Radiotherapy women to be compensated

At least 500 women thought to have suffered side effects from breast cancer treatment in the 70s and 80s are to be tracked down and offered compensation.

Hospitals in Umeå and Örebro were said to have used particularly high doses of radiation at the time and the County Council Insurance Association has commissioned Doctor Sten Friberg to research cases where this has occurred.

“We caused these injuries. It’s our responsibility to make sure justice is being done”, said Friberg in an interview in Wednesday’s Aftonbladet.

Friberg will review old journals detailing methods in individual cases from the 70s and 80s.

“It wasn’t known at the time how dangerous radioactive treatment is, but we know today what the effects are”, said Friberg.


Breastmilk drug could fight resistant bacteria

Swedish researchers may have found a solution to the growing resistance to antibiotics in the most unlikely of places — breastmilk.

Breastmilk drug could fight resistant bacteria
A team led by Professor Anders Håkansson at Lund University’s Department of Translational Medicine have identified a protein in human breast milk that seems to make previously resistant bacteria once again vulnerable to antibiotics. 
Håkansson established that the wonder molecule Hamlet (Human Alpha-lactalbumin Made Lethal to Tumor Cells) could be used against cancer tumors and bacteria when he was still a graduate student twenty years ago.
“But what’s more interesting is that Hamlet makes some bacteria more sensitive to antibiotics,” he told Sweden’s TT newswire. “So far it seems that all bacteria can be made sensitive to antibiotics through Hamlet.” 
He hopes that the substance could signal the end to the constant race to develop new antibiotics as bacteria develop resistance to the old ones, saving lives. 
Håkansson's team is now testing the new drug on animals, and hopes to run the first trials on human patients within one or two years, beginning with patients suffering chronic resistant infections. 
“There are children with cystic fibrosis who often die of lung infections, and many of them have strains that are so resistant that we run out of alternative medicines. If we could use hamlet, it could make both doctors and patients very happy.” 
The new Department of Translational Medicine, launched on 1st January 2015, brings together Lund’s old Department of Laboratory Medicine with ten new research groups.