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Today’s top news highlights: COVID-19 vaccine hurdles, new options in prostate cancer


Here are the stories our MDedge editors across specialties think you need to know about today:

COVID-19 vaccines face tough road

Vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies may not be sufficient to reliably provide sustained protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Rather, a successful vaccine against coronavirus will likely need to incorporate T-cell epitopes to induce a long-term memory T-cell immune response to the virus, Mehrdad Matloubian, MD, PhD, predicted at the virtual edition of the American College of Rheumatology’s 2020 State-of-the-Art Clinical Symposium. “In one study, 20 of 26 patients with SARS had lost their antibody response by 6 years post infection. And they had no B-cell immunity against the SARS antigens. The good news is they did have T-cell memory against SARS virus, and people with more severe disease tended to have more T-cell memory against SARS. All of this has really important implications for vaccine development,” observed Dr. Matloubian, a rheumatologist at the University of California, San Francisco. READ MORE

Chilblain-like lesions in children with suspected COVID-19

Reports are growing of cases of children with suspected COVID-19 and chilblain-like lesions. Most recently, there were two reports in Spain and Italy. These symptoms should be considered a sign of infection with the virus, but the symptoms themselves typically don’t require treatment, according to the authors of the two new reports, which were published in Pediatric Dermatology. READ MORE

FDA approves olaparib in metastatic prostate cancer

The Food and Drug Administration approved olaparib (Lynparza) for deleterious or suspected deleterious germline or somatic homologous recombination repair (HRR) gene-mutated metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). The drug is limited to use in men who have progressed following prior treatment with enzalutamide or abiraterone. The agency also recently approved rucaparib (Rubraca) for use in patients with mCRPC that harbor deleterious BRCA mutations (germline and/or somatic). READ MORE

Drugs, alcohol, suicide

Deaths from drugs, alcohol, and suicide are on the rise, despite recent decreases in opioid overdose deaths. A report released May 21 by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Well Being Trust shows that 151,964 Americans died in 2018 from alcohol, drugs, and suicide. Experts warn that these deaths may increase in the wake of COVID-19. “We know what works to address deaths of despair but progress has been uneven and death rates continue to climb, with communities of color experiencing higher rates of increases in drug-induced and alcohol deaths,” said TFAH President and CEO John Auerbach. READ MORE

Guidance on managing suspected stroke during COVID-19

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association has developed a “conceptual framework” to assist emergency medical service providers and in-hospital triage teams handle suspected cases of acute stroke during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and future pandemics. The main factors to guide the triage decision are the likelihood of a large vessel occlusion; the magnitude of additional delays because of inter-hospital transfer and work flow efficiency at the primary stroke center or acute stroke ready hospital; the need for advanced critical care resources; and the availability of bed, staff, and PPE resources at the hospitals. READ MORE

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