ASCLS eNewsBytes
Aug. 20, 2013

Study: New boost for immune system against tumors
Medical News Today
Researchers have found a new way to boost the immune system's anti-tumor activity and shown it is safe in mice. Dr. Wayne Hancock of the division of transplant immunology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues report their findings in this week's online issue of Nature Medicine. The study focuses on a question that fascinates immunologists: Why doesn't the immune system prevent cancer in the first place? It has the tools to do so.More

Aging gene linked to blood cancer
A genetic variant that influences the aging process — by acting as a cell's internal clock — is linked to blood cancer, researchers in London say. Study co-leader Richard Houlston, professor of molecular and population genetics at The Institute of Cancer Research, and colleagues said myeloma — one of the most common types of blood cancer — is caused by genetic mutations in white blood cells, which normally help fight infection and injury.More

Climate change impacting spread of infectious diseases
Infection Control Today
Climate change is already affecting the spread of infectious diseases — and human health and biodiversity worldwide — according to disease ecologists reporting research results in the journal Science. Modeling disease outcomes from host and parasite responses to climate variables, they say, could help public health officials and environmental managers address the challenges posed by the changing landscape of infectious disease.More

Aspirin tied to smaller lung and colon cancer tumors
Colon and lung cancer patients who regularly took low-dose aspirin before their diagnosis tended to have less advanced tumors, in a new study. However, the finding doesn't mean everyone should be taking aspirin to ward off advanced cancer, researchers said.More

Israel launches national campaign, vaccinates 30,000 children against polio
Counsel & Heal
In Israel, the government has launched a nationwide campaign to vaccinate children after discovering a rare new strain of polio circulating within the nation. The campaign successfully administered the polio vaccine to 30,000 children born after Jan. 1, 2004. More

Milestone study probes cancer origin
BBC News
Scientists are reporting a significant milestone for cancer research after charting 21 major mutations behind the vast majority of tumors. The disruptive changes to the genetic code, reported in Nature, accounted for 97 percent of the 30 most common cancers.More

Making safe drugs is harder than you think
By Mike Wokasch
Whether you manufacture prescription drugs for a pharmaceutical company, compound drug products or prepare solutions in a hospital for administration to patients, you have an obligation to make sure your products are prepared correctly, to deliver the desired dose without doing harm the patient. Aside from the regulatory/legal requirements, there are good reasons for drug companies to adhere to cGMPs when making prescription drugs. More

Study: Exercise helps with better brain functioning in HIV-infected adults
Springer via Medical Xpress
Regular exercise is not only good for health, but can give people living with HIV a significant mental boost. This is according to a study by Dr. David J. Moore and colleagues at the University of California, San Diego, published in Springer's Journal of NeuroVirology. The study found that HIV-infected adults who exercise suffered significantly less neurocognitive impairment compared to patients who do not exercise.More

Chronicling cancer experience online can reduce depressive symptoms in breast cancer patients
Medical Xpress
Adults increasingly are conveying their personal experiences with serious disease online, but do such chronicles help the authors or their audience? In the first known study of its kind, UCLA researchers discovered that creating a personal website to chronicle the cancer experience and communicate with one's social network can reduce depressive symptoms, increase positive mood and enhance appreciation for life among women diagnosed with breast cancer.More

Innovative labs use business intelligence to deliver data insights
Dark Daily
Healthcare’s accelerating shift away from fee-for-service payment and toward value-based reimbursement presents new challenges to clinical laboratories and pathology groups. These new payment models motivate providers to seek strategic partners who can deliver added value. To succeed in this paradigm, clinical laboratories must differentiate themselves.More

Cancer: Unraveling a mechanism behind cellular proliferation
R&D Magazine
Oncologists have STAT3 in their sights. This protein, which plays a role in cell division, is at the heart of a complex series of reactions within the cell. In many cancers, it is overactive — this generally is a negative element in terms of survival, because cells have a marked tendency to proliferate. More

Scientists to create mutant form of bird flu virus to work out risk
The Daily Mail
Scientists are to create mutant forms of the H7N9 bird flu virus that has emerged in China so they can work out the risk of a lethal human pandemic. Highly transmissible and deadly forms of H7N9 will be made in several high security laboratories around the world — but it is vital to prepare for the threat, the scientists say.More

Researchers examine HCW ring wearing and potential for HAI transmission
Infection Control Today
Tens of thousands of healthcare workers worldwide can only wear a plain wedding ring at work, if any at all. This arose from policies citing early laboratory evidence that rings can carry clinically relevant bacteria, but with little supporting clinical data. More

WHO recommends earlier treatment for HIV
Infectious Disease Special Edition
The World Health Organization has released updated guidelines on the use of anti-retroviral therapy for the treatment and prevention of HIV. The biggest change is that the WHO now recommends starting ART at the CD4 threshold of 500 cells/mm cubed or less in all adults, adolescents and older children. More

Research: Some children have greater cancer risks
A new study found that children with certain types of birth defects had a three-fold higher rate of developing cancer before the age of 15 than children born with no birth defects. The researchers discovered that these risks were higher in children with unusual birth defects, and the lead author of the study, cautioned that parents shouldn't be unduly worried about these findings because cancer in kids is very rare.More

Cooking cancer cells with the help of a nanodiamond thermometer
The Guardian
Thermometers are a critical tool for much scientific research and medicine — but their use at the smallest scales has so far been limited. Inside our body's cells, for example, where temperature fluctuations are minuscule compared with the changes that we might notice, something else is needed.More