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Neurosurgery publishes findings of 3 important studies in June issue
Date:6/19/2013

ients with brain cancers or other conditions. The researchers conclude, "With the explosion in clinical data over the past few years.we anticipate a growing need for modern machine learning techniques such as ANNs to properly make use of the information at our disposal and realize its full benefit for clinical care."

New Proposal for Evaluating 'Off Label' Uses of Medications

An improved process for evaluating "off label" use of drugsusing medications for purposes other than those for which they were approvedis described by Donlin Long, MD, PhD, of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Clark Watts, MD, JD, of University of Texas School of Law. They cite the example of bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2), a product approved to promote bone growth in one specific type of spinal fusion surgery.

After approval, surgeons started using BMP-2 for various other types of spinal surgeryleading to complications in some cases. The authors believe that problems resulting from "uncontrolled" off-label use have had a chilling effect, leading to missed opportunities to develop effective uses of BMP-2.

In the proposed approach, medical specialty societies such as the Congress of Neurological Surgeons would play a leading role in setting parameters for off-label use of new products, and in systematically gathering evidence of effectiveness. Drs. Long and Watts write, "Our goal is to challenge our professional societies to take a leadership role in the study of valid uses of new drugs and devices in a cooperative, constructive relationship with government regulators and industry."

Stereotactic Biopsy for Brainstem Tumors

Dr. Philipp Kickingereder of University Hospital of Cologne and colleagues present a review of research evidence on stereotactic biopsyusing triangulation techniques to precisely localize tumorsto obtain samples of uncommon brainstem cancers. While stereotactic biopsy is not a new technique, surgeons ma
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Contact: Connie Hughes
connie.huges@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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