Immunization therapy may help some forms of cancer, experts report

Hamburg, Germany  - A revolutionary protein immunization therapy regimen may be effective against at least 10 per cent of certain cancer tumours, according to a team of German scientists.

The team, led by Professor Dr. Magnus von Knebel Doeberitz, Medical Director of the Department of Applied Tumour Biology at the Heidelberg University Hospital, found that immune cells react strongly to the modified proteins in tumour cells in which a DNA repair defect has occurred.

Lung function of asthmatic kids can be easily tested

Heidenheim, Germany  - The lung function of asthmatic children can be checked using a simple test that measures the nitric oxide concentration in their exhaled breath.

The practice, however, is not part of the routine for young patients, said Michael Barczok of Germany's federal association of pneumologists located in Heidenheim. But it should be because it allows for a more exact asthma check and is easier for children.

Travel tips for children with heart complaints

Frankfurt, Germany  - Parents considering going on holiday with a child who has a heart condition should prepare the journey carefully, according to advice from a German cardiologist.

Professor Michael Hofbeck from the German Cardiology Institute advises against travelling far from the cardiology clinic where the child is receiving treatment, if the child has just been operated on, or the cardiovascular system has not yet stabilised.

German health authorities find additives in 12 Italian wines

german health authoritiesMainz, Germany  - German health authorities who test beverages have found 12 imported Italian wines containing illegal additives, trade officials said Tuesday in Mainz.

The Rhineland Palatinate ministry of the economy said none of the wines were dangerous to health, but breached food-purity rules.

Check for potentially dangerous openings before buying a playpen

Hamburg  - Parents should set up a playpen and examine it for potentially dangerous openings before buying it, the Germany Green Cross said.

Playpens often have too many spaces when they are set up or they cannot hold the indicated amount of weight, according to a test by the Bavarian trade supervisory centre. In addition, some have cords and ties that can pose a strangulation risk.

Bitterness and resentment can make you sick, German experts warn

Bitterness and resentment can make you sick, German experts warnHamburg, Germany  - Forget Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Now a team of German researchers say Post-Traumatic Embitterment Disorder (PTED) should be recognized as a medical disorder.

Health warning over hepatitis A in Asia

Dusseldorf, Germany  - Travellers to southern Asia are advised by the Centre for Travel Medicine in Dusseldorf, Germany, to get a vaccination against hepatitis A before they leave.

Hepatitis A can be easily avoided by following basic hygiene rules when it comes to preparing food.

However, a recent case in China, where bottled water caused infections, makes vaccination a safer option. At least 330 people are believed to have contracted the disease in April in the southern Chinese city of Guiyang.

Absinthe contained no mind-altering essence aside from alcohol

Absinthe contained no mind-altering essence aside from alcoholHamburg, Germany  - The legend of absinthe as a mind-altering drug-of-choice for Bohemian artists has been dealt a sobering jolt by German scientists who say it contained no mind-altering substances whatsoever - aside from an incredibly high alcohol content.

Cocoa, but not tea may help lower blood pressure, German experts say

Blood Pressure TestHamburg, Germany - Foods rich in cocoa appear to reduce blood pressure but drinking tea may not, according to a team of German researchers.

Alzheimer's cure still years off, despite German breakthrough

Alzheimer's DiseaseHamburg, Germany - Tests in laboratory animals have resulted in a major breakthrough in Alzheimer's research, though the German scientists involved in the tests warn that a cure is still years off.

The scientists at Germany's Max Planck Institute synthesised a compound that targets a key biological pathway essential to the development of the disease.

Avoid lotions for treating dried out noses

Neumunster, Germany  - Avoid lotions when treating dried out noses. Most lotions can cause the cilia - the small hairs in a nostril - to stick together and prevent them from removing unwanted substances.

The cilia clear the nostrils by pushing particles, such as germs, towards the throat, says Michael Deeg of the German Professional Association of Ear, Nose and Throat Doctors.

"The function is impaired in a dry nose and it gets worse with creams," he said. In a worst case scenario, this can lead to infection.

Tests find killer MRSA bug common in German piggeries

Killer BugsBonn, Germany - Killer staphylococcus germs which defy antibiotics and which are rampant in some hospitals are also widespread on German farm pigs, health officials said Monday.

Spot tests were ordered after last year's revelation that the germs are widespread in Dutch piggeries.

Massage for little ones: Osteopathy is a trend in children's medicine

Dusseldorf, Germany - Six-month-old Leon lies relaxed on Dennis Guelden's massage table as the osteopath rubs the child's torso, applies gentle pressure on other places and massages elsewhere.

The treatment is intended to help ease tension and and make irritations disappear. Little Leon likes the treatment which his mother, Melanie Driesen confirms. But while osteopathic medicine considers itself holistic while critics classify it as esoteric.

Dogs ward off allergies in small children, German experts claim

Hamburg, Germany - Children who are raised with dogs from an early age have fewer common hay fever-related allergies than children from pet-free homes, according to a team of German researchers.

The new findings will raise a howl from an earlier generation of medical experts who cautioned parents about the possible allergic hazards of pet fur.

It used to be conventional medical wisdom to warn parents against owning a dog, if their children showed early signs of hay fever.

Telltale signs of a pleural tumour

Pleural tumourWerne, Germany  - Difficulty breathing and swelling of the face and neck may indicate a pleural tumour (the pleura is the membrane that covers a lung), warned the Werne-based German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine (DGP).

German scientists work on Alzheimer's cure, but 10 years away

Dresden, Germany  -  In a research breakthrough, a potential cure for Alzheimer's disease has been developed in Germany, but it may not be practicable for human patients for another 10 years, scientists said Thursday.

The new technique inhibits beta-secretase, an enzyme which is now known to be a main cause of senile brain decay.

A report Thursday in the journal Science described how researchers in Dresden in Germany used an "anchor" to lodge the inhibitor in mice brains and prevent them succumbing to a mouse version of Alzheimer's.

An apple a day can keep colon cancer away, German researchers say

Colon cancerHamburg, Germany  - German scientists have found new proof of that old adage about an apple a day keeping the doctor away by showing the fruit helps reduce the incidence of colon cancer.

German researchers led by Dr Dieter Schrenk found that apples and apple juice enhance biological mechanisms that produce anticarcinogenic compounds during the fermentation process.

Recalcitrant Bavarians fight pub smoking ban

Recalcitrant Bavarians fight pub smoking banMunich  - Bavaria's anti-smoking legislation was intended as the toughest in all of Germany when it was introduced at the beginning of the year, but putting it into effect has produced paradoxical results.

Pubs across the country's largest state have sidestepped the law by reconstituting themselves as "smokers' clubs."

Start spring with beautiful legs and feet

Beautiful legs and feetHamburg - Out of sight, out of mind: while our hands typically get washed and moisturized every day, care for our feet and legs tends to be an afterthought.

This is especially true in the cold-weather months when thick socks and heavy shoes are the rule and keep the feet and legs well concealed. But once winter is over, the legs and feet look uncared for.

Get your jabs before heading to China for Olympics 2008

InjectionNeu-Ulm, Germany - Those heading to China for this summer's Olympic Games should ensure they are properly vaccinated beforehand, doctors in Germany advise.

"People who have not already done so should make sure they get their jabs at least four weeks before leaving," said Dietrich Hueppe in Neu-Ulm who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.

Outdated breast cancer treatment costs lives

Cologne, Germany - Breast CancerOne in eight women in Germany is diagnosed with breast cancer in the course of her life. With some 57,000 new cases each year, mastocarcinoma is thus the most common form of cancer among women. And the disease is still fatal 40 per cent of the time.

Many patients could live longer, though, if only they received more effective treatment via the latest medical knowledge and improved interdisciplinary cooperation among doctors.

Men more susceptible to tuberculosis than women

TuberculosisBerlin - Men in Germany contract tuberculosis more often than women, according to the Berlin-based Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the central federal institution responsible for disease control and prevention.

It said the number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants was 7.8 for men and 5.3 for women.

Ruptured Achilles tendon not always painful

Ruptured Achilles TendonMunich - A ruptured Achilles tendon does not always make itself painfully felt.

People who suspect that they have the injury due to a sporting activity, for example, should therefore try standing on their toes, advised the Munich-based medical newspaper Aerztliche Praxis (Medical Practice).

If they cannot, the tendon is most likely torn.

TV commercials can literally be a pain, German experts say

Hamburg, Germany - Back PainIf you have mysterious back pains which your doctor cannot explain, the cause may be partly due to watching TV commercials about pain-relief medication, according to findings of a revolutionary new study in Germany.

The German researchers said incidence of back pain among people living behind the Berlin Wall increased dramatically after German unification as East Germans became inundated by West German commercial television networks.

Wellness goes to people's heads

WellnessKiel, Germany - Current trends in the wellness industry such as brain training, sudoku and positive thinking are mainly mental in nature.

The industry is wooing new customers with programmes like "selfness" and "mindness," novel terms for what essentially is nothing new: getting one's mind and spirit in shape, and consequently one's life back on track.

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