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Daily Rounds: Anti-Cancer Vaccines; Obamacare Benefits; Easier Blood Draws; 'Brain-Eating' Neti Pot Infection

This article is more than 7 years old.

Anti-cancer vaccines emerging (The Boston Globe) - "For more than a century, doctors and patients have dreamed of using the body’s own defenses to fight cancer. Why, they wondered, can’t the immune system - so good at tracking down and destroying intruders - attack the tumor cells that invade healthy tissue? Finally, science is catching up with this vision. Just reaching the market in a big way, so-called therapeutic vaccines turn a patient’s immune system against the cancer and help prevent a recurrence. If the early promise of these vaccines is realized, they will soon join the basic arsenal for fighting all cancers, several researchers said." (The Boston Globe)

Health care law will let states tailor benefits (The New York Times) — "In a major surprise on the politically charged new health care law, the Obama administration said Friday that it would not define a single uniform set of “essential health benefits” that must be provided by insurers for tens of millions of Americans. Instead, it will allow each state to specify the benefits within broad categories. The move would allow significant variations in benefits from state to state, much like the current differences in state Medicaid programs and the Children’s Health Insurance Program." (The New York Times)

Blood-drawing device tapped for $3-million Gates grant (The Boston Herald) - "People’s aversion to having their blood drawn can be pretty strong, but it’s a Cambridge company’s goal not only to take the unpleasantness out of the procedure but to simplify it. Seventh Sense Biosystems says its Touch Activated Phlebotomy, or TAP, technology allows virtually anyone, anywhere, to collect a blood sample. “TAP allows a person with a single button push — and no special skills —to acquire a high-quality blood sample without any pain and without any sophistication,” CEO and co-founder Doug Levinson said." (The Boston Herald)'Brain-eating' amoeba kills second neti-pt user in Louisiana ( - "Louisiana state health officials are warning patients about potential dangers of using tap water in the sinus-irrigating neti pot after two patients died of Naegleria fowleri infection. N. fowleri is known as a "brain-eating" amoeba because it can enter a patient's nose, infect the brain, and cause primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a brain-tissue destroying condition. The first Louisiana patient died of neti pot-induced infection in June. An additional two patients died of N. fowleri infection in August after swimming in warm, fresh water." (

This program aired on December 19, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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