ASCLS eNewsBytes
Apr. 29, 2014

Study: Gene variant may double Alzheimer's risk for women
HealthDay News
Having a copy of a certain gene variant increases women's risk for Alzheimer's disease much more than it does for men, a new study indicates. Overall, having a copy of the ApoE4 gene variant increased the risk of Alzheimer's. But further analysis showed that women with a copy of this gene variant were about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's as those who did not have the variant, according to Stanford University researchers.More

CDC: Measles cases at highest level in nearly 20 years
More people have been infected with measles in the United States during the first four months of this year than have been infected in the first four months of the past 18 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data released recently reveal a dramatic rise in measles outbreaks. Health officials say 13 outbreaks and 129 cases have been recorded this year, according to the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.More

Most hospital pregnancy tests found to be unreliable after first few weeks of pregnancy
American Association for Clinical Chemistry via Medical Xpress
Though the 11 most popular hospital urine pregnancy tests perform well in the first month after conception, a new study published in Clinical Chemistry, the journal of AACC, reveals the alarming statistic that nine of these tests become significantly more likely to produce false-negative results after the fifth to seventh week of pregnancy. Around the fifth to seventh week of gestation, urine concentrations of an hCG variant known as the hCG beta core fragment rise dramatically, interfering with hCG detection and causing false-negative test results. More

More sensitive testing may better define leukemia prognosis, treatment
Oncology Nurse Advisor
Nearly half of patients with the most common form of adult leukemia are said to have normal chromosomes but appear instead to have a distinct pattern of genetic abnormalities that could better define their prognosis and treatment. Using microarray technology that probes millions of genes within chromosomes, researchers found the unique pattern in the leukemia cells of 22 patients with cytogenetically normal acute myelogenous leukemia, said Ravindra Kolhe, M.D., Ph.D., molecular pathologist at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University in Augusta.More

BMI linked to breast cancer risk after menopause
Overall body size, rather than shape, is a better indicator of breast cancer risk after menopause, according to a recent study. The analysis of U.S. women contradicts past research suggesting that having an apple shape with a large midriff measurement, regardless of weight or body mass index, might signal greater breast cancer risk.More

Cultured red blood cells: There's nothing artificial about it
By Rosemary Sparacio
Blood transfusions play a critical role in clinical practice. Over 90 million transfusions take place each year. Transfusions are made possible throughout the U.S by donations from individuals, blood-donor programs, blood banks and the American Red Cross. However, in order to get the supplies they need, all venues must participate. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. The relatively short lifespan of donated blood, which is 120 days, demands that there is always a constant fresh supply. And even though there are testing parameters in place, there is always the risk of transmitting infections and the potential for incompatibility issues between donor and recipient.More

Tumor regression grading prognostic in rectal cancer
Medscape Medical News
New research confirms the prognostic value of tumor regression grading after preoperative chemoradiotherapy for locally advanced rectal carcinoma. At 10 years, complete and intermediate tumor regression after preoperative CRT was associated with improved metastasis-free and disease-free survival, independent of clinicopathologic parameters, according to updated results from the CAO/ARO/AIO-94 trial.More

Researchers trace HIV evolution in North America
Infection Control Today
A study tracing the evolution of HIV in North America involving researchers at Simon Fraser University has found evidence that the virus is slowly adapting over time to its human hosts. However, this change is so gradual that it is unlikely to have an impact on vaccine design.More

Scientists discover second language in DNA
Dark Daily
New insights into the human genome have led to the discovery of a second "code" or "language" within human DNA. Pathologists performing genetic testing will be particularly interested in the implications of this discovery, which the researchers have dubbed "duons." More

New FDA program would speed up access to medical devices
Medscape Medical News
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed a new program designed to grant earlier access to high-risk medical devices intended to treat or diagnose patients with serious conditions whose needs are unmet by current technology, according to an FDA news release. The program is called the Expedited Access Premarket Approval Application for Unmet Medical Needs for Life Threatening or Irreversibly Debilitating Diseases or Conditions.More

Parkinson's drug shows promise in preventing breast cancer
Women with mutations in the BRCA1 gene are at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer, and there are currently no drugs proven to reduce their cancer risk. Now, early research suggests that existing drugs, already approved to treat other conditions, may help prevent breast cancer in these women, although more research is needed to prove this.More

New treatment could 'protect against any strain of the flu'
University of St. Andrews via Medical Xpress
Scientists have developed a novel treatment that could protect against any strain of the flu. It is hoped that the new development, led by researchers at the University of St Andrews, has the potential to guard against current, future and even pandemic strains of the virus.More

Impressive new smartphone apps in health and medicine
By Rosemary Sparacio
Smartphones are just about everywhere. In the U.S. alone, more than 91 million Americans now use a smartphone. Of course, these devices are much more than just a phone. The fact that there are apps for many areas in personal health and medicine is a logical step to help individuals take better care of themselves and for researchers to find ways for individuals and physicians to do just that. For example, researchers have been studying an app for epilepsy and stroke care. Other studies are looking at an app for testing kidney damage, and one for diagnosing cataracts. More

Study: Gene variant may double Alzheimer's risk for women
HealthDay News
Having a copy of a certain gene variant increases women's risk for Alzheimer's disease much more than it does for men, a new study indicates. Analysis showed that women with a copy of this gene variant were about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's as those who did not have the variant, according to Stanford University researchers.More

Chikungunya, a highly infectious disease, may soon arrive in the US
Al Jazeera America
Chikungunya, a virus originally from Central Africa, transmitted by mosquito bites, has rampaged through Yogyakarta — part of an outbreak that has stretched across the Indian Ocean, India and Southeast Asia since 2005. Now it is roaring through the Western Hemisphere.More

This breast cancer scares patients, challenges doctors
The Indianapolis Star
When Tonya Trotter first felt a quarter-size knot in her breast, she didn't rush to get a mammogram. Over the next few months, the lump grew to the size of a tennis ball. Later she learned she had a type of breast cancer called "triple negative."More

Statins may reduce risk of progression of renal cancer
HealthDay News
Use of statins is associated with a reduced risk of progression of localized renal cell carcinoma, according to research published in the April issue of The Journal of Urology. In an effort to assess the effect of statin medications on the progression of the neoplasm, Robert J. Hamilton, M.D., M.P.H., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues analyzed data for 2,608 patients receiving surgical treatment for localized renal cell carcinoma.More

Breast cancer's costly side-effect: Long-term unemployment
NBC News
Women who get chemotherapy for breast cancer may end up unemployed for a very long time, researchers reported recently. A few may lose their jobs because they cannot work consistently — although it's usually illegal to fire someone for being ill. But many may underestimate just how much chemotherapy can take out of you, doctors said.More