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VOL.  13     ISSUE:  3  March    2015 Medical Services Department

SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.





P G Dip. Business Management





Dear Doctor:

Welcome to "e- SQUARE" !

Hope you are enjoying this online healthcare bulletin !

This issue features a variety of articles including "Urine Test !", "Antipsychotics Alert !", "Obesity & Cancer !", "Folic Acid & Stroke !", "Statins & Cancer !", "IVF Kids Risk !".

In our regular feature, we have some new products information of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd. as well.

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The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of its editor or SQUARE PHARMACEUTICALS LTD.

 Urine Test !

                                                  Urine Test Shows Promise For Early Diagnosis Of Kidney Cancer

A urine test might someday become a much-needed early detection test for kidney cancer, a new study suggests. Lead researcher and his team said that kidney cancer patients whose disease is diagnosed before the tumor spreads have an 80 percent survival rate. However, if the cancer is not spotted until after it has spread, 80 percent of patients die within five years. According to the researchers, finding the disease early -- before it has spread -- has remained a major challenge. "The most common way that we find kidney cancer is as an incidental, fortuitous finding when someone has a CT or MRI scan," he explained. "It's not affordable to use such scans as a screening method, so our goal has been to develop a urine test to identify kidney cancer early." In the new study, his team found that measuring levels of two proteins in urine was more than 95 percent accurate in identifying early stage kidney cancer, with no false-positive results triggered by the presence of non-cancerous kidney disease. The investigators analyzed urine samples from 720 patients scheduled to undergo abdominal CT scans unrelated to a suspicion of kidney cancer, along with samples from 80 healthy people and 19 people previously diagnosed with kidney cancer. The urine samples were checked for levels of the proteins aquaporin-1 (AQP1) and perlipin-2 (PLIN2). None of the healthy people had elevated levels of either protein, but kidney cancer patients had elevated levels of both proteins. Three of the 720 people who had abdominal CT scans also showed elevated levels of both proteins. Two of those people were later diagnosed with kidney cancer, and the third died of other causes before a diagnosis was made, according to the findings published March 19 in the journal JAMA Oncology. "These biomarkers are very sensitive and specific to kidney cancer," he said. According to the American Cancer Society, kidney cancer is diagnosed in about 62,000 people a year in the United States, and about 14,000 die of the disease each year.  

SOURCE: HealthDay News, March 2015 

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 Antipsychotics Alert !

                                           Antipsychotics May Be Deadlier Than Thought For Dementia Patients

Antipsychotic drugs may increase the risk of premature death in dementia patients more than thought, a new study suggests. The medications are widely used to treat the delusions, hallucinations, agitation and aggression that occur in many people with Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that antipsychotic drugs have a significant risk of side effects, the study authors pointed out. For the new study, researchers examined data from nearly 91,000 U.S. veterans who were older than 65 and had dementia. Those who took antipsychotics were more likely to die early, the study found. Among those taking newer, more commonly used antipsychotics, the risk of premature death increased with the dose. "The harms associated with using these drugs in dementia patients are clear, yet clinicians continue to use them," study author said. "That's likely because the symptoms are so distressing. These results should raise the threshold for prescribing further," study author added. The investigators also looked at other psychiatric drugs and found the risk of death associated with the mood stabilizer valproic acid was similar to that of antipsychotics, according to the report. In the study, the risk of death among patients taking antidepressants was lower than among those taking antipsychotics or valproic acid, but was still higher than among those who weren't taking any medications to treat dementia-related behavior problems. According to the FDA, use of antipsychotic drugs increases the risk of cardiovascular problems and premature death in people with dementia.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, March 2015

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 Obesity & Cancer !

                                                   Obesity Raises Women's Cancer Risk By 40 Percent, Study Finds

Obesity takes a huge toll on health, and a new British study finds that obese women have a 40 percent higher risk for cancer than thinner women. Overall, the Cancer Research UK study found that obese women have about a one in four risk of developing a weight-related cancer in their lifetime. Those include cancers of the bowel, gallbladder, uterus, kidney, pancreas and esophagus, as well as post-menopausal breast cancers. Among obese British women, 274 in every 1,000 will develop a weight-associated cancer in their lifetime, compared with 194 in 1,000 healthy weight women, the study found. There are a number of possible ways that obesity can increase cancer risk in women, including one that's linked to fat cells' production of hormones, especially estrogen, which is believed to fuel cancer development, according to Cancer Research UK. However, everyone can lower their risk by trimming their waistline, one expert said. "Lifestyle changes -- like not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and cutting back on alcohol -- are the big opportunities for us all to personally reduce our cancer risk," head of health information at Cancer Research UK, said. "Making these changes is not a guarantee against cancer, but it stacks the odds in our favor," she added. "Losing weight isn't easy, but you don't have to join a gym and run miles every day or give up your favorite food forever," she said. "Just making small changes that you can maintain in the long term can have a real impact." Some of those small changes: "Try getting off the bus a stop earlier and cutting down on fatty and sugary foods," she said. "Losing weight takes time, so gradually build on these to achieve a healthier lifestyle that you can maintain. And find out about local services, which can provide help and support to make lifestyle changes over the long term," she suggested. "We know that our cancer risk depends on a combination of our genes, our environment and other aspects of our lives, many of which we can control," she added.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, March 2015 

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 Folic Acid & Stroke !

                                     Folic Acid May Help Ward Off Stroke In People With High Blood Pressure

Folic acid -- the same nutrient women take in pregnancy to help ward off birth defects -- may also help lower stroke risk in people with high blood pressure, a new Chinese study finds. Research team tracked outcomes for more than 20,000 adults in China with high blood pressure who had not suffered a heart attack or stroke. Participants were randomly assigned to take a daily pill with folic acid and the high blood pressure drug enalapril or a pill with enalapril alone. Over a median treatment period of 4.5 years, first strokes occurred in 2.7 percent of those in the enalapril/folic acid group and 3.4 percent of those in the enalapril group, the study found. That means that the risk of stroke was 21 percent lower among those taking enalapril/folic acid. Patients taking enalapril/folic acid also had a lower risk of ischemic stroke (2.2 percent versus 2.8 percent), specifically. Ischemic strokes are strokes caused by a blockage, and comprise about 87 percent of all strokes, according to the American Stroke Association. Adding folic acid was also tied to a reduction in heart-related death, heart attack and stroke (3.1 percent versus 3.9 percent), the investigators found. There were no significant differences between the two groups in the risk of bleeding stroke or death from any cause, the study authors reported. The study was published March 15 in the Journal of the American Medical Association and was to be presented simultaneously at a meeting Sunday of the American College of Cardiology in San Diego.  

SOURCE: HealthDay News, March 2015

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Statins & Cancer !

                                                             Statins May Help Improve Prostate Cancer Survival: Study

Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may slow down prostate cancer in men who are also taking medication to reduce their levels of male hormones, according to new research. Taking a statin alongside androgen deprivation therapy slowed the progress of prostate cancer by about 10 months, the study's lead author said. "Patients on a statin have a significantly longer time to progression," she added. The study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between statins and prostate cancer survival, just an association. Prostate cancer feeds on male hormones, which are called androgens and include the commonly known hormone testosterone. Cancer doctors often treat prostate cancer by using medications to suppress androgen levels in a man's body. For the current study, lead author and her colleagues reviewed medical data from 926 prostate cancer patients being treated with androgen deprivation therapy. About 31 percent of the men were taking a statin at the time they began prostate cancer treatment. Researchers noted that statin users were less likely to be initially diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer. Tracking the men's progress, researchers found that statin users had about 27.5 months of progression-free survival on androgen deprivation therapy. Men not taking statins had about 17 months of progression-free survival, according to the study. The link remained statistically significant even after accounting for other factors, the study authors said. There are a couple of potential ways that statins might affect prostate cancer, lead author said. By reducing cholesterol levels, statins might cause a reduction in available androgens by inadvertently robbing the body of a key building block for those hormones. On the other hand, statins might interfere with the process through which prostate tumor cells absorb male hormones, she said. Laboratory tests have shown that statins tend to crowd out androgens, beating them in line to be absorbed by prostate cancer cells, she said.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, March 2015

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 IVF Kids Risk !

                                                                 IVF Kids May Have Higher Odds Of Autism, Study Finds

Children conceived through assisted reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization, are twice as likely to have autism as those conceived without assistance, a new study finds. But researchers only found an association, which may be explained by multiple births and other risks, not the infertility treatment itself, experts said. The study included nearly 6 million children born from 1997 to 2007. After taking into account factors such as mother's education and multiple births, the increased risk was seen only for mothers under 35, the researchers said. "The risk of autism appears to be largely modifiable by restricting IVF to single-embryo transfer," lead researcher said. Lead researcher added that there was no significant increased risk of the neurodevelopmental disorder for children of women who gave birth to one child. "Knowing that one can largely reduce the risk of autism by restricting the procedure to single-egg transfer is important for women who can then make better informed decisions," he said. The report was published March 19 online in the American Journal of Public Health. For the study, research team collected data on 5.9 million California births, including 48,865 infants conceived through assisted reproduction, and 32,922 children with autism. Researchers compared the incidence of autism in births that involved advanced infertility treatment and those that didn't. This is the largest study to date of the relationship between assisted reproductive technology and autism, he said. The results aren't a condemnation of IVF technology, as the study did not prove a cause-and-effect link. "There is an association between IVF and autism, but when we control for the characteristics of women who are more likely to use IVF, for example, age and social status, this association is lessened significantly," he said. The remaining risk is mainly due to the large numbers of multiple births and complications of pregnancy and delivery among children conceived with IVF, he added.

SOURCE: HealthDay News, March 2015

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New Products of SQUARE Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

  Product Candex
  Generic Name Nystatin
  Strength 1,00,000 units/ml
  Dosage form Suspension
  Therapeutic Category Systemic Antifungal
  Product Cef-3
Generic Name



25 mg/ml

Dosage form Powder Pediatric Drops
Therapeutic Category Cephalosporins & Combinations
  Product Fentizol
Generic Name Fenticonazole Nitrate
  Strength 600 mg
  Dosage form Vaginal Tablet
Therapeutic Category Gynae Anti-Infective

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