Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
Taking a “fingerprint” of the mix of bacteria in the gut can indicate how susceptible individual patients with cancer are to gut damage as a result of radiotherapy for prostate and gynecological cancers, according to The Institute for Cancer Research. The researchers found that patients who had a high risk of gut damage had 30% to 50% higher levels of 3 bacteria types and lower overall diversity in their gut microbiome than patients who had not undergone any radiotherapy. The next stage will be to explore whether it is possible to treat or prevent gut damage in people with high-risk microbiome fingerprints, potentially by giving them fecal transplants or by altering the dose of radiation given, according to the article.
President Donald Trump is set to nominate Stephen Hahn, MD, FASTRO, to lead the FDA, pending completion of the vetting process, according to Stat News. Hahn, an oncologist, is the chief medical executive at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. By law, the Trump administration must formally nominate a long-term FDA commissioner by November 1, 2019. Ned Sharpless, MD, the current acting FDA commissioner, has served in that role since Scott Gottlieb, MD, left the post in April.
A tuberculosis vaccine commonly used in other parts of the world might reduce a person's risk of developing lung cancer if given early in childhood, according to US News & World Report. The Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine is the only vaccine approved for preventing tuberculosis, a potentially fatal infectious disease that typically attacks the lungs. Because tuberculosis risk is low in the United States, the vaccine isn't often given to American children, according to the article.