January 2009 Briefing - Pathology

Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pathology for January 2009. 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.

Immune Memory Attributed to Natural Killer Cells

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The natural killer cells of the innate immune system "remember" prior activation, allowing them to become more easily reactivated, according to research published online Jan. 30 in the Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Data Point Out Why Certain Mutation in GI Tumor Occurs

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- New evidence may explain why just isoleucine is naturally selected as a resistance mutant at position 670 of the tyrosine kinase KIT in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) treated with imatinib, according to research published in the Feb. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Human Papillomavirus Load Linked to Cervical Cytology

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of human papillomavirus-18 (HPV-18) DNA in cervical tissue are only associated with the severity of cervical cytology in women who do not go on to develop a precursor to cervical cancer, according to a report published in the Feb. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Biomarker Predicts Chronic Kidney Disease Progression

FRIDAY, Jan. 30 (HealthDay News) -- A marker of acute kidney injury is a strong and independent predictor of disease progression in patients with chronic kidney disease, according to research published online Jan. 28 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Transcription Factors Explain Yeast Differences

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- A small number of nucleotide changes within transcription factors explains the difference in sporulation efficiency in different strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast, a finding that may point to a prominent source of phenotypic differences within species, according to research published in the Jan. 23 issue of Science.

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Bisphenol A Levels Do Not Decrease with Fasting

THURSDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Bisphenol A, an industrial chemical used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics, epoxy resins and polyvinyl chloride plastic, may accumulate in body tissue or be ingested via substantial non-food sources, according to study findings published online Jan. 28 in Environmental Health Perspectives.

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Gene Therapy Benefits Children with Immune Disorder

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Gene therapy with non-myeloablative conditioning shows promise in treating patients with a fatal disorder: severe combined immunodeficiency due to the lack of adenosine deaminase, according to a report published in the Jan. 29 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Clopidogrel/Proton Pump Inhibitor Combo Questioned

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Heart attack patients who take both clopidogrel and a proton pump inhibitor other than pantoprazole have an increased risk of reinfarction and may lose the beneficial effects of clopidogrel, according to research published online Jan. 28 in CMAJ, the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

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Insulin Therapy Linked to Better Pediatric ICU Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- The use of insulin to target blood glucose to age-adjusted normal fasting values was associated with improved outcomes in infants and children in intensive care, according to research published online Jan. 27 in The Lancet.

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Sleep Mutants Increase Anesthesia Requirement

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Gene mutations in fruit flies that shorten sleep time also affect their sensitivity to volatile anesthetics, according to research published in the February issue of Anesthesiology.

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Keeping Ovaries Safe in Some Endometrial Cancer Patients

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Premenopausal women with early-stage endometrial cancer do not have higher odds of five-year survival if they undergo oophorectomy in addition to hysterectomy, according to study findings published online Jan. 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Genetics Linked to Variations in Treatment Response

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic variations among patients may explain differences in treatment responses for pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), according to research published Jan. 28 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Low Mammogram Rates Among Pediatric Cancer Survivors

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Despite recommended guidelines, a number of women who received chest radiation for a childhood cancer have not had mammography screening for breast cancer in the previous two years, according to the results of a study published in the Jan. 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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AHA Supports Omega-6 for Possible Heart Protection

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The American Heart Association recommends that at least 5 to 10 percent of individuals' calories should come from omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids, according to a science advisory published online Jan. 26 in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

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Clinical Information Technology Leads to Safer Hospitals

TUESDAY, Jan. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Hospitals that make use of clinical information technology to automate notes, records, order entry and clinical decision support have lower mortality rates, fewer complications and also save money, according to a report published in the Jan. 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Prolonged Use of Loop Diuretics May Raise Fracture Risk

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Postmenopausal women who use loop diuretics are at increased risk of fractures, according to a report published in the Jan. 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Predictors of Contralateral Breast Cancer Identified

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In unilateral breast cancer patients, evaluating five-year Gail risk and histologic findings in the ipsilateral breast may predict the risk of developing cancer in the other breast and help clinicians decide whether or not to perform a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy, according to an article published online Jan. 26 in Cancer.

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Meditation Practice Linked to Less Pain Sensitivity

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Experience in Zen meditation is associated with reduced pain sensitivity, a finding supporting the value of mindfulness-based meditation, according to research published in the January issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.

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CDC Reports Increase of Hib Infections in Minnesota

MONDAY, Jan. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Five children in Minnesota have become ill with Haemophilus influenzae serotype b (Hib) in the past year, and one of them died, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Jan. 23.

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Single HIV Variants Found in Heterosexual Transmission

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Most individuals who become infected with HIV through their spouse are infected with a single viral variant, according to a report published online Jan. 23 in PLoS Pathogens. The study also found that individuals who become infected with multiple viral variants often have inflammatory genital infections, suggesting that the mucosal barrier is largely responsible for the genetic bottleneck.

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'Haufen' Might Help Diagnose Viral Kidney Disease

FRIDAY, Jan. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Three-dimensional aggregates of polyomavirus in urine -- dubbed Haufen -- may be reliable markers of BK polyomavirus nephropathy (BKN), which occurs in up to 9 percent of renal allografts, according to research published online Jan. 21 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Ethical HIV Testing in Poor Countries Needed

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Testing a patient's blood without their consent for HIV is important for HIV surveillance, but needs to be carefully implemented in developing countries to ensure that testing is done ethically, according to an article published online Jan. 20 in PLoS Medicine.

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Cholesterol Particle Size Associated with Coronary Risk

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- There is an association between the risk of coronary artery disease and both size and concentration of high-density lipoprotein, although the former is explained by markers associated with the metabolic syndrome, according to research published in the Jan. 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Protein Activity Points to Bacterial Persistence

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A greater understanding of the mechanisms that underlie persistence in Escherichia coli may point to therapies that reduce bacterial multi-drug tolerance, according to research published in the Jan. 16 issue of Science.

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Vaginal Herpes Microbicide Protects Against Infection

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A vaginal microbicide targeting a herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) gene and a host gene protects mice against infection for a week, researchers report in the Jan. 22 issue of Cell Host & Microbe.

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Baby with Seizures Had Rickets and Anemia

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- A 9-month-old baby who presented with seizures and a bulging fontanelle was diagnosed as having rickets due to vitamin D deficiency, iron deficiency anemia and severe protein-calorie malnutrition, according to a case report published in the Jan. 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Warfarin-Related Genotyping Not Cost-Effective

THURSDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic testing prior to initiation of warfarin therapy is only cost-effective in patients who are at high risk for hemorrhage, and is not cost-effective for typical patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, according to a report published in the Jan. 20 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Novel Laser Technique to Treat Osteonecrosis of the Jaw

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Bisphosphonate-induced osteonecrosis of the jaw may be effectively treated by a laser bone ablation technique, according to research published in the January issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Neuroblastoma May Be a Stem Cell Disease

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Human neuroblastoma cell lines appear to harbor subpopulations of cells that have similarities to normal neural stem cells, according to research published online Jan. 21 in PLOS One.

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Novel Light Imaging Technique Detects Melanoma

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Multimodal polarized light imaging using tetracycline or methylene blue is an effective strategy to image dysplastic and benign nevi in melanoma, researchers report in the January issue of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine.

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Effects of High Altitude Offer Way to Study Brain Damage

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The impact of altitude on oxygen supply to the brain may offer an ethical, repeatable and controlled way to study the brain's response to hypoxia due to injury, according to a report published in the February issue of The Lancet Neurology.

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Heart Function Linked to Exercise Capacity

TUESDAY, Jan. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Left ventricular resting diastolic function is strongly associated with exercise capacity, along with age, sex and body mass index, according to a report in the Jan. 21 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Pediatric MRSA Infections Increase Alarmingly

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- The nationwide prevalence of pediatric methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) head and neck infections grew 16.3 percent between 2001 and 2006, according to a study published in the January issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

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Increased Mortality Linked to Topical Retinoid Usage

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Topical tretinoin, a frequently prescribed retinoid cream, is associated with increased all-cause mortality, according to study results published in the January issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

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Engineered Skin Improves Healing of Burn Wounds

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Tissue-engineered skin made from stem cells improves wound healing in a pig burn model, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in Artificial Organs.

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Unique Saliva Proteins Identified in Diabetes Patients

MONDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Type 2 diabetes patients have a unique pattern of protein expression in their saliva, and many of these proteins have a role in metabolism, according to a study published Jan. 2 in the Journal of Proteome Research.

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Gene Variants Linked to Pancreatic Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, Jan. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Variants of two DNA repair proteins affect the risk of pancreatic cancer, while other DNA repair protein variants are associated with diabetes and the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to study findings published in the Jan. 15 issue of Clinical Cancer Research.

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High-Risk Lymphoblastic Leukemia Subtype Studied

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) patients who have the early T-cell precursor subtype of the disease are more likely to have a relapse than those with typical T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), according to research published online Jan. 14 in The Lancet.

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Genetic Variation Linked to Alzheimer's Disease

TUESDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Variation in the PCDH11X gene is significantly associated with the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease, according to research published online Jan. 11 in Nature Genetics.

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Poor Sleep Habits Raise Risk of Common Cold

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to rhinovirus is more likely to lead to the development of a cold in people who have less than seven hours' sleep each night compared to their better-rested counterparts, according to a report published online Jan. 12 in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Histone Deacetylase 4 Plays Role in Retina

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) influences the survival of mouse retinal neurons, and a drop in expression during retinal development leads to apoptosis of rod photoreceptors and bipolar interneurons, according to research published in the Jan. 9 issue of Science.

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Melanoma an Increasing Burden in United States

MONDAY, Jan. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Improved access to screening for malignant melanoma does not explain the increased incidence of the disease in the United States, according to a study published online Jan. 8 in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

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Pulse Oximetry Screening Promising for Heart Defects

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Using pulse oximetry to screen babies in maternity units significantly improved detection of duct dependent circulation before the babies were discharged, with evidence suggesting such screenings were cost-effective, according to research published online Jan. 8 in BMJ.

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High-Risk Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Subtype Identified

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Identification of the major subtypes of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), including a newly identified high-risk subtype (BCR-ABL1), may be improved with the use of a classification system based on gene expression, according to research published online Jan. 9 in The Lancet Oncology.

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Risk Factors Falter in Predicting Heart Issues

FRIDAY, Jan. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The use of traditional risk factors in predicting cardiovascular mortality or coronary atherosclerotic disease faces shortcomings, according to two studies published online Jan. 8 in BMJ and in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

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Diet Influences Effect of Gene Variant on Metabolism

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A common gene variant has beneficial effects on metabolism such as reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes, but not in mice fed a fatty diet, according to the results of a study published in the Jan. 7 issue of Cell Metabolism.

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Most Links Between Gene Variants and Cancer Weak

TUESDAY, Jan. 6 (HealthDay News) -- A comprehensive analysis of reported associations between variants of DNA repair genes and cancer has shown that most do not have strong epidemiological credibility, researchers report in the Jan. 7 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Gene Hypermethylation Seen in Lung Cancer Patients

FRIDAY, Jan. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Promoter methylation in certain genes may point to an increased risk of lung cancer in individuals, according to research published in the Jan. 1 issue of Cancer Research.

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Physician's Briefing