Search for: "drug resistance" - 409 articles found

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News • Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma

Promising new treatment for deadly pediatric tumor

Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare pediatric tumor. For more than 40 years there has not been any new development regarding treatment. Research led by Prof. Dr. Anton Henssen at Charité University Berlin has now identified a new therapeutic option, using a drug that is currently under investigation for other types of cancer.

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Clinical Chemistry

Beckman Coulter – Psychiatry Antipsychotic Assays

Assays: Clozapine, Risperidone, Aripiprazole, Olanzapine, Quetiapine, Paliperidone Highlights:Antipsychotic drug monitoring provides healthcare professionals accurate and vital information.Testing of antipsychotic drugs can help manage patient therapy by providing greater clarity on the causes of treatment failure (i.e., adherence, drug resistance, drug-drug interactions and drug…

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Sponsored • Covid-19 management

Rapid and robust PCR testing for infectious diseases at Innklinikum Altötting and Mühldorf

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of the fast and accurate diagnosis of infectious diseases in clinical settings. Harald Maier discusses the implementation of rapid molecular diagnostics in the central clinical diagnostics laboratory at Innklinikum Altötting and Mühldorf, highlighting how the use of PCR testing has benefitted the hospital during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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Article • Antimicrobial resistance development

AMR and climate change: a worrying dual threat to global health

Climate change and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are forming an alarming alliance: Global warming creates new breeding grounds for resistant bacteria. A serious and very real threat to public health – but not quite the doomsday scenario some might make it out to be, says Prof Sabiha Essack from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa.

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News • miR-634 vs. OSCC

Anti-cancer "dream cream" to shrink oral tumors

Modern medicine offers “peel and stick” solutions like nicotine or contraceptive patches to put right on the skin without needing to visit a doctor for an injection or procedure. Now, researchers have found that applying a topical ointment containing anti-tumor factor can increase the effectiveness of cancer treatment.

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Article • A potentially devastating impact

Covid-19 alters antibiotic use

The long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic on antimicrobial resistance remains difficult to predict. Infectious diseases consultant Professor Alison Holmes reflects on Covid-19's effect on antibiotic use in hospitals and beyond.

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News • Microbiology

Using 3D printing technique to create biofilms

Researchers at the University of Rochester, and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands recently developed a 3D printing technique to engineer and study biofilms—three-dimensional communities of microorganisms, such as bacteria, that adhere to surfaces. The research provides important information for creating synthetic materials and in developing drugs to fight the negative effects of…

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News • Relapse research

Multiple myeloma: Tracking down resistant cancer cells

In multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow, relapse almost always occurs after treatment. Initially, most patients respond well to therapy. However, as the disease progresses, resistant cancer cells spread in the bone marrow, with fatal consequences for the patients. Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) and the National Center for…

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Article • An estimated 800,000 deaths in 2030

Warning of looming global liver disease pandemic

Professor Dina Tiniakos, from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, predicts that NASH (Non-alcohol related steatohepatitis) cases will soar worldwide by 2030, with 800,000 liver deaths, costing health economies billions of dollars.

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Article • NGS solution

Using liquid biopsy to detect recurrent breast cancer earlier

An innovative collaboration has been formed in the UK between academic researchers and industry to develop a rapid integrated liquid biopsy platform for early detection of recurrent breast cancer. Breast cancer specialists Professor Charles Coombes, who is Professor of Medical Oncology at Imperial College London (ICL), and Professor Jacqui Shaw, Head of the Department of Genetics and Genome…

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Sponsored • iQmax® EMS & TENS Wearable technology

AFC Addresses WFH Health Issues and Paradigm Shifts

Leading functional & smart textile manufacturer Asiatic Fiber Corporation (AFC) introduces advanced wearable technology for electronic muscle stimulation (EMS) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): (EMS module / E-massage module) of the iQmax® series at the international trade fair MEDICA 2021, which will be held in Germany from November 15th to 18th.

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News • 'CRyPTIC' research

Global tuberculosis study identifies genetic causes of drug resistance

Using cutting-edge genomic sequencing techniques, researchers at the University of Oxford have identified almost all the genomic variation that gives people resistance to 13 of the most common tuberculosis (TB) drug treatments. The Comprehensive Resistance Prediction for Tuberculosis International Consortium (CRyPTIC) research project has collected the largest ever global dataset of clinical M.…

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News • Tumor growth stopped in mice

Antidepressants show promise in cancer growth inhibition

Classic antidepressants could help improve modern cancer treatments. They slowed the growth of pancreatic and colon cancers in mice, and when combined with immunotherapy, they even stopped the cancer growth long-term. In some cases the tumors disappeared completely, researchers at the University of Zurich (UZH) and University Hospital Zurich (USZ) have found. Their findings will now be tested in…

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Sponsored • Tools for the lab

Speeding up diagnostics to detect antibiotic resistance

Infectious disease diagnostics are notoriously slow. The gold standard for laboratory diagnosis of bacterial and fungal infection involves growing the pathogen from a clinical specimen – an overnight event, or even longer. The healthcare focus is on improving the use of antibiotics for better patient outcomes and reducing the environmental pressures that drive antibiotic resistance. To impact…

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Article • Precision oncology

Personalized health and genomics: Minimizing collateral damage

A solid diagnosis has always been the first step on any patient’s journey to health. However, diagnostic categories are necessarily oversimplifications. In the last decades, medical professionals and scientists have begun to uncover the true variability in patients’ physiological and biochemical make-up that is the principal cause for individual variations in the way diseases present…

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News • Promising material

Organ transplantation: polymer coating reduces rejection rate

Researchers have found a way to reduce organ rejection following a transplant by using a special polymer to coat blood vessels on the organ to be transplanted. The polymer, developed by Prof. Dr. Jayachandran Kizhakkedathu and his team at the Centre for Blood Research and Life Sciences Institute at the University of British Columbia, substantially diminished rejection of transplants in mice when…

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News • Early diagnosis proteins

Study identifies 15 new biomarkers for pre­-dementia

A study by an international research group identified 15 novel biomarkers that are linked to late-onset dementias. These biomarkers are proteins, which predict cognitive decline and subsequent increased risk of dementia already 20 years before the disease onset. The proteins are related to immune system dysfunction, blood-brain-barrier dysfunction, vascular pathologies, and central insulin…

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News • Controlling KRAS

New targeted gene therapy could stop lung cancer progression

A newly targeted therapy could help millions of lung cancer patients worldwide keep their cancers from spreading, says an expert at Cleveland Clinic, on the occasion of World Lung Cancer Day. Dr. Khaled Hassan, of the Hematology and Medical Oncology Department at Cleveland Clinic, explains the concept of KRAS targeted therapy – and why the approach should not be mistaken for a cancer cure.

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News • Genetic alterations

Same mutation, different cancers: researchers explore connections

Why do alterations of certain genes cause cancer only in specific organs of the human body? Scientists at the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), the Technical University of Munich (TUM), and the University Medical Center Göttingen have now demonstrated that cells originating from different organs are differentially susceptible to activating mutations in cancer drivers: The same mutation in…

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News • TB drug development cooperation

Unite4TB: A new era in Tuberculosis treatment development

To advance anti-tuberculosis (TB) science and enable the progression of new, safe, and affordable treatment solutions for TB patients worldwide, a new consortium of 30 partners from 13 countries has officially launched. The 7-year, €185 million project called Unite4TB, aims to accelerate and improve the clinical evaluation of combinations of existing and novel drugs, with the goal of developing…

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Article • Women in medical R&D

Innovation depends on more than just technical skills

Cécile Geneviève is one of the few women who lead research and development (R&D) at a major company and her increasingly female team reflects women’s growing interest in the field. But while gender balance is an important criterion, it takes a broad palette of skills to innovate to alleviate pain for millions of patients, she explained in an interview with Healthcare in Europe.

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News • RAS protein mutation

New treatment approach targets cancer 'Death Star'

A new way to target a mutant protein which can cause the deadliest of cancers in humans has been uncovered by scientists at Leeds. The mutated form of the RAS protein has been referred to as the “Death Star” because of its ability to resist treatments and is found in 96% of pancreatic cancers and 54% of colorectal cancers. RAS is a protein important for health but in its mutated form it can…

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News • Advanced care

This 'smart' wound dressing monitors the healing process with built-in sensors

Researchers at RMIT University in Australia have developed smart wound dressings with built-in nanosensors that glow to alert patients when a wound is not healing properly. The multifunctional, antimicrobial dressings feature fluorescent sensors that glow brightly under UV light if infection starts to set in and can be used to monitor healing progress.

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News • Fighting the pandemic

90 drugs against Covid-19

Mining the world's most comprehensive drug repurposing collection for Covid-19 therapies, scientists have identified 90 existing drugs or drug candidates with antiviral activity against the coronavirus that's driving the ongoing global pandemic.

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News • Promising protein "MARK4"

Switching off heart protein could protect against heart failure

Switching off a heart muscle protein could provide a new way for drugs to combat heart failure in people who’ve had a heart attack, according to research led by the University of Cambridge and published in the journal Nature. There is an unmet need to find drugs that can successfully improve the heart’s ability to pump blood efficiently after it’s been damaged following a heart attack.…

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News • Disease of smallest heart blood vessels

Microvascular angina: the global health problem you've never heard of

For the first time, a prospective, international study has shown that chest pain caused by problems with the very small vessels supplying blood to the heart is an important health problem that increases the risk of heart attacks, stroke and death due to cardiovascular reasons. The study, which is published in the European Heart Journal, recruited 686 patients from 14 institutions in seven…

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News • Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)

Cutting-edge approach to fighting deadly form of pancreatic cancer

By 2030, the most lethal form of pancreatic cancer, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Not only are therapeutic options limited, but nearly half of PDAC patients who have their tumors removed surgically experience disease recurrence within a year, even with chemotherapy. For more advanced stages,…

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News • Intensive care support

AI predicts daily ICU trajectory for critical Covid-19 patients

Researchers used AI to identify which daily changing clinical parameters best predict intervention responses in critically ill Covid-19 patients. The investigators used machine learning to predict which patients might get worse and not respond positively to being turned onto their front in intensive care units (ICUs) - a technique known as proning that is commonly used in this setting to improve…

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News • A new tool to combat superbugs

Defeating antibiotic resistant bacteria with 'molecular tweezers'

Antibiotic resistant bacteria are a looming super threat – heralding a time when our drugs will no longer be effective against prevalent infections. Hospitals are already coping with treatment-resistant bacterial infections. Cognizant of the threat and thinking outside the box, BGU scientists and German and American colleagues have developed a pair of 'molecular tweezers' to destroy the biofilm…

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Article • Disease management

Covid-19 and beyond: Unlocking the value of diagnostic data

Diagnostic data from the massive amounts of testing being conducted can help make health systems more resilient in dealing with future health crises and pandemics. The importance of diagnostic data was explored during the Medtech Europe online session, “Unlocking the Value of Diagnostic Information – how to make European Health Systems more resilient?” where delegates heard that…

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News • Stopping the spread

Research sheds new light on pancreatic cancer metastasis

With an overall survival rate of 9% for those diagnosed, pancreatic cancer remains exceedingly difficult to treat. However, the patient's primary tumor typically isn't what leads to death - it is the cancer's ability to evade detection and metastasize to other organs. A team of researchers at the College of Medicine at the University of Oklahoma has published a new study in the journal…

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News • Spread of drug-resistance

WHO reports global shortage of innovative antibiotics

The world is still failing to develop desperately needed antibacterial treatments, despite growing awareness of the urgent threat of antibiotic resistance, according to a new report by the World Health Organization. WHO reveals that none of the 43 antibiotics that are currently in clinical development sufficiently address the problem of drug resistance in the world’s most dangerous bacteria.…

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News • M.O. of Darobactin unveiled

Novel antibiotic deceives bacteria through mimicry

An increasing number of bacterial pathogens are resistant to antibiotics. And the most dangerous pathogens share a common feature: a double membrane that is difficult to penetrate. Even when antibiotic agents are able to break into this shell, the bacteria just pump them right out again. But a recently discovered compound called Darobactin manages to circumvent these protective measures and kill…

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News • Bioorganic chemistry

Why M. tuberculosis is so resistant to drugs and immune defenses

A consortium of researchers from Russia, Belarus, Japan, Germany and France led by the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology have uncovered the way in which Mycobacterium tuberculosis survives in iron-deficient conditions by utilizing rubredoxin B, a protein from a rubredoxin family that play an important role in adaptation to changing environmental conditions.

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Video • Uprooting cancer

New hydrogel 'reprograms' cancer cells back to cancer stem cells

An innovative hydrogel – called a double network (DN) gel – can rapidly reprogram differentiated cancer cells into cancer stem cells, researchers at Hokkaido University and the National Cancer Center Research Institute have reported in the journal Nature Biomedical Engineering. The hydrogel can be used to help develop new cancer therapies and personalized medicines targeting cancer stem cells.

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News • Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma

A new approach for treating bile duct cancer

Intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) develops within the liver. With one to two cases per 100,000 inhabitants in Germany, ICC is one of the rare diseases overall, but it is the second most common liver cancer. The aggressive bile duct tumour remains clinically inconspicuous for a long time, so that it is often only detected late. Because the tumour also only responds to chemotherapy to a limited…

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News • Infection research

Mutations help bacteria resist antibiotic treatment

Bacteria have many ways to evade the antibiotics that we use against them. Each year, at least 2.8 million people in the United States develop an antibiotic-resistant infection, and more than 35,000 people die from such infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Most of the mutations known to confer resistance occur in the genes targeted by a particular antibiotic. Other…

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News • Brain cancer research

New approach could stop glioblastoma growth

Inhibiting a key enzyme that controls a large network of proteins important in cell division and growth, paves the way for a new class of drugs that could stop glioblastoma, a deadly brain cancer, from growing. Researchers at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and University of Toronto (U of T), showed that chemically inhibiting the enzyme PRMT5 can…

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News • A closer look at thapsigargin

Potential antiviral treatment for Covid-19 found

Researchers from the University of Nottingham have discovered a novel antiviral property of a drug that could have major implications in how future epidemics/pandemics – including Covid-19 – are managed. The study, published in Viruses, shows that thapsigargin is a promising broad‑spectrum antiviral, highly effective against SARS-CoV-2, a common cold coronavirus, respiratory syncytial virus…

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News • Insulin inhibitory receptor

New promising target for diabetes treatment

Researchers from Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, the Technical University of Munich and the German Center for Diabetes have discovered a novel and druggable insulin inhibitory receptor, named inceptor. The blocking of inceptor function leads to an increased sensitisation of the insulin signaling pathway in pancreatic beta cells. This might allow protection and regeneration of beta cells for diabetes…

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News • Revealing the mechanisms

Unlocking ‘the shape of water’ to fight antibiotic resistance

New high-resolution structures of the bacterial ribosome determined by researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago show that a single water molecule may be the cause — and possible solution — of antibiotic resistance. The findings of the new study are published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology. Pathogenic germs become resistant to antibiotics when they develop the ability to…

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News • Osteoarthritis research

New treatment target could halt knee cartilage degeneration

There is currently no cure for osteoarthritis, but a group of scientists believe they’ve discovered a method through which a simple knee injection could potentially stop the disease’s effects. These researchers showed that they could target a specific protein pathway in mice, put it into overdrive and halt cartilage degeneration over time. Building on that finding, they were able to show that…

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News • 'Nanobodies'

Small antibodies show promise against Covid-19

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed, in collaboration with researchers in Germany and the U.S., new small antibodies, also known as nanobodies, which prevent the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus from entering human cells. The research study, published in Science, shows that a combined nanobody had a particularly good effect – even if the virus mutated. According to the researchers, the…

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News • Tackling colon cancer

Researchers find 'Achilles’ heel' of cancer stem cells

Colon cancer stem cells have one weak spot: the enzyme Mll1. An MDC team led by Walter Birchmeier has now shown in Nature Communications that blocking this protein prevents the development of new tumors in the body. Since colonoscopies were introduced in Germany for early cancer detection, the number of diagnoses of advanced cancer every year has decreased, as precancerous lesions can now be…

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Video • Resistance pulse

New study reveals how melanoma cells survive targeted therapies

In recent years, targeted therapies have cemented their place as some of the most important tools in cancer treatment. These medicines are designed to block specific signals that tumor cells use to grow and spread, while at the same time leaving normal cells unharmed. Targeted therapies can significantly extend patients’ lives, but the benefits are often only temporary. Over time, many cancers…

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News • At the heart of science

Scientific research has to be ‘passion-driven’, says Nobel Prize winner

Scientists cannot be expected to drop everything they’re working on to turn their attention to beating COVID-19, according to the winner of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, Professor Sir Peter Ratcliffe. Speaking before he delivered the prestigious Michel Clavel lecture to the 32nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, which was due to take place…

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News • Revealing innovation potential of new antibiotics

Using proteomic profiling to accelerate drug development

The fight against bacterial infections, especially those caused by resistant pathogens, is in full swing with the search for new antibiotic agents. The aim is to identify substances that attack the pathogens in a truly novel way. The team at the Center for Systems-Based Antibiotic Research (Cesar) at Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) has described in two publications how assess if a new antibiotic…

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Article • Antimicrobial Resistance Action Fund

AMR research gains $1 billion funding

A unique, ground-breaking global campaign, which has seen major pharmaceutical companies unite to fight antibiotic resistant infections, has been launched with a one-billion-dollar investment fund. The Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Action Fund aims to help save the collapsing antibiotic pipeline and make 2-4 new antibiotics available within a decade.

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News • Brain tumor treatment network

'Federated learning' AI approach allows hospitals to share patient data privately

To answer medical questions that can be applied to a wide patient population, machine learning models rely on large, diverse datasets from a variety of institutions. However, health systems and hospitals are often resistant to sharing patient data, due to legal, privacy, and cultural challenges. An emerging technique called federated learning is a solution to this dilemma, according to a study…

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News • ER-positive tumour BC

Drug target for aggressive breast cancer found

A team of British and American scientists have discovered a way to slow the growth of breast cancer stem cells in the lab. The study led by Dr Bruno Simões and Professor Rob Clarke from The University of Manchester could eventually lead to combination drug therapies on previously untreatable breast cancers. Around three quarters of women who have breast cancer have what are known as oestrogen…

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News • Lesion segregation

Explaining the extreme complexity of mutations in tumor genomes

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh have been studying the evolution of tumors following chemical damage. They discovered that the DNA lesions caused by the chemical are not eliminated immediately, but are passed on unrepaired over several rounds of cell division. This "lesion segregation" can drive unexpectedly…

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News • New mechanism discovered

UPR: Stress raises cancer cells' chemo resistance

Resistance of cancer cells against therapeutic agents is a major cause of treatment failure, especially in recurrent diseases. An international team around the biochemists Robert Ahrends from the University of Vienna and Jan Medenbach from the University of Regensburg identified a novel mechanism of chemoresistance which has now been published in "Nature Communications". It is driven by…

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News • Teixobactin against superbugs

Researchers find 'resistance resistant' antibiotic

University of Melbourne researchers are finding ways to beat dangerous superbugs with ‘resistance resistant’ antibiotics, and it could help in the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) complications. As bacteria evolve, they develop strategies that undermine antibiotics and morph into ‘superbugs’ that can resist most available treatments and cause potentially lethal infections. The…

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News • Coronavirus research

'Organ-on-a-chip' model to find out how COVID-19 invades our bodies

In order for a COVID-19 vaccine and antiviral drugs to be developed, scientists first need to understand why this virus spreads so easily and quickly, and why it invades our bodies with seemingly little resistance from our immune system. To understand how COVID-19 enters the body and does its damage, a team of top researchers from universities, hospitals and the National Research Council of…

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Article • Coronavirus disease research

Seeking a COVID-19 antidote: the potential of ACE2

As coronavirus disease COVID-19 continues to jet and alight invisibly around the globe, scientists now report that the virus has mutated to become two strains: the older ‘S-type’ appears milder and less infectious, while the later-emerging ‘L-type’, is more aggressive, spreads more quickly, and currently accounts for about 70 per cent of cases. Worldwide, medical researchers are exploring…

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News • Surprising side-effects

A new cancer drug (that fights obesity and diabetes, too)

Eric Prossnitz, PhD, from the University of New Mexico Health Services and his team hope to help 93 million obese Americans fight their fat. In a paper published in Science Translational Medicine, they reported that G-1, a cancer-fighting compound they discovered some years ago, reduces fat in obese mice. Although G-1 is currently in phase 1 clinical trials for cancer, Prossnitz and his team are…

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News • Updating treatments

Sugar and fat can make cancer cells harder to kill

In their quest to find new and better methods to make cancer cells more susceptible to treatment, Karin Lindkvist and her research group at Lund University in Sweden are looking into the world of molecules, using the X-rays at the MAX IV laboratory. The researchers believe that limiting the cells' access to sugar will make cancer cells more sensitive to treatment. Many of the cancer treatments…

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News • Liquid hope

Probiotic drinks vs antibiotic resistance?

A probiotic drink could become a promising new weapon in the battle against antibiotic resistant bacteria, after a team of scientists at the University of Birmingham engineered and patented a key genetic element that can tackle the genetic basis of resistance. The team is now seeking funding for a clinical trial for the drink which has potential to work against many resistant bacteria commonly…

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Video • Outsmarting the immune system

'Super-human’ red blood cells for precise drug delivery

A team of physicists from McMaster University has developed a process to modify red blood cells so they can be used to distribute drugs throughout the body, which could specifically target infections or treat catastrophic diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer’s. The modified red blood cells are designed to circulate in the body for several weeks at a time, seeking out specific targets including…

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News • Woundcare in the age of antibiotic resistance

Next generation wound gel to prevent infections

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a new hydrogel based on the body’s natural peptide defense. It has been shown to prevent and treat infections in wounds. The formulation kills multi-resistant bacteria, something that is increasing in importance with antibiotic resistance growing globally. “The ability to effectively heal wounds is key for our survival in evolutionary…

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News • Single cell analysis & machine learning

scPred: Finding the ‘fingerprint’ of human cells

Researchers say a new method to analyse data from individual human cells could be a step-change for diagnosing some of the most devastating diseases, including cancer and autoimmune disease. By combining single cell analysis techniques with machine learning algorithms, a team led by researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research has developed a method to ‘fingerprint’ human cells.…

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News • Lethal brain infection

How current treatment for fungal meningitis fuels drug resistance

A common first-line treatment approach for cryptococcal meningitis in low-income countries is being compromised by the emergence of drug resistance, new University of Liverpool research warns. Published in the journal mBio, the findings highlight the need to develop new drugs and treatment regimens for the lethal brain infection, which kills around 180,000 people each year. Cryptococcal…

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News • FDA launches off-label drug database

Cure ID: App finds new ways of treatment

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the global launch of Cure ID, an internet-based repository that will allow the clinical community to report their experiences treating difficult-to-treat infectious diseases with novel uses of existing FDA-approved drugs through a website, a smartphone or other mobile device. The platform enables the crowdsourcing of medical information from…

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News • Disarming MRSA

Potent antimicrobial to fight staph infections

Research led by scientists from McMaster University has yielded a potent antimicrobial that works against the toughest infectious disease strains. The find could be the beginning of developing new therapeutics to combat drug-resistant infections. The discovery is important as it is directly related to the development of Staphylococcus aureus diseases, known popularly as staph infections, which…

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News • Direct-from-blood diagnostic

T2Resistance Panel receives CE mark

T2 Biosystems, Inc., a leader in the development and commercialization of medical diagnostic products, and CARB-X, a global non-profit partnership dedicated to accelerating R&D innovation to address the rising global threat of drug-resistant bacteria, announced the granting of a CE mark to the T2Resistance Panel. With the CE mark, T2 Biosystems has met the requirements of the In-Vitro…

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News • Rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance

How P. aeruginosa becomes resistant during CF treatment

Antibiotic-resistant pathogens pose one of the greatest threats to public health worldwide. In the near future, harmless bacterial infections may no longer be treatable and may again become the most common non-natural cause of death. At the same time, the available repertoire of antibacterial agents is becoming increasingly smaller as resistance rates rise.

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News • Promising preclinical study results

Epilepsy: Gene therapy shows long-term suppression of seizures

Teams of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the Medical University of Innsbruck have developed a new therapeutic concept for the treatment of temporal lobe epilepsy. It represents a gene therapy capable of suppressing seizures at their site of origin on demand. Having been shown to be effective in an animal model, the new method will now be optimized for clinical use.…

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News • MRSA & Co.

Test to detect antibiotic resistance in less than 45 minutes

Scientists from Scotland are developing a low cost, rapid diagnostic sensor test which aims to show the susceptibility of bacteria to antibiotics within 45 minutes. Laboratory testing of samples can take up to two days and the new test aims to allow doctors to be able to prescribe the correct antibiotic to a patient for an infection more quickly. In a research paper published in the journal…

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News • Iron dependent cell death

Ferroptosis could be key for new anticancer approach

A team of researchers lead by Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University of Würzburg identified an enzyme as a novel and strong inhibitor of ferroptosis, the iron dependent form of cell death: ferroptosis suppressor protein-1, short FSP1. This protein is expressed in a variety of cancer cell lines and therefore represents an attractive drug target for cancer treatment. In fact, the first FSP1…

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News • Natural nanocapsules

A new approach for tackling superbugs – without antibiotics

Scientists have uncovered a novel antibiotic-free approach that could help prevent and treat one of the most widespread bacterial pathogens, using nanocapsules made of natural ingredients. Helicobacter pylori is a bacterial pathogen carried by 4.4 billion people worldwide, with the highest prevalence in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Although the majority of infections show no symptoms,…

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News • Statins study

How effective is cholesterol medication? New study sheds light

A study by a team of Victoria University of Wellington scientists spotlights the role of gene networks in how people respond to one of the world’s most prescribed medications. The research team investigated the genetic network response to cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins, a medication prescribed to about 30 million people worldwide. The researchers say it is a significant step towards…

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News • Multi-component procedure

SULEEI: extending the functional lives of biological heart valve prostheses

For decades now, the Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing processes and systems for cleaning, sterilization, and surface modification. The newly in-house developed process, called SULEEI, makes it possible to sterilize (S) and preserve decellularized pericardial tissue by means of photo-initiated ultraviolet (U) crosslinking…

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News • Stopping the seizures

Epilepsy surgery: the earlier the better, study shows

A person with drug resistant epilepsy who gets an early surgical intervention has a better chance of becoming seizure free. This is shown in a systematic review and meta-analysis in which Sahlgrenska Academy researchers, in collaboration with the Swedish Council for Assessment of Health Technology and Social Services (SBU), analysed results from a range of previous studies. They concluded that…

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News • Therapy-resistant cells

Von Hippel-Lindau: How to kill hereditary cancer

Researchers identified how to kill therapy-resistant cells in hypoxic tumors and in cells arising in the von Hippel-Lindau hereditary cancer. In a recent publication in PNAS, the research group identified how to kill therapy-resistant cells in hypoxic tumors and in cells arising in the von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) hereditary cancer.

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News • Pathogenic microbes

Cigarette smoke makes MRSA superbug bacterium more drug-resistant

Cigarette smoke can make MRSA bacterial strains more resistant to antibiotics, new research from the University of Bath has shown. In addition cigarette smoke exposure can make some strains of Staphylococcus aureus – a microbe present in 30-60% of the global population and responsible for many diseases, some fatal – more invasive and persistent, although the effect is not universal across all…

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News • Hidden chemistry

This flower might hold the key to killing cancer cells

Researchers at the University of Birmingham have shown that it’s possible to produce a compound with anti-cancer properties directly from feverfew – a common flowering garden plant. The team was able to extract the compound from the flowers and modify it so it could be used to kill chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) cells in the laboratory. Feverfew is grown in many UK gardens, and also…

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News • XDR Klebsiella pneumoniae

Antibiotic resistance in Europe: Hospitals are part of the problem

New research has found that antibiotic-resistant strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae, an opportunistic pathogen that can cause respiratory and bloodstream infections, are spreading through hospitals in Europe. Certain strains are resistant to the carbapenem antibiotics that represent the last line of defence in treating infections and are therefore regarded as extremely drug resistant (XDR).

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Video • Drug delivery, microsurgery

Microbots show promise in tumor treatment

Targeting medical treatment to an ailing body part is a practice as old as medicine itself. A Band-Aid is placed on a skinned knee. Drops go into itchy eyes. A broken arm goes into a cast. But often what ails us is inside the body and is not so easy to reach. In such cases, a treatment like surgery or chemotherapy might be called for. A pair of researchers in Caltech's Division of Engineering and…

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News • Not just the climate changes

Global warming might be behind the rise of Candida auris

Global warming may have played a pivotal role in the emergence of Candida auris. According to a new study published in mBio, an open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, C. auris, which is often multi-drug resistant and is a serious public health threat, may be the first example of a new fungal disease emerging from climate change.

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News • Global health

WHO updates list of essential medicines and diagnostics

The World Health Organisation's (WHO) Essential Medicines List and List of Essential Diagnostics are core guidance documents that help countries prioritize critical health products that should be widely available and affordable throughout health systems. Now, updated versions of the two lists have been published, focusing on cancer and other global health challenges, with an emphasis on effective…

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Article • Rapid, reliable microbe identification

The Bologna Workflow System

Many countries across the world are challenged with a rising number of incidences of multi-drug resistant (MDR) organisms infecting the population, and for several years, a clear pattern of increased resistance has emerged in southern and eastern European countries. For example, in countries such as Italy, a reduced number of therapeutic options remain available for highly pathogenic infections,…

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News • Oncology

Response to gene-targeted drugs depends on cancer type

Cancers with the same genetic weaknesses respond differently to targeted drugs depending on the tumour type of the patient, new research reveals. The study is set to prompt changes in thinking around precision medicine—because it shows that the genetics of a patient's cancer may not always be enough to tell whether it will respond to a treatment. The researchers are already starting to design…

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News • Infection control

Global opportunity to tackle antibiotic production waste

As leaders gather for the International Ministerial Conference on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), hosted by the government of The Netherlands and organised in close cooperation with the FAO, OIE and WHO, experts and responsible manufacturers are calling for a 'One Health' approach to AMR and recognition of the impact of antibiotic production on the environment. "With two thirds of the worlds…

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Article • Boosting our immune surveillance

Antibodies PD-1 and PD-L1: a quantum leap in cancer therapy

Immuno-oncology is a therapy in which the body’s immune system treats a tumour. Dr Eric Borges, from the Research and Development Centre at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH in Germany, explains why this is revolutionary. Unlike conventional cancer therapies, with immuno-oncology the tumour cell is not the direct target, it’s the patient’s immune system. The medication stimulates this to…

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News • New discovery

Cancer drugs promote stem cell properties of colorectal cancer

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) and the Mannheim University Medical Center have now discovered that a certain group of cancer drugs (MEK Inhibitors) activates the cancer-promoting Wnt signalling pathway in colorectal cancer cells. This can lead to the accumulation of tumor cells with stem cell characteristics that are resistant to many…

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News • Fake pills

'Decoy' antibiotics dupe bacteria’s defences

Imperial medical students have helped to devise a new type of ‘decoy’ drug to tackle infections that are resistant to antibiotics. In lab tests on bacterial cultures, the new drug successfully killed a strain of drug-resistant bacteria. It works by delivering two antibiotics, one of which is effectively hidden. When the bacteria fight against the first ‘decoy’ antibiotic, this action…

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News • ctDNA vs. HGSOC

Taking 'molecular snapshots' of ovarian cancer

High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is the most common and aggressive subtype of ovarian cancer. The HGSOC tumors consist of several heterogeneous cell populations with a large number of mutations. This genetic variability makes it difficult to find drugs that would kill all the cancer cells, and to which the cells would not become resistant during treatment. Over half of the patients…

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News • Targeted treatment

Cancer: Blood sample to help select the right early phase clinical trials

Scientists could help match cancer patients with no other treatment options to clinical trials with experimental medicines, by analysing the genetic faults in a sample of their blood. The researchers, funded by Cancer Research UK, The Christie Charity, AstraZeneca and the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), demonstrated in their feasibility study that a blood test can be carried out…

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Article • Antimicrobial resistance

Apocalypse postponed: upcoming antibiotics bring hope

Antimicrobial resistance is a global issue, with 700,000 deaths per year and 10 million expected deaths by 2050, according to predictions. Appropriate antimicrobial therapy can help to save lives, and a long awaited cure for carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE) will soon be released, according to eminent Spanish expert Jose Mensa Pueyo, speaking at a Madrid meeting in March. The past…

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Article • Carbapenemase producing enterobacteriaceae

Detecting drug-resistant CPE quickly is still a challenge

Early detection and confirmation of carbapenemase-producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE) are essential when choosing the appropriate antimicrobial therapy and to implement infection control measures. Here, a leading Spanish microbiologist reviews an arsenal of tools currently available to clinicians. Resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics in enterobacteriaceae (EBc) is due to one or more of these…

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News • Rare bone cancer

Targeted approach to therapy for chordomas

Chordomas are rare bone tumors for which only few options of treatment exist. Scientists and doctors from the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), and Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) have discovered a particular genetic trait of chordomas in advanced stages after conducting gene analysis. Their findings, published in the journal Nature…

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News • Against rebound

Pancreatic cancer: Genome-wide analysis reveals new strategies

For some cancers, initial treatment with chemotherapy brings positive, but only temporary, results: tumors shrink, but then rebound as the cancer becomes drug-resistant. This pattern of remission-resistance-relapse is particularly true for pancreatic cancer, an aggressive disease in which early success is often countered by eventual disease progression. To wit: The one-year relative survival rate…

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News • Mitochondria mystery solved

Researchers uncover key to greater efficacy in cancer treatment

Why do cancer cells react differently to treatments? Researchers from Mount Sinai and IBM have discovered a novel clue in explaining how cancer cells with identical genomes can respond differently to the same therapy. In a Nature Communications paper, researchers reveal for the first time that the number of mitochondria in a cell is, in great part, associated with how the cancer responds to drug…

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News • Antibiotic resistance

Antibacterial chemicals in consumer products backfire

Grocery store aisles are stocked with products that promise to kill bacteria. People snap up those items to protect themselves from the germs that make them sick. However, new research from Washington University in St. Louis finds that a chemical that is supposed to kill bacteria is actually making them stronger and more capable of surviving antibiotic treatment. The study, available online in…

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News • Biosensor

New rapid test for sepsis could save thousands of lives

Researchers at the University of Strathclyde have developed an innovative, low cost test for earlier diagnosis of sepsis which could save thousands of lives. The simple system for sensitive real-time measurement of the life threatening condition is much quicker than existing hospital tests, which can take up to 72 hours to process. Using a microelectrode, a biosensor device is used to detect if…

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News • Machine learning tool

AI can predict survival of ovarian cancer patients

Researchers have created a new machine learning software that can forecast the survival rates and response to treatments of patients with ovarian cancer. The artificial intelligence software, created by researchers at Imperial College London and the University of Melbourne, has been able to predict the prognosis of patients with ovarian cancer more accurately than current methods. It can also…

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News • Foodborne illnesses

Machine learning gets to the source of Salmonella

A team of scientists led by researchers at the University of Georgia Center for Food Safety in Griffin has developed a machine-learning approach that could lead to quicker identification of the animal source of certain Salmonella outbreaks. In the research, published in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Xiangyu Deng and his colleagues used more than a thousand genomes to predict the animal sources,…

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News • Gene therapy instead of anitibiotics

New treatment for Chlamydia discovered

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have developed a new way to prevent and treat Chlamydia, the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection in the world. The new treatment differs from the traditional antibiotic treatment as it is a type of gene therapy that is delivered via nanotechnology and is showing a 65 per cent success rate in preventing chlamydia infection on a single…

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News • Pediatrics

Predicting the aneurysm risk for kids with Kawasaki disease

When Olivia Nelson was 3 years old, her parents noticed that she had a fever that wouldn’t get better. They brought her to a nearby hospital, where she spent about two weeks being screened for diseases. As doctors tried to find a diagnosis, a lymph node on Olivia’s neck became swollen. Alarmed and wanting an answer, the Nelsons asked to transfer to Seattle Children’s. “It was very…

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Article • Chronic peripheral inflammation and schizophrenia

The network approach to mental illness research

As European health services are pressured to provide the best possible care for best possible value, some medical fields are now very much the poor relation; this is particularly true for mental health. Mental illnesses represent a great health burden and cause huge financial and societal pressure in terms of direct and indirect costs from repeated hospitalisation and treatment failures, while…

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News • Hepatology

Fatty liver: especially dangerous during the holidays

More than 100 million Americans have potentially deadly fatty liver disease and most do not even know it. Overeating and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol this holiday season could put someone with the disease on the fast track to liver failure. “There are no symptoms associated with fatty liver disease and no pain, so most people never get checked or treated for it and, over time, if it is…

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Article • Antibiotic stewardship

Screening with multiplexed kits

Antibiotic stewardship is becoming a critical concern in hospitals as antibiotic resistance spreads globally and some organisms become resistant to antibiotics of last resort. Molecular diagnostics can play a role in antibiotic stewardship programs by providing timely and accurate advice to clinicians on which antibiotics to use, Professor Keith Stanley advises. "Antibiotic resistance in the…

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News • Infections

No chance for bacteria on implants

Hip and dental implant operations are routine. But not entirely risk-free. They may result in infection that is difficult to control with oral or intravenous antibiotics. In such cases, the implant will probably need to be replaced. Fraunhofer researchers can now apply a precisely matched drug directly to the replacement implant while significantly increasing the effectiveness of the antibiotic…

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News • Bacterial infection

Laser-activated silk sealants outperform sutures for tissue repair

Researchers have developed laser-activated nanomaterials that integrate with wounded tissues to form seals that are superior to sutures for containing body fluids and preventing bacterial infection. Tissue repair following injury or during surgery is conventionally performed with sutures and staples, which can cause tissue damage and complications, including infection. Glues and adhesives have…

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News • Blood pressure

How does the baroreceptor reflex work?

The baroreceptor reflex is a fascinating medical phenomenon. The reflex is controlled by specialized neurons that react in just a fraction of a second to keep blood pressure fairly consistent. For example, when you stand up, your blood pressure normally drops—rapidly. Yet you don't faint thanks to baroreceptors, which tell your heart rate to increase and push more blood to your brain. A new…

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News • Research

Path to deadly sepsis varies by bacterial infection

Sepsis remains a common and deadly condition that occurs when the body reacts to an infection in the bloodstream. Scientists know little about the early stages of the condition; however, physicians must act fast. Every hour that passes without one or more of the few treatments available increases the risk of death.

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News • Personalised drug treatment

AI approach to help myeloma patients

A multidisciplinary team of researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed an artificial intelligence (AI) technology platform that could potentially change the way drug combinations are being designed, hence enabling doctors to determine the most effective drug combination for a patient quickly. Applying the platform towards drug resistant multiple myeloma, a type of…

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News • Tumor research

Growing brain cancer in a dish

Austrian researchers have accomplished an astounding feat: They created organoids that mimic the onset of brain cancer. This method not only sheds light on the complex biology of human brain tumors but could also pave the way for new medical applications.

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News • Acute myeloid leukaemia

Researchers draw AML ‘family trees’ in patients treated with enasidenib

For the first time, a team of international researchers have mapped the family trees of cancer cells in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) to understand how this blood cancer responds to a new drug, enasidenib. The work also explains what happens when a patient stops responding to the treatment, providing important clues about how to combine enasidenib with other anti-cancer drugs to produce…

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Article • Heard at the EBCC11

Identifying circulating tumour cells with liquid biopsy

Liquid biopsies can increasingly help diagnose and monitor breast cancer, and tracking circulating tumour cells (CTC) in metastatic patients could prove effective in these applications and treatment planning. Efforts are currently underway to demonstrate CTC clinical use and much can be learned from completed studies in prostate cancer, speaker Michail Ignatiadis MD PhD highlighted in a dedicated…

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News • Epidemics

Animal health drug could stop outbreaks of malaria and Zika virus

Medicines given to household pets to kill fleas and ticks might be effective for preventing outbreaks of malaria, Zika fever and other dangerous insect-borne diseases that infect millions of people worldwide, according to a new study led by scientists at Calibr, a non-profit drug discovery institute closely affiliated with Scripps Research and TropIQ Health Sciences, a Dutch social enterprise.

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News • Health IT

Computer algorithm maps cancer resistance to drugs

New methods of studying the evolution of treatment resistance in head and neck cancer are being developed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. The scientists wanted to examine how cancers acquire resistance to treatment over time and whether those changes could be modeled computationally to determine patient-specific timelines of resistance.

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News • Sepsis treatment

Bedside testing can prevent antibiotic-induced hearing loss in new-borns

More than a million neonatal deaths worldwide each year are estimated to be due to sepsis. In the UK there are approximately 90,000 admissions to neonatal intensive care units per year. Nearly all these patients receive antibiotic therapy during their hospital stay, but babies with a specific genetic change can suffer irreversible hearing loss as a result. Now, in a collaboration between…

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News • Infections

Tuberculosis: new substance to counteract antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise worldwide. This is becoming a problem for infectious diseases like tuberculosis as there are only a few active substances available to combat such diseases. Pharmacists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have now found a way to increase the efficacy of a common tuberculosis agent while, at the same time, reducing resistance to it. The…

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News • ECCMID

Antibiotic combination against multidrug-resistant pathogens

Gram-negative pathogens are responsible for half of all healthcare-associated infections and their ability to resist traditional antibiotics makes them more dangerous for seriously ill patients in a healthcare setting. The need for new approaches to treat these pathogens is essential and there are a number of trials trying to find suitable answers. One of them is the RESTORE-IMI 1 pivotal Phase…

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News • Increasing prevalence

Oral antibiotics may raise risk of kidney stones - especially in kids

Pediatric researchers have found that children and adults treated with some oral antibiotics have a significantly higher risk of developing kidney stones. This is the first time that these medicines have been linked to this condition. The strongest risks appeared at younger ages and among patients most recently exposed to antibiotics. “The overall prevalence of kidney stones has risen by 70…

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Article • Medication development

Support from the other end of the world

Partners who could hardly be further apart – yet have a lot in common – have united to fight resistant pathogens. The International Consortium for Anti-Infective Research (iCAIR) is based in Germany and Australia – separated by nearly 16,000 km as the crow flies. This has not stopped the research cooperation from achieving its objectives: the development of new agents against infections.

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News • Enigmatic enzyme

How bacteria recover from antibiotics exposure

Beta-lactam antibiotics, including penicillin, are one of the most widely used classes of antibiotics in the world. Though they’ve been in use since the 1940s, scientists still don’t fully understand what happens when this class of drugs encounters bacteria. Now, researchers at the University of Notre Dame have elucidated how an enzyme helps bacteria rebound from damage inflicted by…

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News • Odilorhabdin

A new class of antibiotics to combat drug resistance

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Nosopharm, a biotechnology company based in Lyon, France, are part of an international team reporting on the discovery of a new class of antibiotics. The antibiotic, first identified by Nosopharm, is unique and promising on two fronts: its unconventional source and its distinct way of killing bacteria, both of which suggest the compound…

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News • Feline findings

Cats could help in development of anti-HIV drugs

Feline AIDS is caused by the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which is very similar to the HIV-1 virus that affects millions of humans. While FIV does not infect humans, many groups research the virus to benefit cats, and perhaps more importantly, because of its many parallels with the AIDS virus. Despite the use of dedicated drugs, HIV-1 manages to thrive and multiply within the cell and…

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News • DNA analysis

Magnetic biosensor array simplifies cancer detection

In standard settings, the analysis of each DNA modification requires a carefully optimised assay that runs under specific conditions. This increases cost and labour and is a severe limitation to throughput. Now, however, researchers at Stanford University and the Technical University of Denmark have come up with a new method that will enable doctors to make a more precise diagnosis, prognosis and…

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Article • Antibiotic resistance

End animal growth drugs to tackle superbugs

A major summit meeting in London, Great Britain, has seen politicians, doctors, scientists, farmers and other experts come together in a bid to tackle the growing global antimicrobial resistance (AMR) crisis. Among these experts was Dame Sally Davies, England’s Chief Medical Officer, who described AMR as a ‘problem without a face’ because most patients are not told they have a resistant…

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News • Advances in manufacturing

Easy printing of biosensors made of graphene

Cell-based biosensors can simulate the effect of various substances, such as drugs, on the human body in the laboratory. Depending on the measuring principle, though, producing them can be expensive. As a result, they are often not used. Cost factors for sensors that perform measurements electrically are the expensive electrode material and complex production. Fraunhofer scientists are now…

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News • Replicas from the lab

Growing 'mini tumours' to personalise drug treatment

Testing cancer drugs on miniature replicas of a patient’s tumour could help doctors tell in advance which treatments will work, a major new study reports. The exciting new technique involves growing ‘mini tumours’ from biopsy samples – and could help end reliance on trial and error in selecting cancer treatments for patients where genetic tests are not predictive of response. Researchers…

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Article • Antimicrobial resistance

Facing the front line in the AMR battle

Nurses have a distinctive and crucial role in the development and implementation of sound health policy,’ according to Annette Kennedy, President of the International Council of Nurses, which represents 135 National Nurses Associations and around 17 million nurses worldwide.

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News • New data

WHO: High levels of antibiotic resistance found worldwide

WHO’s first release of surveillance data on antibiotic resistance reveals high levels of resistance to a number of serious bacterial infections in both high- and low-income countries. WHO’s new Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System (GLASS) reveals widespread occurrence of antibiotic resistance among 500 000 people with suspected bacterial infections across 22 countries.

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News • Melanoma therapy

Why pregnancy could literally save your skin

Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have identified a new therapeutic target for the treatment of melanoma. For decades, research has associated female sex and a history of previous pregnancy with better outcomes after a melanoma diagnosis. Now, a research team from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania says it may have…

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News • Gene exchange

Bacteria acquire resistance from competitors

Bacteria not only develop resistance to antibiotics, they also can pick it up from their rivals. In a recent publication, Researchers from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have demonstrated that some bacteria inject a toxic cocktail into their competitors causing cell lysis and death. Then, by integrating the released genetic material, which may also carry drug resistance genes, the…

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News • Infection research

Designer nanoparticles destroy a broad array of viruses

Viral infections kill millions of people worldwide every year, but currently available antiviral drugs are limited in that they mostly act against one or a small handful of related viruses. A few broad-spectrum drugs that prevent viral entry into healthy cells exist, but they usually need to be taken continuously to prevent infection, and resistance through viral mutation is a serious risk. Now,…

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News • Share information, improve care

FDA launches new tool for improved antibiotic management

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is announcing a new approach to get critical updates regarding antibiotics and antifungal drugs to health care professionals as part of an overall effort to combat antimicrobial resistance. The agency created a website that will provide direct and timely access to information about when bacterial or fungal infections are likely to respond to a specific drug.…

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News • Enzyme discovery

Epigenetic agitator of pancreatic cancer cells identified

Genentech researchers have identified an enzyme that shifts pancreatic cancer cells to a more aggressive, drug-resistant state by epigenetically modifying the cells’ chromatin. The study, which will be published in the Journal of Cell Biology, suggests that targeting this enzyme could make pancreatic cancer cells more vulnerable to existing therapies that currently have only limited effect…

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News • AT/RT and medulloblastoma

Promising target for treating brain tumors in children

Findings published in Oncotarget offer new hope for children with highly aggressive brain tumors like atypical teratoid/rhabdoid tumor (AT/RT) and medulloblastoma. Previously, the authors of the study have shown that an experimental drug that inhibits polo-like kinase 4 (PLK4) stopped pediatric brain tumor growth in vitro. Now, they have demonstrated its success in an animal model – the drug…

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News • Lung infections

Four simple tests to help spot pneumonia and reduce unnecessary antibiotics

Testing for fever, high pulse rate, crackly breath sounds, and low oxygen levels could be key to helping GPs distinguish pneumonia from less serious infections, according to a large study published in the European Respiratory Journal. Pneumonia is a severe lung infection that can be life-threatening and often requires treatment with antibiotics. However, it is notoriously difficult to…

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News • Microtechnologies and automated systems

How emerging tech can help identify bacteria and antibiotic susceptibility

An SLAS Technology review article by Yiyan Li, Xing Yang and Weian Zhao of University of California, Irvine highlights and synthesizes representative emerging micro- and nanotechnologies, as well as automated systems for bacterial identification (ID) and antibiotic susceptibility testing (AST), including both phenotypic and molecular methods and those at the point-of-care (POC) setting. Also…

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Interview • AI & EHR

Savana goes data mining

Artificial intelligence (AI) has taken centre stage during the Medica Academy sessions. While talks focus on initiatives made in Germany, European Hospital took a look at Spain and spoke with Ignacio Hernández Medrano, a neurologist recently elected as one of the most influential people in healthcare (HC). At just 34 years old, Medrano has already founded two flagship AI projects, one of which…

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Interview • Multiresistant pathogens

'Antibiotics don’t generate large profits'

During our European Hospital interview with specialist in microbiology, virology and infection epidemiology Beniam Ghebremedhin MD, from the University Hospital Wuppertal, spoke about the impact of migration on infections, and ways to tackle the problem of multiresistant pathogens. ‘There is a lack of specialists in infectious diseases, for direct patient care on hospital wards as well as in…

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News • Oncology

A tiny device offers insights to how cancer spreads

As cancer grows, it evolves. Individual cells become more aggressive and break away to flow through the body and spread to distant areas. What if there were a way to find those early aggressors? How are they different from the rest of the cells? And more importantly: Is there a way to stop them before they spread?

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News • Study

Zika virus could be used to treat brain cancer

Recent outbreaks of Zika virus have revealed that the virus causes brain defects in unborn children. But researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the University of California, San Diego report that the virus could eventually be used to target and kill cancer cells in the brain.

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News • 'Mito-riboscins'

Scientists stumble across new method of making antibiotics

Cancer researchers in the UK may have stumbled across a solution to reverse antibiotic drug resistance and stop infections like MRSA. Experts warn we are decades behind in the race against superbugs having already exploited naturally occurring antibiotics, with the creation of new ones requiring time, money and ingenuity. But a team of scientists at the University of Salford say they may have…

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Article • Side-effects of global mobility

Multi-drug resistant bacteria: Dangerous travel companions

Trips around the globe, healthcare tourism, migration; we are mobile – and so are bacteria. Particularly dreaded are multi-drug resistant bacteria that ‘hop’ on their host during a hospital stay and are carried across the border. At MEDICA 2017 Labmed Forum Dr Andreas Ambrosch, Head of the Central Lab at Krankenhaus Barmherzige Brüder in Regensburg, Germany, will discuss these unwelcome…

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Article • MRSA and refugees

Screening, isolation, hygiene equal money well spent

Comprehensive examinations of 143 refugee patients hailing mostly from Afghanistan and Syria, which were conducted between June and December 2015, showed a high prevalence of MRSA, ESBL and MDRGN upon hospital admission. The figures exceed not only those of the general population but, alarmingly, also those found in high-risk groups, such as residents of nursing homes or home care service…

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Article • Anti-infection strategies

Antibiotic stewardship programmes bear fruit

Today’s dilemma for hospitals and institutions are increasingly multi-resistant bacteria and decreasingly effective antibiotics to beat them. New substances to fight pathogens are not on the horizon. What can be done? Professor Constanze Wendt, microbiology and infection biology specialist at MVZ Labor Dr. Limbach & Kollegen GbR, in Heidelberg, Germany, describes current anti-infection…

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News • Strategic cooperation

SpeeDx and Cepheid announce partnership on European distribution

SpeeDx Pty, Ltd. announced an agreement with Cepheid for distribution of its PlexPCRTM and ResistancePlusTM molecular diagnostic products in key markets throughout Europe. The agreement, covering Germany, France, Italy, and the UK, will increase coverage for the market-leading ResistancePlus MG test, the first CE-IVD test for Mycoplasma genitalium to combine detection with testing for…

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News • Glucose control

"Sugar sponges" - diabetes treatment of the future?

Many diabetes patients must inject themselves with insulin, sometimes several times a day, while others take medications orally to control blood sugar. The injections, as well as the side effects from both regimens, can be painful. Now, one team reports in the Journal of the American Chemical Society progress toward an insulin-free diabetes treatment that requires fewer injections.

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News • Animal testing

Scientists identify protein linked to chronic heart failure

Researchers in Japan have identified a receptor protein on the surface of heart cells that promotes chronic heart failure. The study, “Corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 2 exacerbates chronic cardiac dysfunction” suggests that inhibiting this protein could help treat a disease that affects more than 20 million people worldwide.

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News • Global database

Scientists create leukaemia online tool to aid search for cure

Finding a cure for a rare type of blood cancer could be accelerated by a new virtual platform that allows researchers easy access to data from patient samples generated by laboratories around the world. LEUKomics, which has been launched by scientists at the University of Glasgow and the University of Melbourne, is a comprehensive database describing over 100 chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)…

News • Laboratory

Partnership for molecular diagnostic test

SpeeDx Pty. Ltd., a developer of innovative molecular diagnostic solutions, has signed an agreement with Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science. The announcement was made at the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (ECCMID) in Vienna to submit its ResistancePlus MG Test for the detection of Mycoplasma genitalium to the US Food & Drug…

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Article • Infections

Start of advanced genetic antibiotic resistance testing

Curetis, a developer of next-level molecular diagnostic solutions, today announced that the Company has established Ares Genetics GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Curetis GmbH. Ares Genetics builds on GEAR GEnetic Antibiotic Resistance and Susceptibility Database and associated assets recently acquired for Siemens. The Company will use GEAR to investigate the genetic foundations of antibiotic…

News • Infections

Europe must do more to stop drug-resistant ‘superbugs’

On European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD), the European Public Health Alliance and the European Patients Forum jointly call on the European Commission and national governments to step up the fight against drug-resistant infections in the follow-up EU Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance announced for 2017. The EU has a vital role to play in protecting health security in Europe and empowering…

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Article • Frontline medical advances

Virology is now a key discipline

Virology is fast emerging as a key discipline within modern healthcare against a backdrop of a shifting global demographic and the impact of climate change.

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News • MRSA

Are door handles spreading drug-resistant bacteria around the world?

Airports are international travel hubs visited by large numbers of people. London Heathrow, for example, has an average of 205,400 travellers every day and saw 75 million people arriving and departing from all over the world in 2015. A study just published in the journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection suggest that international travellers can acquire antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and may…

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Article • Infections

Carbapenem resistant strains

The increasing numbers of bacteria resistant to the newer generations of antibiotics is a public health problem on a global scale. Bacteria have an extraordinary capacity for adaptation, mutating permanently to overcome the action of our increasingly impotent antimicrobial armamentarium. A situation further aggravated by the use of the powerful ‘large spectrum’ antibiotics, creating further…

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News • Infections

‘Open Science’ paves pathway to develop Malaria drugs

Malaria remains one of the world’s leading causes of mortality in developing countries. Last year alone, it killed more than 400,000 people, mostly young children. An international consortium of researchers unveiled the mechanics and findings of a unique “open science” project for malaria drug discovery that has been five years in the making.

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Overcoming multidrug-resistant cancer with smart nanoparticles

Multidrug resistance (MDR) is the mechanism by which many cancers develop resistance to chemotherapy drugs, resulting in minimal cell death and the expansion of drug-resistant tumors. To address the problem of resistance, researchers at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed nanoparticles that…

News • Market

Curetis Acquires Rights to GEAR Database

Curetis announced the signing of an asset acquisition agreement with the Siemens Technology Accelerator GmbH (STA). Under the terms of the agreement, Curetis has acquired sole commercial rights from STA to the GEAR GEnetic Antibiotic Resistance and Susceptibility platform and database with all its content, numerous GEAR-related patents and patent applications, as well as all corresponding…

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News • Counterproductive

Breast tumors evolve in response to hormone therapy

Many breast tumors grow in response to female hormones, especially estrogen. Drugs that reduce estrogen levels in the body often are effective in reducing tumor size and preventing recurrence of the cancer. But some tumors become resistant to these therapies and continue to grow and spread.

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Article • Politics

Medics urged to organise refugee screening

Thousands upon thousands of humans have taken and are continuing to take flight from wars, persecution and economic stress, seeking the chance of survival in European and other countries. They arrive not only physically exhausted, but also in mourning for those killed in their own countries, or during hellish journeys – therefore many also suffer unimaginable mental traumas. Clearly they need…

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News • Active substance

Promising treatment prospects for invasive breast cancer

Scientists from the University of Zurich have been able to understand for the first time why many cancer cells adapt relatively quickly to the treatment with therapeutic antibodies in invasive forms of breast cancer. Instead of dying off, they are merely rendered inactive. The researchers have now developed an active substance that kills the cancer cells very effectively without harming healthy…

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News • Antimalarial drugs

Kill a Malaria parasite with Cholesterol

Drexel University scientists have discovered an unusual mechanism for how two new antimalarial drugs operate: They give the parasite’s skin a boost in cholesterol, making it unable to traverse the narrow labyrinths of the human bloodstream. The drugs also seem to trick the parasite into reproducing prematurely.

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Article • Infection control

Scientists gain ground against resistance

The mechanism by which drug-resistant bacteria maintain a defensive barrier has been identified by researchers at England’s University of East Anglia (UEA) and their findings could result in a new wave of drugs that can bring down those defensive walls rather than attack the bacteria – thus they may not develop drug-resistance at all.

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New technology breakthrough in fighting viral diseases

As one of medicine’s largest challenges, viral infections often escape vaccines due to their natural ability to mutate rapidly and develop drug resistance easily. Many viruses, such as Zika, Ebola and dengue fever, have grown into major global health epidemics with great human and economic toll. IBM Research and Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering, Nanotechnology (IBN) announced they have…

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Article • Evaluation

Calculated therapy is the objective

At a recent focus meeting held in Berlin by the Association of Accredited Laboratories in Medicine, Dr Andreas Weimann, managing director at the Laboratory Berlin – Charité Vivantes Services, spoke of the challenges that laboratories working with hospitals face due to the management of pathogens and the diagnosis of infections.

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News • Lung cancer

“Liquid biopsy” blood test detects genetic mutations

A simple blood test can rapidly and accurately detect mutations in two key genes in non-small cell lung tumors, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other institutions report in a new study – demonstrating the test’s potential as a clinical tool for identifying patients who can benefit from drugs targeting those mutations.

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News • Small cell lung cancer

Clues to the cause of chemoresistance discovered

Small cell lung cancer is not usually detected until it is at an advanced stage, when metastases have already formed. Chemotherapy is very effective initially but, within a year, cancer recurs and this time does not respond to a course of chemotherapy. The research group headed by Gerhard Hamilton, University Department of Surgery at MedUni Vienna, has now managed to identify the reason for this…

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News • Chemotherapy

Novel compounds could be less toxic

A novel class of compounds developed by a University of Saskatchewan (U of S)-led research team could yield more effective and less toxic chemotherapy drugs to treat cancer. Team leader Jonathan Dimmock, a medicinal chemistry researcher in the U of S College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, explained their compounds work by interacting with thiols, naturally occurring chemicals that perform several…

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News • PET study

Functional interplay between two transporters at blood-brain barrier

A team of researchers at the MedUni Vienna has, in collaboration with the AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, developed two new PET tracers that allow the activity of drug transporters at the blood-brain barrier to be measured. The studywas able to demonstrate that people with a genetic polymorphism in a transporter gene have lower transporter activity at the blood-brain barrier, which can lead…

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News • Oncology

Pancreatic cancer: Enzyme renders tumors resistant

Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Stem Cell Institute HI-STEM in Heidelberg have discovered the reason why some pancreatic tumors are so resistant to treatment. They have found that these tumor cells produce larger quantities of an enzyme that usually occurs in the liver and degrades many drugs. If this enzyme is blocked, the cancer cells become sensitive towards…

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News • Fighting cancer

Stopping tumour cells killing surrounding tissue

Tumours kill off surrounding cells to make room to grow, according to new research from the University of Cambridge. Although the study was carried out using fruit flies, its findings suggest that drugs to prevent, rather than encourage, cell death might be effective at fighting cancer – contrary to how many of the current chemotherapy drugs work.

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Cancer cells poised for growth when opportunity knocks

Researchers have identified a mechanism that allows cancer cells to respond and grow rapidly when levels of sugar in the blood rise. This may help to explain why people who develop conditions in which they have chronically high sugar levels in their blood, such as obesity, also have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.

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Gene variation promotes uncontrolled cell division

Mom’s eyes and dad’s tumor? Cancer is due to genetic defects, some of which can be hereditary. The gene variant rs351855, for example, occurs in one in two cancer patients. A team headed by Axel Ullrich from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried identified the gene variant a decade ago. Now, they succeeded for the first time in showing that the variation exposes an otherwise…

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News • Biogel

Intelligent gel attacks cancer

A new injectable “biogel” is effective in delivering anti-cancer agents directly into cancerous tumours and killing them. This technology, developed by researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM), has already been successfully tested in the laboratory. If it works in patients, the therapy could one day revolutionize treatment for many forms of cancer.

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New funding for Ebola hides an ongoing decline

A new report gives the first ever picture of global investment in Ebola research and development (R&D), reporting that this investment might have come at the expense of efforts to develop drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for other neglected diseases, which collectively cause more than six million deaths every year in developing countries.

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Article • Infection

Trial pitches MGB-BP-3 against clostridium difficile

Scientists at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow have been working to identify compounds with important anti-infective activity and suitable for treating serious infectious diseases caused by bacteria and parasites, such as Clostridium difficile. Their work has led to the creation of the new drug known as MGB-BP-3 (MGB = minor groove binder). Report: Mark Nicholls

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News • Research

Drug engineered from bananas fights deadly viruses

A banana a day may not keep the doctor away, but a substance originally found in bananas and carefully edited by scientists could someday fight off a wide range of viruses, new research suggests. And the process used to create the virus-fighting form may help scientists develop even more drugs, by harnessing the “sugar code” that our cells use to communicate. That code gets hijacked by…

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News • MRSA

Breast cancer drug eats superbug

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have found that the breast cancer drug tamoxifen gives white blood cells a boost, better enabling them to respond to, ensnare and kill bacteria in laboratory experiments. Tamoxifen treatment in mice also enhances clearance of the antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogen…

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News • Cleaning hospital rooms

UV rays cuts superbug transmission

In a hospital, what you can’t see could hurt you. Healthcare facilities continue to battle drug-resistant organisms such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that loiter on surfaces even after patient rooms have been cleaned and can cause new, sometimes-deadly infections.

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News • Lung cancer

Immunotherapy superior to chemotherapy?

Researchers compared an immunotherapy and a chemotherapy drug in patients with non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease continued to progress after first-line chemotherapy. They found that nivolumab improved overall survival and was generally well tolerated. The results are significant because options for patients whose lung cancer progresses after initial treatment are…

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News • Ultraviolet

The supergerm-zapping robot helpers

Half a million square feet. More than 350 beds. And tomorrow, they clean it all over again. Every day, Environmental Services (EVS) staff members work to disinfect every surface in Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, playing a crucial behind-the-scenes role in preventing infections and keeping patients safe. Now, on top of scrubbing, spraying, mopping and wiping, they can add another action –…

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Research breakthrough in fight against muscle wasting diseases

It is estimated that half of all cancer patients suffer from a muscle wasting syndrome called cachexia. Cancer cachexia impairs quality of life and response to therapy, which increases morbidity and mortality of cancer patients. Currently, there is no approved treatment for muscle wasting but a new study from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and University…

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News • mTOR

Cells in limbo hold clues for tackling cancer and ageing

For some, TOR may bring to mind a Celtic mountain or perhaps an Internet privacy group. In the world of molecular biology it’s a cellular pathway that’s found in everything from yeast to mammals. mTOR (as it’s called in mammals) plays a central role in instructing the cell to grow and divide in response to nutrients. When it’s turned down, the cell shifts into a second, tidying mode,…

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Article • Infectious diseases

Developing vaccines and nanotechnology

Vaccination remains one of the most efficient strategies against infectious diseases, often being the best protection against infections such as hepatitis B, or influenza. European Hospital reports on expert reviews of vaccines in the pipeline and the potential of nanomedicine given during the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC) annual meeting in…

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News • New Method

Detecting blood clots with a single scan

A blood clot is a dangerous health situation with the potential to trigger heart attacks, strokes and other medical emergencies. To treat a blood clot, doctors need to find its exact location. But current clinical techniques can only look at one part of the body at a time, slowing treatment and increasing the risk for complications. Now, researchers are reporting a method, tested in rats, that…

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News • Aspergillus

ESCMID cautions that Europe is now a hotbed of global fungal resistance

ESCMID Fungal Infection Study Group (EFISG) argues that fungal resistance now represents a huge healthcare threat – with many cases remaining massively undiagnosed even in the developed world – and that there is a rising prevalence of the most invasive and deadly forms. Conversely, in the developing world we are seeing very treatable fungal infections killing huge numbers – half a million…

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Article • Politics

Antibiotic resistance is a threat to global health

Within 15 years effective antibiotics will run out and, far from being an apocalyptic fantasy, a world in which common infections and minor injuries can kill is a very real possibility for the 21st Century. Geoff Sussman, one of the world’s foremost wound experts has warned that antibiotic resistance is posing the biggest single threat to global health. Report: Mark Nicholls

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News • Figthing cancer

Triple treatment keeps cancer from coming back

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, responsible for some 1.59 million deaths a year. That figure is due, in part, to the fact that the cancer often returns after what, at first, seems to be successful treatment. And the recurring cancer is often resistant to the chemotherapy and other drugs that originally drove it into remission. According to new research by the Weizmann…

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Article • UTI pathogen

Boosting the Body’s Natural Ability to Fight Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common, and widespread antibiotic resistance has led to urgent calls for new ways to combat them. Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences report that an experimental drug that stabilizes a protein called HIF-1alpha protects human bladder cells and mice against a major UTI…

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Article • Infectious diseases

Carrying home a nosocomial infection

About 6-8% of Spanish patients will develop an infection during or after a hospital stay. Can these infections be avoided? How is Spain facing up to the challenge? Dr Juan Pablo Horcajada, Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases at Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, and spokesperson of the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC), assessed the situation and…

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Article • Research

Genetic alterations

This article discusses examples of applications of genetic analyses in coagulation disorders and haematological and oncological diseases. Professor Christine Mannhalter highlights the impact changes have on the occurrence and severity of diseases and their influence on therapy response. Report: Christine Mannhalter

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News • Microscope technique

Speeding identification of deadly bacteria

A new way of rapidly identifying bacteria, which requires a slight modification to a simple microscope, may change the way doctors approach treatment for patients who develop potentially deadly infections and may also help the food industry screen against contamination with harmful pathogens, according to researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon,…

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Test could identify resistant tuberculosis faster

The time needed to genetically sequence the bacteria causing tuberculosis (Mtb) from patient samples has been reduced from weeks to days using a new technique developed by a team at University College London (UCL). This could help health service providers to better treat disease, control transmission of this infection, and monitor outbreaks.

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Article • Preamble

Keeping up with an ever-evolving science

Expecting 10,000 participants, prior to the 25th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Copenhagen, Denmark (25-28 April) its Programme Director, Professor Winfried V Kern MD, was keen to point out: ‘The findings and recommendations that emerge from this vibrant platform each year have, in the past, had a tremendous impact not only on guidelines and best…

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Article • DRUG resistance

Cut prescriptions and choose treatments wisely!

Prescribing antibiotics for a viral infection with fever, a cold and a cough? There is no point! This is the best-known example of over-use in medicine. There are also numerous examples of diagnostic procedures and therapies that are pointless, yet still being doled out in surgeries and hospitals – sometimes even harming a patient. This is set to change, according to the German Society of…

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Fighting HIV with antibodies

30 years after HIV was discovered to be the cause of the acquired immune deficiency syndrome AIDS, and despite intensive research, no vaccine or cure has yet been found. An international team of scientists, in collaboration with the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) and the University Hospital of Cologne, has now tested a new generation of antibodies in humans for the first time. They…

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News • ECCMID

Scientists gather to fight infectious diseases

The European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (ESCMID) announces that the globe’s most prominent infection specialists will be gathering in Copenhagen to explore solutions to the biggest infection problems during its annual congress – the 25th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) taking place on 25-28 April 2015.

News • Fighting Infection

WHO joins ESCMID to fight global infections

The European Society for Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) has been joined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to launch the 7th annual ‘International Day for Fighting Infection’ (April 24th, 2015). This year’s event sees the European society exploring vaccines as a possible solution in the global, cross-border fight against antimicrobial resistance.

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Endogenous bacteria

Is chlorhexidine still the best decolonisation method? For many decades decolonisation – be it selective intestinal, oral or skin decolonisation – has been the accepted procedure to prevent infections by endogenous bacteria. Report: Brigitte Dinkloh

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US trails Europe in facilitating novel antibiotics development

While the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) Act of 2012 has been a significant step in the right direction for encouraging novel antibiotics research, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) remains one step behind its European equivalent, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), according to an analyst with research and consulting firm GlobalData.

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Pictures help illiterate patients take medicines correctly

Using pictures and symbols, rather than handwritten words, on prescriptions helps illiterate patients take their medicines correctly when they leave hospital, say doctors today. The idea was first tested in a hospital in Pakistan using simple pictures of the sun, moon and stars to help patients understand when and how long to take their medication for.

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Seeing is believing

Virtual observation of patients taking prescribed TB medication could prove an effective technique to ensure they effectively complete their treatment course, according to research presented at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress held in Barcelona.

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The complex science behind microbubbles

At Bracco Suisse SA in Geneva all efforts are dedicated to contrast media for ultrasound scans. During their visit to the firm’s research centre and manufacturing site, Daniela Zimmermann and Ralf Mateblowski met with François Tranquart MD PhD, general manager of the Bracco Suisse research centre, to hear why SonoVue is now Europe’s most popular ultrasound contrast agent, with research…

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Article • Paediatrics

In-line filters significantly lower severe complications

The use of in-line filters for infusion therapy significantly lowers the rate of severe complications in children aged between 0-18 years being treated in intensive care units, according to a new study from the Paediatrics Clinic at Hannover Medical School (MHH). The study also confirmed that the number of cases of systemic inflammatory response syndrome, SIRS, dropped substantially through the…

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Controlling antimicrobial resistance

There is no other way: We need a comprehensive approach, with everyone living up to their responsibility to combat this serious health threat in their respective areas. The most basic instinct of every living organism is survival. What selects one organism or species over another, in fact, is its capacity to withstand any kind of adverse condition that comes its way – what scientist Herbert…

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Nosocomial infections

As in so many European countries, nosocomial infections have hit the headlines in Germany over and over again in recent years – as when three premature babies died in a Bremen neonatal clinic in 2011.

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Growing presence of drug-resistant tuberculosis

Johns Hopkins experts in the prevention and treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis are calling for increased screening and more rapid testing of the 9 million people worldwide estimated to be infected each year with TB, and now at risk for this form of the highly contagious lung disease.

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Brain Cancer Blood Vessels Not Substantially Tumor-Derived

Johns Hopkins scientists have published laboratory data refuting studies that suggest blood vessels that form within brain cancers are largely made up of cancer cells. The theory of cancer-based blood vessels calls into question the use and value of anticancer drugs that target these blood vessels, including bevacizumab (Avastin).

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Administrators struggle to find cost savings in hygiene and many other areas

‘Before each ward round my students and I wash our hands’ – so said Ignaz Philip Semmelweis in the mid-19th century, in his drive to reduce the hospital mortality rate. Today, the World Health Organisation states that ‘Clean care is safer care’ – and yet, particularly in recent times, the lack of hygiene in numerous hospitals has resulted in mortalities. Who is to blame? What can be…

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Plasma therapy: an alternative to antibiotics?

Cold plasma jets could be a safe, effective alternative to antibiotics to treat multi-drug resistant infections, says a study published this week in the January issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology. The team of Russian and German researchers showed that a ten-minute treatment with low-temperature plasma was not only able to kill drug-resistant bacteria causing wound infections in rats but…

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Advancing POC diagnostics

Improvements in microfluidics and detection technologies are beginning to expand the range of point-of-care diagnostics beyond simple blood chemistry tests to sophisticated immuno-assays and molecular diagnostics. Though yet to see much adoption in European hospitals, these point-of-care (POC) diagnostics are coming into use in the USA, initially in emergency rooms and ICUs where fast results are…

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Ventilation-associated pneumonia

Every year in German hospitals about 15,000 patients acquire ventilation-associated pneumonias (VAP). This number, and the associated mortality, is striking enough to make it one of the topics at HAI 2010, the annual conference of the German Society for Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine (DGAI). Like many physicians, Dr Maria Deja, senior physician at the Charité Clinic for…

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Cancer stem cells

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are the engine that drives tumour growth. They can not only reproduce themselves but also differentiate to form all the specialised cells found within a tumour. While chemotherapy and radiotherapy non-specifically target all rapidly dividing cells, there is increasing evidence that CSCs are more resistant to these treatments. Report: Karoline Laarmann

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Rethink breast cancer surgery

Italian surgeon and oncologist Prof. Dr. Umberto Veronesi, Founder and Scientific Director of the European Institute of Oncology in Milan and former National Health Minister (2000 – 2001), is considered to be one of the biggest authorities on breast cancer research of our time. Many breakthrough changings in cancer medicine sustainably go back on his researches, which once earned him also a…

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Postprandial blood glucose

The daily management of diabetes mellitus is a complex interaction between blood glucose measuring, lifestyle aspects and drug therapy. Large epidemiological trials such as UKPDS (United Kingdom Diabetes Prospective Study) have shown that an optimal blood glucose adjustment has beneficial long-term effects on type-2 diabetics’ risk of micro- and macrovascular secondary complications.

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MRSA - Keeping up with the neighbours

The border between Germany and the Netherlands in the so-called EUREGIO region is of no particular importance in the daily life of the people who live there. Every day, thousands commute between towns and cities in both countries, to work, shop or even receive medical treatment. The latter, however, presents Dutch hospitals with a problem.

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The two faces of HIV/AIDS in the brain

The Opening Lecture at ECR always draws immense attention. On March 4th, it was the “First Lady of Radiology” as Congress President M. Szczerbo-Trojanowska called her, Professor Dr Anne G. Osborn, University of Utah, USA, who opened the event. The internationally renowned doctor of diagnostic neuroradiology spoke about “The two faces of HIV/AIDS in the brain” – a matter close to her…

Insulin regulates itself

In type 2 diabetes, which is occurring at alarming rates, the hormone insulin does not work effectively to lower blood sugars and patients also do not make enough insulin. These two processes have been widely considered as separate. However, a surprising discovery was made by Joslin Diabetes Center researchers in animal models of diabetes: insulin is important in regulating its own production.…

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Communicable disease programmes in Europe

One of the main topics at Health Forum Gastein 2009 was the way in which various healthcare systems struggle to cope with communicable diseases and their prevention. During the event, Dr Hans Kluge, Head of the Country Policies and Systems Unit, at the WHO regional office for Europe, spoke with Meike Lerner about omnipresent factors that work against effective TB and HIV/AIDS prevention…

Biochips to aid in cancer diagnosis

It is very difficult to predict whether a cancer drug will help an individual patient: only around one third of drugs will work directly in a given patient. Researchers at the Heinz Nixdorf Chair for Medical Electronics at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) have developed a new test process for cancer drugs. With the help of microchips, they can establish in the laboratory whether a…

J&J acquires Cougar

Positive CB7630 (Abiraterone Acetate) Phase II Data was presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting in Chicago this May/June, Cougar Biotechnology Inc, a development stage biopharmaceutical firm with a specific focus on oncology. In mid-July, Johnson & Johnson announced its acquisition of Cougar, which is now working with Ortho Biotech Oncology Research & Development, a division of the J&J firm Centocor…

Microbiology lab automation

Full automation has now become the gold standard for clinical laboratories. Without hospital microbiology labs, which according to the Centres for Disease Control deal with 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths annually in the US alone, the growing threat of community-acquired and nosocomial infections could prove insuperable.

Futures: HIV self-monitoring

HIV/AIDS has reached pandemic proportions. 35 million people are infected. Given the situation of hard pressed general practitioners (GPs) today, as well as geographical and other difficulties (as in Africa, for example), a new device that will enable HIV patients to monitor their own health and the effectiveness of treatments, without visiting their doctors so often, is indeed promising.

Positive action in the war against MRSA

The first strain of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) was isolated in the 1960s, and its presence was reported worldwide in the late 1990s. A higher incidence of MRSA was noted in communities, at the dawn of the new millennium, leading to two basic MRSA strains being differentiated - CA-MRSA (community acquired MRSA) and HA-MRSA (healthcare associated MRSA). In clinical practice…

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Nosocomial infections

According to ECD statistics for Europe, three million cases of nosocomial infections occur annually, and 50,000 are fatal. Evelina Tacconelli MD PhD (below) is Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases at the Università Cattolica Sacro Cuore in Rome, Italy. Her scientific focus is on epidemiology, clinical and therapeutic aspects of nosocomial infections and infection control policies aimed to…

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Small device counts viruses in minutes

The machine 'qViro' which is the size of a coffee grinder will make virus counting much cheaper than traditional virus counting technology. The revolutionary new invention offers the potential to quickly muster and count the number of viruses in a sample in minutes - it is a portable, desktop instrument, powered from the USB drive of a computer - current competitors are the size of washing…

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Drug resistant tuberculosis test within hours

GenoType® MTBDR plus, a new molecular test for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis has recently been approved in Europe. The test, developed by the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and Hain Lifescience, offers a fast solution to detect MDR-TB and XDR-TB at a reasonable price, a good condition for the application in poorer countries.

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Chip predicts progression of cancer therapy

So called circulating tumor cells (CTC) seem to be an indicator of the progression and therapy outcome for cancer patients. US- and UK-researchers have shown concurrently that blood tests of CTC's are as reliable as painful biobsies to predict how well patients respond to therapy.

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Herceptin destroys breast cancer stem cells

The HER2 gene causes a very aggressive kind of breast cancer. It influences the number of cancer stem cells and therefore as well the spreading of metastases. The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center now made the discovery that the drug Herceptin can drastically reduce the amount of the stem cell population in HER2 positive-breast cancer.

Nosocomial infections in the USA

As nosocomial, or healthcare-related infections (HAIs), continue to escalate in the US, and protocols to manage this problem remain complex and confusing, surveillance healthcare IT systems offer hope to gain control of the situation. These offer the potential for data to be uniformly collected, quantified, and assessed. How rapidly they will be implemented enough is unknown.

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India's world experts on TB

Every three minutes, two people living in India die of tuberculosis. This equates to approximately 370,000 deaths each year, and a staggering economic toll: an estimated US$300 million in direct costs and US$3 billion in indirect costs.

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Nurses receive award for their work in tuberculosis

By putting the World TB Day slogan 'I am stopping TB' into action, 11 nurses have earned the 2008 ICN/Lilly Award, for their outstanding work in fighting tuberculosis (TB) and multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB)[1]. The award recipients come from six TB affected countries: from Kenya (Diana Jelegat Kipsoisoi), Lesotho (Likhapha Ntlamelle ), Malawi (Chrisie Bwazi, Rodwell Gundo and Shouts Simeza),…

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Stereotactic radiosurgery

Italy - The latest advance in stereotactic radiosurgery - the Leksell Gamma Knife Perfexion made by Elekta, is due for inauguration this month at the Neurosurgery Department in Niguarda Hospital, located in the northern area of Milan. This prestigious hospital employs over 700 physicians and 1,500 nurses, and over 50,000 patients are admitted annually, and over 20,000 surgical procedures are…

Starving a tumour

Every developing tissue is supplied by blood vessels with oxygen and nutrients. Tumours grow far more quickly than normal tissues, so have a greater need of nutrients, which is why tumour cells begin to produce growth factors that stimulate the formation of blood vessels.

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Virtual TB bacillus should help finding new drugs

Today little is known about the metabolism of the tuberculosis bacillus and, because of its slow growth, experiments for new drugs take a long time. Now a team of researchers form the University of Surrey built an in silico model of the agent that causes TB - a virtual TB bacillus - that promises to speed up the drug discovery process.

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Expanding medical horizons

This was the motto of the ECR 2007 in Vienna, where a group of high-ranking experts discussed diseases of the 21st century; research competition between the US and Europe; the conditions needed to progress leading medical R&D - moderated by Congress President Professor Christian J Herold.

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40th anniversary

As the German Society of Neuroradiology 40th annual meeting approached (Venue: Dresden. 31 August - 3 September), Professors Martin Schumacher (Freiburg), President of the German Society of Neuroradiology (GSN) and Rüdiger von Kummer (Dresden), the meeting's President, examine the history and potential in this medical field

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The ESC Congress

25,000 visitors and medical professionals from 47 National Cardiac Societies across central and greater Europe, will attend the 2004 ESC Congress, where 'Diabetes and heart disease' will be the main theme. Lars Ryden, ESC Past-President, team member for the Euro-Heart Survey on Diabetes, and Chairman of the 'Guidelines for Diabetes & the Heart', and William Wijns, co-chair and Chairman of the…

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