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Drug Used For Cancer ‘Topotecan’ May Treat COVID-19 – Singapore Experts



SINGAPORE, April 7 — An international research collaboration involving researchers from Singapore and the United States has found that a widely available and inexpensive drug used for cancer treatment could potentially be used in the treatment of COVID-19.

In pre-clinical tests, the team reported that the chemotherapeutic drug, Topotecan, reduces the morbidity and mortality of SARS-CoV-2 infection by inhibiting the expression of inflammatory genes in the lungs of laboratory models of COVID-19.

The findings from the study, published online in the scientific journal Cell on March 30, 2021, have potential implications for COVID-19 treatment in humans.

“A key finding from this study is that the suppression of SARS-CoV-2-induced inflammation by Topotecan occurs at doses lower than that typically used in cancer treatment,” said the co-author of the study, Dr  Anand Jeyasekharan, in a statement today.

The lead author of the Cell paper is Dr Jessica Sook Yuin Ho, a Singaporean postdoctoral researcher at the Icahn School of Medicine. This international research collaboration involves researchers from NCIS and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the United States of America.

Dr Jeyasekharan is a Consultant and Assistant Director of Research (Medical Oncology) at the Department of Haematology-Oncology, the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS).

“Topotecan has been used in oncology for over 25 years, with a well-understood safety profile in humans, and importantly is both inexpensive and globally available. This research is therefore timely given the lack of universal access to vaccines,” he said.

He said the safety and efficacy of this treatment strategy in humans will soon be evaluated at clinical sites around the world.

Dr Jeyasekharan and the NCIS team in Singapore have already secured a research grant to conduct a Phase 1 clinical trial of Topotecan on COVID-19 patients.

It is supported by the Singapore Ministry of Health’s National Medical Research Council and the National Research Foundation under the COVID-19 Research Fund.

He said the aim of the study is to establish the lowest dose of Topotecan that can safely reduce COVID-19 inflammatory markers in patients.

“Continuing our theme of globally applicable research, we have established a collaboration with the department of medical oncology at the Christian Medical College in Vellore, India, to take this trial forward,” Dr Jeyasekharan shared.

Dr Jeyasekharan noted that repurposing of existing drugs represents a valuable global strategy for treating COVID-19.

“However, only a few that show pre-clinical promise have gone on to be efficacious in patients,” he said.

Topotecan, he said, is an attractive candidate given that it is safe and inexpensive with generic formulations existing throughout the world.

Sources: BERNAMA


Use These Healthy ‘Sahur’ Tips By A Certified Dietitian For Everyone To Practice



When the holy month of Ramadan arrives, many people definitely cannot wait to finally go to the Ramadan bazaar to buy their favorite food. Well, it is not often to see this kind of situation because the food that got sold in the Ramadan bazaar is actually difficult to get on a normal day and some of them are very popular during this month alone. Because of that, many people decided to buy a lot of them to be eaten during break fast and some others also eat the food that they bought at that time and eat it during ‘sahur’.

This kind of attitude usually will make them feel tired so much faster because they did not take the right type of food or even did not take the right amount of food that they need during ‘sahur’. In fact, calories are usually less so the nutrients are taken less when fasting. Let us see the healthy ‘sahur’ tips that have been shared by Salsabila Aznan who is a certified dietitian on her own Twitter page.

1) Compulsory Intake Of Quarter Half Portion

Some may say that eating rice could make us becomes hungry even quicker. It is true if you only eat rice with egg, you will get hungry quickly. Make sure half of the plate is vegetables and not rice. Vegetable fiber helps to make you feel full longer when you are fasting.

2) Take Source Of Protein

Protein is also slow to digest. If you want to eat dates, add a glass of milk to get a minimum of protein and carbohydrates. If you eat rice, you can take fish, chicken, tofu, or even eggs.

3) Reduce Processed Foods

Avoid eating nuggets, sausages or even burgers during ‘sahur’. The one who loves to eat ‘budu’ and also ‘cencalok’, try to reduce the intake. Foods that are high in salt make you thirsty quickly.

4) Minimum 2 Glasses Of Water During Sahur

This is just a suggestion. You can drink more than 2 glasses of water if you want to. Make sure to drink enough water during ‘sahur’ so that you are energized during the day.

5) Variate ‘Sahur’ Every Day

Nutrients depend on the variety of food types. Don’t just take oats every ‘sahur’. Or salad every day. Diversify the intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and also vegetables.

Sources: Twitter Salsabila Aznan

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Johnson and Johnson Jab May Cause Unusual Blood Clotting



BRUSSELS, April 21 – The European Medicine Agency (EMA) confirmed on Tuesday that there could be a link between Johnson & Johnson vaccines and very rare cases of blood clots, Anadolu Agency reported.

“A warning about unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be added to the product information for COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen,” the EU regulator announced in a statement following the investigation of its safety committee.

But the EMA upheld its recommendation to use the jabs and confirmed that its benefits outweighed possible risks.

The investigation also concluded that “blood clots occurred mostly at unusual sites such as in veins in the brain (cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, CVST) and the abdomen (splanchnic vein thrombosis) and in arteries, together with low levels of blood platelets and sometimes bleeding.”

According to the EU agency, over seven million people received the product of the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company and it caused serious blood clotting in eight cases.

The cases were very similar to the side effects of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines.

In March, several European countries – including Sweden, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Norway – suspended the use of AstraZeneca jabs for a while after blood clots were reported in some vaccinated people.

The EMA’s investigation also concluded on Apr. 7 that there could be a possible link between AstraZeneca vaccines and very rare cases of blood clots.

Similarly, the EU regulator upheld its recommendation on using the jabs since its benefits outweighed the risks.


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(Video) TikTok’s Latest Food Trend, Have You Tried It?



In this time of the pandemic, everyone is trying to practice a healthier lifestyle at home. There recently a new food trend circulating on TikTok that acts as a substitute for morning cereal.

Dubbed ‘nature’s cereal’ by its creator @natures_food it is a concoction of red berries, pomegranate seeds, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries with coconut water.

@natures_foodnature’s cereal ##fruit ##fruits ##share

♬ original sound – 🥭Fruits & Leaves🍃

Picture: Google

Rather than sitting down to a bowl of sugar-laden breakfast cereal, the internet is going wild for this healthier alternative. To add more crunch, just add ice cubes.

@lizzoAnother s/o to @natures_food since y’all hoes can’t read lol AAAAAAND for the “unblended smoothie” hive — it’s not bussin Janelle 😏♬ Triple S – YN Jay & Louie Ray

The concept got a further boost from the singer Lizzo, which makes it gains more success.

Source: @natures_food, People, Lizzo

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