Labor Day Roundup

Photo by Sven Read on Unsplash

The Senate remains on a State work break while the House of Representatives will engage in limited Committee business later this week.

The FEHBlog ran across two stories which seek to answer questions which have puzzled him lately.

  • The Wall Street Journal discusses why FDA approval of a COVID-19 vaccine for children “is taking so long.” Of note, “Pfizer-BioNTech trial results for 5- to 12-year-olds could come by the end of this month, which could mean shots aren’t authorized for use until October or November, months after they were cleared for adolescents. Data for younger children could come in October. Moderna Inc. expects to seek emergency use for 6- to 12-year-olds by the end of this year, and early next year for children 6 months to less than 6 years, a company spokeswoman said.”
  • The National Institutes of Health reports on a large genomic study that “illuminates the origins of lung cancer in never-smokers.” “’What we’re seeing is that there are different subtypes of lung cancer in never smokers that have distinct molecular characteristics and evolutionary processes,’ said epidemiologist Maria Teresa Landi, M.D., Ph.D., of the Integrative Tumor Epidemiology Branch in NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, who led the study. * * * A future direction of this research will be to study people of different ethnic backgrounds and geographic locations, and whose exposure history to lung cancer risk factors is well described. “We’re at the beginning of understanding how these tumors evolve,” Dr. Landi said. This analysis shows that there is heterogeneity, or diversity, in lung cancers in never smokers.” Stephen J. Chanock, M.D., director of NCI’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, noted, “We expect this detective-style investigation of genomic tumor characteristics to unlock new avenues of discovery for multiple cancer types.”

The Wall Street Journal continues its series on the future of healthcare with an article about how thanks to the pandemic routine physical exams have gained a remote aspect which will expand over time. “In five to 10 years, says Michael Blum, a cardiologist and chief digital transformation officer at University of California San Francisco, ‘I’ll be able to do the same quality of physical exam out of the office as if you were right in front of me in the office.’” More convenient for the doctor and patient no doubt but will this transition lower costs?

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