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Category: Pathology | Monthly Briefing

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March 2009 Briefing - Pathology

Last Updated: April 01, 2009.

 

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Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pathology for March 2009. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.

Safe Practice Scores Do Not Add Up to Fewer Patient Deaths

TUESDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- In hospitals, higher self-reported scores for improvements in safe practices do not correlate with reduced mortality rates, researchers report in the April 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Protein Seen to Play Role in Herpes Reactivation

TUESDAY, March 31 (HealthDay News) -- Expression of a virion protein called VP16 appears to be necessary for herpes simplex virus to exit its latent state, according to research published in the March issue of PLoS Pathogens.

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Post-Exercise Heart Rhythm Predicts Cardiovascular Risk

FRIDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Visible beat-to-beat alterations in cardiac repolarization known as T-wave alternans (TWA) predict the risk of cardiovascular disease and death in patients with coronary artery disease, according to a study in the March 31 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

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Drinking Very Hot Tea May Raise Esophageal Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- Drinking tea before it has cooled down slightly is associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer, according to study findings published online March 26 in BMJ.

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Aspirin May Protect Against Cancer

FRIDAY, March 27 (HealthDay News) -- People who take aspirin for vascular protection have less incidence of cancer, but only after 10 years of taking the drug, indicating that it may have a protective effect against cancer, according to a review published online March 27 in The Lancet.

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Circumcision Lowers Risk of Sexually Transmitted Disease

WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- In a study of Ugandan men, circumcision reduced both the incidence of herpes simplex virus (HSV-2) and the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV), two co-factors in HIV/AIDs, according to a report in the March 26 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Cost Barriers Slow Adoption of Electronic Health Records

WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Citing cost barriers, relatively few U.S. hospitals have adopted electronic health records, posing a major obstacle for policy makers who say health information technology is critical to the improvement of health care quality and cost-effectiveness, according to an article published online March 25 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Antibody Combination May Protect Against HIV

WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Investigation into the immune response in slow-progressing patients with HIV indicates that a vaccine that elicits a variety of antibodies could be effective, according to research published online March 15 in Nature.

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C-Reactive Protein Levels Associated With Cancer Risk

WEDNESDAY, March 25 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) are associated with increased risk of cancer and earlier death after cancer diagnosis, according to a report published online March 16 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Genetic Heart Disease Often Deadly for Children

TUESDAY, March 24 (HealthDay News) -- A genetic cardiomyopathy that strikes children is associated with serious heart dysfunction and often death, according to a report in the March 25 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Nanotechnology May Aid in Earlier Anthrax Detection

MONDAY, March 23 (HealthDay News) -- A new test utilizing nanotechnology may be able to detect anthrax infection earlier than existing methods, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration announcement of research published in the March Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.

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Immune Activation Renders Malaria Mosquitoes Resistant

FRIDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Gene silencing activates immune pathways in mosquitoes that carry malaria parasites and renders the mosquitoes resistant to infection, according to a report in the March issue of PLoS Pathogens.

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Gene Promotes Degeneration of Nerves After Injury

FRIDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- A gene involved in promoting the degeneration of nerve axons in response to damage or drugs may be part of a common self-destruct program that can be targeted for the treatment of neuropathies and other conditions, according to a study published online March 15 in Nature Neuroscience.

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DiGeorge Case Offers Example of Genetic Compensation

WEDNESDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- Cytogenetic studies of the family of a child with DiGeorge syndrome highlights a case of genetic compensation, according to a report published in the March 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Report Describes Immune Response to West Nile

WEDNESDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- A scientist who was accidentally infected with West Nile virus in the laboratory has an immune response that could be exploited for therapeutics, according to a case report in the March 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Simplified Method Has Value for Prognosis in Thyroid Cancer

MONDAY, March 16 (HealthDay News) -- A quantified alternative to the TNM system -- a cancer-staging system using tumor size, node involvement and presence of metastases -- provides a simple method of predicting recurrence and cancer-specific mortality, with no loss of discrimination compared to other systems, for differentiated thyroid carcinoma, according to research published online March 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Little Counseling for Males Carrying Cancer Mutation

FRIDAY, Mar. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Many male carriers of BRCA1/2 mutations do not seek genetic counseling, even though the mutations predispose them to breast and other cancers, according to a review in the February issue of the Journal of Genetic Counseling.

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Damaged Repair Genes Increase Hodgkin's Disease Risk

FRIDAY, Mar. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in DNA repair genes appear to increase the risk of developing Hodgkin's disease, especially when the SNPs occur in more than one of the repair gene types, according to research published in the Apr. 15 issue of Cancer.

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Specialist Nurses Help Grieving Parents Agree to Autopsy

FRIDAY, Mar. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Bereaved parents are more likely to consent to a request for post-mortem imaging for research purposes if they are approached by a specially trained nurse with experience in family and bereavement counseling, according to a study published online Mar. 12 in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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Biomarkers Signal Women's Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk

THURSDAY, Mar. 12 (HealthDay News) -- Elevated biomarkers of inflammation in the blood may help identify women with a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis years before symptoms appear, according to study findings published in the March issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism.

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Smudge Cells Point to Survival in Patients with Leukemia

WEDNESDAY, Mar. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Smudge cells on blood smears from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia can predict survival of the disease, according to research published online Mar. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Brain Tumor Stem Cell-Like Cells Highly Tumorigenic

MONDAY, Mar. 9 (HealthDay News) -- A population of stem cell-like glioma cells characterized by the presence of a drug transporter are highly tumorigenic and resistant to drugs, and the standard glioma treatment increases this population, according to a report in the Mar. 6 issue of Cell Stem Cell.

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Patient Confidentiality Versus Disease Prevention Reviewed

MONDAY, Mar. 9 (HealthDay News) -- The morality of patient confidentiality laws are questioned in recent research presented in a special report in the March issue of The Lancet Oncology.

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Transdermal Patches Pose Burn Risk During Scans

FRIDAY, Mar. 6 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued a warning about the risk of burns as a result of wearing medicated patches, such as those used for smoking cessation or pain relief, during MRI scans.

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Less Intraperitoneal, Liver Fat Seen in Black Patients

THURSDAY, Mar. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In a study including black, white and Hispanic patients, black patients appeared to be particularly resistant to the accumulation of triglycerides in the liver associated with insulin resistance, according to research published in the March issue of Hepatology.

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Rituximab May Be Effective for Severe Lupus Nephritis

THURSDAY, Mar. 5 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with relapsing or refractory lupus nephritis, rituximab may be an effective treatment if early B-cell depletion is achieved, according to research published online Mar. 4 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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Positive Outcomes for Cancer Patients in Poor Condition

THURSDAY, Mar. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Advanced colorectal cancer patients with poor performance status still derive benefit from chemotherapy, although with a higher risk of toxicity and death, according to study findings published online Mar. 2 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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Obama Wants to Spend $630 Billion on Health Care Reform

THURSDAY, Mar. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Achieving health care reform is one of President Barack Obama's major challenges, and his newly released spending plan calls on Congress to commit $630 billion over the next decade to finance that reform, according to an article published online Mar. 4 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Mepolizumab Beneficial in Eosinophilic Asthma

WEDNESDAY, Mar. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Mepolizumab therapy reduces exacerbations and has other benefits in asthma patients with eosinophilia, according to two studies published in the Mar. 5 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Abstract - Haldar
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Abstract - Nair
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Metabolic Syndrome Linked to Distinct Liver Cancers

WEDNESDAY, Mar. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with hepatocellular carcinoma whose only risk factor for liver disease is evidence of metabolic syndrome, the cancer typically occurs without significant fibrosis in the surrounding liver, according to research published in the March issue of Hepatology.

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Parent's Bipolar Disorder, Offspring's Mental Illness Linked

WEDNESDAY, Mar. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Children of patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder are at greater risk of developing psychiatric disorders, especially early-onset bipolar disorder, according to research published in the March issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

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Proton Pump Inhibitors May Reduce Benefits of Clopidogrel

TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Acute coronary syndrome patients who are prescribed clopidogrel in combination with a proton pump inhibitor are at increased risk of adverse outcomes compared with patients prescribed clopidogrel alone, according to a report published in the Mar. 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Oseltamivir-Resistant Flu Viruses Increasing

TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The 2008 to 2009 influenza season will see a higher prevalence of oseltamivir-resistant viruses, and certain strains of the virus are highly pathogenic to high-risk patients, according to two studies published online Mar. 2 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Another study reports that intranasal live attenuated influenza vaccine is associated with more medical encounters than trivalent inactivated vaccine.

Abstract - Wang et al
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MET Gene Variant Linked to Autism, GI Disorders

TUESDAY, Mar. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Alterations of the MET gene, encoding an enzyme involved in brain development and gastrointestinal repair, may be associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder with associated gastrointestinal dysfunction, according to research published in the March issue of Pediatrics.

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US Motor Vehicle-Related Death Rates Vary Geographically

MONDAY, Mar. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Although the mortality rate related to motor vehicles remained almost unchanged from 1999 to 2005 in the United States, on closer inspection the data reveals wide variations from state to state, as well as by gender and ethnicity, according to a report published in the Feb. 27 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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IFRD1 Gene Linked to Severity of Cystic Fibrosis

MONDAY, Mar. 2 (HealthDay News) -- The IFRD1 gene appears to play a role in the severity of cystic fibrosis lung disease through its influence on neutrophil effector function, according to research published online Feb. 25 in the journal Nature.

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Much Lung Cancer Disparity Appears to Be Due to Smoking

MONDAY, Mar. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Smoking appeared to explain much -- but not all -- of the inequality in lung cancer risk attributable to differences in education in a large sample of Europeans, according to research published in the Mar. 4 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

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Trio of Studies Shed Light on Pediatric Asthma Issues

MONDAY, Mar. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Children with asthma have fewer symptoms when their exposure to air pollution is reduced, while antibiotic use is associated with an exacerbation of symptoms, according to two studies published in the March issue of Pediatrics. A third study found that pertussis vaccination is not associated with increased risk of asthma.

Abstract - Renzetti
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Abstract - Marra
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Abstract - Spycher
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