Research briefs 150208

Acupuncture benefit for IVF Acupuncture might increase the success rates of IVF, according to US research. For the study, the researchers reviewed seven trials involving 1,366 women undergoing IVF. The trials compared acupuncture, administered within one day of the embryo transfer procedure, with sham acupuncture or no additional treatment. They found that for every 10 IVF cycles with acupuncture there would be one extra pregnancy (BMJ Online 2008).

HPV-positive tumour 'better outcome'
Head and neck cancer patients with HPV-positive tumours survive longer and respond better to treatment than patients with HPV-negative tumours, US research suggests. The researchers examined 96 patients with head and neck cancer. Information was collected on patients' response to chemo-radiation therapy, survival and HPV status. Those with HPV-positive tumours responded better to therapy and had better survival rates, at 96 per cent (J Nat Cancer Inst Online 2008).

Dry eye syndrome healed with fatty acids
Fatty acids could help to treat dry eye syndrome, according to research carried out at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston US research. A topical drop of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) reduced the signs of dry eye syndrome in animal models. For the study, the researchers tested three formulations of fatty acids. They found that dry eyes treated with ALA showed the best improvement.

Mouse catches cold
The first mouse to catch a cold has been developed in a move that could help lead to a cure for the common cold as well as respiratory diseases such as asthma, say UK researchers. The Imperial College London team developed a genetically engineered mouse susceptible to rhinoviruses, the cause of most colds. The researchers say that the mouse models will provide a major boost to research efforts to develop treatments for colds, asthma and COPD (Nature Med Online 2008).

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