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Pharmaceutical firm to aid homeless

WASHINGTON _ In a program that won praise from lawmakers and health organizations, a pharmaceutical manufacturer announced Wednesday it would begin an $11-million health care plan for America's homeless. Lederle Laboratories' Suprax Family Health Fund would provide antibiotics for the homeless and financing for programs to develop direct health care services. Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who has introduced legislation to provide federal money for mobile clinics to serve the homeless, called Lederle's contribution "timely and critical, and I hope its lead is followed by others in the corporate world."Brain-tumor surgery can extend life

BOSTON _ Surgery can add a few months to the lives of about one-quarter of cancer patients whose tumors have spread to their brains, but it does not cure the disease, a study concludes. The research is the first carefully controlled study to show that such surgery actually does some good. Doctors operated on 25 people whose tumors had spread to one spot in their brains. These patients survived an average of 40 weeks, compared with 15 weeks among 23 patients who received radiation therapy but no surgery. The study was directed by Dr. Roy A. Patchell of the University of Kentucky Medical Center. It was published in today's New England Journal of Medicine.

Campaign targets smokeless tobacco

WASHINGTON _ Medical experts announced plans Wednesday for a weeklong, nationwide educational campaign aimed at stopping the use of snuff and chewing tobacco among young people. The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Inc. said the "Through with Chew Week" campaign is designed to educate teen-agers about the health risks of smokeless tobacco _ including life-threatening cancers of the mouth and throat.

Medical magazine switching dates

CHICAGO _ The editors of the Journal of the American Medical Association said Wednesday they are moving up publication of the weekly magazine by two days, in part to beat rival publications into print with news items. Under the change the Journal will be issued Wednesday, one day earlier than the rival New England Journal of Medicine, its prime competitor in the United States. Under the new schedule, material in the AMA Journal will be for release in print and broadcast media Tuesday evening, roughly 24 hours before material from the New England Journal.