Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid are pulling Zantac and the generic form of the popular heartburn medication from pharmacy shelves due to growing concerns that the products may contain small levels of nitrosodimethylamine, a possible cancer-causing chemical linked to liver damage, according to The Washington Post. The decision by the pharmacy giants adds to a flurry of worldwide concern about the drug. Major manufacturers of the generic form, ranitidine, have announced recalls and other countries have requested that companies halt distribution of the drug or issue recalls, according to the article. The FDA has been investigating the possible risk to patients, as well.
An experimental prostate cancer therapy may change the way patients are treated for the second-deadliest cancer in men, according to CNN. Presented at the ESMO Congress 2019, the landmark phase 3 clinical trial demonstrated that olaparib is safe and effective in delaying disease progression in men with both metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer and mutations in their homologous recombination repair (HRR) genes. The trial included 387 patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer and HRR gene mutations who were administered either olaparib, a type of targeted cancer therapy, or other drug treatments.
Vitamin D consumed through diet has been linked to a lower risk for squamous cell carcinoma, according to The New York Times. The researchers used detailed health and diet data from 123,570 men and women participating in 2 long-term studies, which showed 3978 cases of squamous cell cancer over more than 26 years of follow-up. After controlling for various health factors, including age, other skin cancers, and the number of lifetime blistering sunburns, they found that compared with the one-fifth of people with the lowest intake of vitamin A, those in the highest one-fifth had a 17% reduced risk for squamous cell cancer.