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T-Cell Therapy Eradicates an Aggressive Leukemia in Two Children

T-Cell Therapy Eradicates an Aggressive Leukemia in Two Children

Two children with an aggressive form of childhood leukemia had a complete remission of their disease — showing no evidence of cancer cells in their bodies — after treatment with a novel cell therapy that reprogrammed their immune cells to rapidly multiply and destroy leukemia cells.

A research team from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania published the case report of two pediatric patients Online First today in The New England Journal of Medicine. It will appear in the April 18 print issue.

One of the patients, 7-year-old Emily Whitehead, was featured in...

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Fit kids may dodge fractures in old age

Fit kids may dodge fractures in old age

Physically active children may be at lower risk for fractures when they grow older, according to a new study from Sweden. The findings add to evidence that regular daily exercise can improve children’s health now and in the future, the researchers said.

«Exercise interventions in childhood may be associated with lower fracture risks as people age, due to the increase in peak bone mass that occurs in growing children who perform regular physical activity,» the study’s lead author, Dr. Bjorn Rosengren, of Skane University Hospital in Malmo, said in a news release.

The study involved more than 2,...

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Stress during pregnancy may raise heart defect risk for baby

Stress during pregnancy may raise heart defect risk for baby

Stress in mothers before and during pregnancy may boost the risk of congenital heart defects in their children, more new evidence suggests. But the findings aren’t conclusive, and the effect — if it exists — appears to be small.

Still, «there are several studies now that show an association,» said Dr. Edward McCabe, senior vice president and medical director of the March of Dimes, who is familiar with the results of the large new study. «It suggests there needs to be continued investigation of this.»

McCabe said he’s not aware of any other research linking stress in mothers to a specific kind ...

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CDC: 105 children died during flu season in US

CDC: 105 children died during flu season in US

Health officials say the flu season is winding down, and it has killed 105 children — about the average toll.

The flu season started earlier than usual and ended up being moderately severe.

Roughly 100 children die in an average flu season. One exception was the swine flu pandemic of 2009-2010, when 348 children died.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the latest number Friday.

The CDC said 90 percent of the children who died had not been vaccinated. This year’s vaccine didn’t work very well in older people, but was considered effective in children.

Health officials say ...

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Parents’ Anxiety May Spur Unneeded Scans in Kids

Parents’ Anxiety May Spur Unneeded Scans in Kids

Parents who are more anxious about their children’s injuries may unknowingly contribute to their kids receiving unnecessary imaging tests, including radiation, a new study from Japan suggests.

Kids in the study with «minor blunt head trauma,» who had bumped their heads seriously enough to warrant an emergency room visit, were more likely to wind up undergoing a CT scan if their parents preferred that the doctor order the scan, compared with kids whose parents deferred to the doctor’s judgment, according to the researchers. CT scans involve radiation.

«Our results indicate that medically irre...

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Parents’ Divorce May Up Kids’ Odds for Smoking as Adults

Parents’ Divorce May Up Kids’ Odds for Smoking as Adults

Children whose parents divorce are more likely to smoke as adults than kids from families of divorce, according to a new study.

Men who were younger than 18 when their parents divorced were 48 percent more likely to have smoked at least 100 or more cigarettes than men whose parents did not divorce. For women, the risk was 39 percent higher, according to the researchers from the University of Toronto.

«Finding this link between parental divorce and smoking is very disturbing,» study lead author Esme Fuller-Thomson, chairwoman of the social work faculty, said in a university news release.

The re...

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Preventing poisonings with kids

Preventing poisonings with kids

When you think of accidental poisoning, you may imagine a toddler drinking a liquid soap or eating a brightly colored cleaner. Unfortunately, for every child in the emergency department for household product poisoning, there are two children there for medication poisoning.

Symptoms of accidental poisoning depend on what has been ingested and how much. Some symptoms that could indicate poisoning are as follows:

• Nausea

• Vomiting

• Abdominal pain

• Throat pain

• Drooling

• Sleepiness or confusion

• Anxiousness or irritability

• Tremors or seizures

• Difficulty breathi...

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Researchers Describe First ‘Functional HIV Cure’ in an Infant

Researchers Describe First ‘Functional HIV Cure’ in an Infant

A team of researchers from Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, the University of Mississippi Medical Center and the University of Massachusetts Medical School describe the first case of a so-called «functional cure» in an HIV-infected infant. The finding, the investigators say, may help pave the way to eliminating HIV infection in children.

A report on the case was presented at a press conference on Sunday, March 3, at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Atlanta. Johns Hopkins Children’s Center virologist Deborah Persaud, M.D...

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New allergy guidelines advise giving babies peanuts earlier

New allergy guidelines advise giving babies peanuts earlier

An article in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal highlights a new approach to combating food allergies: Introducing allergenic foods like peanut butter and eggs to babies as young as 4 to 6 months old, according to a study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice.

That is a far cry from the American Academy of Pediatrics’ original recommendation that children not have milk until age 1, eggs at age 2 and peanuts at the age of 3. Food allergies affect about 5 percent of children under age 5 in the United States, and that number has been on the rise in recent years.

There have...

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Reports of ‘HIV cure’ are premature

Reports of ‘HIV cure’ are premature

Global news coverage has been dominated by the potentially groundbreaking news that a child born with HIV appears to have been ‘cured’ of the infection.

The Guardian reports that US doctors have made medical history with a ‘first functional cure’ of an unnamed two-year-old girl born infected with HIV and ‘who now needs no medication’. BBC News quotes researcher Dr Deborah Persaud, who presented the news to a medical conference, as saying, “This is a proof of concept that HIV can be potentially curable in infants”.

The researchers report that the baby was started on antiretrov...

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