Health Matters: New cancer-fighting vaccine, kids exposed to fentanyl, flu study where you actually get the flu

By NewsRadio 1120 KMOX

(KMOX) — The most recent edition of Health Matters Presented by SSM Health provides KMOX listeners with an in-depth look at several hot button medical issues.

One of the big topics discussed in this week's show is a new cancer-fighting vaccine. Our co-host Dr. Fred Buckhold — a SLU Care general internist at SSM Health Saint Louis University — says it shows promise — but there is much more testing to be done.

We also talk about a new flu study underway at Saint Louis University Center for Vaccine Development where volunteers are actually given the influenza virus so researchers can study how the body deals with the virus. The goal is to create a universal flu vaccine that could last longer than just one year.

Plus, we talk with Dr. Nancy Bauer, a pediatric hospitalist at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital about seeing an increase in the number of children being brought in to the ER suffering from exposure to fentanyl.

And during this Breast Cancer Awareness Month — we talk with Heather Salazar, the founder of the Pink Ribbon Girls — which has teamed up with many local SSM Health hospitals to provide help and support to women with breast and gynecological cancers.

Listen to this weekend's show, here:

Health Matters Presented by SSM Health — originally aired on Oct. 19, 2019 at 2 p.m. on KMOX 1120 
  1. Dr. FRED BUCKHOLD, SLU Care general internist at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital. News of a promising cancer vaccine being tested by the Mayo Clinic. It has reportedly cured a woman's breast cancer in Florida. Dr. Buckhold says we need to be careful about getting too excited about these types of studies. Much more work needs to be done — to find if the cure might be worse than the disease in the long run. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson issued a statement on vaping this past week. He says it should be up to state lawmakers to ban vaping ... but he is asking state health groups to look at the dangers of vaping. Dr. Buckhold says smoking is always dangerous ... and it looks like vaping could be too. A new study finds companies that make kids soft drinks and fruit drinks often contain much more sugar than parents would have thought. Dr. Buckhold says he's very worried about these types of drinks in kids and we need to avoid sugared drinks if at all possible. Medical groups want a mandatory doctor visit for kids when they turn 16 to make sure they are up to date on their shots. Dr. Buckhold agrees — saying there's a lot that needs to be addressed when a child turns 16 — including meningitis, HPV vaccine, driving dangers and so on. Also — 80% of Americans Google search health symptoms before going to the doctor. How good is that or how dangerous? Dr. Buckhold says it is best to talk to your doctor and get an experienced and knowledgeable opinion on what ails you. 
  2. Dr. DANIEL HOFT, director of Saint Louis University's Center for Vaccine Development. A new flu study is about to get underway at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. Volunteers will be given the flu virus — and studied for 10 days at a quarantined local — the Salus Center at SLU. It is hoped to eventually lead a possible universal vaccine — and maybe one day leading to a flu shot that needs to be given just once instead of annually. The study should last 10 weeks. Patients will be compensated for taking part. For more info go to or email or call 314-977-6333 or 1-866-410-6333. 
  3. Dr. NANCY BAUER, Pediatric Oncologist at SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital. Two local children recently died after accidentally being exposed to fentanyl. Dr. Bauer says she is seeing more and more cases of this recently — including one of an 11-month-old child who was brought to the ER in an unresponsive state. Dr. Bauer says Narcan is the only treatment for fentanyl exposure and they had to use it on this child. Narcan, she says, is a safe treatment for kids. They do use smaller doses tho due to the weight difference. Dr. Bauer tells us about the symptoms of fentanyl exposure in kids — and what to do to seek help. PLUS — Dr. KRISTINA ANDERSON, primary care physician with SSM Health Medical Group, on adult vaccinations besides the flu shot. She says older adults should get the pneumonia shot and the shingles vaccine. 
  4. HEATHER SALAZAR, founder of the Pink Ribbon Girls and CORY SMALLWOOD, Pink Ribbon Girls' Regional Director for the St. Louis area. Pink Ribbon Girls is a nonprofit group that provides free and direct services to the families of women who are battling breast and gynecological cancers — including three healthy meals a week, house cleaning services, rides to treatment and peer support. Salazar tells us her story of adopting a child whose mother died from breast cancer at an early age. Then she got the same type of breast cancer and needed surgery. Pink Ribbon Girls is now working in Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus, St. Louis and San Francisco. Cory Smallwood tells us how Pink Ribbon Girls is active in the St. Louis area — working with the doctors and hospitals with SSM Health Medical Group. For more info, go to

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