Air France/KLM forecasts better times ahead for Canadian market MONTREAL — Air France/KLM’s Canadian operations in 2016 were challenged after terrorism incidents in France prompted some Canadians to choose other destinations.“Canada to France was impacted by the incidents,” says Jean-Noël Rault, the Vice-President and General Manager Air France/KLM Canada in an interview with Travelweek. Air France/KLM invited journalists from 40 countries last week to meet with airline and airport executives and take a first-hand look at the many changes that have been and will be implemented at Paris-Charles de Gaulle.“Compared to last year the number of people going to France should improve (in 2017).” He added that last year there was huge capacity to Europe from Canada from various airlines.Rault is optimistic about 2017 and believes there will be moderate growth outbound from Canada. “In terms of volume it should be okay and competitive,” says Rault.There are no current plans for additional flights out of Canada this year since the past couple of years they have added flights and gateways including Edmonton as a new gateway. There are five gateways Air France and KLM operate out of Canada: Montreal and Toronto with Air France and Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver with KLM.More news: Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochureAir France will operate a new 787 Dreamliner aircraft beginning May 1, 2017 from Montreal. It will be Air France’s first destination in the Americas using the new Dreamliner aircraft. KLM will increase to five weekly flights from Vancouver beginning in June for the summer season.This summer Air France will operate 33 flights and KLM 37 flights for a total of 70 weekly flights from Canada. Air France/KLM partner with WestJet which provides another 30 gateways in Canada.Besides the new Dreamliner, Rault believes the new business class cabins will be a big hit with passengers. Rault says the newly designed “triple F” seat as he calls it is full flat, full access and full privacy. The redesigned cabin has seats providing more legroom, fully flat seat for sleeping comfort and more privacy.One area that hasn’t given airlines more comfort is U.S. President Trump’s travel ban. Rault is sympathetic to passengers that were affected by this ban and it has caused operational headaches for the airlines as it was implemented initially without warning.More news: War of words between Transat, Group Mach ramps upThe instability is not good for anyone but Canada may receive some benefit. With Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations and Montreal’s 375th anniversary and the numerous events and publicity surrounding it he expects inbound traffic to Canada from Europe and other overseas markets to be very positive. << Previous PostNext Post >> Share By: Chris Ryall Tags: Air France, KLM Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Can you guess which destination is at the top of boomers’ bucket lists? Tags: Hawaii, Trend Watch Here’s something that comes as no surprise: Hawaii has topped all other U.S. destinations as the top bucket list destination among boomers.According to a new study by AARP, about 18% of boomers listed the island chain as their top domestic destination, above Alaska (12%), California (8%) and Nevada (7%).Couple this with the news that Hawaii was named the happiest state in the United States by a Gallup poll and you’ve got the makings of the perfect travel destination! After interviewing 177,000 adults across the country, Gallup determined a “well-being score” based on respondents’ views on their social lives, finances, community, motivation and physicality. Hawaii ranked #, ahead of Alaska, Colorado, West Virginia and Kentucky, for the sixth time. Travelweek Group Monday, March 27, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Share
Monday, November 12, 2018 Posted by Travelweek Group MONTREAL — After five years at the helm of Air Transat, President and General Manager Jean-François Lemay will be leaving the airline.The announcement was made by parent company Transat A.T., which confirmed that Lemay will be leaving his role in a few month’s time following more than seven years in total at the company. Lemay will continue in his current role until Transat announces a successor.“We respect Jean-François’ decision to take on new challenges,” said Annick Guérard, Transat’s Chief Operating Officer. “I wish to acknowledge his significant contribution to the development and growth of our air operations in recent years, and express my deepest appreciation for his commitment and for the tremendous work he has accomplished.”During his tenure, Lemay oversaw a number of structure-enhancing projects for the air carrier, including reducing its air costs, establishing a new senior management team, driving growth through the insourcing of Air Transat’s narrow-body fleet, operating the so-called double flexible fleet, and transforming the fleet, which will consist entirely of Airbus aircraft by 2022. Share Tags: Air Transat, Departures Air Transat announces departure of President Lemay << Previous PostNext Post >>
Ash has been reported in San José and Heredia provinces.Turrialba Volcano has seen increased activity following explosions in late April, some of which extended for several hours. The National University’s Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI) reported that micro-tremors and ash eruptions from the volcano have been constant since an eruption recorded at 10:07 p.m. Wednesday.On Wednesday, the National Emergency Commission (CNE) established a 5-km restricted access area around the volcano. Entrance to the Turrialba Volcano National Park has been closed to all visitors since 2014.In a report, CNE geologist Blas Sánchez said ash and other materials from the explosions are visible on various farms located west of the volcano. He also reported that ash is accumulating in various nearby rivers.However, recent rains have helped remove some of the material.Juan Santamaría International Airport, outside of the capital, has thus far continued to operate normally.The CNE maintains a yellow caution alert for the Cartago cantons of Turrialba and Alvarado. Ashes from the explosions of Turrialba Volcano cover pastures and trees at various farms located in the surroundings of the crater. (Via CNE) Facebook Comments Related posts:Turrialba Volcano again spews ash and vapor Ash from Turrialba Volcano keeps falling on the Central Valley Turrialba Volcano spews ash, vapor Experts document presence of lava in two Costa Rican volcanoes Activity at Turrialba Volcano, located some 50 kilometers east of the capital, San José, increased significantly on Thursday with constant emanations of ash and at least three big explosions.According to the University of Costa Rica’s National Seismological Network (RSN), the first explosion occurred at 2:05 p.m. and formed a plume of gas and ash that reached nearly 1 km high.The second, and most prolonged one, occurred at 3:46 p.m. and lasted three minutes. A few minutes later, at 4:09 p.m., a third explosion was recorded.The column of gases and ash at about 4:20 p.m. rose to more than 500 meters above the crater and wind conditions at that time caused ash to disperse from the volcano, mostly to the southwest, RSN reported.
The long, lithe national dress of Vietnam, the ao dai, is at the heart of an alluring new package from La Residence Hue Hotel & Spa.The new ‘Long Lithe Vietnam’ package celebrates the 1000-year-history of a garment as singular to Vietnam as the kimono to Japan, and coordinates the made-to-measure production of an ao dai for one female guest.The three-night package includes tickets to a fashion show on the city’s most glamorous boulevard and accommodation in a room that drinks in views of the fabled Perfume River.As a garment, the ao dai defies pigeon-holing as a dress or a pant suit. Its close-fitting tunic top drapes two long panels as far as the ankles, with slits from the hips to the hemline. The sleeves are tight, the collar typically buttoned up, and the underwear slacks rather blousey. It’s quite frequently said that the ao dai reveals everything and shows nothing at the same time.“After the conical hat, nothing quite says Vietnam like the ao dai,” said Phan Trong Minh, general manager of La Residence. “It’s as iconic as our pho, our cyclos and our water buffalo.”Unlike the cyclo and water buffalo, La Residence is helping guests take home this icon. ‘Long Lithe Vietnam’ provides escorted visits to a renowned local tailor of the ao dai for material selection in silk and cotton and fittings for a custom-made garment.The package steps out from 1 November 2017, and runs through October of 2018. The cost is USD $699 and includes accommodation, tickets to the fashion show, one bespoke ao dai and daily breakfast for two.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – The lawyer for a man charged in a Thanksgiving shooting at an Alabama shopping mall says his client wasn’t the instigator in the confrontation, which ended with police shooting and killing another man.Charles Salvagio, an attorney for 20-year-old Erron Brown, made the comments during a news conference Wednesday.Salvagio wouldn’t provide details about the incident. But he says the people involved all knew each other, and that the violence resulted from an “ongoing thing.”Brown’s mother, Ebony Brown, says she’s standing by her son and predicts his name will be cleared.
This week, we’ve been reporting on the aftermath of a tragic fire that spread through a low-rent Greensboro apartment earlier this year, killing five young refugee siblings. Their family was placed there by a resettlement agency tasked with finding safe, affordable housing for new North Carolinians. But as the number of low-cost rentals has dwindled here, safe and affordable is becoming increasingly rare.For this chapter of our series “Unsafe Haven,” WFDD’s David Ford surveys the Gate City’s response to a housing crisis that’s been years in the making.“We Can’t Afford To Be Biased”Code enforcement officer for the city of Greensboro Terri Buchanan is following up on repairs that she requested a landlord make to a small, two-bedroom rental house. That’s how it works: a tenant files a complaint with the city, and if warranted, they send out people like Buchanan to inspect.Even though this property owner lives out of town, Buchanan says he’s been extremely responsive. He’s gone above and beyond in resolving the roughly dozen or so code violations that needed to be addressed, the only conflicts arising when contractors he’s hired have cut corners, and they’re easily resolved.City code enforcement officer Terri Buchanan inspects recently installed replacement siding used to cover an entry point for rodents. DAVID FORD/WFDDOther landlords, she says, consistently fail to meet even minimum standards. “We have to be so careful, and we can’t afford to be biased with someone. We can’t afford to let our emotions or our opinions enter in and we don’t,” says Buchanan. “That’s one of our strong points as a team. We may grumble amongst ourselves, but we cannot let those opinions enter into the inspection and the process.”Buchanan acknowledges that this even-handed approach can be frustrating, particularly for the affordable housing advocates, and thousands of low-income renters throughout the city of Greensboro who want bad actors held accountable. But Buchanan contends that the city’s reasoning is sound. “I think that’s been an asset to everybody and eventually helps get landlords back on track if they’ve lost their way, without really pointing fingers at anybody,” she says.But there are many who argue it doesn’t work. Case in point? The Summit-Cone apartment complex near the intersection of Summit Avenue and Cone Boulevard.City inspectors came to investigate living conditions in the sprawling 42-unit complex following the deadly fire there, and after several tenant complaints surfaced in a petition. While there, code enforcement officers discovered 466 code violations.It’s the second time in five years this property has been condemned, so how does it keep happening?”A Tool In Our Toolbox” To find out about one contributing factor, we have to rewind the clock, when state laws changed that made it more difficult for the city to prevent the abuses from happening in the first place. Specifically, the Rental Unit Certificate of Occupancy (RUCO). Mayor Nancy Vaughan says RUCO was groundbreaking in holding more landlords accountable, and it served as a model for other cities.“We were able to go in and do proactive inspections of units before people rented them,” says Vaughan. “And then the legislature took that away not only from Greensboro, who pioneered that legislation, but from the entire state which took away one of the tools in our toolbox.”So, by 2012 RUCO was no more.Brett Byerly with the Greensboro Housing Coalition laments the loss as well, but admits the program also ruffled feathers.City nuisance contractor Bruce Glass (far) boards up a missing window on a condemned rental in East Greensboro. DAVID FORD/WFDD “Philosophically, a lot of it had to do with real estate lobbies feeling like they were being pushed on too hard and overregulated,” says Byerly. “And I get it. Maybe one of the weaknesses of RUCO was that it was an across-the-board inspection program.”So, we’re spending a lot of time inspecting what investors refer to as A and B Class properties. And A and B class properties by definition don’t generally need to be inspected, because the people living in A and B Class properties, if their owner landlord is not taking care of the property, they leave.”Byerly says that, meanwhile, people in C Class properties, without $1,500 in their pocket for a deposit plus the first month’s rent, have no ability to vote with their feet. They’re stuck.With RUCO gone, city code inspectors were invited to investigate properties only after receiving complaints from residents, or petitions—as was the case at Summit-Cone. After inspections, problems are identified to the owners who are then given two months or more to correct them. If no action is taken, the building can be condemned as a last resort, followed by civil penalties and fines levied to further entice them to comply. If the owners still don’t make repairs, it can be pricey, with escalating reinspection fees eventually totaling $400 per unit, per month. And the last resort: demolition.“Are We Doing Enough?”When buildings are condemned, people can’t live in them. That just makes the dearth of affordable housing even worse, says City Councilman Justin Outling.“The fact is there are 26,000 households in our community where people are not able to afford the price they pay for housing.”With regard to making up the affordable housing gap, City Councilman Justin Outling says, “We have to go really far, really fast.” DAVID FORD/WFDD That’s why, after negotiations with housing advocates and real estate officials, the city passed a $25 million bond referendum to support more affordable housing.That’s helping to fund a 176-unit apartment community in East Greensboro called Cottage Grove. It’s being refurbished with a $400,000 investment from the city for energy efficient upgrades.Then in October, the City Council passed a new housing ordinance. Outling says it will target substandard properties, like the Summit-Cone apartments. “That property was in compliance as of 2016,” says Outling. “We know now, 2018, a mere two years later, it’s woefully out of compliance. This revision to the housing ordinance will help address situations like that one to ensure that properties stay in compliance for a longer period of time.”Outling says, that unlike RUCO, this ordinance allows the city to inspect all units of an apartment complex where just one serious threat to safety was found. It also gives them permission to follow up with multiple, rollover inspections there over the course of one year without having to start back at the beginning: scheduling, notifications, hearings, and demolitions. “Are we doing enough?” asks Outling. “The answer is, ‘No, but we’re making tremendous progress.’ If you want to go fast, you go alone. If you want to go far, you go together. On this topic, we have to go really far, really fast.”Construction at Cottage Grove seems to be moving along at a good clip, with a move-in date scheduled for some time this spring.,It was just over six months ago when a tragedy amplified deep issues within the Greensboro community. Our series, “Unsafe Haven,” looks at what happened and the remaining unanswered questions.,In May, a kitchen fire at a low-rent apartment in Greensboro claimed the lives of five refugee children—siblings from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.,Earlier this year, a tragic kitchen fire at the Summit-Cone apartments in Greensboro killed five young refugee children.,On an early morning in May, a kitchen fire swept through a low-income apartment in Greensboro. Inside, a refugee family from the Democratic Republic of the Congo—five young siblings and their father—slept.
Eggs have made a big comeback. Americans now consume an estimated 280 eggs per person, per year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And that’s a significant increase compared with a decade ago.Part of the renewed appeal stems from the dietary advice we got back in 2016. That’s when the U.S. Dietary Guidelines dropped a longstanding recommended limit on dietary cholesterol. The move was seen as a green-light to eat eggs.But a new study published in the medical journal JAMA re-opens a longstanding debate about the risks tied to consuming too much dietary cholesterol.”What we found in this study was that if you consumed two eggs per day, there was a 27 percent increased risk of developing heart disease,” says researcher Norrina Allen, an associate professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University.”It was surprising,” Allen says. The researchers behind the JAMA study tracked the health of about 30,000 adults enrolled in long-term studies. On average, participants were followed for about 17 years.Prior studies have come to competing conclusions. But overall, there has not been strong evidence that limiting consumption of cholesterol-rich foods lowers the amount of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol that ends up in our blood.Nutrition experts at the Harvard School of Public Health conclude that dietary cholesterol and cholesterol in the blood are only weakly related. But Norrina Allen says that “we don’t know as much as we’d like to about how the cholesterol you consume in your diet is translated into the blood.”The new study is an observational study, so it doesn’t prove that cholesterol caused the increased risk of heart disease that the researchers documented. “These new findings provide one piece of evidence,” Allen says. But it’s possible that other lifestyle or dietary habits may be responsible for the increased risk.One shortcoming of the study is that participants were asked only one time about their diets. So, this one snapshot may not have accurately captured their eating habits over time. “We hope that in future studies we can look at how changes in diet over the long-term may be impacting this risk for heart disease,” Allen says. Future studies could also explore how the risks linked to dietary cholesterol may vary from person to person.Big picture: Many experts say this study is no justification to drop eggs from your diet.”So much data have already been published on this topic, which generally show that low-to-moderate egg consumption (no more than one egg per day) is not associated with increased risk of heart attack or stroke,” Frank Hu, a professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in an email.Hu says that when it comes to healthful eating, the best strategy is to focus on a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.Thomas Sherman, a professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine, agrees. “I tell my students that eating a protein-rich breakfast is one of the best ways of preventing getting hungry,” Sherman says. “So I’d hate for them to come back to me and say, ‘Oh, no! We’re not supposed to be eating eggs.’ “Sherman says if you’re in the habit of eating a healthy diet, full of lots of plant-based, fiber-rich foods, then “eggs are a welcome part of the diet.” Just don’t overdo it.But the findings may re-open the debate about whether to reinstate a recommended limit on dietary cholesterol. A committee of experts was named earlier this year to begin the process of revising the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. And Norrina Allen says, “I do think that guideline committees will have to take the evidence [from this study] into account when they’re trying to understand what a healthy — or a moderate — amount of cholesterol would be.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
News and Trends Why Google’s Move to Alphabet Just Changed This Man’s Life Image credit: Shutterstock This story originally appeared on CNBC –shares Ari Levy 3 min read Next Article 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List August 11, 2015 Here’s one giant winner in Google’s rebranding announcement: Daniel Negari.Negari is the founder and CEO of XYZ.com, an Internet domain registry that owns alternative suffixes like .rent and .college. His 10-person company also owns .xyz.Abc.xyz is the web address for Google’s new parent entity, Alphabet Inc.”Our registry is lighting up right now,” said Negari, in an interview Monday afternoon following Google’s announcement. “I’m seeing all kinds of names being registered. I just got 250 names registered in the last 60 seconds. It’s crazy.”In a full day, Negari said about 3,000 addresses are typically registered under .xyz. Domains with that extension can be purchased from services such as GoDaddy for $10 a year and Namecheap for a first-year fee of $1.Negari is cashing in thanks to a 2011 decision by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) designed to expand access to extensions beyond .com, .org and .edu. The market opened up to those websites in 2014.Of the more than 350 new extensions that are now available, .xyz is by far the most popular, with 1.14 million domains having been registered, according to nTLDstats. The next most active is .science with over 326,000, followed by .club with over 278,000.Negari, who turned on .xyz to the public in June 2014, declined to say how much Google paid for abc.xyz, citing a confidentiality agreement. To acquire the .xyz extension, Negari paid a mere $185,000 application fee. There were no other applicants, so Negari didn’t have to bid in an auction.A spokesperson from Mountain View, California-based Google said “we have nothing to add here.”Google announced on Monday a dramatic restructuring that breaks out the Web giant’s core business into a separate company under a new umbrella called Alphabet. Other companies that will be part of Alphabet are the life sciences unit and Calico, which is focused on longevity.Larry Page, co-founder and CEO of Google, will assume the CEO role of Alphabet, with Google co-founder Sergey Brin serving as president. Sundar Pichai, head of product and engineering, is now CEO of Google. Alphabet is replacing Google as the publicly-traded entity.Currently, abc.xyz is just a landing page, with a letter from Page explaining the changes and some blocks with letters. That’s providing plenty of attention for Negari.”It’s a big deal for new top-level domains as a whole,” said Negari, who has operations in Santa Monica, California, and Las Vegas. “It’s a big signal that Google, which is the largest search engine in the world, believes in it enough to switch to one.” Add to Queue The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Apply Now »
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 7 2018Ning “Jenny” Jiang, an associate professor in the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Dell Medical School’s Department of Oncology, has been awarded a $2.5 million grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) to participate in the philanthropic organization’s inaugural Neurodegeneration Challenge Network.The CZI, founded by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and medical doctor Priscilla Chan, will give $51.95 million in research funding to mark the launch of an ambitious collaborative project aimed at improving our understanding of the underlying causes of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.Jiang, who is the sole researcher from The University of Texas at Austin to receive a CZI grant, will study the “high-throughput 3D profiling of single T cells in neurodegenerative diseases” — a novel approach to understanding our immune system response.Although it is understood immune cells play a part in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, we know relatively little about the specific composition of the so-called T cells involved and how they react to the corresponding antigens specific to neurodegeneration.Jiang’s primary goal for the CZI grant will be to advance understanding of the function of infiltrating immune cells, especially T cells, in neurodegenerative diseases.”I am extremely grateful for this opportunity,” Jiang said. “It is a true honor for such a forward-thinking organization to recognize the merit in my research, given how many other worthy candidates were also in the running.”Jiang has developed systems immunology tools in her lab at UT that profile single T cells known to infiltrate the brain during neurodegeneration. The technology provides greater understanding of the role of the immune system, thereby potentially offering new immune-based diagnostic approaches and more effective treatments.Related StoriesTrump administration cracks down on fetal tissue researchSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairThrough the CZI program, top early-career engineers, physicians and scientists with expertise in neuroscience, cell biology, biochemistry, immunology and genomics will use the funding to conduct collaborative research into neurodegeneration in an effort to learn more about diseases where many questions remain unanswered.More than 500 applications were submitted to the CZI to participate in the Neurodegeneration Challenge Network, and Jiang was one of only 17 individuals to receive an award, along with nine collaborative science teams from research institutions nationwide.”To fill gaps in our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases, we need to support new approaches, explore new ideas and help experts connect across disciplines,” said Cori Bargmann, the head of science for CZI. “We’re excited to welcome the first group of CZI Neurodegeneration Challenge Network grantees. Together, their work will increase our knowledge of the basic biology of these diseases — and we need that knowledge to develop better treatments.”Jiang has devoted her career to learning more about how the human immune system works. Her research has already earned her international recognition as a thought leader in her field, with numerous publications in major academic journals, including related research in a recent issue of the journal Nature Biotechnology.”We are still learning how and why immune cells behave the way they do in the human body,” she said. “But my long-term goal is to advance new methods for earlier diagnoses of neurodegenerative diseases and, by extension, the development of more effective treatments.” Source:https://news.utexas.edu/2018/12/05/neurodegenerative-disease-research-at-ut-gets-financial-boost-thanks-to-facebook-founder/
Source:http://www.thelancet.com/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Feb 20 2019Cervical cancer could be eliminated as a public health problem in most countries by the end of the century by rapid expansion of existing interventions, according to a modeling study published in The Lancet Oncology journal.The estimates, which are the first of their kind at a global-scale, indicate that combining high uptake of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine and high HPV-based cervical screening rates in all countries from 2020 onwards could prevent up to 13.4 million cases of cervical cancer within 50 years (by 2069), and the average rate of annual cases across all countries could fall to less than 4 cases per 100,000 women by the end of the century–which is a potential threshold for considering cervical cancer to be eliminated as a major public health problem.Under a more gradual scale-up scenario, cervical cancer elimination is expected in countries with very high and high levels of development by the end of the century, but average rates would remain above the threshold in countries with medium (4.4 cases per 100,000) and low (14 per 100,000) levels of development.Without expanding current prevention programs, however, the study predicts that 44.4 million cervical cancer cases would be diagnosed over the next 50 years–rising from 600,000 in 2020 to 1.3 million in 2069 due to population growth and ageing.In May, 2018, the Director General of WHO called for coordinated action globally to eliminate this highly preventable cancer. The findings from this study have helped inform initial discussions of elimination targets as part of the development of the WHO strategy, and future modelling studies will support the development of the final goals and targets for cervical cancer elimination.WHO has called for urgent action to scale up implementation of proven measures towards achieving the elimination of cervical cancer as a global public health problem (including vaccination against HPV, screening and treatment of pre-cancer, early detection and prompt treatment of early invasive cancers and palliative care). A draft global strategy to accelerate cervical cancer elimination, with goals and targets for the period 2020-2030, will be considered at the World Health Assembly in 2020.”Despite the enormity of the problem, our findings suggest that global elimination is within reach with tools that are already available, provided that both high coverage of HPV vaccination and cervical screening can be achieved”, says Professor Karen Canfell from the Cancer Council New South Wales, Sydney, Australia who led the study.”More than two thirds of cases prevented would be in countries with low and medium levels of human development like India, Nigeria, and Malawi, where there has so far been limited access to HPV vaccination or cervical screening. The WHO call-to-action provides an enormous opportunity to increase the level of investment in proven cervical cancer interventions in the world’s poorest countries. Failure to adopt these interventions will lead to millions of avoidable premature deaths.”Cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, with an estimated 570,000 new cases diagnosed worldwide in 2018, of which around 85% occur in less developed regions. HPV, a group of more than 150 viruses, is responsible for the majority of cervical cancers. Proven methods are available to screen for and treat cervical pre-cancers, and broad-spectrum HPV vaccines can potentially prevent up to 84-90% of cervical cancers.Nevertheless, large disparities exist in cervical screening and HPV vaccination coverage between countries. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), overall screening rates in 2008 were as low as 19%, compared to 63% in high-income regions; whilst by 2014 less than 3% of females aged 10-20 years in LMICs received the full course of HPV vaccination in 2014, compared to over a third in high-income countries.Related StoriesLiving with advanced breast cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyNovel vaccine against bee sting allergy successfully testedThe authors analysed high-quality registry data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer to predict future trends in cervical cancer if further action is not taken. They then used a dynamic model to calculate the impact of scaling up HPV vaccination and cervical screening on the cervical cancer burden globally, and in 181 countries of all levels of development, between 2020 and the end of the century.The modelling focused on the deployment of vaccination and screening in low- and medium- income countries rather than detailed modelling of all the more recent improvements in countries with high levels of development, which may have underestimated timing to elimination in individual countries with high levels of development.The researchers also predicted the earliest date when rates of cervical cancer might fall enough to achieve elimination (considering a possible elimination threshold of less than 4 cases per 100,000 individuals). The average worldwide age-standardised rate of cervical cancer in 2012 was 12 per 100,000.Results showed that rapid vaccination scale-up to 80-100% coverage globally by 2020 using a broad-spectrum HPV vaccine could prevent 6.7-7.7 million cases–but more than half of these would be averted after 2060.If, in addition, cervical screening were scaled-up to high coverage by 2020 (with all women offered screening twice in their lifetime and 70% coverage globally), this could prevent an additional 5.7-5.8 million cases of cervical cancer in the next 50 years, and substantially speed up elimination.Such efforts could result in cervical cancer being eliminated as a public health problem, with average rates across countries falling to less than 4 cases per 100,000 by 2055-59 in countries with very high levels of development (including the USA, Finland, the UK and Canada); 2065-69 for countries with high levels of development (including Mexico, Brazil, and China); 2070-79 for countries with medium levels of development (including India, Vietnam, and the Philippines); and 2090-2100 onwards for countries with low levels of development (such as Ethiopia, Haiti, and Papua New Guinea).However, rates of less than 4 cases per 100,000 would not be achieved by the end of the century in all individual countries in Africa (eg, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda) even if high coverage vaccination and twice lifetime cervical screening could be achieved by 2020.The authors note several limitations, including that their predictions are constrained by a lack of high-quality cancer incidence data over time, particularly in developing countries. They also note that the model assumed lifetime duration of vaccine protection and did not fully account for geographical differences in sexual behaviour, which might affect the accuracy of the estimates. They also assumed in their rapid scale-up scenarios that very high global vaccination coverage rates (of 80% or higher) would be achievable worldwide–but successfully providing two doses of the HPV vaccine with appropriate spacing is likely to be challenging, particularly in less developed regions. Finally, the rapid scale-up scenario examined in the study did not account for cultural, logistical, and financial barriers to scaling up screening in low-resource settings.
Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 16 2019FINDINGSUCLA researchers have developed a new artificial intelligence system to help radiologists improve their ability to diagnose prostate cancer. The system, called FocalNet, helps identify and predict the aggressiveness of the disease evaluating magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, scans, and it does so with nearly the same level of accuracy as experienced radiologists. In tests, FocalNet was 80.5 percent accurate in reading MRIs, while radiologists with at least 10 years of experience were 83.9 percent accurate.BACKGROUNDRadiologists use MRI to detect and assess the aggressiveness of malignant prostate tumors. However, it typically takes practicing on thousands of scans to learn how to accurately determine whether a tumor is cancerous or benign and to accurately estimate the grade of the cancer. In addition, many hospitals do not have the resources to implement the highly specialized training required for detecting cancer from MRIs.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerLiving with advanced breast cancerUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerMETHODFocalNet is an artificial neural network that uses an algorithm that comprises more than a million trainable variables; it was developed by the UCLA researchers. The team trained the system by having it analyze MRI scans of 417 men with prostate cancer; scans were fed into the system so that it could learn to assess and classify tumors in a consistent way and have it compare the results to the actual pathology specimen. Researchers compared the artificial intelligence system’s results with readings by UCLA radiologists who had more than 10 years of experience.IMPACTThe research suggests that an artificial intelligence system could save time and potentially provide diagnostic guidance to less-experienced radiologists.Source: http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/artificial-intelligence-radiologists-detecting-prostate-cancer