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FDA panel approves primary HPV screening tool
The New York Times
A federal advisory committee recommended unanimously that a DNA test developed by Roche be approved for use as a primary screening tool. “Has our Pap, as we know it, outlived its time?” Dr. Dorothy Rosenthal testified to the committee. She said deaths from cervical cancer in the United States had stopped declining and that there would be “a tremendous gain” by moving to the new test. The Roche test detects the DNA of human papillomavirus, or HPV, which causes almost all cases of cervical cancer. Pap testing involves examining a cervical sample under the microscope looking for abnormalities.
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GENETICS


NCCN: Test all colorectal cancers for Lynch syndrome
Medscape (Free login required)
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) now recommends that patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) be tested for Lynch syndrome. The syndrome is the most common inherited form of CRC, accounting for 2 percent to 4 percent of all cases. This translates to roughly 1 of every 35 CRCs. The universal testing recommendation includes an optional age-related consideration: for CRC patients younger than 70 years, test everyone; for CRC patients 70 years and older, test only those who meet the Bethesda criteria.
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Famous breast cancer gene could affect brain growth
Science
The cancer gene BRCA1 may also regulate brain size. Mice carrying a mutated copy of the gene have 10-fold fewer neurons and other brain abnormalities, a new study suggests. Such dramatic effects on brain size and function are unlikely in human carriers of BRCA1 mutations, the authors of the study note, but they propose the findings could shed light on the gene's role in brain evolution.
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SURVIVORSHIP


Cancer patients with insulin-treated diabetes have four times higher mortality compared to cancer patients without diabetes
Science Daily
People who have diabetes at the time they are diagnosed with cancer are more likely to die early than those without diabetes, concludes research published in Diabetologia. The research is by Kristina Ranc, University of Copenhagen and Steno Diabetes Center, Gentofte, Denmark, and colleagues. The researchers conclude that patients with both diabetes and cancer constitute a particularly vulnerable group, and efforts are needed to reduce cancer-related mortality among these patients.
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HEALTH POLICY


SGR repeal passes House; patch still expected
MedPage Today
A full repeal of Medicare's sustainable growth rate (SGR) payment formula hit a snag, but political insiders say another temporary stay from drastic cuts in Medicare reimbursement is likely on its way. The House passed a bill in a 238-181 vote that repeals the SGR and replaces it with a system that rewards quality and provides incentives to physicians participating in alternative payment models. However, Republicans attached it to a measure that delays for 5 years the Affordable Care Act's mandate requiring that all individuals obtain health insurance.
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RESEARCH


Novel biologic drug holds promise for individualized ovarian cancer treatment
Oncology Nurse Advisor
Researchers have developed a biologic drug that would prevent the production of a protein known to allow ovarian cancer cells to grow aggressively while being resistant to chemotherapy. This would improve treatment and survival rates for some women. "We have known that the protein HE4 is present in women who have ovarian cancer," said Richard G. Moore, M.D., of Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island in Providence. He created the Risk of Ovarian Malignancy Algorithm (ROMA) to determine if a pelvic mass is cancerous based on the levels of HE4 and another protein. "What no one knew was why the protein is there or what activates it."
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TAF proteins may serve as potential targets to fight ovarian cancer
News-Medical
In the complex genomic and molecular conspiracy that gives rise to ovarian cancer, what if researchers have been missing a whole set of suspects because they've been hiding in plain sight? That's the argument made by Brown University biologists in a new paper that combines evidence from original research and prior studies to raise new suspicions about a set of proteins that assist in regulating gene expression.
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MORCELLATION


The morcellation debate: What you need to know
Contemporary Ob/Gyn
The advent of electromechanical morcellation allowed for marked improvements in ease and speed of specimen retrieval with minimally invasive approaches. As the field of minimally invasive gynecologic surgery has evolved to encompass increasingly challenging procedures, a number of power morcellation devices have been marketed to allow removal of large pathology via small icisions and avoid the morbidity associated with laparotomy. However, this innovation is not without risks, including potential for intraoperative injury and risk of seeding of cellular tissue during the morcellation process. Gynecologic surgeons should give consideration to the balance of benefit and harm that accompanies laparoscopic tissue morcellation, in addition to exploring surgical alternatives and methods to mitigate complications.
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