Hospitals added for VeriChip trial

VeriChip (Delray Beach, Florida), a provider of radio frequency identification (RFID) systems, reported that 65 new hospitals have agreed to participate in the VeriMed Patient Identification System network at the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) 13th annual scientific assembly in Las Vegas, bringing the company's total of enrolled hospitals to more than 500. The company said its goal is to enroll 800 by year's end.

The VeriMed Patient Identification System, which consists of a hand-held RFID scanner, an implantable RFID microchip, and a secure patient database, is designed to help rapidly identify and provide access to important health information on participating patients.

The healthcare facilities agreed to use the VeriMed reader as standard protocol to scan patients that arrive in emergency rooms unconscious, delirious or confused. The company continues to provide readers to hospitals and other healthcare facilities at no charge as part of its efforts to seed the infrastructure for the VeriMed patient identification system.

Milestone ships anesthesia system

Milestone Scientific (Livingston, New Jersey), a developer of injection technologies used by medical and dental professionals, said it has begun shipments of its newest product offering, the Single Tooth Anesthesia (STA) Delivery System in partial fulfillment of previously reported purchase orders received from Henry Schein, (Melville, New York), the company's distributor in the U.S. and Canada (Medical Device Daily, Jan. 18, 2007).

Leonard Osser, CEO and chairman of Milestone, said, "These initial shipments of the STA Delivery System to Henry Schein's customers represent a significant step forward in obtaining fast market adoption of this innovative and technologically advanced system by dental professionals. We expect that early adopters of the STA System will prove to be invaluable sources of insight and information regarding the powerful functionality and user benefits of the system, helping to build a meaningful library of product testimonials and a solid base of professional references that will support and promote Henry Schein's sales and marketing efforts."

Milestone develops solutions for the medical and dental markets.

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Proteomics company Power3 Medical Products (Houston) reported hiring Noble International Investment Services and its Noble Financial Group (Boca Raton, Florida) for financial advisory and investment banking services. Power3 says it has launched validation studies for its breast cancer and neurodegenerative disease tests and biomarkers at national and international sites and is adding to its database of more than 2,000 human samples from diseased and control patients.

Study links obesity, prostate cancer deaths

Obese men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer have more than two-and-a-half times the risk of dying from the disease as compared to men of normal weight at the time of diagnosis, according to a study by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle). The findings by senior author Alan Kristal, PhD, and colleagues are published in the March 15 issue of journal Cancer.

"I was very surprised by the findings," said Kristal, member and associate head of the Cancer Prevention Program in the Hutchinson Center's Public Health Sciences Division. "We found the prostate-cancer-specific mortality risk associated with obesity was similar regardless of treatment, disease grade or disease stage at the time of diagnosis," he said.

"If a man is obese at the time of diagnosis, he faces a 2.6-fold greater risk of dying as compared to a normal-weight man with the same diagnostic profile, regardless of whether he has a radical prostatectomy or radiation therapy, whether or not he gets androgen-deprivation therapy, whether he has low- or high-grade disease and whether he has localized, regional or distant disease," Kristal said, referring to the degree of cancer spread.

The researchers also found that obese men diagnosed with local or regional disease — that is, disease that is confined to the prostate or has spread to into surrounding tissue — face a 3.6-fold increased risk of cancer spreading into distant organs, or metastasis, as compared to prostate-cancer patients of normal weight. The association of obesity with disease progression was strongest among men with regional stage at diagnosis, whose cancer had already spread beyond the prostate, as compared to men with early, localized disease.

The mechanisms behind the link between obesity and prostate cancer metastasis and death are believed to involve both steroid hormones and inflammation.

For the study, researchers followed 752 recently diagnosed middle-aged, Seattle-area prostate-cancer patients for about 10 years. Body-mass index, or BMI, in the year before diagnosis was determined in an initial interview; 17% of the participants were classified as obese, with a BMI of 30 or more. Of the men studied, 50 died of prostate cancer and 64 died of other causes.

The National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institute and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center funded this study.