A persistently congested nose could be helped by a cancer medication.

A cancer drug used by the NHS for 30 years can also help clear stuffy noses

A cancer drug that has been used by the NHS for 30 years can also help clear stuffy noses.

A clinical trial is underway to see if paclitaxel, a chemotherapy drug, can help treat chronic sinusitis, which affects one in ten British adults.

Sinusitis develops when the nasal passages and lining of the sinuses — air-filled cavities behind the nose, cheeks and eyes — become inflamed and blocked, often due to a viral infection such as the common cold or flu. This inflammation can lead to difficulty breathing through the nose and pain or tenderness around the eyes and nose.

Most cases resolve within a few weeks, once the underlying infection clears, but some people develop chronic sinusitis, which lasts for several months or even years.

Far from being a minor ailment, studies suggest that chronic sinusitis can lead to pain and discomfort just as bad as conditions like arthritis. The symptoms range from a constant runny nose or stuffiness to a decreased sense of smell.

A cancer drug used by the NHS for 30 years can also help clear stuffy noses

The inflammation can also lead to the formation of polyps, small growths in the sinuses that block airflow and may require surgery under general anesthesia to have them removed; In England alone, 10,000 people a year undergo surgery to remove these polyps.

Now a team from the National University of Asuncion in Paraguay hopes that paclitaxel will help patients avoid surgery and the risks of a general anaesthetic.

Dynamic duos

Nutrients that work best when consumed together. This week: Vitamin D and phosphorus

1688427033 640 Could a cancer drug be the answer to a chronically

The mineral phosphorus is found in every cell of our body, but the highest concentrations are in our bones and teeth where, alongside calcium, it helps to strengthen them.

“Phosphorus also plays a role in energy production and is also vital for optimal kidney, heart, muscle and nerve function,” says registered dietitian Orli Rhodes.

Most of our phosphorus intake is absorbed in our small intestine, but vitamin D is needed to help transport phosphorus through the intestinal wall and into our blood.

Try: Brown rice, milk, yogurt, bread, red meat, and oats are all helpful sources of phosphorus. For optimal absorption, eat them with vitamin D-rich foods, such as oily fish, eggs or fortified breakfast cereals.

Raw health

Low sexual satisfaction in middle age may be a warning sign of men’s brain decline, suggests a study in the journal The Gerontologist. American scientists measured memory and sexual function in 800 men aged 56-68 and found that a decrease in sexual satisfaction correlated with future memory loss.

Paclitaxel – launched in 1993 – is best known as a treatment for breast, ovarian and lung cancer.

More recently, it has been used to coat stents (small metal tubes) to help clear blocked arteries in patients with poor blood flow in their legs from conditions such as peripheral arterial disease.

This condition occurs when fatty deposits called plaques restrict blood flow in the small arteries in the legs, causing symptoms such as pain when walking.

Stents can clear the blockage, but the implantation procedure causes scar tissue on the lining of the arteries. As this scar tissue contracts, it narrows the space for blood to pass through the artery, leading to another partial blockage.

Paclitaxel is added as a coating because it prevents the formation of scar tissue by preventing tissue cells from multiplying rapidly.

The theory is that the drug will have a similar effect in chronic sinusitis.

It does not cause the same side effects as chemotherapy to treat cancer because it is a much smaller dose and there is no repeated exposure.

The researchers conducting the new trial, which involves 45 patients, plan to use small balloons no bigger than a grain of rice coated with paclitaxel to open up blocked sinuses.

The balloon is inserted through the nose. Once it sits on the blockage, it inflates so that it gently presses against the inflamed tissue.

This helps to physically clear the blockage, but in addition, the drug is immediately absorbed by cells in the lining of the sinuses, reducing inflammation and, as with cancer cells, preventing them from multiplying rapidly and causing another blockage.

The first results of the trial are expected at the end of 2024.

Simon Gane, a surgeon at the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital in London, said: ‘This is an interesting idea and could potentially be useful.

?But in chronic sinusitis, all sinus cavities [there are four ? behind the cheekbones, the forehead and either side of the nose] tend to get blocked, so you may need a lot of balloon treatments to make it work.”

Secrets of an A-List body

THIS WEEK: Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s arms

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, 37, wore a halter dress that emphasized her toned arms during the press tour for the latest Indiana Jones movie

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, 37, wore a halter dress that emphasized her toned arms during the press tour for the latest Indiana Jones movie

Actress and writer Phoebe wore a halter dress that emphasized her toned arms during the press tour for the latest Indiana Jones movie.

Phoebe, 37, is tight-lipped about her workout regimen, admitting only that she once “jetted” abs on her torso for a red carpet event ? but it looks like she’s doing a little more than that.

WHAT TO TRY: Triceps dips strengthen your shoulders, arms and chest.

Sit on the floor, knees bent, with your palms on the floor (or a short distance just behind your body) with thumbs pointing forward and fingers spread, elbows bent.

Push into the palms and straighten your arms, lift your hips, open your chest and roll your shoulders back.

Bend the elbows to bring your buttocks to the floor. Do three sets of 10, three times a week.

Why gout increases the risk of erectile dysfunction

Gout medication can reduce the risk of impotence.

Gout occurs when there is a buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints (uric acid is produced when purines, found in red meat, liver, and seafood, are broken down).

Now, a study in the journal Andrologia, based on data from 500,000 men, has shown that the risk of erectile dysfunction is 59 percent higher in people with high blood uric acid levels.

Men taking uric acid-lowering drugs were 27 percent less likely to experience impotence.

The researchers from Shandong University in China said high uric acid levels can reduce blood flow to the penis. Drugs such as allopurinol help reduce the amount of uric acid produced by the body.

Drinking mineral water rich in bicarbonate may reduce heartburn, reports BMJ Open Gastroenterology. For six weeks, the volunteers given the mineral water reduced their need for heartburn medication by a third. It is thought that mineral water containing bicarbonate works in a similar way to sodium bicarbonate, a common remedy, by neutralizing stomach acid.

‘Supercells’ could improve Covid patient survival

A new treatment could increase survival rates from severe Covid by nearly 40 percent, suggest studies involving more than 100 patients, who received either the new therapy or standard of care.

The intravenous treatment, ExoFlo, is based on ‘exosomes’ messenger cells, which transmit instructions to other cells in the body, for example to heal damaged tissue and tackle inflammation.

The exosomes in ExoFlo are derived from human bone marrow and are thought to help repair damaged lung tissue.

The American developer, Direct Biologics, has also been testing it for a long time Covid.

New treatment may increase survival rates from severe Covid by nearly 40 percent, studies involving more than 100 patients suggest (File image)

New treatment may increase survival rates from severe Covid by nearly 40 percent, studies involving more than 100 patients suggest (File image)

Can managing gum disease tackle type 1 diabetes?

Tests are being done to see if treating gum disease can control blood sugar in people with type 1 diabetes.

About 100 people with type 1 diabetes undergo extensive dental treatment known as full mouth debridement ? which removes plaque and bacteria from the teeth and gums ? in a trial at the University of Florence in Italy.

Their blood sugar is then checked.

One theory is that the inflammation associated with gum disease raises blood sugar levels, making the body more resistant to the effects of insulin. People with type 1 diabetes must inject this hormone because they naturally do not produce it.

Last step to prevent falls: electric leggings

High-tech leggings that stimulate the leg muscles have been developed to reduce the risk of falls in the elderly.

The leggings have small vibrating devices sewn into the fabric just above the knee; these are hooked to a battery in the waistband by means of wires hidden in the garment.

As they vibrate, the gadgets activate the muscles. Studies show that this type of vibration strengthens muscles and makes them less sore after exercise.

When scientists at the University of Talca in Chile tested the prototype leggings on a small group of volunteers between the ages of 60 and 80 – they wore the leggings for ten minutes, three times a day – it improved both their posture and their gait (allowing them to less tripping). probably) after just three days, reports the journal Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing.

A poor sense of smell, which can be caused by sinusitis, may be linked to the risk of future depression, according to a study from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, USA.

Data from 2,000 older people over an eight-year period showed that those who had trouble identifying odors also reported more symptoms of depression.

Researchers said that sense of smell and depression may be linked through both biological (e.g., change in brain volume) and behavioral (e.g., decreased social function) mechanisms.