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Health Highlights: June 17, 2016

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Russia's Track and Field Team Banned from Rio Olympics

As the result of a major doping scandal, Russia's track and field team will not be allowed to compete in the summer's Rio Games, the global governing body for track and field announced Friday.

In a unanimous vote, the I.A.A.F said Russia had not done enough to restore confidence in the integrity of its athletes, The New York Times reported.

The decision will be discussed by the International Olympic Committee on Tuesday. Olympics officials have historically deferred to the governing bodies of specific sports, so it would be unusual for them to amend the decision to ban Russia's track and field team from Rio.

In a statement released Friday, the Russian ministry of sport said it was "extremely disappointed" with the I.A.A.F ruling and said it now appeals "to the members of the International Olympic Committee to not only consider the impact that our athletes' exclusion will have on their dreams and the people of Russia, but also that the Olympics themselves will be diminished by their absence," The Times reported.

Russia's track and field athletes have been suspended from international meets for the last seven months, after the World Anti-Doping Agency accused Russia of an elaborate government-run doping program.

Russia denied the accusations, but its track and field officials did not challenge the suspension when given an opportunity in November, The Times reported.


Good Results Halt Lung Cancer Drug Study

A clinical trial of a new lung cancer drug called Keytruda was halted because it's so effective that researchers want to offer it to all the patients in the study.

The trial included 305 lung cancer patients who had not yet received any treatment and was designed to compare Keytruda to standard chemotherapy, NBC News reported.

But because the new drug worked as well as, or better than, chemotherapy, the study was stopped so all the patients could take Keytruda, according to drug maker Merck. The company said the drug extended patients' survival and also helped them live longer without their tumors growing or spreading.

The study details are not available yet.

"I suspect the findings were significant enough that this will be a practice-changing finding," Dr. Pasi Janne, a lung cancer specialist at Harvard Medical School and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, told NBC News.

Keytruda is the drug former president Jimmy Carter said slowed advanced melanoma skin cancer that had spread to his brain.

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