Self-ratings of depression, mood, fatigue, and quality of life are significant predictors of survival in patients with advanced cancer. Although the simple explanation for this is that people close to death get very depressed, two previous small randomised trials showed substantial survival benefits with psychological treatments aimed to improve wellbeing. Therefore Dr Martin Stockler, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Clinical Trials Centre, University of Sydney, Australia, and colleagues assessed the benefit on symptoms and survival of sertraline in patients with advanced cancer but no major depression.
The authors say: “We postulated that sertraline might improve these features of health-related quality of life and increase overall survival by helping patients to cope better with their illness and treatment.”
Between 2001 and 2006, the researchers treated 189 patients with advanced cancer with 50mg sertraline each day, or placebo. They found that patients receiving sertraline experienced no significant effect on depression, anxiety, fatigue, wellbeing or quality of life. Their findings suggest the overmedicalisation (giving drugs to patients where the benefit is unclear or unproven) of patients with advanced cancer should be avoided.
However, the authors stress that sertraline use should continue in situations where it is of proven benefit – such as patients with advanced cancer who have major depression.
They conclude: “Treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor [antidepressant] should be reserved for those with a proven indication.”
Tony Kirby | alfa
NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology
07.12.2016 | Nanyang Technological University
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07.12.2016 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
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07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine
07.12.2016 | Life Sciences
07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine