ASCLS eNewsBytes
Dec. 23, 2014

'High-priority' chemicals that may cause breast cancer named
Medical News Today
From May 20: An estimated 12.4 percent of women born in the U.S. today will develop breast cancer at some point during their lives. Past research has indicated that exposure to some chemicals may increase the risk of breast cancer. Now, a new study has identified 17 "high-priority" chemicals women should avoid in order to reduce such risk and demonstrates how their presence can be detected.More

This breast cancer scares patients, challenges doctors
The Indianapolis Star
From April 15: 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. But it was the sharp pain in her breast that finally persuaded her to go to the emergency room in August 2012. Two days later she learned she had a type of breast cancer called "triple negative."More

Differentiating chikungunya from dengue: A clinical challenge
From Sept. 30: In May of this year, a woman in her early 30s visited an outpatient clinic in Missouri, reporting a three-day history of fever, myalgia and arthralgia. She described recent travel to Haiti for a one-week missionary trip and indicated that her illness began three days after her return. Serologic diagnostic testing for dengue and chikungunya were requested, and the patient was prescribed bed rest and acetaminophen for pain.More

Mysterious polio like illness affects kids in California
USA Today
From Feb. 25: A mysterious polio like syndrome has affected as many as 25 California children, leaving them with paralyzed limbs and little hope of recovery. California is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to see if there are cases outside California. So far none have been reported.More

Multiple protocol breaches behind anthrax exposure at US federal labs
From June 24: The safety breach at a government lab that may have exposed 84 workers to live anthrax centered on a pivotal lapse in procedure: Researchers working with the bacteria waited 24 hours to be sure they had killed the pathogens, half the time required by a new scientific protocol. The lab designed to handle extremely dangerous pathogens at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta unknowingly sent live samples of anthrax to labs with fewer safeguards, where the exposure occurred.More

Dose of measles virus destroys woman's incurable cancer
Medical News Today
From May 20: In what they describe as a proof of principle study, doctors in the U.S. were able to keep a woman with deadly multiple myeloma — an incurable bone marrow cancer — free of all signs of living cancer cells for over 6 months by giving her just one high dose of measles virus. Two patients received a single intravenous dose of measles virus that was engineered to kill myeloma plasma cells and not harm other cells. The team, from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, says both patients responded to the treatment, showing reduced bone marrow cancer and levels of myeloma protein.More

BMI linked to breast cancer risk after menopause
From April 29: 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

Key chocolate ingredients could help prevent obesity, diabetes
American Chemical Society via ScienceDaily
From April 8: The potential health benefits of dark chocolate keep piling up and scientists are now homing in on what ingredients in chocolate might help prevent obesity, as well as Type 2 diabetes. They found that one particular type of antioxidant in cocoa prevented laboratory mice from gaining excess weight and lowered their blood sugar levels.More

FDA pushes forward with plans to regulate laboratory-developed tests in a move that will impact many clinical laboratory companies and pathology groups
DARK Daily
From Sept. 9: After sitting in a state of suspended animation for several years, the Food and Drug Administration's plans to regulate laboratory-developed tests are now front and center. On July 31, the FDA served the required 60-day legal notice to Congress that it was ready to move forward to issue rules for regulation of laboratory-developed tests.More

Dormant viruses re-emerge in patients with lingering sepsis
Washington University in St. Louis via Bioscience Technology
From June 17: A provocative study links prolonged episodes of sepsis — a life-threatening infection and leading cause of death in hospitals — to the reactivation of otherwise dormant viruses in the body. In healthy people, such latent viruses are kept in check by the immune system.More