Lancet 6 Jan 2007

This study shows that when given early after adjuvant chemotherapy for HER-2 positive breast cancer, trastuzumab provides significant mortality benefit in as little as two years. But the Herceptin debate is certainly not over – the benefit is small, the cardiac dangers great, the long-term effects unknown, the dosage uncertain and the costs enormous – as pointed out in the accompanying editorial.

Ever heard of medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency? As you’ll have guessed, it’s a rare metabolic disorder – potentially lethal but treatable. Over a ten-year period, 81 cases were picked up in Australia, and this paper makes an argument for neonatal screening using tandem-mass spectrometry.

Good news about premature or very low birthweight babies – there has been a notable decline in cerebral palsy rates in European countries between 1980 and 1996.

A lengthy review of caries, containing plenty of cavities filled with an amalgam of knowledge and opinion.

If we could really help our patients lose weight and keep it lost, it would be a major breakthrough. We have three drugs to help our fat patients – orlistat, sibutramine and rimonabant. As this review makes clear, none is ideal and we don’t have any real evidence about their effects on hard end-points like cardiovascular disease or osteoarthritis.