Friday, July 25, 2014

Around the Web

Here are the articles that were passed along to me this week. Thanks to my husband, Chris, and my friends Andrea and Kathryn for sharing them. I had chemo on Monday, so I've been in my typical fog since then, a fog that isn't helped IN THE SLIGHTEST by it being 114 degrees outside. So we're heading out of town--again--this weekend, just a couple of hours north of here to a place where there are natural springs and waterfalls and it will be twenty degrees cooler than here. So, mid-nineties, but with WATER. Which sounds downright magical at the moment.

{Photo credit}

A Better Way to Diagnose Cancer?

"The current study puts immunosignatures to the test, evaluating the technique’s ability to identify multiple disease types. The team first “trained” the system to calibrate results and establish reference immunosignatures using 20 samples each from five cancer patient cohorts, along with 20 non-cancer patients. Once reference immunosignatures were established, the technique was tested in a blind evaluation of 120 independent samples covering the same diseases. The results demonstrate 95 percent accuracy. . . .

Specifically, in one experimental trial, researchers were able to detect and distinguish a complex, heterogeneous disease – stage IV breast cancer, relative to four other cancers and healthy controls. In the second trial, 14 separate diseases were distinguished from one another, as well as from healthy controls, through immunosignatures. Among the cancers tested were three different stages of breast cancer, four different brain cancers, two pancreatic diseases, ovarian cancer and two different blood cancers."

Targeting the "Seeds" of Metastases

"If perfected, this technique could eventually allow doctors to do the same: use cancer cells isolated from patients' blood to monitor the progression of their diseases, pre-test drugs and personalize treatment plans accordingly."

And Some Positive News on the Clinical Trial Front . . . 

(from April)

. . . Led to This

"Investigators for the biotech say they tracked a 33% improvement over placebo in disease-free survival."

They are looking for FDA approval in the first half of 2015.

As always, if you have anything you think I should add here, please let me know.  

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