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Weekend hospitalization linked to longer stay for pediatric leukemia patients

Weekend hospitalization linked to longer stay for pediatric leukemia patients

Weekend admission to the hospital for pediatric patients newly diagnosed with leukemia was associated with a longer length of stay, slightly longer wait to start chemotherapy and higher risk for respiratory failure but weekend admissions were not linked to an increased risk for death. Leukemia is a common childhood cancer that accounts for about 30 percent of all pediatric cancer diagnoses. Previous research has indicated an increased risk of death in adults with leukemia whose first admission was on a weekend Continue reading

Aspirin may reduce the risks of reoccurring blood clots

Aspirin may reduce the risks of reoccurring blood clots

Aspirin may be a promising alternative for those who can’t take long-term anticoagulant drugs that prevent clots from reoccurring in the veins, according to new research in the American Heart Association journal Circulation. In a combined analysis of two similar independent studies, 1,224 patients who received 100 mg of aspirin a day to treat blood clots were monitored for at least two years. Continue reading

Finding keys to glioblastoma therapeutic resistance

Finding keys to glioblastoma therapeutic resistance

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found one of the keys to why certain glioblastomas — the primary form of a deadly brain cancer — are resistant to drug therapy. The answer lies not in the DNA sequence of the tumor, but in its epigenetic signature Continue reading

High concordance between EGFR mutations from circulating-free tumor DNA and tumor tissue in non-small cell lung cancer

High concordance between EGFR mutations from circulating-free tumor DNA and tumor tissue in non-small cell lung cancer

Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations found in the circulating free tumor DNA (ctDNA) from the plasma of advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients correlates well with the EGFR mutations from patient-matched tumor tissue DNA. EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) therapy is approved for EGFR activating mutation positive patients with advanced NSCLC, but the standard for determining mutation status is with DNA derived directly from tumor tissue, which can be limited or not available. A more abundant and less invasive source of tumor DNA may be cell free tumor DNA found circulating in the blood. Continue reading

Novel oncogenic RET mutation found in small cell lung cancer

Novel oncogenic RET mutation found in small cell lung cancer

For the first time an oncogenic somatic mutation at amino acid 918 in the RET (rearranged during transfection) protein has been identified in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) tumors and enforced expression of this mutation within SCLC cell lines produced increased intracellular signaling and cell growth. SCLC is a highly malignant form of lung cancer representing 15% of all lung cancers and is strongly associated with tobacco smoking Continue reading

Deletion predicts survival in advanced non-small cell lung cancer

Deletion predicts survival in advanced non-small cell lung cancer

Bcl-2-like protein 11 (BIM) deletion in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is associated with shorter progression free survival (PFS) in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) or chemotherapy treated Asian patients. Continue reading

Study of self-awareness in MS has implications for rehabilitation

Study of self-awareness in MS has implications for rehabilitation

A new study of self-awareness by Kessler Foundation researchers shows that persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) may be able to improve their self-awareness through task-oriented cognitive rehabilitation. The study was epublished ahead of print on July 2 in NeuroRehabilitation . Self-awareness is one’s ability to recognize cognitive problems caused by brain injury. Continue reading

Cognitive-behavioral coping skills training has positive effects on rheumatoid arthritis

Cognitive-behavioral coping skills training has positive effects on rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a complex autoimmune disease that affects 1 to 2 percent of adults, requires patients to not only cope with pain, disability and joint disfigurements, but also other stressors such as disrupted work, family life and marital functioning. Continue reading

From dandruff to deep sea vents, an ecologically hyper-diverse fungus

From dandruff to deep sea vents, an ecologically hyper-diverse fungus

A ubiquitous skin fungus linked to dandruff, eczema and other itchy, flaky maladies in humans has now been tracked to even further global reaches — including Hawaiian coral reefs and the extreme environments of arctic soils and deep sea vents. A review in the scientific journal PLOS Pathogens considers the diversity, ecology, and distribution of the fungi of the genus Malassezia in light of new insights gained from screening environmental sequencing datasets from around the world. Continue reading

Treating pain by blocking the ‘chili-pepper receptor’

Treating pain by blocking the ‘chili-pepper receptor’

As anyone who has bitten into a chili pepper knows, its burning spiciness — though irresistible to some — is intolerable to others. Scientists exploring the chili pepper’s effect are using their findings to develop a new drug candidate for many kinds of pain, which can be caused by inflammation or other problems. They reported their progress on the compound, which is being tested in clinical trials, in ACS’ Journal of Medicinal Chemistry Continue reading