News in brief: Sex differences in DAPT risk after PCI; Medicinal cannabis for children with advanced cancer; Private oncology provider has $2 billion price tag

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

No sex differences in risks of aspirin withdrawal after PCI

In  patients receiving dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), women benefit as much as men from early aspirin withdrawal and continuation of ticagrelor therapy, a new study shows.

A subgroup analysis of the TWILIGHT randomised clinical trial that involved 7119 patients undergoing PCI showed that women had a higher bleeding risk compared with men, though this was mostly attributable to baseline differences.

The study showed that ticagrelor monotherapy was associated with lower risk of major bleeding events compared to DAPT in women (adjusted HR, 0.62;) and men (adjusted HR, 0.57).  Ischaemic end points were similar between treatment groups in both sexes.

More information: JAMA Cardiology.

Medicinal cannabis trial for children with advanced cancer

Children with advanced cancers are to receive medicinal cannabis as part of a three-year trial expected to start this year.

Led by Adjunct Associate Professor Anthony Herbert, director of Children’s Health Queensland’s Paediatric Palliative Care Service, the trial will compare different combinations and ratios of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) to determine which is preferrable in reducing symptoms.

Researchers will measure symptom scores for appetite, lack of energy, pain, drowsiness, nausea and vomiting. They will also measure sleep and activity using actigraphy, quality of life scores, and also anxiety and depression scores.

“The clinical trial will be a win-win because patients will have access to the medicine, but clinicians will also have the opportunity to observe the impacts of medicinal cannabis in a structured and controlled way to see if it has benefits without causing side effects such as drowsiness, or potentially even making symptoms worse,” said Associate Professor Herbert.

The research is a collaboration between Queensland University of Technology, the University of Queensland, University of Sydney, Children’s Health Queensland, Queensland Children’s Hospital, Royal Children’s Hospital and Monash Medical Centre, Melbourne, and John Hunter Children’s Hospital, Newcastle.

Private oncology provider has $2 billion price tag

Australia’s largest private cancer and oncology services provider, Icon Group, is being sold off in a $2 billion-plus auction..

The company’s current owners are seeking from multi-national healthcare groups and global private equity firms, , according to the Australian Financial Review.

In 2017 the company was reportedly bought for $1 billion by a consortium led by Queensland Investment Corporation, which said a predicted 70% increase in cancer rates in the Asia-Pacific region would help fuel the growth of the business.

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