September 2014

Should your boss deny you birth control coverage?

The Supreme Court recently ruled some businesses can deny birth control coverage for women across the country. These companies can make all the money they want yet they can deny important health coverage to their workers.  We don’t hear about limiting coverage for male services, just those that impact women!

According to the National Women’s Law Center, “the Obama administration has proposed rules that would ensure women have coverage of birth control regardless of their boss’s religious beliefs. It’s up to us to make sure these rules are strong and provide women coverage that is easy to get and hassle free”.

Tamoxifen in gel form is effective with less side effects

Seema Khan, MD, professor of surgery, found a new skin gel that reduced the growth of cancer cells minimizing dangerous side effects. A gel form of tamoxifen applied to the breasts of women with noninvasive breast cancer reduced the growth of cancer cells to the same degree as the drug taken in oral form but with fewer side effects that deter some women from taking it, according to new Northwestern Medicine research.

Tamoxifen is an oral drug that is used for breast cancer prevention and as therapy for non-invasive breast cancer and invasive cancer. Because the drug was absorbed through the skin directly into breast tissue, blood levels of the drug were much lower, thus, potentially minimizing dangerous side effects — blood clots and uterine cancer.

2014 OncofertilIty Consortium Conference

The 2014 Oncofertility Consortium Conference was a great success! For two days, researchers, clinicians, students, and trainees from around the globe transcended on Northwestern University and participated in lectures, panel discussions, and hands-on training programs to learn about the advances in the field of fertility preservation. The most exciting part of the conference was at the conclusion of day 1 where 3 survivors  told their stories at the evening reception. Their stories are powerful reminders that the work we do at the Oncofertility Consortium touches the lives of many and gives hope for future generations of survivors.

NIH Bolsters Sex-based Research

 National Institutes of Health has invested $10.1 million in supplemental funding to bolster the research of 82 grantees to explore the effects of sex in preclinical and clinical studies.

Experts recommend change in labeling for low-dose vaginal estrogen

As more post menopausal women change to a low dose local vaginal estrogen to control vaginal atrophy, a group of experts have recommended that the FDA modify the package Black Box Warning label  on the product packaging.  The current warning is based on research done mainly on oral estrogen which is a systemic rather than local therapy.   The local low-dose therapy, in fact, was designed to reduce estrogen exposure to the woman while still providing localized (vaginal) relief from vaginal atrophy.   The panel of experts who wrote the editorial published in th

Sex inclusion study cited in ‘Atlantic’

The lack of females in basic research was highlighted by the Atlantic today.  Melina R. Kibbe, MD and Teresa K Woodruff, PhD, two of the co-authors of a study published in Surgery this month, reported that 22% of the publications in five high-impact surgical journals between 2011 and 2012 did not specify  the sex of their animal subjects, and of those that did, 80% only used male animals.

FDA to address diversity in new drug and device studies

The Women’s Health Research Institute at Northwestern University applauds the recent release of a new Action Plan developed the Food in Drug Administration in response to a Congressional directive to look closer at the inclusion and analysis of demographic subgroups including women and minorities in applications for new drugs and devices.