has an N-terminal (short), which projects on the exterior surface of the viral envelope and spans the viral envelope for three times, thus, leaving a long terminus C inside the viral envelope.
  • The role of M protein is significant in the assembly of viral structures.
  • The N protein or nucleocapsid protein is associated with the RNA genome for the formation of the nucleocapsid. It might be involved with viral RNA synthesis regulation and may cause an interaction with protein M during the budding of the virus.
  • HE protein or hemagglutinin-estrate glycoprotein is found in beta coronaviruses, only, as in HKU1, and HCoV-OC43. The HE protein binds to neuraminic acid on the surface of the host cell, permitting the adsorption of the virus inside the membrane, initially. The esterase in HE protein cleaves neuraminic acid from the acetyl group.
  • The small envelope protein E, along with other proteins N and M, are needed to assemble and let the virus release properly.

Types of coronavirus:

Most common Human coronaviruses:

  • Alpha coronavirus-229E
  • Alpha coronavirus- NL63
  • Beta coronavirus-OC43
  • Beta cornvirus-HKU1
Coronavirus types
Source: onhealth

Less common human coronaviruses:

  • Beta coronavirus SARS-CoV (causing severe acute respiratory syndrome).
  • Novel coronavirus, (2019).
  • Beta coronavirus MERS-CoV (cause of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome).

Stereotypes:

Coronaviruses are widely spread among mammals and birds, with bats providing the major host and variety of viral genotypes. Human and animal coronaviruses basically fall into 4 specific genera.

As discussed above, there are 5 non-SARS stereotypes of coronavirus, which are found to be associated with diseases found in humans as novel coronavirus, HCoV-OC43, HCoV-229E, HCoV-HKU1, and HCoV-NL63.

  • The alpha-coronaviruses genus basically includes two species of the human virus as HCoV-NL63 and HCoV-229E. HCoV-229E species like different other animal alpha-coronaviruses use N-(APN) aminopeptidase as a major receptor side.
  • In contrast to it, HCoV-NL63, like SARS-CoV, uses ACE-2 (angiotensin-converting enzyme-2) for receptor binding.
  • The two non-SARS human species of genus beta coronavirus, HCoV-HKU1, and HCoV-OC43 have an activity of esterase, which utilizes the residues of sialic acid as receptors. This genus also exists in bat viruses.
  • The gamma coronavirus genus consists of primarily avian coronavirus. The most prominent feature of this virus is infectious bronchitis in chickens. This is thought to be an important veterinary pathogen that causes the reproductive tract and respiratory diseases in chickens.
  • The genus of delta coronavirus is found in different species of songbirds.

Transmission of coronavirus:

Mostly coronavirus spreads through human to human contact or a relatively close contact of about 6 feet distance. Human-to-human transmission is found to be occurring majorly via respiratory droplets, which are produced when an infected person sneezes or coughs in a similar fashion as in influenza and other pathogens spread.

These released droplets can land anywhere specifically on noses and mouths of people staying nearby the infected person and gets inhaled in the lungs.

Still, it is a bit uncertain whether the coronavirus transmits when someone touches any infected object or surface and then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.

At first, it was found that coronavirus originated from seafood markets while they transferred to humans through a mammal carrier.

Generally, in the case of viral diseases, the transmission of the virus occurs when the person becomes symptomatic of disease or becomes the sickest. But according to a report, this isn’t the same case with coronavirus, it spreads from even non-symptomatic patients to other patients as well.

Coronavirus isolation:

As the coronavirus is a fatal and highly contagious disease, therefore, it is always advised for people to stay away from infected sources and prevent any close contact. People suffering from coronavirus are advised to keep themselves in self-isolation.

Self-isolation refers to an act of distancing yourself from the rest of the population in order to avoid contact and transmission of disease droplets through air and respiration.

Self-isolation of affected individuals includes:

  • Staying at home and not visiting work or classes.
  • Don’t go near any person to avoid the spread of disease.
  • It is advised for individuals to take measures which we take in case of a heavy cold.
Coronavirus isolation
Source: CNN

Self-isolation or coronavirus isolation also involves going to markets. At first, it was permissible for infected individuals to visit the markets or shops for their food and groceries, but now on account of immense spread, these individuals are asked to not get out of home and visit markets rather opt for home deliveries for groceries.

For people who are living inside a family or home, it would be difficult for them to isolate themselves from the whole family, and it is dangerous for the whole family as well. The best option in such a case can be living any health care facility with proper isolation rooms until the complete recovery or until the symptoms of virus subside, and they aren’t fatal anymore.

If a person is staying at home and feels unwell, then he should consider calling some health care facility instead of personally going there for the checkup.

As a lot of countries have evacuated their citizens from China to prevent them from developing this disease. But in the homelands of these citizens, the danger of coronavirus has increased.

In order to avoid it, travelers should put their selves in a temporary isolation state before interacting with their families until the screening and check up for the virus is completely done. 

It might feel uncomfortable for these individuals to move back to their homes and stay in isolation from their families, but it is an important step for the protection of themselves and others from this fatal disease.

Summary:

There are basically four types of coronavirus in humans. Coronavirus tends to transmit from one individual to others through droplets present in air after coughing or sneezing of an infected person.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Coronavirus

A new coronavirus was found as the leading cause of several pneumonia cases in the city of China, Wuhan, at the end of the year 2019. Several laboratories confirmed that these cases are existing in China, and the number of diagnosed cases is increasing day by day. The majority of these cases are coming from Hubei province and its surrounding areas. Globally this viral spread has reached several countries as Europe, Asia, Australia, states in the US as Canada, Massachusetts, Arizona, Illinois, and Washington state.

Investigations for the epidemiology of this virus have identified that its initial association was found to be with the seafood market in China, where people were relatively more prone to infections and viral transmissions. These seafood were more than seafood as they used to trade in all types of wild animals as snakes, bats, rabbits, and others.

Source: Mayo clinic

As the outbreak prevailed, it was found that a few cases were not in proximity to seafood markets, whereas these cases were caused on account of human-to-human transmission of the virus. A full sequence of the viral genome and phylogenic analysis of the virus showed that coronavirus is actually a beta coronavirus which is also associated with SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (middle east respiratory syndrome).

This viral sequencing is found similar to bat coronavirus, which has made them the primary source of this viral disease. However, the exact mechanism of viral transmission (either it is directly transmitted or transmitted through bats to other organisms and then humans) is still hidden or uncertain.

Evaluation, clinical suspicion, and diagnosis of coronavirus:

The initial management approach of the disease should always be focused on early identification of the suspected cases, their immediate isolation from the rest of the population, and the implementation of measures to control the infections. Generally, the probability of coronavirus is more in patients with symptoms of lower respiratory tract and fever, or have recently traveled to the originating place China or had close contact with some infected person.

Source: wrex

When coronavirus is suspected, measures for infection control should be publicly implemented, and public health officials should be notified of the situation. The clinical criteria for evaluation and diagnosis for coronavirus case definitions and suspected cases of the disease slightly differ.

Surveillance for a suspected case of coronavirus according to WHO technical guidelines are as follows:

Suspected cases:

  1.  
  2. Any patient with severe and acute respiratory infection as cough, fever, or patient requiring hospitalization for the symptoms.

                                                AND

  • No other etiology which can explain the clinical presentation of the disease.

                                                AND

  • History of residence or recent travel to China during the fourteen days before the symptoms started.

    OR

B.

  • Patient with any acute respiratory infection or illness.

                                                AND

  • at least one of the following described symptoms during the time (14 days) before the symptoms started.
  • Any contact with a probable or confirmed case of coronavirus.

                                   OR

  • Working in any health care facility or attended the place where patients with this viral disease were being treated.

Surveillance guideline for probable cases:

  • Any suspected case who had inconclusive testing for coronavirus.

                                                 OR

  • Patients who were tested for pan coronavirus assay and test were found positive without any laboratory evidence for other respiratory pathogens.

Confirmed cases:

Any person with confirmed laboratory evidence for coronavirus infection irrespective of his clinical signs and symptoms of the disease.

Laboratory detection of coronavirus:

According to WHO guidelines, laboratory testing guidelines include:

  • Biosafety,
  • A sampling of patients,
  • Detection of the pathogen,
  • Characterization.

The first case of coronavirus was detected through metagenomic sequencing.

Within a few days of data gathering, PCR (polymerase chain reaction) assay was performed for clinical diagnosis.

CDC (Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention) has specially designed these assays which target the areas of the genome for detection of specific sequencing of the novel virus. These designs are made publicly available.

In order to enhance the diagnostic capacity for patients suspected or confirmed with coronavirus, WHO has taken an approach which is as follows:

  1. Referral laboratories – a network of specialized laboratories that can do diagnostic testing with molecular assays.
  2. Strengthening national capacity – ease of diagnosis without requiring any overseas shipping.
  3. The certainty of test availability
  4. Screening of coronavirus.
  5. Finding the sequence alignment for coronavirus assays.
  6. Working with non-commercial and commercial agencies having a capacity to distribute and even manufacture the newly formed PCR assays for the detection of coronavirus.

Molecular diagnosis for Coronavirus:

According to a research study in which 2 one-step quantitative and real-time reverse transcription PCR assays were used to detect the different regions of the viral genome. The results of the study showed that these established assays could achieve a more rapid detection for coronavirus in human samples, thus, allow a better and early identification for the patients.

Treatment of coronavirus:

As coronavirus is the most novel form of the virus which the human body has not ever encountered; therefore, currently, there are not any appropriate vaccinations to combat this disease.

The structure of this virus showed that it has a spike pattern protein that bypasses the cellular defenses of the body and results in the infection. Appropriate treatment for coronavirus will be to stop these proteins from reaching their targeted areas in the human body.

Several medicines and drugs to treat coronavirus are in the pipeline yet.

According to the work of scientists, they have created a false or pseudo-virus like organism which will mimic the coronavirus’ biology of cell penetration, but it will result in cessation of its ability to multiply inside the body and cause further illnesses.

Source: Al jazeera

These vaccinations are yet to be tested on animals. Studies on mice are being carried out in which scientists are working to immunize the mice with pseudo-virus which they generated, leading to the production of antibodies to interrupt the breaking of coronavirus inside the cells.

Currently, health care providers are helping suspected and affected patients with the management of disease symptoms and not the disease itself. A significant focus of the authorities and governments is to limit the spread of disease from one person to another, and for this purpose, they are taking major and strict measures.

Guidelines to avoid the effects of this disease are published in which people are advised to regularly and quite often wash their hands, wear gowns and masks to avoid the contact to coronavirus strains transferred into the air droplets from affected patients.

Affected individuals are kept in strict solation inside the hospitals or health care facilities.

As this viral disease is a fatal and dangerous disease with no proper intervention at this time, therefore, everyone should take measures to avoid it as much as possible.

Follow the guidelines published by the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • Avoid contact with an infected person.
  • Avoid traveling to and from the place of viral origin.
  • If the symptoms of the disease start to appear in early-stage, immediately refer to the health care providers.
  • As this disease is an airborne infection, it can immediately transfer from one person to another, therefore, always wear a mouth mask and never touch your mouth, eyes or nose after touching things in public places.

Summary:

Coronavirus is best detected by PCR arrays, which are made publicly available for instant detection of the disease. There is not any specific treatment of the disease yet, but prevention of disease is the most advised measure.

coronavirus outbreak

How Did China’s Coronavirus Outbreak Start?

Researchers and health experts are trying to track, contain, and understand the newly emerged virus from Wuhan, China, which started at the start of December.

It can be seen that a lot of cases have been confirmed and reported in the disease map by WHO (World Health Organization).

Until now, almost 25000 cases of coronavirus are confirmed, while 495 death has occurred on account of coronavirus. A number of the population that had been affected by the disease but somehow recovered is more than 1000.

The majority of the cases are present in China itself, but some cases have also been reported in more than two dozen countries across the world, including the United States. Outside China, no deaths are reported due to this virus.

Coronavirus is a dangerous reality and challenge of the present age, but in this article, we will look at the reason and how it emerged from China.

Origin of the coronavirus:

At the end of December 2019, China’s health officials contacted WHO and informed them about some strange and unknown problems they were encountering in their country. This problem was soon recognized as a coronavirus, which was found to be the cause of pneumonia-like disease in the Wuhan city of China. Coronavirus started to spread quickly and transferred out of the Wuhan city.

Coronavirus origin
Source: medical wellness

The coronavirus apparently originated from seafood markets in Wuhan, where several animals are illegally traded. The previous epidemic SARS and current epidemic coronavirus have similarities that both belong to the family of coronavirus and originated from wet markets.

What do China’s wet markets look like?

Wet markets are the outdoor stalls in China, which are positioned together in a narrow lane lettingthe locals and several visitors shop for their required meat. These markets range from selling hundreds of caged chickens to selling skinned hares, and seafood as fishes and shrimps.

On account of these wet markets, humans and live or dead animals come into close contact or proximity. Wild animals contain several types of bacteria and viruses, while wet markets make these dangerous entities to jump easily from animals to humans.

On 22nd January 2020, the food authorities of Wuhan, China, banned the trades in wet markets of China due to the start of the coronavirus outbreak. The primary origin of coronavirus was from Huanan Wholesale Seafood Market, which was closed on 1st January 2020.

According to WCS (wildlife conservation society), poor regulation of wet markets where alive or dead animals are illegally mixed with wild animals and humans, giving the most suitable opportunity to the viruses to transfer from wildlife animals or hosts to humans.

Wet market china
Source: businessinsider

Basically, coronavirus is a zoonotic disease (diseases originating from animals and transferring to humans). In the case of the previous disease, which started in 2003, SARS, bats were found to be the actual reason or host for viral transmission. And now, in the case of coronavirus, the same animal is considered to be the cause of the virus.

The Huanan wholesale seafood market of China has forcefully closed by official authorities as this was the starting point for the coronavirus outbreak. An elder human male who was 61 years old was identified as a first-person who died from coronavirus. According to resources, this man was investigated to be the regular customer or shopper at this food market, which sells more than just seafood.

Before the closure of the Huanan market, it was found that vendors in this wet market sold live animals, meat, seafood, along with other animals like chickens, pigs, sheep, donkeys, hedgehogs, snakes, bamboo rats, foxes, and badgers.

These wet markets are common in China. The wet name market is given to it because vendors tend to slaughter and cut the animals in front of the customer who chooses to shop.

Research investigation:

An expert of infectious disease in the university of Chicago wrote in her article about the wet markets of China that live slaughtering in the public area can cause a lot of dead animals skinning in roads and front of shoppers or customers, which as a result can cause aerosolizing in all sorts.

Some Chinese researchers found that the first reported case of coronavirus of Wuhan in December 2019 was not found to be linked with wet markets in accordance with the published report in The Lancet (a medical journal).

Coronavirus research
Source: Forbes

Out of 41 reported cases of coronavirus at that time, 13 cases showed no link to Huanan wet market. This research emerged the need to pinpoint and find the actual certainty in this claim.

But still, the wet markets in China are banned. According to zoonotic experts, this closure of wet markets is an appropriate intervention that can help significantly to stop the zoonotic viral spread.

Between the years2002 to 2003, the SARS outbreak killed almost 774 people across the 29 countries of the world. This outbreak also originated from the wet market. In this case, the host of the virus was caught from a weasel-like animal known as masked palm civets. But later investigations showed that this animal was not an original host.

Advanced researches for SARS showed that the primary origin of this disease was from bats. Bats are capable of transferring their virus through their feces drops over different food products or fruits, and if a civet eats that fruit, it becomes the carrier of the disease.

Animal species responsible for the virus:

Species of responsible animal is still unknown in case of coronavirus, yet. A specific group of researchers who also edit the Journal of Medical Virology have suggested that the culprit for causing coronavirus can be Cobra while other scientists do not agree with the opinion much.

Scientists figured out that the genetic code and makeup of coronavirus were found to be the most familiar with samples of the bat.

Further analysis of this research showed that these building blocks and genetic information of coronavirus also resembles the genetic makeup of snakes samples, but for viruses, it is more unlikely to transfer from a reptile to a human directly.

Whereas, coronavirus strain is a mammalian virus, according to a scientist who also investigated the SARS virus, so it is difficult for the virus to transfer to humans without a mammalian carrier.

As the coronavirus is a new virus, so it has not ever circulated in humans before; that’s why humans are lacking the specific immunity to fight this virus.

Coronavirus and the international response of China:

In the case of the SARS virus, China tried to conceal their affected cases from the World Health Organization and limited the information to WHO. But this time, in the case of coronavirus, China has informed WHO, which was praised by the WHO for the transparency of China.

China is also letting the WHO expert team assist the public health officials in China for their ongoing work.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, China has shown itself more transparent while Chinese officials have shown great cooperation, which was not experienced in the year 2003 in the case of the SARS virus.

Still, there are speculations that Chinese officials might be undercounting the total deaths that occurred on account of coronavirus or classify the deaths to have occurred on account of pneumonia other than coronavirus. But China is not the only country which is trying to conceal its negative points, the same examples can be seen in the past when the US was concealing the amount of lead in public water supply in several cities.

Coronavirus

Why The Coronavirus Outbreak in China Bad News For The Economy?

Global Impact

Globally, we are connected through the internet and markets as well. The global market of China is the second most significant block in the economic chain. Recently, an epidemic of coronavirus which has originated from the province of China, Hubei has made turbulence in the health and economic sector in China. Capital of Hubei, “Wuhan,” is considered to be the hub of transport in China, which is referred to as thoroughfare in China.

Coronavirus
Source: FORBES

China is considered to be the 2nd biggest economy in the world. Fluctuations in the economy and growth rate of GDP in China’s economy tends to impact the economy of the overall world. Struggles of India for reversal of GDP growth rate sliding has already put the world in worry while at this moment, coronavirus outbreak is aggravating the complications and concerns of economy managers in the whole world. 

Economists point of view

According to the views of economists, China is easily vulnerable to technical recession on account of coronavirus outbreak. The economists have stated that it is a very bad time for China to face this problem.

Some economists and observers are comparing the epidemics of the past as SARS with current viral disease and their effects on the economy. China was also affected by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which lead to higher mortality than the recent coronavirus.

A chief economist stated in her interview with CNBC that for China, it is terrible timing for the breakout as it has slowed down the growth rate significantly since the second half of the previous year, as the current year was supposed to be solving the debt problems of China.

China's trade worldwide

The economists described the figures by saying that:

“Coronavirus outbreak has led to almost 20% loss of the whole economy and GDP (gross domestic product) of the country”. She also stated that the block down of the Hubei province of China was severe and unprecedented”. According to her, the overall impact of the virus on China’s economy is expected to be bigger than the loss faced during the SARS breakout. While calculating the growth numbers of China since the year 2005 and comparing them with the economy of the second half of the year 2019, only over 3% annualized rate has been seen.

Coronavirus and global market

According to estimates, the SARS outbreak affected the GDP growth rate of China by 1.1-2.6 % point. If a similar impact on the economy with coronavirus is observed, then it will be really devastating and dangerous for the economy of China at this point. In the years 2002 and 2003, when the SARS breakout was observed, the interconnection of China and the global economy of the world was quite less in comparison to the present age. In the present age, almost all countries are connected with China for their trades and markets.

The negative effect of coronavirus is already being observed across the global market in stock exchanges. Composite stock market indexes of Shanghai and Shenzhen in China are falling 3.52 % and 2.75% respectively before the Lunar New year break closing. The new year break in China has also been extended for days in an attempt to fight the adverse effects on Chinese markets.

What does Chinese authorities says

According to Chinese authorities, 425 people have been died because of this disease in China, while the overall population which has been affected by coronavirus has increased to 20,438.

Wuhan, China
Source: CNN

Another economist, a Chief Asia economist, said that the growth of china’s economy for the first quarter can fall to even less than 2 percent, year by year as a result of the block downs and shutdowns which are being enforced to control the spread of current coronavirus disease.

The economists are also predicting that fallouts on account of Wuhan disease can continue to persist for several months in the future. The spread of coronavirus is another unknown entity which global market is fearing from. The next few months are predicted to be of more pain and less gain as the global investors will prefer to invest in a human-friendly environment in comparison to some risky environment.

Coronavirus is from a massive family of viruses that can sometimes spread from different animals to humans and result in a range of diseases. The first coronavirus strains were discovered in Wuhan city, China, on December 31st. Economists say that we have witnessed the start of this epidemic, but we can’t know anything about how this epidemic will end. But in light of common sense and figures, this disease has a short-term and temporary effect of growth drag.

Asian Development Bank Assessment

According to ASB (Asian Development Bank), the SARS outbreak in China caused about 18 billion dollars loss in China. But the impact of coronavirus will be higher. Coronavirus has a significant human impact, which has been ranging to 35 million people resulting in a lockdown state, which could be even more threatening than previous ones.

Traveling also adds to the economy of the country. As lunar New Year is considered to be the time of traveling and vacationing in China, over 5 million population was aiming to travel abroad. But on account of this virus, the overall traveling economy has declined by about 40 percent in comparison to the just previous year 2019.

China has also done the massive transport shutdown, which affects the import and export sector of the country as well. Currently, China is considered to be the manufacturing hub for the world. Products from China are sold to every market in every country. Transport plays a crucial role in this trade. A prolonged shutdown of transportation will create a significant impact on the international and intra-national trade as well.

Source: Voice of America

The full and actual impact of coronavirus on the economy of China will be estimated once the virus is fully contained, and the regular business of the country is restored. But according to some early estimates, coronavirus can cost the economic growth of China by 0.5 % to 1 %. If we consider the loss of 1 %, then it will cause about 136 billion dollars loss to China’s economy, which will be deemed to be quite a considerable loss.

Fall of share prices in China has come after the turbulence in global markets by coronavirus outbreak in the last few days. In the last week, Wall Street’s S and P 500 index reached its worst since October 2019.

According to analysts, economists are trying to fly blind because of the data that’s coming out of China. The data is unreliable, patch, and scant. Recently, we are in a bit dark for knowing about the economic health of China, which is more worrisome as China’s economy is interconnected to the overall global economy.

Not internationally, but on national levels, the Chinese population is going through a lot of difficulties in term of their lifestyle, their needs, and financial status. People are preferring to stay at home. The markets in some cities are completely locked. People are bound to indoors for the sake of their prevention from the deadly epidemic. Small local markets are also facing a lot of economic and financial difficulties, which is making the lives of Chinese people hard inside their own country.

China has been facing a lot of pressure from neighboring countries in the world as they are more prone to this epidemic due to its geography. Some states have banned international traveling form and to China as well. China is suffering from the coronavirus outbreak, which is directly affecting its economy. As China is the 2nd biggest economy, fluctuations in its economy are directly related to the global economy.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus: Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Prevention and Risks

In December 2019, Chinese officials reported a viral outbreak of several cases of pneumonia. The disease was caused by a mutation of the Coronavirus. The coronavirus is usually found in animals. However, this novel case was the first of its kind in humans.  Since its spread, the disease has now been found to spread through human to human contact.

Sign and symptoms of coronavirus:

As this deadly virus is spreading throughout the world, that’s why doctors are getting capable of understanding the symptoms and looking for the warning signs associated with this disease.

According to the foreign policy reports, extreme cases of coronavirus involves coughing up of blood, or they might undergo the septic shock. Whereas, in mild to moderate cases, symptoms stay milder, which can let the disease hidden, leading to worsening of the situation.

Coronavirus can also cause pneumonia, some respiratory complications, and even cardiovascular diseases.

Most common symptoms of this virus are:

  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Soreness
  • Fatigue.

As its breakouts are mostly in the mid-flu season, which makes it difficult to differentiate from the flu. As this virus proceeds, it can result in symptoms’ severity as:

  • Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath (SOB).
  • Injury to kidneys or kidney failure.
  • Impaired kidney and liver function.
  • The incubation period of unknown duration.
  • Severe cough
  • Heart damage
  • MERS or (Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome) – which was first identified in Saudi Arabia in the year 2010. This disease has been spread to almost 27 countries, while 2494 cases were confirmed for the disease.
  • SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).

In the elderly population, this virus can prove itself to be deadliest. In the already sick or elderly population, the mortality levels of this disease are relatively higher in comparison to other viruses.

The symptoms of this disease can stay hidden for about two weeks, which makes its screening difficult in comparison to most of the viral infections, which tend to show their signs and symptoms within the early few days.

Coronavirus
Image source: Mayo clinic

Causes:

Researchers are working hard to find the exact cause and source of coronavirus. Coronaviruses belong to a vast family of viruses, which causes illnesses in people and let them circulate among various animals, including bats, cats, and camels.

Genetic tree analysis of the disease and virus can let us know about the specific source of this virus. Another form of coronavirus known as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) originates from civet cats, while another form as MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) comes from camels.

Originally, this virus spreads from the animal’s source but can also transfer from one person to another. In person-to-person transfer, it is essential to keep in mind that it happens on a continuum. Some viruses tend to be extremely contagious, while some viruses are not capable of extreme spread.

Coronavirus is mostly active during the winter season, but it can also stay active during other seasons. The young population can also come in contact with this disease and even get affected by more than one infection. Coronavirus can also spread from one individual to another in the following ways:

  • Sneezing or coughing without covering your mouth, which can disperse the disease droplets in the air.
  • Shaking hands or touching an affected person.
  • Making physical contact with an affected object or any surface and then touching your own nose with that hand.
  • In some cases, it is believed that this virus transmits from the secreted fluid of the respiratory system.
  • In some rare cases, this virus can also spread from coming in contact with feces.

Prevention:

Currently, there isn’t any vaccine available to treat this infection. The best way to avoid this infection is to prevent exposure to this certain virus.

In accordance with the CDC or (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the following are the preventive measures which can help in the prevention of disease spread:

  • Wash your hands with water and soap at least for 20 seconds. If water or soap isn’t available, then you can use an alcohol-based sanitizer as well.
  • Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes with dirty or unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close physical contact with sick on infected individuals.
  • If you get infected with the virus, you should prefer staying at home.
  • You must cover your mouth with a cloth or tissue while sneezing or coughing.
  • Disinfect and clean the objects and surfaces which are frequently touched.
Wuhan coronavirus
Image source: The Financial Times  UK

Travelers who are traveling from different countries to China should follow the following precautions:

  • Avoid unnecessary visits to the city of disease origin Wuhan.
  • Avoid unnecessary contact with sick individuals.
  • Before traveling there, discuss your health status with health care providers as the older population is more at risk of getting infected.
  • Avoid contact or consumption of dead or alive animals, animal markets, and all the products coming from animals as uncooked meat products.
  • If you have done a recent visit to China and you feel some symptoms of fever with a cough, then you should go for medical care, and even before consulting some hospital, let them know about their symptoms.
  • Do not travel while being sick and avoid any type of contact with others.

Risks:

As the coronavirus is a contagious disease, it has several risk factors:

  • Close contact or physical contact with the infected person or breathing in an infected environment (as this virus is transmitted through the airborne transmission of droplets released as a result of coughing and sneezing).
  • Chinese people are more fond of eating unusual animal food, which makes them more susceptible to getting infected from the virus as in bats, rats, cats, and camels. Anyone who has recently traveled to China can be a risk factor for this disease as the transmission rate of this virus is relatively higher.
  • This disease basically originated from Wuhan, China, and other cities experienced its outbreak; that’s why China and the Chinese population or travelers are currently a threat to the world for the spread of this disease.
  • Coming in contact with body fluids or secretions of the infected person as sneezing and coughing droplets or fluids of the respiratory system is the most significant risk factor for this disease.
  • People who are already sick or infected with some other disease and elderly population are more prone to developing this disease as their immunity is already weak on account of previous infections or aging body.
  • Other than humans, contact with animals, especially in an open market of seafood animals and other raw meat.
  • This virus is capable of being transmitted to about 16 countries within the smallest duration of one month.

About the Hypothesis of Cancer Stem Cell for Carcinogenesis

Now, it is unclear about the causes of cancer, so the research for cancer is remain hot. In the meanwhile, the hypothesis for the carcinogenesis is so many that been understood well. So, the research about the cancer is also hot. More and more cancer researchers are committed to this. In the present, we explain and introduce detailed for the cancer stem cell hypothesis.

  • Firstly, what is the cancer stem cell?
  • Secondly, how cancer stem cell functions in the carcinogenesis?
  • Thirdly, what is the significance of cancer stem cell for the treatment of cancers?
  • Lastly, how can I look for cancer stem cells?

What is Furuncle? How it Occurred?

Furuncle refers to the acute purulent infection of signal hair follicle and the surrounding tissues. Generally, the germ is Staphylococcus aurous, sometime is Staphylococcus epidermidis and others. The often happened on the neck, craniofacial back and so on because of the unclean skin, scratch or poor resistance.

What are the symptoms of furuncle?

At first, a small scleroma with red, Swollen and pain appears. Several days later, the center of the scleroma necrosis, soften and the pain range expand with yellow- white thick bolt. Later, the thick bolt off and ulcerate. It occurred after the pus completely flows.

Importantly, the furuncle happened on the face, especially on the surrounding of nose and up-slip, called as dangerous triangle is often serous. If it exacerbated or racked, the bacterial will go into the intracranial venous, which makes the infection of cerebral. It may performs some serous symptoms of face progressive swelling, chills, fever, headache, vomit and shock, even dead.

The furuncle often can be prevented.

For example:

  • Keep the skin clean, especially the good site
  • Keep the skin dry in summer and hot environment
  • Bathe and change underwear in time
  • For baby, protect the skin to avoid injury
  • If the furuncle happened, you should visit you doctor

 

How to Control the Genetic Factors for Colorectal Cancer?

Hereditary colorectal cancer refers to a colorectal cancer that is resulted by some genetic factors and others. It is familial and genetic. The high-risk groups and genetic risk can be found by the test of gene mutation. Notably, if the gene mutation is determined, the preventive treatment can be used to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

What kinds of people are the high-risk groups of colorectal cancer?

One, who has one of the following factors, is the high-risk groups, especially for the more than 40 years old.

  1. Fecal occult blood test was positive
  2. Family history of colorectal cancer patients
  3. The history of cancer and intestinal polyps
  4. Have two or more of the following:
    • Chronic constipation
    • Chronic diarrhea
    • Viscous bloody stool
    • History of adverse life events
    • Chronic appendicitis

The clinical significance of colorectal cancer relative gene as following:

hMLH1、hMSH2

Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) is a common hereditary cancer syndrome. hMLH1 and hMSh2are the major susceptibility gene. For patient with these genes mutation, the cumulative lifetime risk of colorectal cancer is up to 80%.

APC

The susceptibility gene of familial adenomatous intestinal polyposis (FAP) is APC. FAP patients often occur on 10-12 years old. The colorectal polyps can be found throughout and have high degree of malignancy. The colorectal cancer can occur until to the age of 45 with 100%.

Early screening high-risk individuals in the family is helpful to the periodic medical tests (colorectal examination, gynecological examination, and endoscopy) and surgery as soon as possible.

Relative post:

What Can I Do to Prevent from Getting Bowel Cancer?

National Bowel Cancer Screening Program

Recommendations for Prevention Arm Edema after Breast Cancer Surgery

After breast cancer surgery, it is the most effective to perform exercise for the clients with lymphedema under the guidance.

In addition, experts also proposed 18 recommendations to prevent upper extremity edema after breast cancer surgery:

  1. Does not neglect the mild edema of upper arm or chest, if any, tell doctors in time.
  2. Blood and injections are forbidden on the limb
  3. Avoid blood pressure on the limb, if the upper limb lymphedema; blood pressure should be done on the lower limb
  4. Maintain the skin clean and dry, especially the skin folds and fingers space of the limb and rub lotion after bath
  5. Avoid resistance to repetitive motion, such as scrubbing or push-pull
  6. Not to mention heavy objects (5kg) and take bag with the contra lateral
  7. Do not wear tight elastic necklace and bracelet
  8. Avoid overheating during shower or wash the dishes and avoid the sauna or hot bath
  9. Avoid limb injuries, such as cuts, burns, sports injuries, insect bites, scratches, etc. and avoid nails any injury;
  10. Maintain ideal body weight, into low-salt, high protein, digestible diet and no smoking and drinking
  11. Doing housework or gardening with gloves
  12. Avoid fatigue on the limb. Please rest and raise the limb when the limb pain
  13. Do some exercises such as walking, swimming, aerobics, biking, aerobics or yoga
  14. Lymphedema patients wear elastic in the air; flight elastic bandage and with more fluid plus long-distance
  15. Wear Light fake milk or the right, no steel bra
  16. Remove armpit hair with electric shaver
  17. The lymphedema patients should wear elastic sleeve during the day; please check every 4 to 6 months
  18. Any symptoms of infection, such as rash, itching, redness, pain, increased skin temperature or fever should be promptly reported to your doctor.

Guidelines:

Exercise  Guidelines  for Clients  with  Lymphedema

Possible Complications of Breast Cancer Surgery

At present, the surgical methods of breast cancer is the standard radical mastectomy and modified radical mastectomy, there are some possible complications after breast cancer surgery. The patients is poor health, if complications happened, it will undoubtedly increase the pain, prolonged the time of hospital and spend more costs. Therefore, the patients should understand the postoperative complications in order to prevent from it early. What are the possible complications of breast cancer surgery?

Skin flap necrosis

Skin flap necrosis is the most common postoperative complication of breast cancer surgery. Generally, Light flap necrosis which is around the edge does not affect the healing of wound due to limited range. However, severe necrosis of a larger area should be promptly cut off the necrotic part of the debridement and dressing and ready to prepare the wound prior to skin grafting for early skin grafting.

Postoperative infection

Wound infection is a main reason of swelling of upper limb with the edge of flap necrosis, infection; Axillary fluid continues too long or poor drainage repeatedly can be a factor of infection. At this point, local dressing should be done and avoid the factors that are detrimental to wound healing, also adequate antibiotics should be given to control infection.
Bleeding

Bleeding is one of the common complications of breast cancer surgery. During the tumor resection or radical resection, it happened. The reasons of bleeding are:

  1. Preoperative chemotherapy or hormone drugs, that are easy to make the wound bleeding;
  2. Stanch bleeding is not completely intraoperative and the active bleeding point is left;
  3.  Postoperative, the application of continuous negative pressure drainage, postural changes or severe coughing and so on, that make the coagulation of the blood clot or ligation of the thread slip off, causing bleeding.

Side upper extremity lymphedema 

The most common complications of radical is side upper extremity lymphedema. The reasons may include that axillary fluid, cephalic vein ligation, the incision extended to the upper arm, armpit extensive transfer and the upper arm delay and so on. It is important to eliminate incentives To prevent upper extremity edema. If edema has occurred, the patient should raise the limb, use elastic bandage and avoid fatigue and prevent infection.

Tips

Subcutaneous fluid 

Subcutaneous fluid is due to the cavity by flap activities and the poor drainage of subcutaneous exudates. It can be preventing by continuous negative pressure and well fixed of flap.

I hope that you can understand the complications after breast cancer surgery and take timely measures to prevent complications.

The General Guidelines for Cell Culture

Before a cell line is put into culture, several factors should be considered

  • Are the cells coming from established, well-defined lines? Is the species known?
  • Are the nutrient and CO2 requirements known?
  • Are the growth patterns known?
  • Has mycoplasma testing been done?
  • Will the cells be cultured in plates, flasks, bioreactors, etc?
  • What volume/number of cells will be required

Passage cells (10 cm-dishes)

  1. Pour out media from cell culture dish.
  2. Wash it with Hanks 5 ml per dish.
  3. Tilt around then pour out in order to removal the old media, especially blood serum which may prevent the effect of trypsin.
  4. Add 3 ml of Trypsin / EDTA to each dish. Then incubate it in the incubator for about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add 10% or 20%-complete media 4 ml per dish and tilt.
  6. Scrape (most of the small cells are already released; proliferative cells lift up easy, differentiative cells are more adherent).
  7. Place contents into a15 ml Falcon tube.
  8. Spin it at 1000 RPM for 5 min.
  9. Dump off supernatant.
  10. Add 2 ml enough media per dish.
  11. Each dish should have 8(or 10) ml of completed media, add cells (They are spread by 1 : 3)

Other protocols:

Conventions for Work in the Cell Culture Laboratory (Gumbleton Lab, Cardiff University)
General guidelines and good practice for work in cell culture facility. Highly recommended.

Cell Culture Guidelines (Immunology Applications Core Facility, University of Chicago)
General guidelines for culturing cells.

Guide For Identifying And Correcting Common Cell Growth Problems (Corning)
This 14-page Corning Technical Guide reviews some of the common and not so common cell growth and attachment problems that are often very difficult to identify and eliminate.

Trypsinization of Adherent Cells (Hannun/Obeid Lab, Duke Univ.)
Enzymatic method of passing cells.

 

What are The Surgical Indications and Contraindications for Breast Cancer

Surgery is still one of the main treatments for breast cancer. The trend of surgery for breast cancer is to minimize the surgical damage and try to keep the appearance for patients for the early breast cancer.A variety of surgical indications and contraindications for breast cancer were introduced as followed:

Indications for surgery

1.Radical mastectomy

Generally, breast cancer with international clinical stage at 0, Ⅰ, Ⅱperiod and some of Ⅲ period patients without contraindications. However, in the recent years breast cancer surgery tends to shrink, so for the patients with stage 0 and some Ⅰ, Ⅱ breast cancer, it was considered no longer applicable to the standard radical mastectomy. Therefore, some scholars have put forth more specific indications for surgery.

  • Standard indications: tumor size is 5cm below in the outer half of the breast; axillary lymph nodes have been touched.
  • Special indications: tumor size is more than 5cm; or nothing to do with the size of the tumor; the tumor has been fixed in the chest wall with infiltration ulcers and orange peel-like change of the skin.

2.Extended radical mastectomy

Extended radical mastectomy refers to removal of parasternal (internal mammary blood vessels) the lymph nodes during the radical mastectomy. It is Adapted to the primary cancer with medial area and central area, especially with axillary lymph node metastasis in clinical examination.

3.Modified radical mastectomy

Modified radical mastectomy is for the patients with the early stage ofⅠ and Ⅱ stage.

4.Simple mastectomy

The indications are: ① in situ breast cancer. ② small breast cancer or eczema-like lesions confined to the nipple. ③ the elderly and infirm are not suitable for radical surgery, simple mastectomy can be used, if necessary, postoperative radiation therapy. ④ locally lesions at the late stage, as a part of the comprehensive treatments.

5.Partial excision

Partial excision is for early breast cancer without lymph node metastasis. tumor diameter should be less than 4cm, and the skin and chest muscle no adhesions; axillary lymph nodes can reach isolated, but no adhesions with chest wall and vessels and nerve bundles of axillary; in the meanwhile the breasts must be large enough so that can achieve satisfactory breast shape after surgery.

Surgical contraindications

1.Systemic contraindications:

  • tumor distant metastasis. 
  • frail and elderly cannot tolerate surgery. 
  • generally poor and cachexia. 
  • important organ dysfunction can not tolerate surgery.

 2. Localized diseasen contraindications: patients of Ⅲ stage with one of the following conditions:

  • orange peel-like skin, edema of the breast area of more than half of the breast;
  • satellite nodular breast skin;
  • violations of breast cancer chest wall;
  • parasternal lymph nodes of clinical examination Enlargement and confirmed to be transferred;
  • ipsilateral upper extremity edema;
  • supraclavicular lymph node metastasis was confirmed by pathology;
  • inflammatory breast cancer.

Both of the following five circumstances: 

  • tumor ulceration;
  • breast orange peel skin, like breast edema of the total area of 1/3 or less;
  • cancer with pectoralis major fixed;
  • maximum diameter of axillary lymph node more than 2.5cm;
  • axillary lymph adhesion to each other, or with nodes and skin, deep tissue

What is Biotechnology?

Biotechnology is technology based on biology, especially when used in agriculture, food science, and medicine.

Biotechnology is any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives there of, to make or modify products or processes for specific use. One section of biotechnology is the directed use of organisms for the manufacture of organic products (examples include beer, milk-products, and skin). Naturally present bacteria are utilized by the mining industry in bioleaching. Biotechnology is also used to recycle, treat waste, clean up sites contaminated by industrial activities (bioremediation), and produce biological weapons.

There are also applications of biotechnology that do not use living organisms. Examples are DNA microarrays used in genetics and radioactive tracers used in medicine.

Modern biotechnology is often associated with the use of genetically altered microorganisms such as E. coli or yeast for the production of substances like insulin or antibiotics. It can also refer to transgenic animals or transgenic plants, such as Bt corn. Genetically altered Mammalian cells, such as Chinese Hamster ovarian cells, are also widely used to manufacture pharmaceuticals. Another promising new biotechnology application is the development of plant-made pharmaceuticals.

There are number of jargon terms for sub-fields of biotechnology.

Red biotechnology is biotechnology applied to medical processes. An example would include an organism designed to produce an antibiotic, or engineering genetic cures to diseases through genomic manipulation.

White biotechnology, also known as grey biotechnology, is biotechnology applied to industrial processes. An example would include an organism designed to produce a useful chemical. White biotechnology tends to consume less resources that traditional processes when used to produce industrial goods.

Green biotechnology is biotechnology applied to agricultural processes. An example would include an organism designed to grow under specific environmental conditions or in the presence (or absence) of certain agricultural chemicals. Green biotechnology tends to produce more environmentally friendly solutions then traditional industrial agriculture. An example of this would include a plant engineered to express a pesticide, thereby eliminating the need for external application of pesticides.

The term blue biotechnology has also been used to describe the marine and aquatic applications of biotechnology, but its use is relatively rare.

In its purest form, the term “biotechnology” refers to the use of living organisms or their products to modify human health and the human environment. Prehistoric biotechnologists did this as they used yeast cells to raise bread dough and to ferment alcoholic beverages, and bacterial cells to make cheeses and yogurts and as they bred their strong, productive animals to make even stronger and more productive offspring. Throughout human history, we have learned a great deal about the different organisms that our ancestors used so effectively. The marked increase in our understanding of these organisms and their cell products gains us the ability to control the many functions of various cells and organisms.

Using the techniques of gene splicing and recombinant DNA technology, we can now actually combine the genetic elements of two or more living cells. Functioning lengths of DNA can be taken from one organism and placed into the cells of another organism. As a result, for example, we can cause bacterial cells to produce human molecules. Cows can produce more milk for the same amount of feed. And we can synthesize therapeutic molecules that have never before existed.

What Type of Breast Cancer Do I Have?

There are many types of breast cancer, and they may have vastly different implications. It is categorized by whether it begins in the ducts or lobules, the organs responsible for breast milk production. It may help you work well with your physicians to get treatment to understand the specific type. First, there is information about two very early types called ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) and the other particular types of invasive breast cancer. There is also a section about breast cancer in men.

DCIS – ductal carcinoma in situ

DCIS is a type of early breast cancer confined to the inside of the ductal system. If you have DCIS, it means that cells inside some of the ducts of your breast have started to turn into cancer cells. These cells are all inside the ducts and have not started to spread into the surrounding breast tissue. So, there is very little chance that any of the cells have spread to the lymph nodes or elsewhere in the body.

IDC-Invasive ductal breast cancer

Invasive ductal breast cancer and DCIS is not the same thing. IDC is the most common type of breast cancer representing 78% of all malignancies. These lesions appear as satellite (star like) or well-circumscribed (rounded) areas on mammograms. The stellate lesions generally have a poorer prognosis. In invasive ductal breast cancer, the cells have broken out of the ducts and so there is a chance they can spread into nearby lymph nodes or to other parts of the body.

LCIS – lobular carcinoma in situ

It begins in the lobes, or glands which produce milk in the breast. The lobes are located deeper inside the breast, under the ducts. About 8% of breast cancers are lobular. If the cancer is LCIS (lobular carcinoma in situ) that means the cancer is limited within the lobe and has not spread. It may be removed during a lumpectomy, if the tumor margins are clear of cancer, follow-up treatment may include radiation.

ILC-Invasive lobular breast cancer

Infiltrating lobular carcinoma is a type of breast cancer that usually appears as a subtle thickening in the upper-outer quadrant of the breast. This breast cancer type represents 5% of all diagnosis. Often positive for estrogen and progesterone receptors, these tumors respond well to hormone therapy.

Inflammatory breast cancer

IBC is the least common, but most aggressive of breast cancers, taking the form of sheets or nests, instead of lumps. It can start in the soft tissues of the breast, just under the skin, or it can appear in the skin. Unlike ductal and lobular cancers, it is treated first with chemotherapy and then with surgery. When caught early, inflammatory breast cancer can be a manageable disease and survival rates are increasing.

Paget’s disease

The nipple/areola often looks like a skin rash, or rough skin. It resembles eczema, and can be itchy. The itching and scabs (if scratched) are signs that cancer may be under the surface of the skin, and is breaking through. Paget’s is usually treated with a mastectomy, because the cancer has by then invaded the nipple, areola, and the milk ducts. Although Sir James has several other diseases named for him (bone disease and disease of the vulva) those conditions are not related to this condition of the breast.

Medullary Carcinoma

Medullary carcinoma accounts for 15% of all breast cancer types. It most frequently occurs in women in their late 40s and 50s, presenting with cells that resemble the medulla (gray matter) of the brain.

Tubular Carcinoma

Making up about 2% of all breast cancer diagnosis, tubular carcinoma cells have a distinctive tubular structure when viewed under a microscope. Typically this type of breast cancer is found in women aged 50 and above. It has an excellent 10-year survival rate of 95%.

Mucinous Carcinoma (Colloid)

Mucinous carcinoma represents approximately 1% to 2% of all breast carcinoma. This type of breast cancer’s main features is mucus production and cells that are poorly defined. It also has a favorable prognosis in most cases.

Breast cancer in men

In men, breast cancer is very rare. There are about 300 men diagnosed each year in the UK, compared with around 45,700 cases of breast cancer in women

Chemotherapy for Breast Cancer

Chemotherapy is a cytotoxic drug that is used to destroy breast cancer cells. It is known as a systemic treatment because the whole body is exposed to the drugs.

How chemotherapy works

Cancer cells grow by dividing in an uncontrolled way. Chemotherapy aims to interfere with their ability to divide and grow.

Different chemotherapy drugs work in different ways and attack the cancer cells at different phases of their growth. This is why a combination of drugs is often used.

How chemotherapy is used

You’ll usually be offered chemotherapy if cancer cells have been found in the lymph nodes under the arm. Even if there is no spread to the nodes, chemotherapy may be offered based on other factors, including the size and grade of your breast cancer.

Chemotherapy is commonly given in addition to surgery and/or radiotherapy for primary breast cancer, and it is usually given after surgery and before radiotherapy. This is known as adjuvant chemotherapy and it starts between three and four weeks after surgery, giving your body some time to recover from the effects of the operation.

Some people may be offered chemotherapy treatment before surgery has taken place. This is called neo-adjuvant chemotherapy or primary chemotherapy. It may be used in this way to slow the growth of tumors that are growing rapidly or to shrink larger tumors.

Secondary, or metastatic, breast cancer is when breast cancer cells have spread from the breast to other parts of the body, such as the bones or lungs. Chemotherapy can be given to shrink or control the growth of secondary breast cancer. It can also be given to reduce some symptoms.

Benefits of chemotherapy

Research shows that people of all ages may benefit from chemotherapy. How effective it is depends on:

  • what type of breast cancer you have
  • the size of the tumor
  • the stage of the cancer
  • the grade of the cancer

The benefits of chemotherapy are often clear, but if they are less obvious it can be difficult to decide whether or not to have the treatment. You’ll need to weigh up the likely benefits against the potential side effects.

Your decision may be influenced by personal priorities, your family, and your work commitments. It’s important for you to discuss these issues openly with your cancer specialist or breast care nurse, who will help and support you with your decision.

Duration of chemotherapy

Chemotherapy for breast cancer is usually given as a series of treatments every two to four weeks over a period of four to six months. This can vary, depending on the type and stage of your cancer, your general health and the combination of drugs used.

The gap between courses of treatment gives your body time to recover from any short-term side effects that might occur.

You’ll normally be given your treatment as an outpatient so you’ll be able to go home the same day. On each treatment day, you should expect to be at the hospital for most of the day to allow for waiting time and for treatment.

With some types of chemotherapy you may be given your first treatment as an inpatient and stay in hospital overnight.