This Week’s Headlines: New Therapy Might Shrink Tumors, Chemo Treatment Linked to Fertility, Balloon Pill Leads to Weight Loss

New therapy might shrink prostate tumors. In a potentially groundbreaking study, researchers presented new data revealing that bipolar androgen therapy (BAT) may shrink tumors in men diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. The results were unexpected, as one of the traditional treatments for prostate cancer includes lowering the levels of androgens like testosterone, but in this experimental form of treatment, patients are subjected to waves of high and low testosterone levels. Though the therapy is in its early stages, Dr. Sam Denmeade and his team of oncological researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine are excited to continue exploring the deep unknown of prostate health. (EUREKALERT)

Chemotherapy study shows great promise for the field of fertility. A new study revealed that a long-used cancer chemotherapy combination may increase the number of immature eggs in the ovaries of some women. For years, patients diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma have been receiving different  but it wasn’t until recently that scientists started to discover that Adriamycin, Bleomycin, Vinblastine, and Dacarbazine (ABVD) could be beneficial to ovarian tissue. To find out more, researchers subjected ovarian biopsy specimens to ABVD treatment in the lab. After just six days, they found that the drug combination induced significant ovarian follicle growth. While this study shows great promise for the field of fertility, the authors acknowledge that there is much more research to be done before recommending these chemotherapies to healthy patients. (TELEGRAPH)

New pill shows promise for weight-loss candidates. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a pill that you could swallow to lose weight? Good news, now there is! It’s called the Obalon Balloon System, and it’s a set of three pills that, once swallowed, are inflated in the stomach. They take up extra space causing the patient to eat less food. The result? Patients lost an average of 14.4 pounds in just six months! Following FDA approval back in the fall, these weight-loss balloons are ready to roll out this January. But know that they’re not for everyone. It’s approved for use in obese adults with a BMI between 30 and 40 kg/m2, and there’s a laundry list of limitations for the patient’s safety including history of bariatric surgery and even using aspirin, so don’t jump to it just yet! But this new skinny pill shows promise for those who are good candidates. Talk about a New Year’s weight-loss resolution! (FDA)