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The federal Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved 3TC - a new anti-viral AIDS drug to be used with the frequently prescribed AZT, further bolstering the growing belief that using combinations of powerful drugs is the most effective way to fight the infection. The drug was licensed less than five months after its manufacturer first submitted its application to the agency and two weeks after an FDA advisory committee recommended that it be approved.
FOR THE RECORD (November 22, 1995): Correction: An AIDS drug will be tested on baby monkeys at the Primate Center in Medical Lake. A story and headline in Tuesday's newspaper mistakenly used the word apes to describe monkeys. On the front lines. Primate center director William Morton, left, and Mark Murchison, who is in charge of keeping the monkeys amused. Photo by Kristy MacDonald/The Spokesman-Review <
Researchers hope experiments at the primate center will eventually lead to anti-AIDS drugs for humans. File/The Spokesman-Review
The new drug Taxotere should be approved to help prolong the lives of dying breast-cancer patients who have exhausted other options, despite its high incidence of dangerous side effects, a government panel recommended Tuesday. If the Food and Drug Administration follows the advice, Taxotere would become the first competition for the widely used Taxol, which until now has been the last hope for many of these women.
At the tearful behest of an AIDS patient's mother and sisters, government advisers recommended Friday that the man be allowed to get a bone marrow transplant from a baboon - even though they fear it will kill him. "This is wonderful," said Kim Getty, as she raced to telephone the news to her brother Jeff at his San Francisco home.
A University of Portland chemist thinks she can squeeze more taxol, a cancer-fighting drug, from the Pacific yew tree. If the efforts of Sister Angela Hoffman succeed, the supply of the scarce drug would increase while the need to harvest so much yew tree bark would decrease.
A patient with a usually curable type of cancer died after a doctor mistakenly gave him a chemotherapy overdose. "We deeply regret this human error," University of Chicago Hospital president Ralph Muller said in a statement Wednesday. "Despite the many checks and balances we have in place to prevent medication errors, this terribly unfortunate accident did occur."
Jim Huntley helps a client get off the Spokane Care Service van at the Veterans Affairs Hospital on Wednesday afternoon. Photo by Dan Pelle/The Spokesman-Review
Bruce never dreamed he'd live in a dingy, roach-infested downtown apartment, let alone be evicted from one. But the money he scrapes up working at odd jobs and collecting aluminum cans doesn't go for rent. It fills two needles with heroin - one for Bruce, one for his wife.
Calling an early halt to a national trial because of promising results, doctors Monday announced the first treatment for sickle cell anemia that attacks the underlying cause of the disease rather than simply combats its painful symptoms. The National Institutes of Health said it was issuing a clinical alert to thousands of doctors nationwide informing them that the drug hydroxyurea should be considered for many adult patients with the crippling blood disease.
Small preliminary studies that will be reported this week at a national medical meeting show that a new class of drugs is highly effective in knocking out the virus that causes AIDS and allowing the immune system to recover, at least in the short term. But investigators advise caution in interpreting the results, noting that many promising early findings have failed to lead to effective treatments for AIDS patients.
Major David Earl and his hyperbaric dive team have taken high-pressure oxygen therapy to new levels of success. Photo by Dan McComb/The Spokesman-Review
Critics of a recent competition to care for the state's troubled children claim the state favored fledgling companies with slick sales pitches over veteran firms with solid reputations. That complaint, coupled with state plans to yank money away from some established Spokane treatment homes, is triggering an uproar headed for the state Capitol. The head of the House human services committee says she wants to hold a hearing on the controversy by early February.