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Thousands of leukaemia sufferers could be spared chemotherapy thanks to a new two-in-one treatment

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thousands of leukaemia sufferers could be spared chemotherapy thanks to a new two in one treatment

Thousands of leukaemia sufferers could be spared chemotherapy thanks to a new two-in-one treatment that’s been found to keep twice as many patients free of the disease. The drugs also cause fewer side effects, meaning patients can carry on with life as normal.

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, known as CLL, affects white blood cells, breaking down the body’s ability to fight infection and is rarely cured completely. Instead, patients live with the cancer, undergoing treatment to control it for as long as possible.

Because the disease develops slowly, doctors have to wait until there is enough cancer in the blood to warrant aggressive treatment.

While patients can be declared cancer-free after chemo, the leukaemia eventually returns, requiring further rounds.

Thousands of leukaemia sufferers could be spared chemotherapy thanks to a new two-in-one treatment that¿s been found to keep twice as many patients free of the disease

Thousands of leukaemia sufferers could be spared chemotherapy thanks to a new two-in-one treatment that¿s been found to keep twice as many patients free of the disease

Thousands of leukaemia sufferers could be spared chemotherapy thanks to a new two-in-one treatment that’s been found to keep twice as many patients free of the disease

Typically, a first period of cancer-free remission lasts for three years, but each time chemotherapy is used it becomes less effective.

Roughly 70 per cent of patients survive five years or more with the disease. However, the odds fall the longer a patient has it and the older they are. About 3,700 people in the UK are diagnosed with CLL every year, with 1,000 deaths.

The newly approved combination of the drugs venetoclax and obinutuzumab, given the green light earlier this month by regulators at the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, allows patients to forgo chemotherapy completely.

Professor Peter Hillmen, consultant in clinical haematology at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, says the drug will have a ‘life-changing effect for all CLL sufferers’. He adds: ‘Every patient will now have a modern therapy which not only avoids chemotherapy but also improves their chances of survival – it’s a major step forward.’

White blood cells are the immune system’s main defence against infection. They develop in bone marrow – the spongy material inside bones – and are then sent out into the bloodstream.

CLL occurs when bone marrow begins to makes abnormal white blood cells called lymphocytes, which are not fully developed so cannot protect the body.

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, known as CLL, affects white blood cells, breaking down the body¿s ability to fight infection and is rarely cured completely (file photo)

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, known as CLL, affects white blood cells, breaking down the body¿s ability to fight infection and is rarely cured completely (file photo)

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, known as CLL, affects white blood cells, breaking down the body’s ability to fight infection and is rarely cured completely (file photo)

When too many of these abnormal cells are in circulation, they crowd out the functioning ones and the immune system becomes unable to fight off even minor infections.

The abnormal lymphocytes can build up in lymph nodes – glands in the neck, under the arms and in the groin that are a vital part of the immune system – leading to swelling. But often it goes unnoticed until the lymphocytes reach a dangerous level and the immune system becomes compromised.

When treated with chemotherapy, patients may suffer side effects including nausea, persistent tiredness and hair loss. However, while the new CLL treatment is not without risks – its side effects include nausea, diarrhoea and, rarely, liver failure – studies revealed that patients find it more tolerable.

Daily tablets of venetoclax are given alongside occasional intravenous infusions of obinutuzumab.

Venetoclax works by restricting the production of a type of protein that cancer cells need in order to survive, while obinutuzumab helps the immune system spot and kill abnormal cells. A trial into the effectiveness of the combination found that 81 per cent of subjects went into remission for at least three years, compared with 49 per cent of patients on chemotherapy.

When treated with chemotherapy, patients may suffer side effects including nausea, persistent tiredness and hair loss (file photo)

When treated with chemotherapy, patients may suffer side effects including nausea, persistent tiredness and hair loss (file photo)

When treated with chemotherapy, patients may suffer side effects including nausea, persistent tiredness and hair loss (file photo)

John Shaw, a 70-year-old trial participant from Leeds, was diagnosed with CLL nearly ten years ago by chance. He had gone to hospital after developing chest pains while chopping wood. It turned out to be just a muscle strain, but a blood test revealed abnormal cells in his immune system. He said: ‘I’d never heard of CLL until that night. You just hear the word leukaemia and think, “I’m dead.” ’

Five years later, John’s doctor told him the disease had progressed to the point where it was time for treatment. He was referred to Prof Hillmen and joined the drug trial.

In just under two years, the concentration of abnormal cells in John’s body went from 70 per cent down to 0.2 per cent. He said: ‘Every time I left hospital I felt like clicking my heels I was so happy.’

In November 2017 the treatment finished, and John’s levels of abnormal cells have remained low since.

Prof Hillmen says it is unlikely John’s cancer will rise to dangerous levels again for another ten years at least. And, if it does, he will be able to fight it with another round of the combination treatment. He said: ‘Patients can spend years on and off chemo, massively impairing their lifestyle, only for the cancer to kill them eventually.

‘This therapy will extend patients’ lives but it also allows them to continue a relatively normal lifestyle – they can keep up hobbies and stay active.’

What to read, watch and do

A must-read for this homeworking era

A must-read for this homeworking era

A must-read for this homeworking era

READ

How To Stop Procrastinating: Powerful Strategies To Overcome Laziness And Multiply Your Time, by Daniel Walter

A must-read for this homeworking era. Learn science-backed methods to resist distractions and reach levels of productivity you never thought possible.

(Independent) £19.99

WATCH

Is Covid Racist?

People of black or South Asian descent are twice as likely to die from Covid than white people. Now, accident and emergency medic Dr Ronx Ikharia, below, wants to understand why so many ethnic-minority Britons – especially those working in the NHS – are losing their lives to the pandemic.

Tomorrow, 9pm, Channel 4

Dr Ronx Ikharia (pictured) wants to understand why so many ethnic-minority Britons ¿ especially those working in the NHS ¿ are losing their lives to the pandemic

Dr Ronx Ikharia (pictured) wants to understand why so many ethnic-minority Britons ¿ especially those working in the NHS ¿ are losing their lives to the pandemic

Dr Ronx Ikharia (pictured) wants to understand why so many ethnic-minority Britons – especially those working in the NHS – are losing their lives to the pandemic

DO

Latest research in Parkinson’s spectrum disorders

Oxford University brings together the UK’s leading experts on Parkinson’s to talk about breakthroughs in the field, with an opportunity to ask questions afterwards.

Free online, Wednesday, 2pm 

Email greatminds@psych.ox. ac.uk for the viewing link.

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This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

Australia

Inside the Gold Coast’s best new rooftop beach club with four pools and countless bars

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inside the gold coasts best new rooftop beach club with four pools and countless bars

The plans for a $5million Vegas-styled rooftop beach club in the Gold Coast have been unveiled – with thousands set to flock to the stunning bar from as early as next year.

The Cali Beach Club will look over Australia’s iconic Surfers Paradise beach while welcoming up to 2,000 guests at any given time.

The club will boast four beach-edged pools, an outdoor cinema and exclusive VIP cabanas when construction is finished.

Reached only by a glass elevator, the beach bar will sit four storeys above street level and offer panoramic views of the famous Surfers Paradise skyline.

Plans have been unveiled for the Gold Coast's Cali Beach Club, which is set to open its doors early next year

Plans have been unveiled for the Gold Coast's Cali Beach Club, which is set to open its doors early next year

Plans have been unveiled for the Gold Coast’s Cali Beach Club, which is set to open its doors early next year

The 5000sqm club boasts three beach-edged swimming pools along with countless sun lounges

The 5000sqm club boasts three beach-edged swimming pools along with countless sun lounges

The 5000sqm club boasts three beach-edged swimming pools along with countless sun lounges

A sand-covered volleyball court, world class restaurants, countless sun lounges, multiple bars and even sports facilities are just some of the attractions on offer.

Expected to open its doors early next year, the club, which is owned by hospitality group, Artesian Hospitality, will sit on the corner of Surfers Paradise Blvd and Elkhorn Avenue.

Artersian’s Managing Partner, Matthew Keegan, said the new addition to the popular tourist spot would drastically change the city’s nightlife.

‘Cali Beach Club marks the start of something special for entertainment offerings of its kind in Queensland, and Australia in general,’ he said.

‘Cali Beach Club is a complete testament to our commitment to bring unique venues to life that will ensure our customers’ expectations are not just met but exceeded.

‘Our aim is to deliver a luxury hospitality experience that will surpass anything currently available in Australia and I am totally confident in announcing today that we will achieve that aim.’ 

The club's construction is set to create up to 300 new jobs on the Gold Coast

The club's construction is set to create up to 300 new jobs on the Gold Coast

The club’s construction is set to create up to 300 new jobs on the Gold Coast

A sand-covered volleyball court, world-class restaurants, countless sun lounges, multiple bars and even sports facilities are just some of the attractions on offer

A sand-covered volleyball court, world-class restaurants, countless sun lounges, multiple bars and even sports facilities are just some of the attractions on offer

A sand-covered volleyball court, world-class restaurants, countless sun lounges, multiple bars and even sports facilities are just some of the attractions on offer

The $5million club can hold up to 2,000 visitors at any one time and will be open well into the night

The $5million club can hold up to 2,000 visitors at any one time and will be open well into the night

The $5million club can hold up to 2,000 visitors at any one time and will be open well into the night

The plans were revealed on Wednesday with the construction set to offer up to 150 jobs with another 160 on offer after the club is finished. 

Gold Coast Mayor, Tom Tate, said he was looking forward to making a visit himself to the rooftop club. 

‘This is exactly what Surfers Paradise, and our city needs!’ he said.

‘I applaud the team behind this development as it will be a beacon for locals and visitors.’

No official date has been set for when Cali Beach Club will open but owners say it will be ready at the start of 2021. 

Cali Beach Club even boasts a huge outdoor cinema where revellers can relax and unwind while looking over the ocean

Cali Beach Club even boasts a huge outdoor cinema where revellers can relax and unwind while looking over the ocean

Cali Beach Club even boasts a huge outdoor cinema where revellers can relax and unwind while looking over the ocean

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Australia

Woodville Pizza Bar worker who ‘sent South Australia into coronavirus lockdown’ won’t be charged

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woodville pizza bar worker who sent south australia into coronavirus lockdown wont be charged

No criminal charges will be laid against the coronavirus-infected pizza bar worker accused of sending South Australia into a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown

The Spanish worker, 36, from the Woodville Pizza Bar, north of Adelaide‘s CBD, was accused of lying to contact tracers about not working at the restaurant. 

South Australians were confined to their homes for a strict six-day lockdown on November 18 after officials believed a super strain of coronavirus had spread.

But SA police on Wednesday confirmed the 36-year-old worker would not be charged over the lies he told after testing positive to the virus.  

No criminal charges will be laid against the Woodville Pizza Bar (pictured above) employee who lied about working at the restaurant and sparked Adelaide's frenzied lockdown

No criminal charges will be laid against the Woodville Pizza Bar (pictured above) employee who lied about working at the restaurant and sparked Adelaide's frenzied lockdown

No criminal charges will be laid against the Woodville Pizza Bar (pictured above) employee who lied about working at the restaurant and sparked Adelaide’s frenzied lockdown 

The 36-year-old Spanish man didn't tell contact tracers he worked at the restaurant and caused fears a new virus super strain was spreading (Covid-19 marshals pictured in Adelaide)

The 36-year-old Spanish man didn't tell contact tracers he worked at the restaurant and caused fears a new virus super strain was spreading (Covid-19 marshals pictured in Adelaide)

The 36-year-old Spanish man didn’t tell contact tracers he worked at the restaurant and caused fears a new virus super strain was spreading (Covid-19 marshals pictured in Adelaide)  

The 36-year-old was put under investigation after falsely claiming he didn’t work at the takeaway, where another employee had become infected. 

This prompted officials to believe he caught Covid off a pizza box and a super strain of the virus had been unleashed.

South Australian health authorities later determined he was an employee at the Woodville Pizza Bar and had caught the virus from his colleague. 

The strict lockdown was lifted at midnight on November 21 and the Operation Protect taskforce was formed to investigate the bungle. 

SA Police Assistant Commissioner Peter Harvey said the investigation identified the 36-year-old’s ‘first conversation with contact tracers was misleading’. 

‘That conversation was central to information provided by SA Health to decision makers preceding the lockdown,’ Commissioner Harvey explained. 

‘The criminal investigation also indicated the male person changed his initial version regarding simple contact with a pizza box, to confirm he had in fact worked at the Woodville Pizza Bar.’ 

Adelaide (pictured above) was sent into a panicked six-day lockdown that was cut short after officials realised the employee caught the virus off his co-worker and not a pizza box

Adelaide (pictured above) was sent into a panicked six-day lockdown that was cut short after officials realised the employee caught the virus off his co-worker and not a pizza box

Adelaide (pictured above) was sent into a panicked six-day lockdown that was cut short after officials realised the employee caught the virus off his co-worker and not a pizza box 

But Commissioner Harvey said the initial conversation could not be substantiated and meant there was not enough evidence to prove an offence.     

‘The suite of available evidence, which investigators do have, has been provided to the Department of Public Prosecution and senior SAPOL prosecution members. 

‘The advice provided back to investigators is that based on limited evidence available for presentation to a court, the matter would not likely succeed or progress.

‘Based on that advice no criminal charge will be laid by the task force investigators against the male suspect at the centre of the investigation,’ he explained. 

SA Premier Steven Marshall has previously voiced his outrage at the 36-year-old’s lie.

‘Their story didn’t add up. We pursued them. We now know that they lied,’ Mr Marshall said on November 20.

‘The selfish actions of this individual have put our whole state in a very difficult situation.

‘To say that I am fuming about the actions of this individual is an absolute understatement.’

SA Police said no charges would be laid against the 36-year-old man as there was not enough evidence to prove an offence (Contact tracing pictured in Adelaide on November 19)

SA Police said no charges would be laid against the 36-year-old man as there was not enough evidence to prove an offence (Contact tracing pictured in Adelaide on November 19)

SA Police said no charges would be laid against the 36-year-old man as there was not enough evidence to prove an offence (Contact tracing pictured in Adelaide on November 19) 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Australia

Australian woman finds a centipede in her shoe after remembering to check it before putting it on

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australian woman finds a centipede in her shoe after remembering to check it before putting it on

An Australia woman had a lucky escape from a painful bite from a centipede when she spotted it in her shoe as she was about to put it on.

Remembering her morning ritual of checking her footwear for bugs before putting them on, she spied the creepy crawly just in time.

The woman’s husband posted a photo to social media of her blue Vans at their Adelaide home on Wednesday.

Inside, a brown centipede with orange legs sat inside of the woman’s shoe.

An Australian woman has found a centipede in her shoe during her morning ritual of checking her footwear for bugs before putting them on

An Australian woman has found a centipede in her shoe during her morning ritual of checking her footwear for bugs before putting them on

An Australian woman has found a centipede in her shoe during her morning ritual of checking her footwear for bugs before putting them on

The insect’s front legs, which they use to catch food and secrete venom, appear ready to strike.

The woman’s husband said the shoe check saved his wife ‘a bit of pain’ if she had put it on.

The relieved husband said the shoes were not left outside and the insect must sneaked inside their home under the door.

Social media users commiserated with the woman and her husband.

‘F**k I hate centipedes. I’ll cop spiders, snakes, wasps and loads of other critters we have – but keep these creepy f**ks away from me,’ one person said.

Another said: ‘Yeah they’re just the worst, “oh I need like 30 legs because eight just doesn’t cut it”.’

One person said: ‘My husband has told me of the morning ritual of the “checking of the shoe.” Now, I see it.’

Another person said the entire pair of shoes needed to be thrown out.  

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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