Friday, February 19, 2016

Twitter and more

I've just encountered problems to access the internet, especially my own blog and Twitter. I haven't found a solution, yet, but I'm working on it, which means I call the guys from IT. I had my coffee 1.0, but obviously this didn't help.

PS. Just tried to send this message to Twitter. Impossible.

PPS. I've just received an email by our IT manager: "...
aufgrund der aktuellen Sicherheitsprobleme bedingt durch die Cyberangriffe auf Krankenhäuser, wurden zahlreiche Schutzmassnahmen ergriffen.Unter anderem ist jeglicher Download aus dem Internet (somit auch der Dateizugriff), WebMail und div. Seiten gesperrt. ...". He refers to cyber attacs on hospitals in Germany, one of them is located only 10 km from here; German link: http://www.rundschau-online.de/newsticker/cyber-attacke-auf-klinik--ermittlungen-wegen-versuchter-erpressung,15184906,33815836.html. So nearly everything is blocked now.
 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Carpe Diem Haiku Theme Week No. 1 episode 4: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying: Insight 3 "thinking about death gives life meaning"


 

Frozen rivulet
During spring there comes the sun
Stream dances again

The sky has opened
Above the burning ghat
Smoke rises with souls

(too bad, the picture to the second haiku is with the Tibet pictures)



Carpe Diem Haiku No. 920 Hunger (Empathy)


Man at waste basket
Shopping cart with PET bottles
Give him your refunds

A boy and a girl
Sharing a banana peel
Hunger always hopes



Carpe Diem Haiku Tokubetsudesu No. 70 Tibetan’s Mgur, a religious form of poetry


Winter time of frost
Hot butter tea is ready
Meditation gone

Cut off all desires
But still there's the smell of soup
Throuout the temple

Flying prayer flags
The wind is our messenger
Gompa* and vastness

* Gompa means small temple


A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to visit Milarepa's cave. Pelgye Ling Monastery is built around this cave. The air at an altitude of at 3,750 metres (12,300 ft) is clear, smelling of wild flowers and herbs from the valley of Lapchi Gang. Pilgrims come with offerings. Often small bank notes are left behind. Monastery is affiliated with the Gelugpa Sera Monastery in Lhasa. For more details look at Wikipedia under Milarepa's cave (that's where my information comes from).

















 The valley of Lapchi Gang


Pelgye Ling Monastery


Inside the cave


Inside the cave

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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

WIN Olokizumab


I’ve just noticed that people have been interested in my article from 2013 “Olokizumab – any new developments?” I therefore adopted the WIN (=what is new?) from the ACR meeting sessions.

To tell the story in short, let me begin a little bit earlier than at “what is new?”. As nothing on olokizumab appeared at the EULAR meeting in Madrid in June 2013, I wondered: “Nothing! / Very strange as olokizumab targets interleukin-6 (IL-6). … Postponed or abandoned?” In July 2013 there had been an announcement by UCB: “UCB out-licenses RA drug olokizumab to Russia's R-Pharm”.
In 2014 I thought that olokizumab had been abandoned as nothing had been published at the EULAR 2014 Meeting in Paris.

MC Genovese and colleagues published: “Efficacy and safety of olokizumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis with an inadequate response to TNF inhibitor therapy: outcomes of a randomised Phase IIb study” in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (2014).
MC Genovese and colleagues (other group of researchers) published at the ACR 2015 Meeting in San Francisco: “Long-Term Safety and Efficacy of Olokizumab in Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis Who Have Previously Failed Anti-TNF Treatment“. The researchers looked at data from Western and Asian patients. Conclusion: “OKZ [OLOKIZUMAB] was well-tolerated, with an expected safety profile for this class of agent. Reductions in disease activity were sustained to Wk48. These results support the development of OKZ for the treatment of moderate-to-severe RA in Western and Asian pts.”

These recent studies aren’t so interesting in the results, but still there is a story being told. UCB still hasn’t given up and keeps a low fire burning. I doubt that olokizumab will be approved as a drug against rheumatoid arthritis.


References:
Olokizumab – any new developments?

UCB out-licenses RA drug olokizumab to Russia's R-Pharm

Newer Biologics at the EULAR 2014 Meeting in Paris

Genovese MC, Fleischmann R, Furst D , Janssen N , Carter J, Dasgupta B , Bryson J , Duncan B, Zhu W, Pitzalis C, Durez P, Kretsos K. Efficacy and safety of olokizumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis with an inadequate response to TNF inhibitor therapy: outcomes of a randomised Phase IIb study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014 Sep;73(9):1607-15. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204760. Epub 2014 Mar 18. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24641941

Genovese MC, Fleischmann R, Tanaka Y, Furst DE, Yamanaka H, Joshi R, Zhu W, Shao J, Mashimo H, Takeuchi T. Long-Term Safety and Efficacy of Olokizumab in Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis Who Have Previously Failed Anti-TNF Treatment [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015; 67 (suppl 10). http://acrabstracts.org/abstract/long-term-safety-and-efficacy-of-olokizumab-in-patients-with-moderate-to-severe-rheumatoid-arthritis-who-have-previously-failed-anti-tnf-treatment/. Accessed February 17, 2016.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2016


One of my patients suffering from akylosing spondylitis came on a routine visit today. She is injecting a TNF-inhibitor on her own and doing fine. Though we call her disease in remission, she still has aches and pains. During nights she complained about having difficulties in turning from one side to the other in bed. And look, what a friend has developed for her:



She describes her bedroom with having gable walls, under which she has placed her bed. This easy had made grip is fixed in the slanted wall. I think the problem is just getting it properly fixed, so that one can apply some force to it. Now, she can turn in her bed more easily and reduce the burden of her disease. 
I like if patients, friends, and relatives find solutions for daily problems. 

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Carpe Diem Haiku Theme Week No. 1 epsiode 2 The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Insight 1 We are travelers




Round and round they go
The pilgrims at Mount Kailash
Wind catching prayers

Wind catching prayers
Even from diseased pilgrims
Still in the bardo

Still in the bardo
Waiting amidst drum and song
By the bön shaman