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Two UK physicians, Alastair Munro and Paddy Niblock, write about the "political and moral consequences of the globalisation of research into cancer treatment" in the Lancet. This comes in response to another article in that journal from the ToGA trial that found that Herceptin along with chemotherapy increased survival time by a few months in patients with HER2-positive gastric cancer. The Guardian adds that "on the basis of the results, the European Medicines Agency has licensed Herceptin for this use." Munro and Niblock, however, question the cost, particularly in the countries where the trials took place. They calculate that the cost of Herceptin therapy to be nearly £14,000 per patient, but note that the yearly health expenditure per citizen of the countries in which the trial took place are much smaller, ranging from about £25 to around £3,000. This, they write, "reiterates the important moral question — what is the justification for introducing a treatment that might enable one individual to live a few months longer, but will consume, for each person treated, the total yearly health expenditure for scores of their fellow citizens?"

The Scan

Two J&J Doses

Johnson & Johnson says two doses of its SARS-CoV-2 vaccine provides increased protection against symptomatic COVID-19, CNN reports.

Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine Response in Kids

The Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in a lower-dose format appears to generate an immune response among children, according to the Washington Post.

Chicken Changes to Prevent Disease

The Guardian writes that researchers are looking at gene editing chickens to help prevent future pandemics.

PNAS Papers on Siberian Dog Ancestry, Insect Reproduction, Hippocampal Neurogenesis

In PNAS this week: ancestry and admixture among Siberian dogs, hormone role in fruit fly reproduction, and more.