April 2008 Briefing - Pathology
Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pathology for April 2008. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.
Genetic Variations Predict Outcomes in Acute Leukemia
WEDNESDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- While cytogenetic markers have known prognostic value in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), new research shows that among patients with cytogenetically normal AML who lack these traditional markers, genomic disruptions in leukemic cells can be used to predict outcomes and response to treatment, according to two studies published in the May 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Physicians Lack Feedback on Accuracy of Diagnoses
TUESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- Clinical diagnosis is a largely open-loop system in which there is no systematic way for clinicians to obtain feedback on the outcome of their diagnoses, according to an article published in a supplement to the May issue of The American Journal of Medicine.
Palliative Care Can Improve Patient Care Most, Poll Finds
MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- In an international poll conducted by BMJ to determine which area of health care would enable doctors to make the greatest difference to patients, palliative care for non-malignant disease received the most votes, the BMJ Group announced at the International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care in Paris this week.
Studies Support Gene Therapy for Retinal Conditions
MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- A pair of studies published online April 27 in the New England Journal of Medicine offer support for research into gene therapy to treat Leber's congenital amaurosis (LCA), a group of inherited disorders marked by retinal degeneration and severe vision loss.
Protein Implicated in Gastric Inflammation, Tumors
MONDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- Evidence from animal studies points to aberrant activation of STAT1 and STAT3 -- mediated by the cytokine IL-11 -- in chronic gastric inflammation and gastric tumors, according to research published in the May issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Tethered Inhibitor More Effective for Alzheimer's
FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- An inhibitor of an Alzheimer's disease target that is tethered to the cell membrane is more effective than the free inhibitor, and the approach could be used to design more effective inhibitors, according to a study in the April 25 issue of Science.
Stem Cell Work Offers Insight Into Heart's Origins
FRIDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Cardiovascular progenitors that show cardiac, endothelial and vascular smooth muscle potential during in vitro and in vivo experiments shed light on the earliest stages of human cardiac development, according to research published in the April 24 issue of Nature.
Protein State Affects Behavior of Alzheimer's Protein
THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- In neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease that involve abnormalities in the tau protein (tauopathies), a tau-regulating protein has opposite effects on tauopathy in mice depending on whether the tau is normal or mutant, according to a study published online April 22 in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Individualized Treatments for Multiple Myeloma Possible
THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- New drugs with novel mechanisms of action and a better understanding of the biology of multiple myeloma will lead to more individualized treatments for the disease, according to a study published online April 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Leukemia Drug Toxic at Higher Doses
THURSDAY, April 24 (HealthDay News) -- Higher doses of lenalidomide can lead to serious adverse outcomes including tumor flare in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), according to a study published online April 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Gene Mutations Found in Hypothyroid Patients
WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Research published in the April 24 New England Journal of Medicine reports on mutations found in DEHAL1 -- the gene encoding a thyroid enzyme that controls the reuse of iodide for thyroid hormone synthesis -- that resulted in problems including hypothyroidism, goiter and mental deficits in four patients.
Regular Mammography Helpful in Older Women
WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Elderly women who develop breast cancer may present with the disease at earlier stages and have better breast cancer-specific five-year survival if they've had regular mammograms, according to research published online April 21 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Antibiotic-Tolerant Bacteria Have Window of Sensitivity
WEDNESDAY, April 23 (HealthDay News) -- Bacteria that are in a dormant persister state associated with tolerance to antibiotics are actually not dormant for a brief period, during which they are sensitive to antibiotics, according to a study in the April 22 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Skin Lesion Diameter Criteria Useful Guide for Biopsy
TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- The current guidelines for investigation of skin lesions, whereby a lesion larger than 6 millimeters in diameter triggers a decision to do a biopsy, should continue to be observed, as they provide a useful parameter in combination with other criteria, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Dermatology.
Scalp and Neck Melanomas Have Lower Survival Odds
TUESDAY, April 22 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with melanomas on the scalp and neck have a worse prognosis than their counterparts with the cancer on other parts of the body, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Dermatology.
Number of Surgeons Decreases 26 Percent in 25 Years
MONDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- From 1981 to 2005 there was a 25.91 percent drop in the number of surgeons in the United States, according to a study published in the April issue of the Archives of Surgery.
Prostate Cancer Mortality Higher in U.K. Than U.S.
FRIDAY, April 18 (HealthDay News) -- There was a dramatic decline in prostate cancer mortality in the United States from 1994 to 2004, which coincided with a significant increase in uptake of prostate-specific antigen testing and which was not mirrored in the United Kingdom, according to a report published online April 17 in The Lancet Oncology.
Mutations Linked to Higher Parkinson's Disease Risk
MONDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Relatives of early-onset Parkinson's disease patients who carry a mutation in the Parkin gene have a significantly higher risk of developing the disease before 65 years of age, according to study findings published in the April issue of the Archives of Neurology.
Individualized Health Care Budgets Improve Care
FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- The U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) should allow patients individual control of their health care budgets, an approach that has been shown in pilot studies to improve outcomes and patient satisfaction in a cost-effective manner, according to an analysis published April 12 in BMJ.
New Schema for Diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer Proposed
FRIDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- A new model of ovarian cancer that distinguishes between slow-growing and rapidly growing tumors may allow more targeted screening and a more rational treatment approach, according to a review article published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology in April.
Consider Health Literacy Level When Writing for Patients
THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Giving patients clearly written educational materials that convey key messages without resorting to jargon is an important part of engaging patient compliance with treatment and can contribute to health literacy, according to an article published in the April issue of Chest.
Many Cancers Express Embryonic Stem Cell Genes
THURSDAY, April 10 (HealthDay News) -- Many cancers express genes normally expressed in embryonic stem cells, and activation of these genes in normal cells can cause them to become cancerous, according to research published in the April 10 issue of Cell Stem Cell.
Genetic Links to Childhood Heart Hypertrophy Uncovered
WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Gene mutations may underlie half of all cases of sporadic childhood-onset idiopathic cardiac hypertrophy, and two-thirds of cases in which there is a positive family history, according to study findings published online April 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Study Shows Advantage of Breast Cancer Staging Method
WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- In breast cancer patients who were staged node-negative by conventional single-section pathology, current sentinel lymph node biopsy techniques detect occult axillary node metastases that are prognostically significant, according to an article published in the April 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Cyst Growth Slowed in Model of Polycystic Kidney Disease
WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Drugs that block a chloride transport channel in the kidney, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein, result in slowed expansion of cysts in a mouse model of polycystic kidney disease, suggesting that CFTR inhibitors could be used to reduce cyst growth in humans affected by polycystic kidney disease, according to research first published online April 2 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
Doctors Vote on the Ways to Make Biggest Difference
WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- The BMJ has begun accepting votes on which areas of health care allow doctors to make the biggest difference to patient care, with a shortlist of six areas each being championed by eminent doctors and researchers. The winning topic will gain special coverage in the BMJ and the BMJ Group's 24 other specialist journals and online education products.
Possible Person-to-Person Transmission of Bird Flu
WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Person-to-person transmission of bird flu may have taken place between a father and son in China in late 2007, according to a study published online April 8 in The Lancet.
Parkinson's Tissue Transplant Shows Signs of Disease
WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- The embryonic stem cell graft received by a woman with Parkinson's disease 14 years ago shows characteristic signs of the disease, suggesting that the graft is as susceptible as the host neurons to the disease process, according to a report published online April 6 in Nature Medicine.
Childhood Abuse May Raise Adult Inflammation Levels
TUESDAY, April 8 (HealthDay News) -- Depressed adults with a history of maltreatment in childhood tend to have higher levels of C-reactive protein than their counterparts without a history of abuse, putting them at increased risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a report published in the April issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.
Cervical Threats May Arrive Without Human Papillomavirus
THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- Out of any sizeable population, the occasional woman with cervical precancer will test negative for high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) for a variety of possible reasons, according to research published in the April issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Controversy Highlights Need for Funding Disclosure
THURSDAY, April 3 (HealthDay News) -- An editorial published April 2 in the New England Journal of Medicine disclosed that a previously published study reporting a favorable prognosis among individuals with stage I lung cancers detected by screening had received a large amount of funding from a foundation with links to the cigarette industry, highlighting the necessity of full disclosure of funding sources of biomedical research.
Researchers Identify Gene Behind Vitamin B12 Defect
WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Mutations responsible for the cblD defect, one of nine defects of intracellular cobalamin (vitamin B12) metabolism, have been found in the MMADHC gene on chromosome 2, according to a report published in the April 3 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Short-Term Starvation May Improve Chemotherapy
WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- Short-term starvation can protect normal mammalian cells -- but not cancer cells -- against high-dose chemotherapy, according to a study published online March 31 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.
Assay Helps Diagnose Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis
WEDNESDAY, April 2 (HealthDay News) -- New diagnostic methods are effective for more quickly diagnosing multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and for distinguishing Mycobacterium avium-complex pulmonary disease (MAC-PD) from pulmonary tuberculosis, according to two studies in the April 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Genetic Data Adds to Breast Cancer Risk Stratification
TUESDAY, April 1 (HealthDay News) -- Gene expression signatures may offer a valuable source of information to use with clinical risk stratification to enhance prognosis of breast cancer, according to research published in the April 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.