ASCLS eNewsBytes
Aug. 12, 2014

Scientists: Cancer should be classified by genetic and molecular type
Medical News Today
A research network in the U.S. proposes that cancer should be classified according to genetic and molecular features rather than by the type of tissue in which the tumor arises. While more work is needed to confirm and build on findings that look set to rewrite oncology textbooks, the scientists say such a system would be better for patients because it would help tailor treatment to their individual needs.More

CDC raises Ebola outbreak response to highest alert status
HealthDay News
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised the level of its response to the West African Ebola outbreak to its highest alert status. The move allows the agency to expand its role in fighting the growing public health crisis, which gained new urgency as cases of the deadly infection began to be reported in populous Nigeria.More

Study: 3rd gene shown as indicator for breast cancer
The New York Times
Mutations in a gene called PALB2 raise the risk of breast cancer in women by almost as much as mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2, the infamous genes implicated in most inherited cases of the disease, a team of researchers reported. Previous data had indicated that mutations in PALB2 were linked to breast cancer, and many genetic tests already screen for them. But it had not been clear to what extent these mutations raised a carrier's odds of developing the disease.More

Study: Stem cells show promise for stroke
Imperial College London via ScienceDaily
A stroke therapy using stem cells extracted from patients' bone marrow has shown promising results in the first trial of its kind in humans. The therapy uses a type of cell called CD34+ cells, a set of stem cells in the bone marrow that give rise to blood cells and blood vessel lining cells. Rather than developing into brain cells themselves, the cells are thought to release chemicals that trigger the growth of new brain tissue and new blood vessels in the area damaged by stroke.More

Finding the genetic culprits that drive antibiotic resistance
HealthCanal
Researchers have developed a powerful new tool to identify genetic changes in disease-causing bacteria that are responsible for antibiotic resistance. The results from this technique could be used in clinics within the next decade to decide on the most effective treatments for diseases such as pneumonia and meningitis.More

CDC releases new Ebola guidance for laboratorians
Infection Control Today
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released interim guidance for laboratorians and other health care personnel collecting or handling specimens in the U.S. on appropriate specimen collection, transport and testing of specimens from patients who are suspected to be infected with Ebola virus. Potentially infectious diagnostic specimens are routinely handled and tested in U.S. laboratories in a safe manner.More

Health insurers are reluctant to reimburse for genetic tests, thus angering many patients and causing medical laboratories to go unpaid
DARK Daily
Concerned about the increased cost of genetic tests, health insurers are becoming reluctant to pay for many types of molecular diagnostics and gene tests. As they do, however, they face angry patients — many of whom see a genetic test as their last resort for a diagnosis and selection of a therapy that might just work for them. More

Scientists: Cancer should be classified by genetic and molecular type
Medical News Today
A research network in the U.S. proposes that cancer should be classified according to genetic and molecular features rather than by the type of tissue in which the tumor arises. While more work is needed to confirm and build on findings that look set to rewrite oncology textbooks, the scientists say such a system would be better for patients because it would help tailor treatment to their individual needs.More

Debilitating case of mosquito-borne chikungunya reported in US
CNN
Chikungunya — a tropical disease with a funny name that packs a wallop like having your bones crushed — has finally taken up residence in the U.S. Ever since the first transmission of chikungunya was reported in the Americas in 2013, health officials have been bracing for the arrival of the debilitating, mosquito-borne virus in the U.S.More

'Normal' bacteria vital for keeping intestinal lining intact
HealthCanal
Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found that bacteria that aid in digestion help keep the intestinal lining intact. The findings, reported online in the journal Immunity, could yield new therapies for inflammatory bowel disease and a wide range of other disorders.More

HIV infection linked to reduced risk of MS
Medical News Today
A new study published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry suggests that individuals infected with HIV may be at much lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis. The research team, including professor Julian Gold of The Albion Centre at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, says if their findings are confirmed, this could hold important implications for the treatment of multiple sclerosis — a disabling disease of the central nervous system.More

The typhoid fever pathogen uses a cloaking mechanism to evade neutrophil neutralization
Public Library of Science via Medical Xpress
Typhoid fever is caused by systemic infection with salmonella enterica Typhi. In contrast, infection with the closely related bacterium salmonella enterica typhimurium is usually limited to the gut and causes less serious diarrheal disease. Research published Aug. 7 in PLOS Pathogens comparing the two pathogens reveals how salmonella enterica typhimurium avoids recognition and elimination by patrolling immune cells called neutrophils, allowing it to disseminate throughout the patient's body.More