News in brief: Listeria brain abscess post-HSCT; SOX11 inhibitors are cytotoxic in MCL; Bogus ‘haematologist’ convicted

Thursday, 24 Jun 2021


First report of Listeria brain abscess post-HSCT

A Queensland case of Listeria monocytogenes brain abscess has been reported as a late complication of allogeneic haemopoietic stem cell transplantation for CLL.

The 68-year-old patient had been diagnosed with CLL in 2009, received the HSCT in 2011 and presented in 2019 with acute right-sided facial paraesthesia and slurred speech, with right-hand weakness over the preceding week.

MRI of the brain revealed a left parietal ring enhancing lesion and biopsy cultured L. monocytogenes.

The report said the patient was previously known to be intolerant to broad-spectrum post-HSCT TMP-SMX prophylaxis.

“Second-line prophylaxis strategies offer inadequate antimicrobial cover for L. monocytogenes and place those with significantly impaired cell-mediated immunity at risk.”

The authors reported that avoidance of foods at a high risk of carrying Listeria such as unpasteurised dairy products may specifically benefit post-HSCT CLL survivors with cGVHD who are intolerant to TMP-SMX.

Internal Medicine Journal


SOX11 inhibitors are cytotoxic in mantle cell lymphoma

A new class of drugs that inhibits a “master switch” involved in the vast majority of cases of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), has been discovered by US researchers.

The small-molecule inhibitors of the SOX 11 oncogene have been shown to be toxic to MCL tumor development in human cells studied outside the body, according to a study in Clinical Cancer Research.

If the effect is replicated in living patients, the discovery could lead to new therapies for the fatal subtype of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, according to researcher at the Mount Sinai Health System, New York.

“The SOX 11 protein, which is expressed in up to 90% of mantle cell lymphoma patients, is an attractive target for therapy,” said senior author Professor Samir Parekh, Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

But until now, no small-molecule inhibitor had been identified. We discovered three structurally related compounds which are able to bind to the oncogene, perturb its interaction with DNA and, through their anti-MCL cytotoxicity, actually kill lymphoma cells with remarkable efficiency.”


Bogus ‘haematologist’ convicted

A Victorian woman who posed as a specialist haematologist to provide treatments at a cosmetic clinics has been convicted and fined $15,000 after a prosecution case brought by AHPRA.

Ms Aliaa Mohammed Elmetwally Ismaeli Sherif was convicted of 10 charges under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law after pleading guilty to operating a cosmetic clinic using the names ‘Feel Young Again’ and ‘The Good Life Anti-Aging’ in Wheelers Hill, Victoria.

The charges included falsely claiming to be a medical practitioner and specialist haematologist, despite never having being registered with the Medical Board of Australia.

She was also pleaded guilty to giving medical advice to patients, injecting them with dermal fillers and botox, and providing unapproved antibiotics.

In delivering her sentence the magistrate described Ms Sherif’s offending as very serious, wilful, and noted that it had continued even after AHPRA issued a cease and desist letter.

Medical Board of Australia Chair Dr Anne Tonkin said: ‘We hope this matter serves as a deterrent to anyone considering such behaviour. Members of the public are encouraged to ensure the medical practitioner they are seeing is properly registered by checking the online register of practitioners.’

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