C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Fatty liver common ailment among adults, kids
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Liver cancer just turned curable if the experiments in the United Kingdom are anything to go by. Interestingly, the cure lies in the body and the liver itself and 30 patients have already benefited from this new treatment.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Dutta Memorial Lecture at the PGIMER here today, Prof David Adams from Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, UK, said the treatment entailed “attacking cancer by stimulating the inner response system” to fight the disease.

“When cancer strikes, the immune system switches off. In our experiment, we have tried to reactivate this immune system by making it more aggressive. This is done by taking a few cells of the immune system, charging them in the test tube along with cells from the tumour and reintroducing them in the body. We have completed the first round of trials and are ready to embark on the second trial,” he states.

Disclosing a research finding by his Dr James Newburger, his colleague at the hospital in the UK, Dr Adams said his study had shown that a patient who survived the first year after a liver transplant would go on to live a normal life span.

Stating that there are just not enough donors, Dr Adams said a number of patients needing transplant died waiting for a liver donation. “The number of patients needing a liver transplant is just too large. So, the concept of living donors is gaining ground where a healthy person donates half of his liver for a patient,” he explained.

Since the liver is known to grow and regenerate rather quickly, it’s donation, he stated, could prove beneficial for patients seeking livers.

“In Europe and North America, 15 per cent of the kidney transplants are from living donors. The only condition is that the donation must come from a healthy individual. The mortality rate among living donors is two in 2000 and is primarily due to bleeding or biliary tract infections,” he stated.

Not particularly enthused about the studies recommending repair of damaged livers through stem cells, Dr Adams says, “Nobody knows if these stem cells actually repair the liver and which stem cells actually do it. Nothing has been proved so far. It is wrong to raise people’s hopes based on these findings.”

Challenges of changing lifestyles

Obesity, alcohol, junk food and no exercise—if that’s just your kind of lifestyle, you could be heading for disaster. This lethal combination directly leads to the fatty liver disease and, it is not only afflicting a growing number of adults but children the world as well.

Prof Ian Robert Wanless of Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Center, Canada, also visiting the PGIMER, today, said that the fatty liver disease was gradually assuming epidemic proportions. “It’s sad the condition is spreading more so because it is preventable by introducing physical activity, eating in moderation, avoiding alcohol and just changing the lifestyle,” he maintained.

While fatty liver was common among adults, its new “targets” are children, addicted to fast food and computers. “It’s becoming a huge problem in Canada like elsewhere in the world. The fascination for computers has led to cutting down on time for playing. And, sitting in front of computers and televisions, they are only eating more than they need,” Dr Wanless commented.

In Canada, the growing cases of fatty liver had become synonymous with not only the arrival of computers but also the installation of coke vending machines in school premises. “Coke being cheaper than milk was preferred by parents too. Also, with both parents working, nutritious food in homes, too, was a casualty.” said Dr Wanless.



Kolkata to have speciality hospital
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Kolkata is set to have its first speciality centre hospital, Healthcare Foundation. The facility would consist of three separate units in the same vicinity, a statement issued here said.

A multi-super Speciality 500-bed tertiary centre is being planned to respond to the demand for quality medical care in the target area. This would be commissioned in two phases at an estimated cost of Rs 76 crore and Rs 70 crore, respectively.

To begin with, 200 beds would be commissioned in the first phase with 40 intensive care beds and seven operation theatres to establish “Centres of excellence”, in liver disorders, spinal disorders, diabetes, joint replacements, mother and child care, minimal access surgery, reconstructive surgery and cosmetic surgery.

The second phase to be completed in the next four years would add up another 300 beds, eight more operation theatres and 60 intensive care beds. The centre will have provisions for CT, MRI and nuclear medicine. A fully functional rehabilitation centre and daycare centre and an OPD facility catering to all the specialties would be commissioned as a separate block. A cancer hospital, which will have facilities for radiotherapy and chemotherapy, is also being planned.

All the facilities would function on a “not for profit” basis, but they would be financially viable and self sustainable. Any profit generated would be invested in the facilities for further upgradation and expansion.



Need to monitor side-effects of drugs, say doctors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
“Whenever clinical trials are conducted, patients experience the side-effects to drugs. So it is very important that investigators conducting clinical trials monitor those adverse effects and report them to the sponsors, to the regulatory authorities and the ethics committees. Early detection of adverse drug reactions can allow pharmaceutical companies to abandon the new drug development programmes.”

This was stated by Prof P. Pandhi, Head, Department, Pharmacology, PGI, who opened the third day’s proceedings at the national workshop on Clinical Pharmacology, PGI, here today, with a lecture on “Monitoring and reporting of adverse drug reactions in clinical trials”.

Dr Shoibal Mukherjee, Senior Director, Pfizer, talked about combination drugs available in the market. He explained which combinations are rational and which may not be and how to decide on this. He stressed that some combinations are really advantageous to the patients as it may be possible to take one tablet instead of two. Moreover, these combination products are also beneficial to the pharmaceutical companies because the efforts on promotion, packaging and distribution are halved.

Prof S.C. Chopra, Dean, Dayanand Medical College, Ludhiana, spoke on basic pharmacokinetics and held a training session for delegates on how to do these difficult calculations.

He explained that pharmacokinetics deals with how the body handles the drug that is administered. A drug that is consumed, say in the form of a tablet, enters the blood circulation from the gastrointestinal tract and through the blood reaches the various sites in the body. It exerts its effect only once it reaches the site of action.

Dr Samir Malhotra from the department spoke on bioequivalence trials. After one company has launched its product for the first time in India, when the second one decides to launch the same product, the second company needs to conduct the bioequivalence trials.

Dr Chander Shekhar, Director, Clinical Research, Pfizer, spoke on “Quality control and quality assurance in clinical trials.” He explained that clinical trials must be conducted according to well established international standards.

“The trials should be properly monitored and audited. This increases the credibility and international acceptance of the trials,” he added.

Lecture: Dr David H. Adams from Liver Research Laboratories, Birmingham (UK), delivered the Dutta Memorial Lecture here on Wednesday. He said abstract active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is often associated with simultaneous inflammation in the skin, eyes and joints.

“Inflammatory disease in the liver can also occur in patients with IBD but seems to be independent of inflammation in the bowel. Certain diseases are associated with site-specific tissue distributions and might point to new therapeutic strategies based on modulating tissue-specific lymphocyte homing,” he stated.

In a talk on “Arming the immune system for cancer immunotherapy”, Dr Adams maintained that the immune system played an important role in controlling the growth of some cancers in both animals and humans suggesting that immunotherapy, in which the immune system is stimulated to target tumours, may be an effective treatment for some cancers.



Training programme concludes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
An educational training programme for more than 60 recently recruited persons of Dr Reddy’s Labs (India’s second largest pharmaceutical company) unit at Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, was conducted by the Centre for Industry Institute Partnership Programme Cell of Panjab University.

This unique educational training programme started from January 10 and concluded today.

The company’s need-based programme was chalked out in consultation with Prof T.R. Bhardwaj, Dean, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Prof V.R. Sinha, University Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Prof A.K. Saijhpal, Director (Hony.), Centre for Industry Institute Partnership Programme Cell, Panjab University.

The valedictory function was held at the Golden Jubilee Hall of Panjab University. Mr Girdhari Lal, Deputy Drug Controller, Haryana, was the guest of honour.

The programme covered diverse areas such as pharmaceutical technology, general pharmacy, pharmaceutical microbiology, unit operations, forensic pharmacy, pharmaceutical analysis, UV/IR spectrophotometry, chromatography, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, electronics, instrumentation, computer training and behavioral skills.

In addition to these, special yoga, art of living, moral values and business ethics classes were held.



New seating arrangements for India-England Test
Tribune News Service

Mohali, February 22
The Punjab Cricket Association has come up with a novel idea for the convenience of spectators, who will come to see the second Test between India-England to be held from March 9 to 13 here.

For the first time, the association will number all seats of the Chair Block, Terrace Block and Air-conditioned lounge. “The idea is that the purchaser must get the seat during the matches.

Earlier, we had experienced that many people manipulate their entry by unscrupulous ways and the original buyers found tough to get the seats. By adopting the way, we will try to ensure seating arrangements for them,” said Mr G.S. Walia, Hony Treasurer of the PCA.

The sale of tickets will start from February 27. Sale counters will be set up at the stadium and some banks will also be roped in for the purpose as per the earlier practice. All things will be finalised in the meeting, scheduled to take place on February 24.

The association is also contemplating to sell the tickets in England, from where a lot of demand has begun to pour in.

“To see the overseas demand, we will discuss on the issue in our forthcoming meeting and try to explore some system along with internet to meet it,” said Mr Walia.

This time the ticket rates will be increased in comparison to last year.

The AC lounge rates will be Rs 15,000 whereas the tickets of Terrace and Chair Blocks will be available at Rs 10,000 and Rs 1,500 respectively. For General Block the rate will be Rs 200 and the students will get ticket for Rs 100.

To facilitate the teams during net sessions the association is also preparing the indoor nets at its premises, which will be readied before the teams turnup. Both the teams will reach the city on March 6.



Monisha wins badminton singles title
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Monisha won the badminton singles title on the inaugural day of Annual Sports Meet of the Government Polytechnic for Women, Sector 10, held at its premises, here, today. Niti got second place in the same event under the same category.

In carrom doubles, the duo of Ramandeep Kaur and Savita won the title. Mr V. K. Bhardwaj, Chief Engineer, Chandigarh Administration was the chief guest on the occasion.

The event got off to a colourful start after the torch was lit by the previous year’s best athletes. Folk dances and patriotic songs were the part of the cultural programme.

The results: Badminton (singles): Monisha 1, Niti 2; Badminton (doubles): Sunakshi and Sandhya 1, Niti and Shelly 2; Carrom (Singles): Nidhi 1, Anima 2; Carrom (doubles): Ramandeep Kaur and Savita 1, Alka and Kalpana 2; Basketball: Winners: ECE Department, Runners up: Ph Department; Throw ball: Winners: ECE Department, Runners up: AA Department; Cricket: Winners: LIS Department, Runners up: Ph Department; Kho Kho: Winners: ECE Department, Runners up: Ph Department; Discus Throw: Kirti Shukla and Kiranjeet 1, Ramandeep 2, Sandhya 3.



PU beats RGPV in softball
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
An excellent performance by Monika enabled Panjab University to slug out RGPV of Bhopal by 10-0 in a one-sided match in the All-India Inter-University Softball Championship held at PU Campus, here, today.

Bowling with a smooth action, Monika dismissed RGPV’s Shakshi Tripathi, Kirti Pathak and Ankita Mishra in 12 deliveries.

In another dull one-sided encounter, Kerala University outclassed TM Bhagalpur by 16-0. In the third fixture, Mararishi Dayanand University, Rohtak proved too strong for Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut whom they beat by 21-0.

Kerala pitcher Sushma sent back Chanana, Sudha and Nikhata in the first innings itself. TM Bhagalpur's Sonia was the lone batter to reach the second base. However a run eluded the losers.

MDU’s pitcher Saroj dismissed Rushi, Karuna and Manjari of CCSU, Meerut, in eight balls.

Results: Panjab University (Monika Kanwar 2, Manjit, Lata, Monika, Sarita, Amanpreet, Neha, Neena and Nidhi Saka 1 each) bt RGPV Bhopal 10-0.

Kerala (Sujeena, Shabna, Sareena, Sherry, Priya, Rigi, Sushma 2 each, Sreeja and Shabina 1 each) bt TM Bhagalpur 16-0.

MDU Rohtak (Saroj, Anita, Neeraj, Kusum 3 each, Yashwanti, Geeta, Seema, Madhu 2 each) bt CCSU Meerut by 21-0. 



Ambala beat Sirsa in handball
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
Fine performance by Yadav, who scored 10 goals, enabled the Ambala team to the beat the Sirsa team 29-6 in the ongoing Western Air Command Inter-Area Handball Championship being held at 12 Wing Air Force Station, here today. T. Prakash scored 3 goals for the losers.

Earlier, the Halwara team defeated the Rajokari team 10-8. Rajeet scored 5 goals for the winning team.

In another match, the Halwara team defeated the Adampur team 13-4. D.K. Soni scored 7 goals for the winners whereas R.C. Kohli scored two goals.



e-Sampark Centre-43 wins award
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22
The e-Sampark Centre, Sector 43, was awarded a prize for best performance in the city here today. Mr S.K. Sandhu, Finance-cum-Information Technology Secretary, gave away the prize.

The supervisors of the e-Sampark Centre, Mr Shiv Charan and Mr Satinder Kumar and Mr M.D. Yadav, the team leader, received the award at a simple ceremony at the UT Secretariat. Mr Vivek Atray, Director, Information Technology, Dr S.C. Dhawan, Additional Director, Mr Anil Arora, UTI Bank, and Mr Z.U. Khan, SQL, were present on the occasion.

The award has been instituted in order to give incentive to the staff of the e-Sampark Centre on the basis of the highest number of transactions per quarter and best performance in delivery of services. The e-Sampark Centres located at Sectors 10, 15, 23, 18, 43, 47, Mani Majra and the Industrial Area receive more than 1.25 lakh visitors every month.


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