News in brief: Tributes for leading breast cancer academic; Repeat dose of Evusheld PrEP for immunocompromised patients; Medical registration becomes more expensive

Prof Val Beral “the best breast cancer epidemiologist in the world”

Tributes have been paid to the eminent UK-Australian breast cancer epidemiologist Professor Val Beral who died of cancer on Aug 26, aged 76 years.

Professor Beral trained in medicine at the University of Sydney and relocated to the UK, where she did further training and work in epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), later moving to take over from Sir Richard Doll as the Director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at Oxford University.

Her research work was the first to show that oral contraceptives caused only a small increase the risks of breast cancer and offered protection against ovarian and endometrial cancers. She was also known for the Million Women Study that was one of the first to show that HRT increased the risk of breast cancer.

More recently she was involved in studies investigating the impact on breast screening on breast cancer diagnosis and mortality.

In an obituary in The Lancet, her Oxford University colleague Sir Richard Peto, Emeritus Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, described her as “the best breast cancer epidemiologist in the world.”

Repeat dose of Evusheld PrEP for immunocompromised patients

Immunocompromised patients should have a repeat dose of the anti-COVID-19 monoclonal Evusheld (tixagevimab plus cilgavimab) after six months for pre-exposure prophylaxis, the National COVID-19 Clinic Evidence Taskforce has recommended.

“The protection provided by tixagevimab plus cilgavimab decreases over time.
Where appropriate, a repeat dose of tixagevimab plus cilgavimab as pre-exposure prophylaxis may be considered at 6 months in individuals who are severely immunocompromised,” the TaskForce said in its latest update

The Taskforce has also recommended that Evuseld be considered for treatment of COVID-19 within five days of symptom onset for adults who do not require supplemental oxygen and are immunocompromised, or are at particularly high risk of severe disease because of advanced age and multiple risk factors.


Medical registration becomes more expensive

The Medical Board of Australia’s annual registration fee has lifted to $860, while doctors in NSW will have to pay $898 for the 2022-23 financial year.

Up from $835 in 2021-22, it’s the second 3% increase in as many years but has been set in line with inflation, according to the board.

However, other health professions including dentists and nurses have had their fees frozen, while the Chiropractic Board of Australia reduced its registration charge by 15%.

The registration renewal date for practitioners with general, specialist, or non-practising registration was 30 September

In NSW, all health professions are required to pay extra compared to other jurisdictions to cover the cost of the state’s dual regulation system.

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