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Rheumatology Conference at
Lahore from April 10-12, 2015

KARACHI: Targeting Remission in Rheumatic Diseases is the theme of the 19th annual international conference of Pakistan Society for Rheumatology being held at Lahore form April 10-12, 2015.  It is being hosted by the Division of Rheumatology, FMH College of Medicine and Dentistry and it is accredited by the Pakistan Medical & Dental Council for six credit hours.

Scientific programme of the conference consists of State of the Art lectures on key topics in rheumatology by international speakers, pre-conference review course for postgraduate trainees in Medicine and Rheumatology, Musculoskeletal Ultrasound workshop for Rheumatologists and Fellows in training. It also provides an opportunity to the participants to present their research work in Rheumatology besides Networking with professional colleagues says a communication received from the organizers.

Participants in the postgraduate course will get Two Credit Hours; Conference delegates will get Four Credit Hours while each Oral and poster presenter will get two credit hours.  Registration as conference delegate is mandatory for postgraduate course and workshop participants. For further details contact Conference Secretariat: Division of Rheumatology, FMH College of Medicine and Dentistry, Shadman, Lahore.  Helpline: 0336-4313637

Prof. Shaukat Ali Syed
passes away

KARACHI: Prof. Shaukat Ali Syed, an eminent cardiologist and founder Executive Director of National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases  died  of cardiac arrest on Monday March 16,2015 at the age of ninety two years.  May God Almighty rest the departed soul in eternal peace.  Ameen.

Late Prof. Shaukat Ali Syed contributed a great deal to the promotion and development of cardiology in Pakistan and under his leadership, the NICVD made tremendous progress and for many years, it was the only tertiary cardiac center in the country which attracted cardiac patients from all over Pakistan. He helped recruit an experienced, well trained team of cardiac physicians and surgeons to run and mange the NICVD providing state of the art cardiac care.

He was born in 1922 and graduated from King Edward Medical College Lahore in 1944 and later had his specialist training in cardiology. He joined army in 1945 and saw active service during World Ward-II on the Burmese Frontier.  After the creation of Pakistan, his services were placed at the disposal of Pakistan Navy and he was posted at PNS Shifa where he was in charge of the cardiology ward. Later he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral in Pakistan Navy and as Major General in Pakistan Army.

He retired from NICVD after a distinguished service in 1983. He continued to practice for some time but then gave up practice and was leading a quiet life keeping himself busy in gardening. Late Prof. Shaukat Ali Syed was the principal investigator in the landmark study on Rheumatic Fever, Rheumatic Heart Disease conducted in Punjab in the early 60s which was extensively cited in the medical literature. He was very quiet, humble, gentleman who was loved by his patients as well as his professional colleagues. His son Dr. Nadir Ali Syed is an eminent Neuro Physician. He leaved behind a large number of relatives, friends and well wishers to mourn his death. 

Smoking may increase risks for
patients being treated for prostate cancer

Among patients with prostate cancer, those who smoke have increased risks of experiencing side effects from treatment and of developing future cancer recurrences, or even dying from prostate cancer. The findings, which are published in BJU International, suggest that smoking may negatively affect the health outcomes of patients with prostate cancer and may contribute to complications related to their care. 

Several studies have demonstrated links between cigarette smoking and prostate cancer. To better understand the influence of smoking on prostate cancer progression and treatment, Michael Zelefsky, MD, of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City and Professor of Radiation Oncology, and his colleagues studied 2358 patients who underwent external beam radiotherapy for prostate cancer between 1988 and 2005. Of these, 2156 had a history of smoking. Patients were classified as never smokers, current smokers, former smokers, and current smoking unknown. 

Over a median follow-up of nearly eight years, patients who were current smokers had a 40% increased risk of cancer relapse, as well as more than 2-times increased risks of cancer spread and cancer-related death, compared with patients who were never smokers. In addition, current and former smokers had a higher likelihood of experiencing side effects, such as urinary toxicity, related to radiotherapy. Examples of urinary toxicity include urinary retention, urinary incontinence, and bladder hemorrhage.

"Less optimal tumor control outcomes among smokers could possibly be explained by the influence of less oxygen concentration within the treated tumors among smokers, which is known to lead to less sensitivity of the cells being killed off by radiation treatments," Dr. Zelefsky noted. "Our findings point to the importance of physicians counseling their patients regarding the potential harms of smoking interfering with the efficacy of therapies and for increased risks of side effects." (PR)

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