Cancer deaths hit their lowest rate in decades

first_img Cancer deaths have fallen to their lowest rate since the numbers peaked in 1991, according to new research from the American Cancer Society.The 2012 cancer death rate in the United States was 166 deaths per 100,000 people, compared to a high of 215 deaths in 1991, and experts said there’s a number of factors that play into that. The smoking rate in the United States has dropped dramatically in recent decades, and, at the same time, medical advances mean some cancers can be caught earlier or treated more effectively.But the statistics should also give pause, with an estimated 1.7 million new cancer cases and nearly 600,000 deaths expected in 2016 in the United States alone.advertisement By Megan Thielking Jan. 7, 2016 Reprints About the Author Reprints Tags American Cancer Societycancerdeath Megan Thielking Study of twins sheds light on how genetics influences cancer risk Related: “It’s deceiving in the sense that there’s still a significant proportion and a significant number of people affected,” said Silvana Luciani, the cancer advisor for the World Health Organization’s Pan American Health Organization, who was not affiliated with the study.Another cause for concern: The decrease wasn’t seen across all cancer types.advertisement Participants arrive at the finish line in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Boston. Cancer deaths have fallen to their lowest rate since the numbers peaked in 1991, according to new research. Michael Dwyer/AP Still, the findings should clue in policy experts and medical professionals about what needs to be done to keep cancer death rates on the decline.“This is a good way to monitor health and assess whether we’re making progress,” said Bob Anderson, chief of the mortality statistics branch of the National Center for Health Statistics, who was not affiliated with the study. “If we see rising rates, that may signal to us that we need a public health intervention.” Related: HealthCancer deaths hit their lowest rate in decades News Editor Joe Biden pushed Congress for big boost in cancer research funding “When you clump all cancer types together, you get that vision of a decline in rates over time,” Luciani said, “but when you piece out the individual cancer types over time, it’s [a] different story.”The report found that colorectal cancer rates are slowly on the rise in people under age 50, who aren’t typically screened for the condition. The incidence of some types of leukemia and of cancers of the tongue, liver, and pancreas have also increased in the past decade. @meggophone [email protected] last_img read more

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Pharmalot, Pharmalittle: Neurocrine Biosciences wins first drug approval

first_img @megkesh Meghana Keshavan Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED By Meghana Keshavan April 12, 2017 Reprints [email protected] What is it? What’s included? STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Pharmalot, Pharmalittle: Neurocrine Biosciences wins first drug approval center_img Alex Hogan/STAT Good day to you. This is Meghana of the Readout, filling in for Ed in this Wednesday edition of Pharmalittle. Here’s what’s happening in PharmaLand:San Diego’s Neurocrine Biosciences won approval for its drug targeting tardive dyskinesia — a movement disorder seen in patients taking antipsychotic medication. This is the company’s first drug approval. Its stock leapt nearly 25 percent in premarket trading. GET STARTED Log In | Learn More Biotech Correspondent Meghana covers biotech and contributes to The Readout newsletter. About the Author Reprints Pharmalot Tags antibioticspharmaceuticalsSTAT+last_img read more

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Doctor told to stop marketing 3-parent baby technique

first_img Andrew Harnik/AP Doctor told to stop marketing 3-parent baby technique Associated Press Log In | Learn More GET STARTED Unlock this article — plus daily intelligence on Capitol Hill and the life sciences industry — by subscribing to STAT+. First 30 days free. GET STARTED WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. regulators warned a New York fertility doctor on Friday to stop marketing an experimental procedure, the 3-parent baby technique, that uses DNA from three people — a mother, a father, and an egg donor — to avoid certain genetic diseases.The doctor, John Zhang, used the technique to help a Jordanian couple have a baby boy last year. About the Author Reprints STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Tags ethicsfertilitygeneticspolicy What’s included? Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. What is it? Politics By Associated Press Aug. 5, 2017 Reprintslast_img read more

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Amgen’s cholesterol drug would have to sell for around $2,000 to be cost effective

first_imgPharmalot What’s included? By Ed Silverman Sept. 11, 2017 Reprints @Pharmalot GET STARTED Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Tags drug pricingpharmaceuticalsSTAT+ Ed Silvermancenter_img Amgen’s cholesterol drug would have to sell for around $2,000 to be cost effective Ric Francis/AP What is it? About the Author Reprints [email protected] Log In | Learn More File this under “How low can you go?”An updated analysis of Amgen’s (AMGN) Repatha, which is one of the newest cholesterol drugs, has been released and suggests the price would have to drop a whopping 85 percent to 88 percent off the existing list price of $14,500 in order to be considered cost effective. Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry.last_img read more

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Last-ditch Obamacare repeal bill could upend markets for the elderly, women, people with health problems

first_img STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Tags CongressinsuranceMedicaidpolicy Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. About the Author Reprints By Associated Press Sept. 20, 2017 Reprints Log In | Learn More Andrew Harnik/AP What’s included? GET STARTED Politics Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Last-ditch Obamacare repeal bill could upend markets for the elderly, women, people with health problems Associated Press What is it? WASHINGTON — The GOP’s last-ditch effort to repeal Obamacare would redistribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal financing for insurance coverage, creating winners and losers among individual Americans and states in ways not yet fully clear.Independent analysts say the latest Senate Republican bill is likely to leave more people uninsured than the Affordable Care Act, and allow states to make changes that raise costs for people with health problems or pre-existing medical conditions.last_img read more

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Know what’s worse than the risks of getting the HPV vaccine? Getting an HPV-related cancer. Trust me

first_img About the Author Reprints In an era of $500,000 cancer treatments, you’d expect a vaccine series that costs about $300 and helps prevent several types of cancer to be popular with physicians, insurers, and consumers. It’s not, and, as a result, people are dying. I should know — I’m one of them.The human papillomavirus (HPV) can cause changes in the body that lead to six cancers: cervical, vaginal, and vulvar cancer in women; penile cancer in men; and anal cancer in both women and men. It can also cause oropharyngeal cancer — cancer in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils — in both sexes. In the U.S., approximately 30,000 new cancers attributable to HPV are diagnosed each year.In 2006, the first vaccine became available to protect against HPV infection. I was 38 years old at the time, well above the upper age limit of 26 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for getting the vaccine. Ideally it should be given before the teen years, but can be given up to age 26.advertisement By Michael D. Becker Nov. 7, 2017 Reprints Related: Uptake of the HPV vaccine in the U.S. is abysmal, with just 49 percent of girls and 37 percent of boys having received the recommended HPV vaccination series. @Becker_MichaelD Tags cancerpediatricspublic healthVaccines Michael D. Beckercenter_img Individuals who oppose the use of vaccines argue that safety concerns should preclude the use of the HPV vaccine. I disagree. The safety and effectiveness of this vaccine to protect against cancer-causing strains of the HPV virus have been unquestionably proven. Others point to side effects of the HPV vaccine as a reason not to vaccinate young Americans. These may include pain, swelling, redness, itching, bruising, bleeding, or a lump at the injection site as well as headache, fever, nausea, dizziness, tiredness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sore throat. Most people who get the vaccine experience no side effects from it other than the pain that accompanies most shots.advertisement First OpinionKnow what’s worse than the risks of getting the HPV vaccine? Getting an HPV-related cancer. Trust me Joe Raedle/Getty Images [email protected] Missing from the discussion are the risks of not getting the vaccine. As someone with HPV-related oropharyngeal cancer, I can describe a few of them. And I can say with certainty I would gladly have experienced any of the vaccine-related side effects rather than the dozen or so “side effects” of the cancer and its treatment that I’m living with. I’ve illustrated them on the image below.Some of these side effects, like hair loss, aren’t hazardous. Others are. I’ve spent time in an intensive care unit for my rapid heart rate, and have had to go to the emergency department several times for my pleural effusion and other issues. All of these pale beside the biggest “side effect” — a terminal disease that will eventually take my life.I urge all parents to talk to your child’s doctor about the HPV vaccine. I wish my parents had that opportunity when I was young, as it could have prevented the cancer that’s killing me.Michael Becker Michael D. Becker is president and founder of MDB Communications LLC. He previously served as president, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, and director for several publicly traded biotechnology companies, including Cytogen, VioQuest Pharmaceuticals, and Relmada Therapeutics. He describes his fight with HPV-mediated oropharyngeal cancer in “A Walk with Purpose: Memoir of a Bioentrepreneur.” Age matters when it comes to screening for cervical cancer last_img read more

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Informed decision making in cancer care: more myth than reality

first_img Dr. Susan Love, a renowned breast surgeon who has also been a cancer patient as well as a care partner for a loved one with cancer, is all too familiar with the emotional and logistical complexities that assault individuals newly diagnosed with cancer. Although deeply committed to treatment plans that are built around patients’ preferences and priorities, she is also acutely aware of the time and resource pressures of clinical care delivery. “In this era of multi-modality care provided by a team of cancer specialists, the implementation of a treatment plan can resemble a relay race. And once it starts, we’re all on a well-choreographed path that can make it awkward to reconfigure,” she told me in a recent conversation.When cancer is diagnosed, the first treatment regimen tried is generally the best shot for cure or control. But it is generally accompanied by short-term and sometimes long-term physical, emotional, and financial side effects. It can also foreclose later treatment options, including clinical trials. In other words, initial treatment decisions have significant implications for people with cancer and their families.Our research findings reinforce the conclusion that new resources or approaches are needed to help patients understand and define their priorities and preferences — and to help providers ask about them — before treatment begins. Although most practices don’t collect this kind of information in patients’ electronic health records, intake forms could be modified to include questions about work life, household responsibilities, favorite activities, pending events (like weddings), and personal goals. Or a member of the care team could have an introductory conversation with a new patient that elicits this information, which can then be communicated to the rest of the team through the electronic health record or some other way.To truly deliver patient-centric cancer care, providers and patients must partner to personalize the planning and implementation of cancer treatments in order to achieve the high-quality care that patients deserve and clinicians demand.Ellen Miller-Sonet is the chief strategy and alliance officer for CancerCare, a national nonprofit organization providing free, professional support services and information to help people manage the emotional, practical, and financial challenges of cancer. If prices are kept hidden, consumers can’t take more responsibility for their health care costs First OpinionInformed decision making in cancer care: more myth than reality For nearly a decade, the most distinguished minds in cancer care have advocated for shared decision-making — patients partnering with their clinicians to make informed decisions that are consistent with their needs, values, and preferences. Although widely perceived as the gold standard, it seems to be the exception rather than the rule.My organization, CancerCare, has surveyed more than 3,000 American adults with cancer. Many of them noted that during their planning for treatment they did not have enough information about other treatment options, whether they would be able to work, the care they’d need at home, the cost of treatment, caregiver responsibilities, and opportunities for joining a clinical trial. That doesn’t sound like informed decision-making to me.Many factors influence cancer treatment decisions, including safety, effectiveness, and cost. The emergence of new decision-support tools — value frameworks, pathways, guidelines, and the like — is helping inform physicians’ recommendations. But most of these tools are shaped through the eyes of providers and payers, and often ignore what matters most to patients.advertisement [email protected] Related: @esonet Ellen Miller-Sonet About the Author Reprintscenter_img Participation in treatment planningA recent CancerCare report, “The Many Voices of Value,” sought to shed light on how patients participate in deciding on a cancer treatment plan and how they view their roles and relationships with their care providers. Through conversations with cancer patients and oncology social workers, common themes emerged:Patients often feel they are not active participants in developing their cancer treatment plansDiscussions about treatment planning are often overwhelming for people newly diagnosed with cancerFew people realize they can ask questions; even fewer know what questions to ask during these discussionsPatients want their providers to recognize and appreciate the effect treatment has on their livesPatients’ priorities and perceptions of their treatment change over time.Most of the cancer patients we talked with said that upon first learning they had cancer, they felt overwhelmed, anxious, and frightened. Many are eager to start treatment as soon as possible, even though for most cancers taking a few weeks to understand the diagnosis and get more than one treatment recommendation would help them make more rational decisions without compromising their prognosis.At the outset of their cancer journeys, many people found it nearly impossible to articulate their priorities and understand the implications of their treatment choices. With time, though, many said they were better able to communicate with their care team what mattered most to them and to try to incorporate that into their care. By then, however, an initial treatment plan that may not have been aligned with their preferences was usually already underway. Tags cancerpatients Merging the person with the patientMany years ago, a close friend of mine was diagnosed with stage 2 colon cancer. Since he was only 48, his oncologist recommended a post-surgery course of chemotherapy. After doing some homework, my friend opted against doing that. As a dentist, he perceived the possibility of peripheral nerve damage from chemotherapy as too risky. He was willing to sacrifice a few points on the survival curve in order to protect his ability to continue working and support his family.Most cancer patients don’t have my friend’s capacity to assess the personal benefits and risks of a particular treatment. After receiving a cancer diagnosis, many nod their heads at a recommended treatment plan that may optimize effectiveness, safety, and cost, but may not consider their personal quality-of-life goals and priorities.advertisement APStock Related: By Ellen Miller-Sonet Dec. 14, 2017 Reprints Financial toxicity: 1 in 3 cancer patients have to turn to friends or family to pay for care last_img read more

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Consumers don’t need experts to interpret 23andMe genetic risk reports

first_imgFirst OpinionConsumers don’t need experts to interpret 23andMe genetic risk reports By Anne Wojcicki April 9, 2018 Reprints Privacy Policy Anne Wojcicki I disagree. While doctors and genetic counselors play an important role in delivering health care and health information, I am an advocate for consumers having more direct access to personalized information so they can take charge of their health. Making genetic testing affordable and accessible enables more people to learn important — and potentially lifesaving — information about themselves.advertisement @annewoj23 Related: Forty years ago, when the first at-home pregnancy tests became available, some physicians warned against their use. They thought women might not be able to handle such information on their own and claimed that the results might trigger them to make irrational decisions — some went so far as to claim it would lead to suicides. Looking back, it seems unthinkable that we questioned women’s ability to access this kind of information.My company, 23andMe, recently received FDA authorization for the first ever direct-to-consumer genetic test for an inherited risk for cancer. Specifically, it tests for variants in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes known to significantly increase chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer. Historically, access to this type of testing has been gated by insurance companies and couldn’t be obtained without an order from a physician or genetic counselor. Making this kind of test directly available to consumers is a huge milestone in empowering people to be in control of their own health information.I was disappointed to see that some of the initial reaction to this FDA authorization had a similar tone as the early reaction to at-home pregnancy tests. Some critics believe that people can’t handle this kind of information on their own, and that learning about a genetic cancer risk should be conveyed only by medical professionals.advertisement Newsletters Sign up for First Opinion A weekly digest of our opinion column, with insight from industry experts. Adobe We know from our research and the work of others that you don’t have to be an expert to handle genetic health risk information. People do not base rash or ill-informed decisions about their health on it. We also discovered through our research that a number of our customers who learned that they carry potentially harmful BRCA-related genetic variants never knew they were at risk for breast or ovarian cancer and would never have been tested for them through the traditional system. For some of these people, the information they got from a direct-to-consumer genetic test truly saved their lives.As part of the FDA authorization process, 23andMe had to demonstrate that we can deliver genetic risk information to customers in a way they understand. In rigorous studies submitted to the FDA for our previously authorized Genetic Health Risk Reports, which are similar to our BRCA1/BRCA2 report, we demonstrated user comprehension of 90 percent or greater.The BRCA1/BRCA2 report has limitations, and we worked hard to make sure that customers will be able to clearly understand those limitations. We clearly disclose that we do not test for all possible BRCA gene variants and that the test cannot diagnose breast or ovarian cancer. The report also makes it clear that many other factors outside of genetics influence one’s risk for cancer. At-home genetic testing may be convenient, but it isn’t complete Please enter a valid email address. Leave this field empty if you’re human: This 23andMe test looks at just three variants among the thousands of mutations that contribute to cancer risk. These variants are found mostly in people of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. But they are the most well-studied BRCA risk variants, and having one of them — no matter one’s ethnicity — could mean an increase of 45 percent to 85 percent in the chance of developing breast or ovarian cancer by the age of 70. Several studies have shown that as many as 50 percent of people with one of these mutations wouldn’t qualify for breast or ovarian cancer screening under current medical guidelines. These people likely would not be prescribed a genetic test, and thus have no real options for learning this information if not for openly accessible consumer genetic testing.Now that the BRCA1/BRCA2 report is available, we know that among our existing customers, several thousand will learn they are carriers of one or more of the variants we test for. Without affordable and direct access to this critical information, many would never know they are at high risk for cancer.I applaud the FDA for recognizing that people want personalized health information about themselves, and that there are responsible ways for making that information accessible. As is the case for at-home pregnancy tests, I believe that years from now we’ll look back and wonder why we questioned that individuals would be able to understand and responsibly act on carefully delivered health information.Anne Wojcicki is the CEO and co-founder of 23andMe. Tags cancergeneticspatients About the Author Reprintslast_img read more

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Up and down the ladder: The latest comings and goings

first_img What is it? Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Ed Silverman Up and down the ladder: The latest comings and goings By Ed Silverman April 6, 2018 Reprints What’s included? Pharmalot Log In | Learn More center_img Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. GET STARTED @Pharmalot About the Author Reprints Hired someone new and exciting? Promoting a rising star? Finally solved that hard-to-fill spot? Share the news with us, and we’ll share it with others. That’s right. Send us your changes, and we’ll find a home for them. Don’t be shy. Everyone wants to know who is coming and going.And here is our regular feature in which we highlight a different person each week. This time around, we note that Surrozen hired Craig Parker as chief executive officer. Most recently, he worked at Jazz Pharmaceuticals, where he was senior vice president of corporate development. [email protected] Alex Hogan/STAT Tags jobspharmaceuticalsSTAT+last_img read more

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Will Teva’s newly approved migraine drug help the company overcome its headaches?

first_img Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free! GET STARTED Pharmalot Log In | Learn More By Ed Silverman Sept. 17, 2018 Reprints What’s included? What is it? About the Author Reprints STAT+ is STAT’s premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond. Daily reporting and analysis The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters Subscriber-only newsletters Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day STAT+ Conversations Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations Exclusive industry events Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country The best reporters in the industry The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry And much more Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr. GET STARTEDcenter_img [email protected] After a three-month delay, Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) finally won U.S. regulatory approval to sell its new preventive migraine treatment, which the company is counting on to help turn around its fortunes. The move cheered investors, since the Teva drug, which is called Ajovy, is a new type of medicine called a CGRP inhibitor that studies indicate can appreciably reduce the frequency at which migraines appear.Teva stock, in fact, was up around 5 percent in early trading on Monday, reflecting optimism that the migraine treatment can help the drug maker overcome three problems: generic competition to its Copaxone brand-name multiple sclerosis drug, which has been a big seller; pricing pressure on its all-important generic business; and a $28 billion debt load. Tags drug developmentpharmaceuticalsSTAT+ Pharmalot Columnist, Senior Writer Ed covers the pharmaceutical industry. Will Teva’s newly approved migraine drug help the company overcome its headaches? Tsafrir Abayov/AP @Pharmalot Ed Silvermanlast_img read more

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