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May 2009 Briefing - Pathology

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

Signaling Pathway Mediates Steroid-Induced Diabetes

THURSDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- Steroid-induced pancreatic β-cell dysfunction and diabetes mellitus are mediated through a cellular signaling pathway that, when blocked, can restore β-cell function, according to a study published online May 14 in Endocrinology.

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Childhood Type 1 Diabetes Set to Double in Europe by 2020

THURSDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- Childhood type 1 diabetes cases are on the rise in Europe, and are set to double among the under-fives by 2020 compared to 2005, according to a study published online on May 28 in The Lancet.

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Decision Makers Can't Delay Until H1N1's Scale Is Clear

THURSDAY, May 28 (HealthDay News) -- Officials must decide what actions to take before the severity and scale of the H1N1 virus are certain, and geography plays an important role in the incidence of the virus, according to perspectives published online May 27 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Age Affects Alzheimer's Pathology Link to Dementia

WEDNESDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Most neuropathological changes associated with Alzheimer's disease are strongly associated with dementia only in younger elderly persons, according to a study in the May 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Gene Mutation Identified in Various Myeloid Cancers

WEDNESDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- The TET2 gene is mutated in about 15 percent of patients with various myeloid cancers, and the mutations appear to precede mutations in a gene previously associated with these diseases, according to a study in the May 28 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Gene Finding May Influence Kidney Transplant Outcomes

WEDNESDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Kidney transplant recipients who have T allelic variants in exons 21 or 26 of the ABCB1 gene may have a greater likelihood of several adverse events related to cyclosporine A, according to research published online May 21 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Colorectal Cancer Outcomes Improve at Two Cancer Centers

WEDNESDAY, May 27 (HealthDay News) -- Outcomes for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer have markedly improved at two leading cancer centers since 1997 because of increased use of liver resection and the introduction of new cancer drugs, according to a study published online May 26 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Gestational Diabetes Provides a Chance to Educate Patients

TUESDAY, May 26 (HealthDay News) -- Because women with gestational diabetes are at increased risk of subsequently developing type 2 diabetes, increasing awareness among both physicians and patients about the risk can be used as an opportunity to promote behavior that may delay or prevent the disease, according to a study published in the May 23 issue of The Lancet.

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Multivitamins Linked to Longer Telomere Length

MONDAY, May 25 (HealthDay News) -- Women who take multivitamins may have longer leukocyte telomere length, suggesting that multivitamin usage may help slow the aging process, according to a study first published in the June 1 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Study May Explain Fewer Cancers in Down Syndrome

FRIDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Increased expression of at least one gene on the extra copy of chromosome 21 in patients with Down syndrome reduces angiogenesis and may explain why these patients have a lower incidence of cancer and other diseases, according to a study published online May 20 in Nature.

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Age Linked to Positive Lymph Nodes in Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Women with early breast cancer are less likely to have positive lymph nodes with increasing age up to the age of 70 years, but are more likely to have positive lymph nodes with increasing age above 70, according to a study published online May 18 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Vitamin D Linked to Outcomes in Early Breast Cancer

FRIDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- Women with early breast cancer who are deficient in vitamin D have a higher risk of distant recurrences and death, according to a study published online May 18 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Turmeric Component Reduces Weight Gain in Obesity Model

FRIDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- A component of the spice turmeric blocks the growth and development of fat cells and reduces weight gain in a mouse model of obesity, according to a study in the May issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

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Cellular Pathway Mediates Longevity Due to Diet

FRIDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- A component of a nutrient-sensing cellular signaling pathway plays an important role in the increased lifespan resulting from dietary restriction, according to a study published online May 22 in PLoS Genetics.

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Breast Tumors Linked to Depression and Anxiety

THURSDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- The mere presence of breast tumors in rats is associated with depression and anxiety, according to a study published online May 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Democrats Set Ambitious Goal for Health Care Reform

THURSDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Congressional Democrats face formidable challenges in their efforts to pass health care reform legislation by July 31, but physicians can take the lead to ensure changes are enacted, according to two perspectives published online May 20 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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ARBs Found Ineffective for Renal Function in Diabetes

THURSDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) -- Two angiotensin receptor blockers are ineffective in reducing renal dysfunction in patients at high risk of vascular disease such as diabetics, according to two studies published online May 19 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Sticking to Work Hours Limits Very Costly

WEDNESDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Adherence to the 2003 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) limits on work hours, and other measures aimed at reducing fatigue among residents, would be costly with no proven benefits, according to an article published in the May 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Genes Regulating Interleukin Linked to Biliary Cirrhosis

WEDNESDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- Primary biliary cirrhosis may be linked to variants in the genes that regulate interleukin-12 signaling in the immune response, according to a study reported in the May 21 issue if the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Antihypertensive Drugs Also Benefit Non-Hypertensives

WEDNESDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- In everyone at risk for heart attack or stroke -- including those with normal blood pressure -- antihypertensive treatment significantly reduces the risk of coronary heart disease events and stroke, according to a study published online May 19 in BMJ.

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Swine Flu Has Higher Fatality Rate Than Seasonal Flu

MONDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- The fatality rate from H1N1 swine flu is slightly higher than the fatality rate from seasonal flu, according to United States' health officials, but they say most cases of swine flu are no worse than seasonal flu.

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Iron Not Linked to Survival in Primary Myelofibrosis

MONDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) -- Higher serum ferritin levels weren't associated with decreased survival in patients with primary myelofibrosis, which could be a finding that's relevant to ongoing discussions in hematology regarding the use of iron chelation, according to research published in the May issue of the American Journal of Hematology.

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Common Viral Infection Increases Blood Pressure

FRIDAY, May 15 (HealthDay News) -- Infection with cytomegalovirus (CMV), found in more than 60 percent of adults, increases blood pressure, possibly through the renin-angiotensin system, according to a study published online May 15 in PLoS Pathogens.

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Medicare Denies Coverage for 'Virtual Colonoscopy'

THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced May 12 that it would not cover the cost of so-called "virtual colonoscopies," colon screenings using computed tomography scanning devices. The decision was immediately blasted by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American College of Radiology (ACR).

CMS Coverage Decision
American Cancer Society Statement
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Cerebrospinal Fluid May Help Pinpoint Alzheimer's Cases

THURSDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) -- Levels of the cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers Aβ peptide 1-42 (Aβ42), tau, and phosphorylated tau may help predict which patients with very mild Alzheimer-type dementia may progress more rapidly to cognitive deficits and dementia, according to a study published in the May issue of the Archives of Neurology.

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Fatal Encephalitis in New York Man Linked to Deer Tick Virus

WEDNESDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- A report of a fatal case of encephalitis related to deer tick virus illustrates that the incidence of infection in humans may be underappreciated, according to research published in the May 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Standard Chemo Found Superior to Capecitabine

WEDNESDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Standard adjuvant chemotherapy was superior to capecitabine for treating older women with early breast cancer, though with substantial toxicity, according to research published in the May 14 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Big-City Residents May Have Later Cancer Presentation

WEDNESDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Residents of densely populated cities may have a higher risk of cancer diagnosis at a late stage than those in nonurban areas, according to research published online May 11 in the journal Cancer.

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History of Stroke Raises Mild Cognitive Impairment Risk

WEDNESDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Nonamnestic mild cognitive impairment is more common among those with a history of stroke than those without, while the APOE ε4 genotype is associated with amnestic mild cognitive impairment and memory loss, according to a study in the May Archives of Neurology.

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Folate Fortification Law Linked to Decreased Heart Defects

WEDNESDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- After a Canadian law mandating the fortification of flour and pasta products with folate went into effect in 1998, the birth prevalence of severe congenital defects has decreased in Quebec, according to a study published online May 12 in BMJ.

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Early Breast Cancer Often Not Monitored After Surgery

WEDNESDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- Women who undergo breast-conserving surgery for ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) often do not receive long-term surveillance mammography, according to a study published online May 11 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Exercise and Diet Support Slows Cancer Survivor Decline

TUESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise, diet and weight loss support can slow the functional decline of long-term cancer survivors, according to a study in the May 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Extreme Estradiol Levels Raise Heart Failure Death Risk

TUESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Men with heart failure and moderate levels of serum estradiol are at lower risk of death than their counterparts with particularly high and low levels of the hormone, according to a study in the May 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Antioxidants Block Beneficial Effects of Exercise

TUESDAY, May 12 (HealthDay News) -- Oxidative stress resulting from exercise increases insulin sensitivity and promotes the body's own antioxidant defense, a response that is blocked by taking antioxidants such as vitamin C, according to a study published online May 11 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Number of Swine Flu Cases in U.S. Exceeds 2,500

MONDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- The United States has surpassed Mexico to become the nation with the most confirmed cases of H1N1 swine flu, according to figures released May 11 by the World Health Organization (WHO).

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Three Genes Linked to Breast Cancer Metastases

FRIDAY, May 8 (HealthDay News) -- Three different genes may mediate the spread of breast cancer to the brain, according to a study published online May 6 in Nature.

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Triple-Reassortant Swine Virus Seen Since 2005 in US

THURSDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Eleven cases of infection similar to the swine flu outbreak currently under way -- triple-reassortant swine influenza A (H1) viruses -- have been documented since 2005 in the United States, according to a study led by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta and released May 7 by the New England Journal of Medicine. This study was accompanied by another study, two editorials, and three perspectives focused on the swine flu outbreak.

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Gene Variants Linked to Autism Spectrum Disorders

THURSDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Variants of neuronal cell-adhesion molecules are associated with autism spectrum disorders, according to two studies published online April 28 in Nature.

Abstract - Wang
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Abstract - Glessner
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Single Gene Mutation Can Cause Diverse Conditions

WEDNESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Separate mutations inhibiting the delivery of calcium or potassium to cells at different body sites resulted in a cascade of rare medical conditions in families, according to two case reports published in the May 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract - Picard
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Abstract - Brockenhauer
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Little Evidence to Support Some H1N1 Flu Measures

WEDNESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- Some of the interventions that have been introduced in the wake of the outbreak of H1N1 flu have little or no evidence to support them, according to an editorial published online May 5 in The Lancet, while a report in the same journal asks whether or not the international response to the outbreak was fast enough.

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CDC Confirms Over 400 H1N1 Flu Cases

WEDNESDAY, May 6 (HealthDay News) -- As of May 5, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed 403 cases of H1N1 flu nationally in 38 states, with over 700 additional probable cases which, if confirmed, will mean the disease has spread across 44 states. The CDC continues to urge the public to rigorously observe preventive measures.

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High Urine Albumin Linked to Venous Thromboembolism

TUESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Already a recognized risk factor for arterial thromboembolism, microalbuminuria also is a risk factor for venous thromboembolism (VTE), according to a study published in the May 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Heart Arrhythmias Increase Mortality in Catheterizations

TUESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation (VT/VF) during and after percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) is associated with higher death rates within 90 days, according to a study published in the May 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Medical Center Press Releases Often Lacking Key Details

TUESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Press releases from academic medical centers may often overstate the importance of research findings while failing to acknowledge relevant limitations of the studies, according to research published in the May 5 Annals of Internal Medicine.

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TGF-β Signal Disruption Linked to Faster Cancer Growth

TUESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- In mice, disruption of transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signaling may encourage the growth of diffuse-type gastric carcinoma, according to research published in the April 15 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Molecular Markers Linked to Death From Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Several molecular factors measured in prostate cancer biopsy specimens at diagnosis may point to a higher long-term risk of death, according to research published in the May 5 Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Genotype Linked to Cardiac Surgery Outcomes

TUESDAY, May 5 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who were homozygous for the low activity catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) L allele had a higher risk of vasodilatory shock and acute kidney injury following cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass, according to research published online April 30 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Number of US Swine Flu Cases Climbs to 286 in 36 states

MONDAY, May 4 (HealthDay News) -- The confirmed number of swine flu cases in the United States swelled to 245 in 35 states by May 3, but federal health officials are expressing cautious optimism that the disease may be leveling off and may not be as dangerous as initially feared. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated the number of confirmed national cases to 286 in 36 states as of late this morning.

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Erythropoietin May Worsen Mortality in Cancer Patients

FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- The use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents to treat anemia in cancer patients worsens mortality, according to two separate reviews of past clinical studies.

Abstract - Bohlius (The Lancet)
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Inhibitor May Have Use Against Head, Neck Cancers

FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- The histone deacetylase inhibitor LBH589, which has been shown to be useful against some hematologic cancers, may hold potential for treating head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), according to research published online ahead of print March 16 in the Journal of Pathology.

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H1N1 Flu Poses Major Surveillance Challenge

FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- Containment of the influenza A strain H1N1, or swine flu, outbreak is probably impossible because cases are already geographically widespread and countries with fragile health systems lack the ability to properly conduct surveillance and containment activities, according to an editorial published online April 30 in BMJ.

Editorial

CDC: More Than 100 H1N1 Flu Infections in US

FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- As of Thursday, April 30, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed 109 cases of influenza A strain H1N1, or swine flu, in the United States, with 50 cases in New York, 26 in Texas, 14 in California, 10 in South Carolina, and the rest in seven other states. So far, only one death has been recorded.

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Physician's Briefing