Search for: "gene therapy" - 1000 articles found

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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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DNA damage causes AML

Cancer chemotherapy side-effects on blood cell development

By analysing secondary acute myeloid leukaemias, researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) Barcelona have detected mutations caused by platinum-based chemotherapies in cells that were healthy at the time of treatment. Treatment with chemotherapies influences the development of blood cells, favouring clonal hematopoiesis from cells with pre-existing mutations. The study has…

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Classifying subtypes

Breast cancer ‘ecotypes’ could lead to more personalised treatment

A team led by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research has revealed a new approach for classifying breast cancer subtypes based on their cell profile, which could help personalise treatments for patients. By analysing breast cancer biopsies from patients at Sydney hospitals, the researchers revealed more than 50 distinct cancer, immune and connective cell types and states, which could assign…

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

New predictive biomarkers for ALS identified

Some blood lipid biomarkers linked to cardiovascular disease risk are also associated with a lower risk of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) suggest the findings of a large epidemiology study. ALS is the commonest form of motor neuron disease - a progressive nervous system disease that destroys nerve cells responsible for voluntary movement such as walking and talking.

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Combined chemotherapy

Pancreatic cancer: New treatment promising for older patients

Pancreatic cancer is a disease of the elderly: the average age of patients is 72. In Austria, about 1,600 people are diagnosed each year. Since pancreatic cancer has no specific symptoms, it is not usually diagnosed until the tumor is locally advanced or has already metastasized. Once the tumor has metastasized, it is usually no longer treatable by surgery or radiotherapy. In addition, the drug…

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Understanding oncogenesis

How normal cells turn into liver cancer cells

Researchers at the University of Helsinki could show for the first time that normal human fibroblast cells can be converted to specific cancer cells using only factors that are commonly detected in actual human patients. Previous studies have achieved this only by using powerful viral factors that are not common in human cancers. Since many human cancer types still lack specific diagnostic…

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Radiology debate

Discussion: the Pros and Cons of contact shielding

Contact shielding is one of the most divisive areas in the field of radiography today. Some practitioners believe it remains an essential part of protecting patients from radiation, while others believe the risk has reduced significantly in recent years. The matter was debated at a session at the online ISRRT (International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists) congress in…

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Prevention of toxic DNA lesions

Promising mechanism to stop Huntington's progression

A new mechanism that stops the progression of Huntington’s disease in cells has been identified by scientists at the University of Cambridge and University College London (UCL), as part of their research groups at the UK Dementia Research Institute. Researchers say the breakthrough study, published in Cell Reports, could lead to much needed therapies for the rare genetic disease, which is…

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Medication combination

'4-in-1' blood pressure pill shows great promise

The first large-scale, long-term trial of a new strategy using combinations of very low-doses in one capsule, has demonstrated significantly improved control of high blood pressure - the leading cause of heart attack and stroke. This first large-scale, randomised controlled clinical trial of starting this novel combination blood pressure medication brought blood pressure under control in 80…

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Molecular targeting for better results

Emerging novel tracers for cardiovascular imaging

Molecular imaging, guided by novel tracers, is emerging as an important diagnostic and therapeutic tool in cardiovascular medicine. Delegates at ICNC-CT, the online International Conference on Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiac CT, also heard that cardiology can learn from fields such as oncology and neurology that have already made important advances in this area. Professor Frank Bengel, who is…

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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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Brain cancer research

Researchers 3D-print entire active tumor

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have 3D-printed a first-of-its-kind glioblastoma tumor that mimics a living cancer malignancy, powering new methods to improve treatment and accelerate the development of new drugs for the most lethal type of brain cancer. Glioblastoma is notoriously fatal as it accounts for the majority of brain tumors and is highly aggressive. The average survival time of…

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Omics in cancer care

Personalizing laboratory medicine

To avoid adverse reactions, personalised laboratory medicine can help to predict a patient’s drug response. Investigations based on DNA and other omics technologies – e.g. genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics – along with microarray technologies, is making a particularly valuable contribution to cancer care, in which personalised approaches are becoming possible through…

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Increased processing power

Personalizing cancer treatment with quantum computing

Cancer patients’ medical records can often comprise up to 100 terabytes of individual — and usually very heterogeneous — data, including blood and tumor values, personal indicators, sequencing and treatment data, and much more besides. Up to now, it has been virtually impossible to use this wealth of information efficiently due to a lack of appropriate processing mechanisms. As a result,…

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Antisense therapy update

Huntington's disease: setback for study of promising agent

Roche announced the decision to discontinue dosing in the Phase III GENERATION HD1 study of tominersen (previously IONIS-HTTRx and RG6042) in manifest Huntington’s disease (HD). The decision was based on the results of a pre-planned review of the data from the Phase III study conducted by an unblinded Independent Data Monitoring Committee (iDMC). The iDMC made its recommendation based on the…

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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, said: “The KRAS mutation is a main gene that drives cancer, and lung cancer specifically, but previously it’s…

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Tool to identify tumour mutations

Machine learning fuels personalised cancer medicine

The Biomedical Genomics laboratory at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) Barcelona has developed a computational tool that identifies cancer driver mutations for each tumour type. This and other developments produced by the same lab seek to accelerate cancer research and provide tools to help oncologists choose the best treatment for each patient. The study has been published in the…

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Software solution

Using AI to match cancer patients to early phase clinical trials

Cancer informatics and digital pathology provider Inspirata announced that King’s Health Partners ECMC and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust will pilot its Trial Navigator software as part of an evaluation the organisations are conducting into how artificial intelligence based automation can improve the identification and efficiency of matching patients with cancer to early phase…

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Population bottlenecks

Random effects make it difficult to optimise antibiotic therapy

Antibiotic-resistant pathogens have become one of the greatest threats to public health. The basic mechanisms of resistance evolution have been well studied experimentally and are an important research field at Kiel University. An important factor in this context, but one that has received little attention so far, is the population size of the respective pathogen. Over the course of an infection…

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Automated whole-body reperfusion

New technique to increase survival after cardiac arrest

Researchers at the Medical Faculty of the University of Freiburg have developed an improved therapeutic approach to resuscitate people after cardiac arrest - often without neurological complications. Around 50,000 people suffer sudden cardiac arrest in Germany every year. When occurring outside a hospital, the chances of survival are only ten percent. Survivors often suffer from severe permanent…

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Health economics

Why certified cancer centers are worth the extra input

Quality assurance in cancer medicine has a reputation for being expensive and involving considerable outlay. For the first time, a cost-effectiveness analysis has now shown that patients treated in certified cancer centers not only survived longer than patients in non-certified hospitals, but also cost less, despite the greater resource commitment required. This was established by health…

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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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Mechanical inactivation

'Nano traps' to lock up and neutralize viruses

To date, there are no effective antidotes against most virus infections. An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now developed a new approach: they engulf and neutralize viruses with nano-capsules tailored from genetic material using the DNA origami method. The strategy has already been tested against hepatitis and adeno-associated viruses in cell…

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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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AMR insights platform

Antibiotic resistance: a global problem in urgent need of solutions

Antibiotics have been at the heart of modern healthcare since the 1950s. They are prescribed prior to an operation to minimise the risk of infection after the operation. Or antibiotics are prescribed to fight an infection. This practice, which might seem straightforward at first glance, has proven to cause a number of problems itself: Over the last twenty years, it has become increasingly clear…

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Oncology

Pancreatic cancer - current challenges and future direction

Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers in the world, and one of the most difficult to treat. In 2020, an estimated 495,000 individuals worldwide were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and an estimated 466,000 died, according to statistics from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. Most patients with advanced disease die within a year of…

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Leading cause for blindness

Breakthrough in research on age-related macular degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of blindness in developed countries affecting seven million in total in Germany, from which 500,000 people are suffering from late stage disease, around half of whom are registered as visually impaired. There are two forms of AMD, ‘wet’ and ‘dry’. There are currently no treatments available for the dry form of the disease…

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Unprecedented improvements

Gene therapy 'reprograms' cells to reverse AADC deficiency

A novel method of gene therapy is helping children born with a rare genetic disorder called AADC deficiency that causes severe physical and developmental disabilities. The study, led by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and The Ohio State University College of Medicine, offers new hope to those living with incurable genetic and neurodegenerative diseases.

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Self-powered implant

New device to speed up bone healing

Researchers know that electricity can help speed up bone healing, but “zapping” fractures has never really caught on, since it requires surgically implanting and removing electrodes powered by an external source. Now, researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison have expanded on this principle and developed a device to speed up bone healing.

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Neoadjuvant chemotherapy

Breast cancer: New test predicts therapy success

In a collaboration with the Faculty of Statistics at TU Dortmund and the University Medical Center in Mainz, a research team at the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) has developed a test that can be used to predict the success of therapy for breast cancer. Breast cancer is one of the most common tumour diseases worldwide. One in eight women will…

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Pediatric oncology cooperation

A royal visit for children with cancer

Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, after whom the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology in Utrecht is named, along with several representatives of the center, the Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), University Hospital Heidelberg (UKHD) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), signed a memorandum on strategic cooperation in the field of pediatric oncology in Europe at…

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Mammacarcinoma study

Breast cancer: finishing treatment soon after diagnosis increases survival

Research from Cleveland Clinic in the U.S. and Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi in the U.A.E. has found a decrease in patient survival rates when treatment options – surgery, chemotherapy and radiation – are completed more than 38 weeks from the time of diagnosis. The observational study, which included more than 28,000 breast cancer patients registered in the American National Cancer Database, is…

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Transient implant

A pacemaker that dissolves when it's no longer needed

Researchers at Northwestern and George Washington (GW) universities have developed the first-ever transient pacemaker — a wireless, battery-free, fully implantable pacing device that disappears after it’s no longer needed. The thin, flexible, lightweight device could be used in patients who need temporary pacing after cardiac surgery or while waiting for a permanent pacemaker. All components…

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More attempts, worse outcomes

Removing blood clots after stroke: Why the first try counts

After a stroke, doctors can try to remove clots in blood vessels to keep blood flowing freely to the brain. But even though most of these procedures are successful, less than half of people have a successful recovery from the stroke. A new study published in the medical journal Neurology sheds light on why that may be. The study found that trying more than once during a procedure to retrieve a…

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„Swarm Learning“

AI with swarm intelligence to analyse medical data

Communities benefit from sharing knowledge and experience among their members. Following a similar principle - called “swarm learning” - an international research team has trained artificial intelligence algorithms to detect blood cancer, lung diseases and Covid-19 in data stored in a decentralized fashion. This approach has advantage over conventional methods since it inherently provides…

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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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Cardiology

On the way to better analysis of paediatric ECGs

Physicians are increasingly using software to automatically evaluate Holter ECG signals in adult patients, but so far, no software has been developed for children. Cardiomatics and the Medical University of Warsaw are on the way to a breakthrough in paediatric cardiology. They are developing an international tool for automatic assessment, analysis, and interpretation of electrocardiographic…

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Neuro-monitoring

Thin-film electrodes reveal key insight into human brain activity

Thin-film electrodes developed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) have been used in human patients at the University of California, San Francisco, generating never-before-seen recordings of brain activity in the hippocampus, a region responsible for memory and other cognitive functions. In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, surgeons at UCSF placed the flexible…

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Safe sonography

Medical societies support safety and benefits of ultrasound contrast agents

The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) and the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) have joined the International Contrast Ultrasound Society (ICUS) in recognizing the relatively low risk and important clinical benefits of ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs), which are used routinely around the world to help detect heart disease, stratify the risk of heart attack or stroke,…

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Prevention, treatment, care and support

Action on stroke: Experts launch joint declaration

An appeal is launched for Health Ministries across Europe to sign the Declaration for Action on the Stroke Action Plan for Europe to tackle one of the leading causes of death and disability. Led by The European Stroke Organisation (ESO) and Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE), the initiative aims to encourage European countries to show their commitment to improving stroke prevention, treatment,…

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Inner ear reseach

Hearing loss: newfound gene gives insights into the cochlea

A gene called GAS2 plays a key role in normal hearing, and its absence causes severe hearing loss, according to a study led by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The researchers, whose findings are published online in Developmental Cell, discovered that the protein encoded by GAS2 is crucial for maintaining the structural stiffness of support cells…

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Single Plane

Canon - Alphenix Sky+ High Definition Detector

Highlights Nowadays 3D plays a key role in high risk procedures such as aneurysm coiling, AVM / Fistula embolization, endovascular aortic aneurysm repair, etc. The Alphenix Sky+ incorporates state-of-the-art technologies allowing 3D body coverage at 80° / sec covering a range of 210°, from head to toe without any patient or table movement and free head access. Helping clinicians…

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Artificial Intelligence

Therapixel · MammoScreen

HighlightsMammoScreen: an AI-based concurrent reading aid for interpreting screening mammograms. It detects and characterizes suspicious regions of the breasts and generates a summary report containing the recommended action for the mammogram level and characterization of lesions and breasts suspiciousness. • Trustable characterization score, clear recommended actions • More…

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LVAD patients monitoring

5G and AI: Telemedicine support for chronic heart failure patients

A new research project will embrace the combination of 5G telecommunications technology and AI to offer continuous remote monitoring to seriously ill heart failure patients. An increasing number of chronic heart failure patients are receiving Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs) to help them live with their condition, but physicians acknowledge the need to effectively monitor them.

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Innovation in intervention

The promise and reality about AI for interventional oncology

Is artificial intelligence (AI) technology ready to be utilized as a clinical tool by interventional oncologists? Not yet, but when it is, AI technology’s clinical impact may be as profound as advanced imaging is today. This is the consensus of two leading researchers developing AI for interventional oncology use, who presented back-to-back scientific sessions at ECIO 2021 on both the promise…

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Vision for vision

Reversing blindness: Award for cone optogenetics gene therapy

The Foundation Fighting Blindness has granted 600,000 US$ to help Hendrik Scholl as principal investigator define a novel way of reversing blindness. Hendrik Scholl is Director of the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB), Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Basel, and Head of the University Hospital’s Eye Clinic in Basel, Switzerland.

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Esophagitis

Lung cancer: Tailoring radiation therapy to reduce complications

For many patients with localized lung cancer (non-small-cell lung carcinoma and small cell lung carcinoma), high-dose radiation with concurrent chemotherapy is a potential cure. Yet this treatment can cause severe, acute inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis) in about one in five patients, requiring hospitalization and placement of a feeding tube. A team of radiation oncologists at Mass…

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Combining MRI with particle beams

An important step towards live imaging in proton therapy

Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) want to build the world’s first prototype that tracks moving tumors with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in real time during proton therapy. They are combining a rotating open MRI device, designed for the LINAC-MR system from Alberta Health Services, with an actively scanned clinical-akin proton beam at OncoRay, the Dresden-based…

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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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The stronger sex after all

Why women may be better equipped to fight Covid-19

When it comes to Covid-19, women seem to be the stronger sex, suffering severe disease at about half the rate as men, but the reason for this has been elusive. Now a chance experiment by an ophthalmology researcher at Duke Health has led to an insight: Women have more of a certain type of immune cell that fights infections in mucosal tissue, and these immune cells amass in the lungs, poised to…

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From foe to friend?

Some Alzheimer’s plaques may be protective, not destructive

One of the characteristic hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the buildup of amyloid-beta plaques in the brain. Most therapies designed to treat AD target these plaques, but they’ve largely failed in clinical trials. New research by scientists at the Salk Institute upends conventional views of the origin of one prevalent type of plaque, indicating a reason why treatments have been…

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Cancer research

'Gene ferry' improves immune therapies

Genetically enhancing a patient's immune cells by adding therapeutic genes to them outside the body is regarded as a promising new treatment approach in oncology. However, the production of these therapeutic cells using viruses is not only expensive but time-consuming. Researchers at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have developed an innovative non-viral vector that can efficiently…

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Reverse genetics system

SARS-CoV-2: An easier and quicker way to analyse mutations

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic. We know that mutations in the genome of SARS-CoV-2 have occurred and spread, but what effect do those mutations have? Current methods for studying mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome are very complicated and time-consuming because coronaviruses have large genomes, but now a team from Osaka University and Hokkaido University have…

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Biomarker research

"Jumping" genes might protect against AML and other blood cancers

New research has uncovered a surprising role for so-called “jumping” genes that are a source of genetic mutations responsible for a number of human diseases. In the new study from Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI), scientists made the unexpected discovery that these DNA sequences, also known as transposons, can protect against certain blood cancers. These…

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CRISPR-Cas9

An 'on-off switch' for gene editing

Over the past decade, the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system has revolutionized genetic engineering, allowing scientists to make targeted changes to organisms’ DNA. While the system could potentially be useful in treating a variety of diseases, CRISPR-Cas9 editing involves cutting DNA strands, leading to permanent changes to the cell’s genetic material. Now, in a paper published online in Cell,…

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Léopold Griffuel Award

Childhood cancer research: Award for Stefan Pfister

Stefan Pfister, a director of the Hopp Children’s Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), a department head at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and a pediatric oncologist at University Hospital Heidelberg (UKHD), has received the Léopold Griffuel Award from Fondation ARC, the French cancer research foundation. The prize, worth EUR 150,000 in Basic Research category, is one of the highest…

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Biochemistry

Potential trigger of Crohn’s disease found

Potentially game-changing research led by McMaster University scientists may finally bring relief to millions of people worldwide living with Crohn’s disease. Investigator Brian Coombes said his team identified a strain of adherent-invasive E-coli (AIEC) that is strongly implicated in the condition and is often found in the intestines of people with Crohn’s disease. “If you examine the gut…

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Here comes the tooth fairy

New drug shows promise for regenerating lost teeth

A new study by scientists at Kyoto University and the University of Fukui may offer hope for adults who have lost their teeth. The team reports that an antibody for one gene - uterine sensitization associated gene-1 or USAG-1 - can stimulate tooth growth in mice suffering from tooth agenesis, a congenital condition. The paper was published in Science Advances. Although the normal adult mouth has…

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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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A much-needed update

New 'double antibody' delivers dual strike SARS-CoV-2 and its variants

The Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Switzerland developed a second-generation ‘double antibody’ that protects from SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19, and all its tested variants. It also prevents the virus from mutating to resist the therapy. Antibody-based immunotherapy was already shown to be effective against Covid-19 but faces two main obstacles: it needs to work…

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Acidity analysis

Harnessing AI to identify cancer cells

Healthy and cancer cells can look similar under a microscope. One way of differentiating them is by examining the level of acidity, or pH level, inside the cells. Tapping on this distinguishing characteristic, a research team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has developed a technique that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to determine whether a single cell is healthy or cancerous…

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Nueva sigla para crear más conciencia acerca de los ataques cerebrales

¿Sospecha de accidente cerebrovascular? actua 'RÁPIDO'

Los investigadores acaban de establecer un nuevo acrónimo en español con el objetivo de crear un mayor nivel de conciencia en la comunidad hispana acerca de los síntomas de los ataques cerebrales. Conocido como RÁPIDO, la intención de este nuevo acrónimo es replicar el equivalente popular que existe en inglés de FAST. En los estudios se ha mostrado que hoy en día los adultos hispanos…

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Venous cannula system

New circulation implant to bridge the waiting time for donor heart

With the first-in-man implantation of the Berlin Heart Venous Cannula at the LMU University Hospital Munich, Germany, Berlin Heart offers patients with a failing Fontan circulation a unique chance to survive the waiting time for a donor heart. These patients are in a life-threatening condition: their health has deteriorated so much that they desperately need a new heart, but because of their poor…

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Breast cancer diagnostics

New system to make AI diagnosis explainable

Researchers at TU Berlin and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin as well as the University of Oslo have developed a new tissue-section analysis system for diagnosing breast cancer based on artificial intelligence (AI). Two further developments make this system unique: For the first time, morphological, molecular and histological data are integrated in a single analysis. Secondly, the system…

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A BOLD-100 approach

Novel metallodrug shows promise in tumour treatment

BOLD-100/KP1339 is a ruthenium-based anticancer agent that has been co-developed at the University of Vienna and which has shown promising results in clinical trials in cancer patients. However, the mode of action of this metal compound has not yet been fully elucidated. Researchers from the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna have now been able to demonstrate that BOLD-100…

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AI tool might reduce surgery

Managing cancer-questionable breast lesions

The management of biopsied breast lesions that are diagnosed as abnormal but are not definitively malignant is challenging and controversial. Treatment ranges from diligent follow-up, with imaging and subsequent biopsy, to surgical excision. Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna (Medizinische Universität Wien), Austria, have developed and validated a software algorithm designed to…

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Superior in identifying cancers in symptomatic younger women

Breast cancer detection: advantage DBT

Digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT) increases detection of breast cancer in symptomatic women under the age of 60, especially in dense breasts. A large, multi-institutional study conducted in the United Kingdom comparing the sensitivity of full-field digital mammography (FFDM), DBT, and FFDM plus DBT supports findings of two similar published studies, both conducted in China in the same time frame.

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Collagen 'pushing'

Supercomputer illustrates mechanical process of cancer growth

According to the World Health Organization, one in six worldwide deaths have been attributed to cancer; however, these fatalities were not due to initial malignant tumors—the deaths were caused by the spread of cancer cells to surrounding tissues and subsequent tumor growth. These tissues, which consist largely of collagen, have been the focus of a recent collaborative study by a team from…

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Human cytomegalovirus in immunocompromised patients

Post-transplant HCMV infection: pre-emptive strike could save many lives

A potential new treatment to protect immunosuppressed patients from human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been discovered by scientists at the University of Cambridge. Their study shows that certain epigenetic inhibitors expose and help to destroy dormant HCMV infections, which often reactivate to cause serious illness and death in these vulnerable groups. Subject to clinical trials, their proposed…

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Regenerative medicine

Lab-grown ‘mini-bile ducts’ to repair human livers

Scientists have used a technique to grow bile duct organoids – often referred to as ‘mini-organs’ – in the lab and shown that these can be used to repair damaged human livers. This is the first time that the technique has been used on human organs. The research paves the way for cell therapies to treat liver disease – in other words, growing ‘mini-bile ducts’ in the lab as…

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Experimental therapy

CRP apheresis: First successful treatment of Covid-19 patient

Apheresis, a procedure that separates removes particular blood constituents, has so far been primarily used with myocardial infarction patients. Now, however, it seems to be a promising approach for Covid-19 cases: the first patient successfully underwent so-called CRP apheresis. The treatment does not target the virus but can prevent potentially fatal consequences of the infection.

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Survival prediction

Deep learning may lead to better lung cancer treatments

Doctors and healthcare workers may one day use a machine learning model, called deep learning, to guide their treatment decisions for lung cancer patients, according to a team of Penn State Great Valley researchers. In a study, the researchers report that they developed a deep learning model that, in certain conditions, was more than 71% accurate in predicting survival expectancy of lung cancer…

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Research collaboration

'Cells of the future' might cure lung infections

Healing the body with cells – this is the ambitious goal of scientists at Hannover Medical School (MHH). With this in mind, Professor Dr. Nico Lachmann and Dr. Robert Zweigerdt have initiated a research collaboration and license agreement with the pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk A/S, to combine academic knowhow with the translational power of the industry. The overall aim of the endeavor is…

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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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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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'Chaimeleon' project

Removing data bias in cancer images through AI

A new EU-wide repository for health-related imaging data could boost development and marketing of AI tools for better cancer management. The open-source database will collect and harmonise images acquired from 40,000 patients, spanning different countries, modalities and equipment. This approach could eliminate one of the major bottlenecks in the clinical adoption of AI today: Data bias.

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Advancing diagnostic accuracy

PSMA PET/CT in prostate cancer evaluation

Hybrid PET/CT imaging can fully play to its strengths and steer treatment towards more effective procedures for diagnosing prostate cancer. The examination of the specific antigen PSMA with hybrid PET imaging enables treatment monitoring with significantly higher diagnostic accuracy than conventional imaging and therefore, Professor Clemens Cyran believes, will soon become the standard diagnostic…

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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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Surgical endoscopy

Olympus to acquire Quest Photonic Devices

Olympus Corporation announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Quest Photonic Devices B.V. for up to EUR50 million including milestone payments to strengthen its surgical endoscopy capabilities. Quest offers advanced fluorescence imaging systems (FIS) for the medical field, enabling more surgical endoscopy capabilities, compared to conventional imaging technologies.

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Lymphocytosis research

Tracing the onset of leukaemia

B-cell lymphocytosis, a condition in which individuals have increased levels of particular white blood cells, in some cases leads to blood cancer. As an international team of researchers now shows in samples from patients, both diseases exhibit similar epigenetic signatures that are forming very early during the course of the disease. Chronic leukemias often start insidiously. White blood cells…

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Mapping the 'family tree' of cancer

Metastasis monitoring: CRISPR tool catches cancer 'in the act'

When cancer is confined to one spot in the body, doctors can often treat it with surgery or other therapies. Much of the mortality associated with cancer, however, is due to its tendency to metastasize, sending out seeds of itself that may take root throughout the body. The exact moment of metastasis is fleeting, lost in the millions of divisions that take place in a tumor. “These events are…

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IT analysis and study

Optimising OR procedures in orthopaedic surgery

Could surgical procedures for hip or knee arthritis be improved? IT specialists at Leipzig University Hospital’s Innovation Center for Computer-Assisted Surgery (ICCAS), and physicians in the Department of Orthopaedic, Trauma and Plastic Surgery department, analysed and optimised the operating room (OR) setup, legwork and instruments handling. We asked project manager Juliane Neumann, at…

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Measuring mitochondrial DNA

Rapid blood test identifies Covid-19 patients at high risk of severe disease

One of the most vexing aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic is doctors’ inability to predict which newly hospitalized patients will go on to develop severe disease, including complications that require the insertion of a breathing tube, kidney dialysis or other intensive care. Knowledge of a patient’s age and underlying medical conditions can help predict such outcomes, but there are still…

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An unexpected and novel target

How our biological clock could save us from prostate cancer

Our biological or circadian clock synchronizes all our bodily processes to the natural rhythms of light and dark. It’s no wonder then that disrupting the clock can wreak havoc on our body. In fact, studies have shown that when circadian rhythms are disturbed through sleep deprivation, jet lag, or shift work, there is an increased incidence of some cancers including prostate cancer, which is the…

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"Faces" of the disease

Covid-19: researchers identify at least 5 variants

According to current studies, the Covid-19 disease which is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus comprises at least five different variants. These differ in how the immune system responds to the infection. Researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn, together with other experts from Germany, Greece and the Netherlands, present these findings…

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RadClip

AI tool for MRI could transform prostate cancer surgery, treatment

Researchers at the Center for Computational Imaging and Personalized Diagnostics (CCIPD) at Case Western Reserve University have preliminarily validated an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to predict how likely the disease is to recur following surgical treatment for prostate cancer. The tool, called RadClip, uses AI algorithms to examine a variety of data, from MRI scans to molecular…

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Machine learning advances diagnostics and prognostics

Computerized image analysis can predict cancer outcomes

The advent of digital pathology is offering a unique opportunity to develop computerized image analysis methods to diagnose disease and predict outcomes for cancer patients from histopathology tissue sections. Such advances can help predict risk of recurrence, disease aggressiveness and long-term survival, according to a leading expert in the field, Professor Anant Madabhushi from Case Western…

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Applications of machine learning

Training AI to predict outcomes for cancer patients

Predicting cancer outcome could help with a clinical decision regarding a patient’s treatment. In his keynote speech during the online ‘7th Digital Pathology and AI Congress: Europe’, Johan Lundin, Research Director at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) at the University of Helsinki and Professor of Medical Technology at Karolinska Institute, discussed ‘Outcome and…

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Intensive care

Protecting lungs from ventilation-induced injury

An unfortunate truth about the use of mechanical ventilation to save the lives of patients in respiratory distress is that the pressure used to inflate the lungs is likely to cause further lung damage. In a new study, scientists identified a molecule that is produced by immune cells during mechanical ventilation to try to decrease inflammation, but isn’t able to completely prevent…

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The role of the MLL4 gene

New insights on the Kabuki syndrome

Scientists have known for years that mutations in the MLL4 gene can cause Kabuki syndrome, a rare developmental disorder. How exactly this happens remeained a mystery for long. Now, a new study illuminates new details. The research suggests that MLL4 controls the production of neurons that secrete growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. Mice without…

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Toxins in the gut

Connecting our microbiome to breast cancer development

A microbe found in the colon and commonly associated with the development of colitis and colon cancer also may play a role in the development of some breast cancers, according to new research from investigators with the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and its Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy. Breast tissue cells exposed to this toxin retain a long-term memory, increasing the…

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Disease development, risk, complications

Researchers identify prediabetes subtypes

All prediabetes is not the same: in people in the preliminary stages of type 2 diabetes, there are six clearly distinguishable subtypes, which differ in the development of the disease, diabetes risk, and the development of secondary diseases. This is shown in a study by the Institute for Diabetes Research and Metabolic Diseases (IDM) of Helmholtz Zentrum München at the University of Tübingen,…

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Philips and InSightec partnership

Expanding access to MR-guided focused ultrasound for incisionless neurosurgery

Royal Philips and InSightec, a global healthcare company focused on the therapeutic power of acoustic energy, announced a collaboration to expand access to MR-guided focused ultrasound for incisionless neurosurgery. By developing compatibility between Philips’ advanced MR systems and the Exablate Neuro platform from InSightec, the two companies will support expanded access to MR-guided focused…

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Atrial fibrillation treatment

Gold-tipped, force sensing ablation catheter approved for CE-market

Electrophysiologists in Europe will now have access to state-of-the-art, gold-tipped force sensing ablation catheters following the Biotronik announcement that AlCath Force is CE-market approved. With the release of the unique catheter, a full suite of specialized tools for a complete solution in the treatment of complex atrial fibrillation (AF) cases is available to physicians.

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Cardiac complications

Immunotherapy drugs can lead to higher risk of heart problems

A study of over a thousand cancer patients treated with immunotherapy drugs has found these patients are at greater risk of heart problems, including death from heart attack or stroke. The patients had either lung cancer or malignant melanoma (a type of skin cancer), for which immune checkpoint inhibitors such as a programmed cell death-1 (PD1) inhibitors or cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated…

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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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Childhood cancer

Molecular super-enhancers determine progression of neuroblastomas

Childhood neuroblastomas display extreme differences in the way they develop: they can shrink spontaneously or spread aggressively to healthy tissue. It is molecular super-enhancers that activate the regulatory circuits that steer the tumor down one path or the other. These are the findings of research conducted by scientists from the Hopp Children's Cancer Center Heidelberg (KiTZ), the German…

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Brain rejuvenation

Drug reverses age-related mental decline within days

Just a few doses of an experimental drug can reverse age-related declines in memory and mental flexibility in mice, according to a new study by UC San Francisco scientists. The drug, called ISRIB, has already been shown in laboratory studies to restore memory function months after traumatic brain injury (TBI), reverse cognitive impairments in Down Syndrome, prevent noise-related hearing loss,…

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Senhance® Surgical Robotic System

„Robotic systems are the future of medicine“

In April 2017, St. Marien Hospital in Siegen, Germany, made robotic history: it was the first hospital in Germany to introduce the Transenterix surgical robotic system. Since then, more than 450 surgeries were performed with the Senhance® surgical robotic system and the expertise of Professor Dr Dietmar Stephan, Head of Minimally Invasive Surgery, is in high demand – worldwide.

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Clinical decision support

AI deep learning of PET/CT images to support NSCLC treatment

A software tool to predict the most effective therapy for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) developed by applying deep learning artificial intelligence (AI) to positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) images has been developed by researchers at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida. The tool is designed to provide a noninvasive, accurate method to…

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Intratumoral B cells

Another side to cancer immunotherapy?

Scientists report on their detailed look at B cells' presence inside tumors. B cells represent the other major arm of the adaptive immune system, besides T cells, and could offer opportunities for new treatments against some kinds of cancers.

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Success in Düsseldorf

virtual.Medica receives international resonance

For the first time in the history of MEDICA, the world-leading medical trade fair, and the industry’s number one platform for the suppliers of the medical technology industry, COMPAMED, held from 16 to 19 November 2020, took place entirely online due to the pandemic - but still won over their audiences due to their high degree of international resonance in this format too, as virtual.MEDICA and…

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Finding therapeutic targets

Pancreatic cancer: Seeking viable treatment strategies

Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of any cancers, with immunotherapies currently offering negligible treatment benefits for patients. To help identify new therapeutic approaches, researchers from the University of Oxford have been focusing on leukocyte infiltration as a prognostic marker of the disease. Their study and findings were outlined by Dr Shivan Sivakumar during a session…

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spotlight at virtual.MEDICA

Digital health is on the rise due to COVID-19

MEDICA in Düsseldorf is a world-leading platform for the medical technology business and the healthcare industry and has always been one of the places to be for the entire sector as it covers current digital health trends, innovative products and services for linking all of the major stakeholders in medical care. Consequently, digital health is a mainstay of virtual.MEDICA, which, due to the…

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Cancer research

New therapeutic approach against leukemia

Leukemia frequently originates from the so-called leukemic stem cell, which resides in a tumor promoting and protecting niche within the bone marrow. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany, have found a new way to make these cells vulnerable by specifically dislodging these cells from their niches.

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One mouse at a time

New approach to testing potential drugs for children’s cancers

A team of researchers in the US and Australia have developed a way of testing potential drugs for children’s cancers so as to take account of the wide genetic diversity of these diseases. In new research to be presented at the 32th EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, Professor Peter Houghton, director of the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute (San…

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Therapy development

New approach to 'BEAT' COVID-19

The present Coronavirus pandemic with all its effects on society – both health and economic – highlights the urgency of developing new therapies for COVID-19 treatment. At the same time, it demonstrates the necessity to become well prepared for new virus infections we may be facing in the future. To help control the current pandemic and brace for novel pathogens that may cause future…

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List by top clinicians and researchers

Top 10 medical innovations for 2021

An up-and-coming gene therapy for blood disorders. A new class of medications for cystic fibrosis. Increased access to telemedicine. These are some of the innovations that will enhance healing and change healthcare in the coming year, according to a distinguished panel of clinicians and researchers from Cleveland Clinic. In conjunction with the 2020 Medical Innovation Summit, Cleveland Clinic…

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Exploring new principles for therapeutic agents

New class of inhibitors to protect against neurodegeneration

Neurobiologists at Heidelberg University have discovered how a special receptor at neuronal junctions that normally activates a protective genetic programme can lead to nerve cell death when located outside synapses. Their fundamental findings on neurodegenerative processes simultaneously led the researchers at the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences (IZN) to a completely new principle for…

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For the development of CRISPR/Cas9

Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 to Emmanuelle Charpentier from the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin, Germany, and Jennifer A. Doudna from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, “for the development of a method for genome editing”, more commonly known as the 'gene scissors' CRISPR/Cas9.

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Distant metastasis-free interval explored

High-risk breast cancers: Mode of detection is linked to patient prognosis

Breast cancers that are detected in the interval between national screening programme mammograms have a worse prognosis than those detected at the time of a screening, even if they have the same biology, according to research presented at the 12th European Breast Cancer Conference. Analysis of results from over eight years’ follow-up of the international MINDACT randomised phase III clinical…

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'Rush to publish'

Have research standards suffered during COVID-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a flood of potentially substandard research amid the rush to publish, with a string of papers retracted or under a cloud and a surge in submissions to pre-print servers where fewer quality checks are made, a leading ethicist has warned in the Journal of Medical Ethics. This has implications for patients, clinicians, and potentially government policy, says…

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Overheard at AAIC 2020

Exciting Alzheimer's findings: ’flu vaccines and P-tau217

More than 32,000 people from over 160 countries registered for The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC 2020) in July. This largest and most influential international conference on dementia science had to be held virtually this year, when important highlights were aired. The ability to identify individuals at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), or at early…

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Digitising healthcare

Virtual assistants and digital twins advance personalised medicine

Siri and Alexa are leading the way: the virtual assistants meet many daily needs. Soon, similarly programmed software and a ‘digital patient twin’, will be launched into the medical world – both IT applications based on Artificial Intelligence (AI). The virtual medical assistant and digital patient twin are two key aspects of a research project ‘Models for Personalised Medicine’.…

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Promising approach for eye diseases

Functional human retinas created in a dish

Scientists have generated accurate replications of human retinas in culture that can be used to pinpoint the specific types of cells affected by genetic eye diseases. The culmination of a six-year effort, this achievement will accelerate progress in developing new therapies and was reported in Cell by a team led by Botond Roska at the Institute for Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB)…

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High-capacity digital image analysis

Spatial statistics extract subvisual features

Spatial analytics offers greater clarity in the assessment of tumours beyond routine microscopic analysis. High-capacity digital image analysis enables new methods of spatial statistics to extract features not immediately distinguishable by visual inspection. These subvisual features reflect complex properties, such as intratumour heterogeneity and have the additional benefit that they can target…

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Non-pulmonary aspects

The cardiovascular impact of Covid-19

The increased Covid-19 risk to cardiac patients was discussed during an online presentation at ECR 2020. Focusing on the prevalence of pulmonary embolism in Covid-19 patients, Dr Karl-Friedrich Kreitner, Professor of Radiology at the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at the Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, discussed hypotheses which can explain cardiac…

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Coronavirus

“Hotspots” of a corona infection in the human body

An infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 can affect multiple organs. With this in mind, researchers of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and Cornell University in the US have investigated cellular factors that could be significant for an infection. To this end, they analysed the activity of 28 specific genes in a wide range of human tissues.

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Distant experts observe adverse signs

Remote cardiac monitoring

For cardiology patients fitted with an implantable cardiac monitor, cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) or pacemaker, home monitoring is a blessing. The system also has many advantages for medical staff, as Kristina Rauholt reports. The nurse and Certified Cardiac Device Specialist for Allied Professionals (CCDS) at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital, in Sweden, has worked with home monitoring…

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Expanding image-guided therapy devices portfolio

Philips to acquire Intact Vascular

Royal Philips announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Intact Vascular, Inc., a U.S.-based developer of medical devices for minimally-invasive peripheral vascular procedures. Intact Vascular will enhance Philips’ image-guided therapy portfolio, combining Philips’ interventional imaging platform and diagnostic and therapeutic devices with Intact Vascular’s unique, specialized…

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Atrial fibrillation ablation

Superfast procedure to treat heart arrhythmia

A new procedure to correct atrial fibrillation (AF) has been performed for the first time in the UK last week at Leicester's Hospitals. AF affects 1-2% of the general population, which amounts to more than 1 million people in the UK, and increases the risk of stroke by five times. Treating the condition with medicine is often ineffective, with many patients continuing to suffer from…

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Neuronal disorder

Tracking the onset of ataxias

“Spinocerebellar ataxias” are diseases of the nervous system associated with a loss of motor coordination. A European research alliance headed by the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the University of Bonn has now registered whether and how symptoms of ataxia developed over the years in around 250 persons at risk, who initially did not show symptoms. This is the first…

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After coronavirus infection

Study reveals why people with COVID-19 may lose their sense of smell

Researchers studying tissue removed from patients noses during surgery believe they may have discovered the reason why so many people with COVID-19 lose their sense of smell, even when they have no other symptoms. In their experiments they found extremely high levels of angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE-2) only in the area of the nose responsible for smelling. This Enzyme is thought to be the…

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Neuroradiology

Alzheimer’s research: A lost century

Lack of understanding around Alzheimer’s disease (AD) has significantly slowed advances in the treatment of this incurable condition. Imaging has proved to be reliable in differentiating between AD and other forms of dementia, and its contribution will continue to help develop profiling, an increasingly interesting approach for the development of new and more efficient drugs, according to Sven…

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Neuro-oncology

Challenges in brain tumour segmentation

Neuroradiologist Dr Sofie Van Cauter described the challenges to brain tumour image segmentation during the European Society of Medical Imaging Informatics (EuSoMII) annual meeting in Valencia. She also outlined how, when clinically validated, AI could help tackle such problems. The WHO classification of brain tumours has come a long way since first introduced in 1979. The 2016 classification was…

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Imaging informatics meeting

SIIM 2020: Glancing back at 40 years and ahead to the future

40 years ago, anticipating the huge impact of computers in radiology, a group of visionaries formed the Radiology Information System Consortium (RISC). In 1989, RISC created the Society for Computer Applications (SCAR) to promote computer applications in digital imaging. Those organisations became the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM). At SIIM 2020, a virtual meeting, experts…

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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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Prevention research

These 10 risk factors must be tackled to prevent Alzheimer's

There are at least 10 risk factors that appear to have a significant impact on a person’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease that could be targeted with preventative steps, new research suggests. Focusing on these factors, which include cognitive activity, high body mass index in late life, depression, diabetes, and high blood pressure, could provide clinicians with an evidence…

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Coronavirus research

How type 1 interferon deficiency hints at severe forms of COVID-19

Which patient will develop a severe form of COVID-19? This is an essential question which must be answered in order to improve the individual management and the prognosis of these patients. In a publication in the journal Science, teams from the Assistance publique – Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP), Inserm, Université de Paris, Institut Pasteur and Institut Imagine describe a unique and unexpected…

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Deep Learning in Radiology

New Levels of Precision with Self-learning Imaging Software

The complex form of machine learning DLIR (Deep Learning Image Reconstruction) is based on a deep neuronal network which is similar to the human brain. The artificial neurons of this network learn according to their biological model through intensive training. For the DLIR image reconstruction, the network is fed with sample data from phantom images on the one hand and high-resolution images of…

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The difficulty? Unpredictability in the entire process

Immunotherapy for lung cancer patients

Better outcomes, more favourable prognoses – oncologists and their lung cancer patients didn’t dare to dream about it. Finally, there might be hope. The so-called checkpoint inhibitors (immunotherapy drug) have been used successfully, albeit not for every patient. They are a double-edged sword, with risks as well as opportunities, as explained by Professor Cornelia Schäfer-Prokop.

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Modernising healthcare via digitisation

Public acceptance of electronic health on the rise

Focused on updating healthcare through digitisation, 41 experts and around 500 delegates gathered for the 4th ‘Digital Health Conference’ late in 2019. At the Berlin venue, they focused on solutions such as the potential lack of skilled staff, demographic changes, urbanisation and multimorbidity.

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Ophthalmology

Nanoparticles for gene therapy cure eye diseases

Johns Hopkins scientists report the successful use of nanoparticles to deliver gene therapy for blinding eye disease. A uniquely engineered large molecule allows researchers to compact large bundles of therapeutic DNA to be delivered into the cells of the eye.

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Abbott cardiovascular

An increasingly dynamic cardiovascular presence

In the world of laboratory diagnostics, ‘Abbott’ is a household name. Few people however are aware of the fact that the company, headquartered in Illinois, USA, is also leading in other fields. A number of innovations in cardiac and vascular diagnostics and therapy might soon put Abbott in the limelight. Dr Angela Germer, Regional Director DACH, and Volker Keller, Head of Marketing DACH,…

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Light or severe progression

The dangerous dual role of the immune system in COVID-19

Infection with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 follows a highly variable course: some of those infected do not even notice it, while others become so seriously ill that their lives are placed at risk. Scientists from the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and their colleagues from Leipzig and Heidelberg have now discovered that the immune system has a…

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Smart surface

Artificial skin heals wounds and makes robots sweat

Imagine a dressing that releases antibiotics on demand and absorbs excessive wound exudate at the same time. Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) hope to achieve just that, by developing a smart coating that actively releases and absorbs multiple fluids, triggered by a radio signal. This material is not only beneficial for the healthcare industry, it is also very promising in…

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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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Magnetic pull on catheters

Fringe Field Navigation transforms endovascular surgery

A new technique could enable vascular surgeons to reach even the more difficult body regions. Instead of pushing catheters into minute veins, the system, devised in Canada by Professor Sylvain Martel and team at the Polytechnique Montréal Nanorobotics Laboratory, uses magnetic forces to pull a guidewire, or catheter, into remote physical locations, guiding medical instruments into narrow and…

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Tailor-made therapies

Diabetes care enters precision medicine

A new joint report from the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) presents the largest venture ever on precision medicine in diabetes. The report includes a detailed overview and roadmap for how this new approach to diabetes medicine can be evaluated and implemented into clinical practice.

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Neurodegeneration

Alzheimer research: Noise-inducing neurons shut down memories

Neurons that are responsible for new experiences interfere with the signals of neurons that contain memories and thereby disturb the recall of memories – at least in mice. The research group of Martin Fuhrmann of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) reports this phenomenon in the scientific journal “Nature Neuroscience“. The results of this study potentially shed new…

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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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Reversing incurable cause for blindness

Macular degeneration: Gene therapy restores vision

Macular degeneration is one of the major reasons for visual impairment, round the globe, close to 200 million people are affected. It damages the photoreceptors in the retina, which lose their sensitivity to light. This can lead to impaired vision or even complete blindness. Scientists at the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB) together with colleagues from the German…

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Cancer research

Lymph node analysis to hunt down metastases

What makes tumor cells turn murderous? The Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM is investigating the mechanisms of metastasis formation – and searching for approaches for new treatments in the fight against cancer. Among other things, the research team at Fraunhofer ITEM has developed a method that enables them to analyze entire lymph nodes.

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Immune cell monitoring

AI could predict risk of lung cancer recurrence

Computer scientists working with pathologists have trained an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to determine which patients with lung cancer have a higher risk of their disease coming back after treatment. The AI tool was able to differentiate between immune cells and cancer cells, enabling researchers to build a detailed picture of how lung cancers evolve in response to the immune system in…

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Experts express concerns

EDQM Blood Guide could make Europe more dependent on US plasma

The Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA) is concerned about the recommendations contained in 20th version of Blood Guide of The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines (EDQM) which aims to harmonise standards and recommendations on blood collection, preparation, and the use of blood and blood components. This Guide, if applied, will have a negative impact on the availability…

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New gene therapy approach

Tumor-tropic technology for targeted cancer therapy

Toshiba Corporation and a team led by Professor Yozo Nakazawa at the Department of Pediatrics, Shinshu University, have together developed a “tumor-tropic liposome technology” for gene therapy. The technology uses unique, nano-sized biodegradable liposomes developed by Toshiba to accurately and efficiently deliver therapeutic genes to targeted cancer cells, and achieves safer gene delivery…

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COVID-19 protection around the world

Coronavirus mask parade: diverse and united

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, face masks become a common sight in our everyday lives. However, there is still lots of room for individuality, as these photos prove. Enjoy!

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Robotic innovation

Micro robot rolls deep into the body

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell travelling through the circulatory system. It has the shape, the size and the moving capabilities of leukocytes and could perhaps be well on its way – in a rolling motion of course – to revolutionize the minimally invasive treatment of…

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HNSCC diagnostics

Head and neck cancer: Novel prognostic biomarker could double survival

A recent study conducted by the Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU Medicine) discovered a novel genetic biomarker which can predict the survival of head and neck cancer patients. There are over 0.7 million new head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cases globally each year. However, currently there is no clinical implementation of any genetic biomarker to…

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Adapt and overcome

Coronavirus evolving: How SARS-CoV-2 mutations could delay vaccine development

A new analysis of the worldwide effort to sequence the coronavirus genome has revealed the scale of the genetic changes that are occurring in the virus known as SARS-CoV-2, as it spreads across the world. These changes have important implications for molecular diagnostics and potentially vaccine success. Led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the research identified several…

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Nephritis as a marker

Kidney an early warning sign for severe COVID-19 cases

A course of action to early detect and treat severe courses of COVID-19 infections has been developed by an expert-team of the University Medical Center Goettingen (UMG). A simple urine test is intended to help medical professionals to recognize warning signs of future decompensation of COVID-19 infections earlier. With the help of a few parameters, the treatment of imminent complications can…

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Post-intensive care syndrome (PICS)

How physical therapists can aid COVID-19 patients' recovery after ICU

At least half of all patients who survive treatment in an intensive care unit will experience at least one of a triad of problems associated with post-intensive care syndrome, or PICS, and this may be true for people recovering from COVID-19 following ICU care. PICS can manifest as problems with physical function, cognition and mental health, according to a fact sheet from the American Thoracic…

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A look at oligodendrocytes

Parkinson’s disease may start in the gut

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet and the University of North Carolina have mapped out the cell types behind various brain disorders. The findings are published in Nature Genetics and offer a roadmap for the development of new therapies to target neurological and psychiatric disorders.

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Programmed cell death

Cellular mechanism protecting against cancer

Susanne Hellmuth and Olaf Stemmann from the Chair of Genetics at the University of Bayreuth have discovered a natural protective mechanism that leads to the programmed death of potentially diseased cells.

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Tools for practitioners

Computational pathology: Heading for personalised medicine

Computational pathology has increased applications for diagnosis, prediction of prognosis and therapy response, facilitating the movement of healthcare towards personalised medicine. Coupled with deep learning, such tools are ever more efficient and robust within research and clinical settings. The growing role of computational pathology was highlighted by Professor Andrew Janowczyk at the…

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Amyloid beta regulation

CRISPR helps identify potential Alzheimer's-related protein

Experts at the University of Tokyo have identified a new protein in the pathway that leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers used the “molecular scissors” of CRISPR/Cas9 to search for new genes related to the neurodegenerative disease. The exact causes of Alzheimer’s disease remain unknown, but one of the most well- supported theories focuses on a protein called amyloid beta.…

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Better diagnosis, better treatment

Prostate cancer deaths to decline (almost) everywhere in the EU

Death rates from prostate cancer are predicted to fall in 2020 in the EU, largely due to better diagnosis and treatment, according to new research published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology. In the latest predictions for cancer deaths in the EU for 2020, researchers led by Carlo La Vecchia (MD), Professor at the School of Medicine, University of Milan (Italy), show that since 2015…

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Coronavirus treatment

Promising trial drug blocks early stages of COVID-19

An international team led by University of British Columbia (UBC) researcher Dr. Josef Penninger has found a trial drug that effectively blocks the cellular door SARS-CoV-2 uses to infect its hosts. The findings, published in Cell, hold promise as a treatment capable of stopping early infection of the novel coronavirus that, as of April 2, has affected more than 981,000 people and claimed the…

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Medulloblastoma

New insights into deadly brain tumours in children

The causes of 40 percent of all cases of certain medulloblastoma – dangerous brain tumors affecting children – are hereditary. A genetic defect that occurs in 15 percent of these children plays a key role by destabilizing the production and breakdown of proteins. The researchers suspect that protein metabolism defects could be a previously underestimated cause of other types of cancer.

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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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Cause for colorectal carcinoma

Loss of protein can drive intestinal cancer

An international team of researchers from the University of Zurich, the University Hospital Zurich, Heidelberg and Glasgow has identified a novel function for the cell death regulating protein MCL1: It is essential in protecting the intestine against cancer development – independent of bacterial-driven inflammation. These findings have implications for the use of MCL1 inhibitors, currently…

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Surprising discovery

Fatty liver disease can also affect lean people

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is mostly diagnosed in overweight and obese people. However, severe forms of NAFLD can also be detected in rare genetic diseases such as lipodystrophy or in patients with HIV, putting them at a high risk for developing liver failure, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Norbert Stefan and colleagues have now detected a yet unknown cause of NAFLD in lean…

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Altered chromosomes

Breast cancer: targeted therapy can lead to treatment resistance

If chromosomes are unevenly distributed or otherwise altered during cell division, this normally damages the daughter cells and impairs their viability. Not in cancer cells, however, in which chromosome instability can actually confer a growth advantage under certain circumstances. Moreover, as scientists from the German Cancer Research Center have now demonstrated in mice, changes in the…

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Pilot clinical trial

China to test targeted therapy for COVID-19

A University of British Columbia (UBC) researcher is part of an international team working with a biotechnology company on a pilot clinical trial of a potential new treatment for patients with severe coronavirus infections in China. Dr. Josef Penninger, director of UBC’s Life Sciences Institute and Canada 150 Chair in Functional Genetics, is working closely with Vienna-based Apeiron Biologics…

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Releasing the brakes on Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Potential new methods for DMD therapies

Researchers identified a group of small molecules that may open the door to developing new therapies for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), an as-yet-uncured disease that results in devastating muscle weakening and loss. The molecules tested by the team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania eased repression of a specific gene, utrophin, in mouse muscle cells,…

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BCG vs tumour recurrence

Modified tuberculosis vaccine shows promise against bladder cancer

The human immune system can recognize and eliminate not only germs but also cancer cells. This is why treatments with weakened germs can help the immune system in its fight against cancer. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin have genetically modified the tuberculosis vaccine BCG in a way that it stimulates the immune system more specifically. Consequently, the…

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On the way to diagnostic mainstream

Liquid biopsy to advance cancer diagnosis

Liquid biopsy offers a new dimension to detection and stratification of cancer – yet the technique also faces hurdles and challenges in becoming a mainstream diagnostic approach that will help facilitate more personalised treatments. A critical challenge lies in identifying the extremely low concentrations of the bio-analytes of CTC (circulating tumour cells), ctDNA (circulating tumour DNA) and…

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Promising metabolite

Gut flora could hold the key for new diabetes treatments

An organic compound produced by the gut flora – the metabolite 4-Cresol – is considered to have protective effects against both type 1 and 2 diabetes, notably by stimulating the growth of the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. This is according to a new study led by Inserm researcher Dominique Gauguier at the Environmental Toxicology, Therapeutic Targets, Cell Signaling and Biomarkers…

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Cancer radiotherapy monitoring

Novel hydrogel turns pink to indicate radiation dose sweet spot

More than half of all cancer patients undergo radiation therapy and the dose is critical. Too much and the surrounding tissue gets damaged, too little and the cancer cells survive. Subhadeep Dutta and Karthik Pushpavanam, graduate students working in the lab of Kaushal Rege, Professor at Arizona State University in Tempe, and collaborators at Banner-M.D. Anderson in Gilbert, Arizona, developed a…

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Triple-negative forms impeded

Scientists stop breast cancer cells from spreading in the lab

Biologists have discovered a way to stop cells from one of the most aggressive types of breast cancer spreading in the lab. The study points towards new avenues of research to combat the devastating disease. The results of the study of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer by the team from the Universities of Manchester, Glasgow and Sheffield and funded by Breast Cancer Now are published in Oncogene.…

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Genomic insights into 2019-nCoV

New coronavirus: largest meta-analysis yet answers important questions

Scientists at the University of Bologna have conducted the largest analysis of coronavirus 2019-nCoV genomes sequenced so far. This analysis confirms that the virus originates in bats and shows a low variability: the virus heterogeneity is low. At the same time, researchers identified a hyper-variable genomic hotspot in the proteins of the virus responsible for the existence of two virus…

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Early detection

Support for lung cancer screening gains momentum in Scotland

The need to consider a formal recommendation on early screening for lung cancer was acknowledged by the Cross Party Group for Cancer, held at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh in January. Attended by over 40 people representing patients, the medical community, and the pharmaceutical industry as well as political advisers and Members of the Scottish Parliament, the Group agreed to write to the…

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Blood coagulation

Treating hemophilia with gene therapy

Within the framework of an international study, Lund University and Skåne University Hospital have started treating patients with hemophilia with gene therapy, something that began in January this year. The hope is that the new treatment will significantly simplify everyday life for those with severe hemophilia. Hemophilia is a genetic disease where the body does not produce one of the clotting…

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One-size-fits-all-approach

New T-cell could make ‘universal’ cancer therapy possible

Researchers at Cardiff University have discovered a new type of killer T-cell that offers hope of a “one-size-fits-all” cancer therapy. T-cell therapies for cancer - where immune cells are removed, modified and returned to the patient’s blood to seek and destroy cancer cells - are the latest paradigm in cancer treatments. The most widely-used therapy, known as CAR-T, is personalised to each…

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Sex-specific genes

Heart valve defect: female and male hearts react differently

When the heart valve between the aorta and the left ventricle is narrowed, i.e. aortic valve stenosis is present, different genes are active in men than in women. Scientists of the German Centre for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK) at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have discovered this for the first time. Future research can be planned more precisely according to these results and could…

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Gastric squamous-columnar junction cancer

The role of stem cells in deadly gastric SCJ cancer

A study led by scientists from Cornell University provides important new insights into a common and deadly type of gastric cancer. Incidence of this cancer, called gastric squamous-columnar junction (SCJ) cancer, also known as gastroesophageal cancer, rose 2.5 times in the United States between the 1970s and 2000s, while cases of all gastric cancers have decreased by more than 80% since the…

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Chasing the causes of cancer

Mapping cancer-related proteins in unprecedented detail

Researchers at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) have gained new understandings of two key complexes of cancer-related proteins by producing the most detailed ever maps of the structures they form when they come together. The study reveals that the two protein complexes come together in cells in a series of steps that change how their individual component proteins are arranged together. It…

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TMAs in digital pathology

Infusing tissue micro­arrays with new, 'digital' life

The advent of digital pathology is helping to address some of the challenges surrounding tissue microarrays as they are integrated into the digital workflow, in some ways giving them ‘a new lease of life’, according to Professor Inti Zlobec, who spoke at the Digital Pathology and AI Congress in London last December. As Head of the Translational Research Unit at the Institute of Pathology,…

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Detailed map of immune cells

The Human Blood Atlas: a mighty new tool to fight deadly diseases

A first-ever map of the human body’s immune cells has been created by scientists at SciLifeLab, providing medical research with a detailed description of the proteins in human blood. The open-access database offers medical researchers an unprecedented resource in the search for treatments for diseases. Published in the journal Science, the Blood Atlas resource is the latest database to be…

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Armed antibodies

Tough against cancer, gentle to the immune system

Scientists from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) at Tübingen University Hospital have managed to attach immunostimulatory cytokines to cancer-specific antibodies for the first time in such a way that they activate the immune response against cancer without causing a dangerous overreaction by the immune system. The research team has now been granted…

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Multiple myeloma therapy

Finding a formula for blood cancer vaccine

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered a way to move precision immunotherapy forward by using genomics to inform immunotherapy for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, according to a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, in December. This is the first study to experimentally determine which…

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The future has begun

Cancer care 2035: multi-disciplinarity is key

An enthralling insight into the care that could be offered to cancer patients of the future was presented by cancer imaging expert Professor Regina Beets-Tan during her a keynote presentation at the recent British Institute of Radiology congress. In the session ‘Oncologic imaging: Future perspectives’, the professor outlined what a Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT) of the future – a team in…

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Grant for AI and genomic analysis

AI help for better diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the second cause of cancer-related death in men. Currently, its diagnosis occurs via imaging and must be confirmed by biopsy. Simona Turco from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) wants to improve prostate cancer diagnosis by using machine learning algorithms to localize tumors and thereby replace entirely the necessity for biopsies. Besides, by combining this with…

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Blood thinning 2.0

Developing next generation anticoagulants

A University of Leeds spin-out company has secured £3.14m to develop a next generation drug that aims to prevent blood clots forming, without the risk of bleeding present in currently available drugs. Currently, anticoagulants have a relatively narrow margin between beneficial effects and undesirable bleeding, so new approaches are in demand. These could allow more patients that have a higher…

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Radiology + data + AI = ?

Today and future radiomics

Radiomics is one of the most exciting topics in radiology. It involves data and artificial intelligence (AI) but very few people know or understand the details. In her lecture ‘How does Radiomics work?’, presented at the German Radiology Congress in Leipzig, Professor Ulrike Attenberger outlined how radiomics will advance radiology but also the obstacles faced along the way.

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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

3D model of human liver tissue for better NAFLD diagnosis

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is becoming the most common chronic liver disorder in developed countries. Histological analysis of liver tissue is the only widely accepted test for diagnosing and distinguishing different stages of NAFLD. However, this technique provides only two-dimensional images of the liver tissue in low resolution and overlooks potentially important 3D structural…

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Smart devices and more

New GE imaging tech and intelligent apps unveiled at RSNA

At RSNA 2019, GE Healthcare launches more than 30 new, imaging intelligent applications and smart devices designed to drive efficiency in radiology departments, aiming to double productivity and cost savings for systems by 2025. For healthcare executives, the new offerings help systems to save costs, improve technology utilization, and increase patient volumes. Clinicians also will benefit from…

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Mammacarcinoma screening

Breast cancer: Simply monitoring might be best

Breast cancer screening is a well-designed and scientifically proven, evidence-based procedure, but has pitfalls such as under-detection and over-diagnosis. Surgery or radiotherapy may have serious consequences on health and must therefore be administered in carefully selected patients.

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Malignant infantile brain tumours

​Epilepsy drug inhibits brain tumour development

Medication prescribed for a certain type of epilepsy may offer a new method for treating malignant infantile brain tumours. A specific mTOR inhibitor has the ability to cross the blood–brain barrier to both reach and attack the tumour at source. This has been demonstrated by researchers from Uppsala University, in collaboration with US and UK colleagues, whose research has now been published in…

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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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Networking event

Future of Personalised Medicine Summit was a success

Next generation sequencing, big data, microeconomics and more: At the Future of Personalized Medicine (FOPM) Summit for Oncology in Munich, experts from the fields of Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Hospitals, and Academics came together to discuss the Future of Medicine. Group Futurista, the organizers of the 2-day networking event, are happy to announce that the summit was a huge success. Their…

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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. The basic mechanisms of resistance…

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New research

Cancer patients at higher risk of dying from heart disease and stroke

More than one in ten cancer patients do not die from their cancer but from heart and blood vessel problems instead, according to new research published in the European Heart Journal. For some cancers, like breast, prostate, endometrial, and thyroid cancer, around half will die from cardiovascular disease (CVD). Dr Nicholas Zaorsky, a radiation oncologist, and Dr Kathleen Sturgeon, an assistant…

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Diagnostics & therapy

AI: Hype, hope and reality

Artificial intelligence (AI) opens up a host of new diagnostic methods and treatments. Almost daily we read about physicians, researchers or companies that are developing an AI system to identify malignant lesions or dangerous cardiac patterns, or that can personalise healthcare. ‘Currently, we are too focused on the topic,’ observes Professor Christian Johner, of the Johner Institute for…

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Surgery to reduce obesity-related mortality

When diet and excercise alone are not enough

Obesity not only means someone is overweight but, over time, they will probably suffer sequelae that increasingly impair quality of life and are potentially fatal – these include hypertension, coronary heart disease, type two diabetes, pulmonary function disorders, tumours, plus an increased risk during surgery and anaesthesia. In patients with morbid obesity, class three obesity, according to…

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KUKA Innovation Award

Five Healthy Living finalists selected

Augsburg, Bavaria – Five teams of robotics specialists are finalists in the KUKA Innovation Award 2019 competition. Established in 2014, the Award focuses on medical robotics for the first time, Dr Rainer Bischoff, Vice President Corporate Research at KUKA, one of the judges of the award, explained. Around thirty talented robotics teams from all over the world submitted their concepts and an…

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Healthcare 2.0 by NVIDIA

Deploying AI in healthcare

With the right tools, physicians could transform the lives of patients and scientists. For Kimberly Powell, Vice President of Healthcare at NVIDIA, artificial intelligence is such a tool, and could meet the increasing demand for personalised medicine and next-generation clinics. ‘AI is the biggest technological breakthrough of our lifetime.’

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Chronic inflammations

GATA-3: 'Switching off' allergies and asthma

Chronic inflammatory diseases, such as allergies and asthma, are not only an acute problem but also a major research and prevention challenge. We spoke with Professor Harald Renz, Director of the Institute for Laboratory Medicine at the University Hospital Gießen/Marburg, Germany, and discussed the major reason for increases in the number of these widespread diseases.

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Positive findings in PD-1 inhibitor immunotherapy

Hope increases for HIV cancer patients

Advances in antiretroviral therapy mean that today, people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can expect a healthy and long life. However, living with HIV does increase the risk of cancer. The reasons for this are multiple and include behavioural risk factors (smoking etc.) but many cancers can be attributed to the effects the virus has on the immune system, specifically its…

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Good for some, not all

Robotic surgery: Myths and misconceptions

The first use of a robot-supported surgical intervention was reported in 1985, when the robot arm PUMA 560 placed a needle for a cerebral biopsy using CT guidance. Since then, strong growth in the market for robotic surgery has occurred, due to an increasing automation demand in the healthcare as a whole and greater concentration on minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for faster recovery.…

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Robotic assistance for middle and inner ear procedures

Cochlear implant microsurgery progresses

Unlike other surgical specialties, ear nose and throat (ENT) has been poorly served by the introduction of robotic platforms to enhance procedures. Since the da Vinci system first gained FDA approval in 2000, robot-assisted surgery has become commonplace in many specialties, including neurology, urology, etc. with numerous other general surgical applications. However, existing systems including…

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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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Inhalation visualised

New imaging tech gives insights into pulmonary drug delivery

Inhalation therapy is widely used for the treatment of lung diseases. Targeting of drugs to the site of disease is a major goal to improve drug efficacy and minimize side effects. Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich have now shown that combined insight from various imaging methods allows for real-time monitoring of the dynamic process of drug…

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Laboratory economics

Lab services: Don’t cut the cost!

In recent years, whenever the German media reported on laboratory medicine, questions consistently arose: ‘How can excessive costs for lab services be cut?’ and ‘How could money saved be distributed among other medical specialists and general medicine practitioners (GPs)?’ The questions are myopic in their failure to address two important aspects of laboratory medicine – its…

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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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Meta-analysis

Benefit and risk: drug-coated balloon angioplasty

Scientists of Jena University Hospital, Germany, conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate benefit and risk of paclitaxel-coated balloon angioplasty compared to conventional balloon angioplasty as therapy of intermittent claudication. The study confirms an increased all-cause mortality, which has formerly been stated, and found a broad heterogeneity in the effectivity of the procedure depending on…

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EMA recommandation for Ervebo

Ebola: first vaccine to protect against deadly virus

It is an important step towards fighting one of the deadliest viruses known to man: The human medicines committee (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation in the European Union for Ervebo (rVSVΔG-ZEBOV-GP), the first vaccine for active immunisation of individuals aged 18 years and older at risk of infection with the Ebola virus.…

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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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Neurology

Overcoming the blood-brain-barrier: Delivering therapeutics to brain

For the first time, scientists have found a way that can effectively transport medication into the brain - which could lead to improved treatments for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. In a study, scientists from Newcastle University have led an international team in a major breakthrough in unlocking the secrets of how medications can infiltrate the brain.

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Lumacaftor-ivacaftor

Cystic fibrosis patients benefit from drug combination, but...

In adolescent and adult patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) taking lumacaftor-ivacaftor (Orkambi), the combination drug appears to improve lung function and body weight and reduce the need for intravenous antibiotic treatment, according to a French study published online in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. However, the treatment also…

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Public health in the UK

'Every Mind Matters': NHS launches mental health campaign

A new awareness campaign launched by the National Health Service (NHS) aims to tackle the growing issue of mental disorders in the UK. 'Every Mind Matters' encourages adults to be more aware of their mental health and helps them to discover simple steps to look after their mental health and wellbeing. The campaign offers free, NHS-approved mental health resources, via the One You website, which…

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Difficult decisions

5 things women under 40 should know about breast cancer

Breast cancer is rare for women under 40. So, a breast cancer diagnosis can be shocking news for a young woman to hear. “Breast cancer in young women can have its own risk factors and traits, and young women have their own considerations when deciding on a treatment,” says Nadine Tung, MD, head of breast medical oncology and cancer genetics at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).…

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New transfection approach

Immunotherapy: The 'FedEx and UPS equivalent of DNA delivery'

Immunotherapy is a promising cancer treatment that uses genetically modified immune cells to fight cancer. It can be used as a primary treatment or in combination with other treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy to slow down or stop the growth of cancer cells and prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body. Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy, for instance, is a…

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AI in diagnostics

Learn like a human, deduce like a machine

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is like a huge blanket that can cover anything from innocuous chess computers to robots which, depending on your viewpoint, could save, oppress or obliterate humanity. However, not every jar labelled AI contains AI. So what is intelligence and can it be created artificially, synthesised like a nature-identical flavouring substance?

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Vascular surgery

New lease of life thanks to new aorta

Patients with the rare Loeys-Dietz syndrome suffer from aortic enlargement which may result in sudden over-expansion and a fatal aortic tear. In order to prevent this from happening, an aortic prosthesis must be implanted. A team of vascular surgeons at the University Hospital of Zurich was one of the first in the world to risk undertaking this life-saving operation on a child as an emergency…

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Watson on the case

Personalised cancer care through AI

The Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) is the first European university hospital to utilize IBM’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology to help uncover therapeutic options for cancer patients. HUG will use the IBM Watson Health’s precision oncology offering, Watson for Genomics, an AI tool that enables oncologists to provide patients with more personalized, evidence-based cancer care. Using…

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Cancer of unknown primary

CUP: in search for the smoking gun

Cancer of unknown primary (CUP) can send radiologists on a frustrating scavenger hunt: metastases were detected but the primary cancer is nowhere to be seen. Professor Alwin Krämer, Head of the Clinical Cooperation Unit Molecular Haematology/Oncology at University Hospital Heidelberg and the German Cancer Research Center, explains strategies for dealing with CUP.

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Onvision needle tip tracking

A breakthrough in real-time ultrasound guidance for regional anesthesia

Royal Philips and B. Braun Melsungen AG announced the launch of Onvision, a breakthrough ultrasound guidance solution for real-time needle tip tracking in regional anesthesia. Available on the latest version of the B. Braun and Philips Xperius ultrasound system, Onvision gives anesthesiologists the confidence to accurately position the needle tip inside the body. The introduction is part of a…

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Reopening blood vessels

Microbubbles and ultrasound can help treat heart attacks

Doctors are using microbubbles and ultrasound to treat heart attacks – deploying these traditional diagnostic tools in an attempt to reopen tiny blood vessels, reduce scar size and restore heart function, according to a study described at a medical conference in Chicago. “This study shows for the first time that microbubbles can be used to both diagnose and treat small vessel obstructions…

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Methylation of microRNA

Is it cancer? New method could tell the difference

Levels of molecules associated with genetic function, such as microRNA, can be an important indicator of abnormal activity associated with cancer. However, little is known about how different molecules are altered in cancerous cells. Now, researchers from Japan have found a new way of distinguishing cancerous from non-cancerous tissues. In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers…

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‘Smart’ approach to AF

mHealth to help detect atrial fibrillation

A new study, presented as ‘Late Breaking Science’ at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) annual congress, highlights the feasible use of mobile health (mHealth) devices to help with the screening and detection of atrial fibrillation (AF), a common heart condition. AF causes an irregular and sometimes, abnormally fast heart rate. The heart’s upper chambers (atria) contract randomly and…

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After myocardial infarction

Patching up a damaged heart

Scientists in the UK have developed tiny patches of engineered heart tissue that have the potential to be implanted to help people recover from a heart attack. Measuring approximately 3cm x 2cm, the patches contain up to 50 million human-induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CM). Yet, these are programmed to turn into working heart muscle that can beat and gradually be…

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POCUS

Point-of-care ultrasound – a valuable tool for nephrology

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) systems are becoming a common sight in nephrology departments and renal dialysis clinics, helping clinical staff to evaluate and effectively access the vasculature of dialysis patients. Dr Jean-Yves Bosc, a nephrologist and vascular doctor working at the non-profit private health establishment AIDER SANTÉ in the South of France, has been a champion of ultrasound…

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PRIMAGE project

Aiming AI at lethal paediatric tumours

La Fe University and Polytechnic Hospital in Valencia, Spain, is coordinating EU-funded program PRIMAGE, which uses precision information from medical imaging to advance knowledge of the most lethal paediatric tumours, by establishing their prognosis and expected treatment response using radiomics, imaging biomarkers and artificial intelligence (AI).

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Draft guidance

FDA: Include male breast cancer patients in trials

In its latest draft guidance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourages inclusion of males in breast cancer clinical trials. Historically, males either have not been included in clinical trials for drugs to treat breast cancer or inclusion of males in those trials has been very limited; when finalized, the draft guidance will provide clarity for industry regarding clinical…

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Wishlist

Cancer prevention scrutinised

The latest study by the German Society for Haematology and Oncology (DGHO), ‘Prognosis for population-based morbidity for common cancers in Germany – impact on provision’ has made it clear that due to demographic developments in Germany and to medical advances in oncology, the requirements for cancer patients’ care are ever more diverse. The increase in newly diagnosed cancer patients is…

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Methods, quality assurance, commercial providers issues

Molecular testing takes a huge leap

In terms of success in revolutionary cancer treatment, molecular genetic examination procedures have developed immensely over recent years. They now range from conventional polymerase chain reactions (PCR) or fluorescence-in-situ hybridisation (FISH) to Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) with analysis of the entire exome or genome (Whole-Exome, WES or Whole-Genome, WGS) and of the transcriptome…

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LITMUS vs NAFLD

Towards better diagnosis and treatment of liver disease

A pioneering European research project designed to develop new diagnostic tests to assess patients with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) has expanded giving access to more patients. Liver Investigation: Testing Marker Utility in Steatohepatitis (LITMUS) funded by the European Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint undertaking, brings together clinical scientists from international…

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Stem cell regeneration

Drug accelerates recovery after chemo, radiation

A drug developed by US physician-scientists and chemists speeds up the regeneration of mouse and human blood stem cells after exposure to radiation. If the results can be replicated in humans, the compound could help people recover quicker from chemotherapy, radiation and bone marrow transplants. The study, published in Nature Communications, also sheds light on the basic biology behind blood…

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Gene editing

Taking CRISPR one step further

Researchers at ETH Zurich have refined the famous CRISPR-Cas method. Now, for the very first time, it is possible to modify dozens, if not hundreds, of genes in a cell simultaneously. The biotechnological method CRISPR-Cas offers a relatively quick and easy way to manipulate single genes in cells, meaning they can be precisely deleted, replaced or modified. Furthermore, in recent years,…

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Watching the change

Predicting cancer risk with computational electrodynamics

Researchers from Northwestern University are using Argonne supercomputers to advance the development of an optical microscopy technique that can predict and quantify cancer risks at extremely early stages. The basic principle driving Allen Taflove’s computational electrodynamics research — which bears the potential to transform how we diagnose, and possibly treat, various forms of cancer —…

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Multiscale integrative cross-disciplinary imaging

Linking pathology and radiology workflows

Pathologic-radiologic correlation is already utilised in various settings as a tool to assess the interpretive performance of imaging studies and identify radiologic features corresponding to histologic findings. However, correlative assessment is currently limited mainly to the fields of research and quality assurance, and is generally not a routine element of the radiologist or pathologist…

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Personalized medicine

Exploring the potential of High-Content Screening

The key challenges and opportunities surrounding High-Content Screening have been outlined in a presentation to leading scientists and technologists at a major lab conference. Speaking at the recent SLASEurope 2019 event in Barcelona, Professor Matthias Nees from the Institute of Biomedicine in the Department of Biology at the University of Turku, Finland, outlined the potential of High-Content…

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Personalised medicine

Why digital twins could be the ideal therapy testbed

Advanced computer models of diseases can be used to improve diagnosis and treatment. The goal is to develop the models to “digital twins” of individual patients. Those twins may help to computationally identify and try the best medication, before actually treating a patient. The models are the result of an international study, published in the open access journal Genome Medicine.

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Dose reduction

Increasing precision for radiotherapy

A new way of concentrating radiotherapy dose in tumours, while minimising damage to healthy cells, has been proposed in research led by scientists at the University of Strathclyde. The study proposes that focusing high-energy particle beams on a small spot deep inside the body could potentially enable clinicians to target cancerous tumours precisely, while reducing the dose to surrounding tissue.…

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Nuclear magnetic resonance relaxometry

Hydration sensor could improve dialysis

For patients with kidney failure who need dialysis, removing fluid at the correct rate and stopping at the right time is critical. This typically requires guessing how much water to remove and carefully monitoring the patient for sudden drops in blood pressure. Currently there is no reliable, easy way to measure hydration levels in these patients, who number around half a million in the United…

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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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Microbiology & hygiene

HAIs are one problem – MDROs another

In view of the increase of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO), the World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared antibiotic resistance one of the biggest threats to global health. MDROs have become a major problem particularly in hospitals. Professor Dr Georg Häcker, President of the German Society of Hygiene and Microbiology (DGHM) and Director of the Institute for Microbiology and Hygiene at…

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Miniscule swimmers

Microrobots could re-shape drug delivery

Scientists have developed minute flexible robots that could help revolutionise drug delivery in the future. These ‘microrobots’ are so small that they could be ingested, or inserted into human veins to deliver drug therapies directly to diseased body areas.

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"Alliance for Precision Health”

Missouri University partners up with Siemens

Siemens Healthineers, University of Missouri System (UM System) and University of Missouri Health Care (MU Health Care) launch "Alliance for Precision Health.” The ten-year collaboration will bring the partners’ expertise together to improve health care in Missouri State, promote education and launch research initiatives. Among other things, the clinic receives the only 7 Tesla MRI…

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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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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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Double danger

MS patients at a greater risk of cancer, new study suggests

New results of a 65-year follow-up study of nearly 7,000 Norwegian patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) suggest that patients may have a greater overall risk of developing cancer than the general population, with an especially high risk of cancer in respiratory organs, urinary organs and the central nervous system. Presented at the 5th European Academy of Neurology (EAN) Congress in Oslo,…

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Digital twin

Collaboration of the future: and AI makes three

In view of the advent of personalised medicine and holistic therapy many experts predict the end of healthcare as we know it. However, in many places it is ‘healthcare business as usual’. In our interview, Dr Christoph Zindel, President Diagnostic Imaging at Siemens Healthineers, explains where he sees radiology bridging the gap between symptom-centred treatment today and the systemic…

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Prostate cancer data

Mapping the inflammatory landscape

Image analysis of prostate cancer is a challenging area for clinicians. The disease shows a low mutation burden compared to melanoma and stomach cancer, for example, making morpho-molecular correlation more difficult, and there is often very low inflammation. With the role of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes in prostate cancer currently unclear – and with the advent of new approaches to prostate…

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Photonics

Rapid tissue analysis: Laser light detects tumors

Cancer - this diagnosis affects almost every second German at some point in his life. It is the second most frequent cause of death in Germany. But the earlier the disease is diagnosed, the greater are the chances of surviving it. A team of researchers from Jena present a groundbreaking new method for the rapid, gentle and reliable detection of tumors with laser light at the leading trade fair…

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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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Macular Degeneration

Implanted drug ‘reservoir’ reduces injections

In a clinical trial of 220 people with “wet” age-related macular degeneration, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers, collaborators from many sites across the country, and Genentech in South San Francisco have added to evidence that using a new implant technology that continuously delivers medication into the eyes is safe and effective in helping maintain vision and reduces the need for…

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Microsatellites

Stomach and colorectal cancer: AI identifyies patients for immunotherapy

Changes in certain sections of the genetic material of cancer cells, so-called microsatellites, can provide an important indication of whether immunotherapy may be successful in a patient with stomach or colorectal cancer. Scientists from Uniklinik RWTH Aachen, the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and the National Center for Tumor Diseases Heidelberg (NCT)…

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Oncology

Killing the unkillable cancer cells

We all know someone affected by the battle against cancer. And we know that treatments can be quite efficient at shrinking the tumor but too often, they can’t kill all the cells, and so it may come back. With some aggressive types of cancer, the problem is so great that there is very little that can be done for the patients.

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Intervention in fat metabolism

Improved diabetes in spite of obesity

Eating too much fat and sugar makes you overweight and unhealthy – even young children know that. But why is that, and is there anything we can do about it? In a study published in the journal Cell, Prof. Jens Brüning's research group at the Max Planck Institute for Metabolism Research in Cologne has shown how altering fat metabolism in the liver can make obese mice thinner, despite eating an…

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Artificial Intelligence

Allying AI to biomarkers is powerful but validation remains challenging

Using artificial intelligence (AI) to push development of imaging biomarkers shows great promise to improve disease understanding. This alliance could be a game changer in healthcare but, to advance research, clinical validation and variability of results must be factored in, a prominent Spanish radiologist advises. In clinical practice efforts are already ongoing to apply AI to obtain new…

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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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Flow cytometry

Living cells – the essential biomarker

The team of the Heinz Nixdorf Chair of Biomedical Electronics at the Technical University of Munich focuses on innovative diagnostic tools to accelerate the development towards personalized medicine. Therapies tailored to the individual patient – this is the future not only of oncology but of many medical disciplines. “At this point, however,” concedes Professor Dr Oliver Hayden,…

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New study

Ribosome inhibition may hold the key to multi-stage cancer treatment

Nearly 90% of all cancer patient deaths are due to metastasis. A study from Uppsala University shows that a process that allows the cells to metastasise is aided by the synthesis of new ribosomes, the cell components in which proteins are produced. The results open the possibility for new treatment strategies for advanced cancers. The study is published in Nature Communications. As tumours…

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Induced pluripotent stem (iPS)

Researchers find way to generate stem cells more efficiently

Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are among the most important tools in modern biomedical research, leading to new and promising possibilities in precision medicine. To create them requires transforming a cell of one type, such as skin, into something of a blank slate, so it has the potential to become virtually any other kind of cell in the body, useful for regenerative therapies for…

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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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Oestrogen-receptor positive, HER2-negative

Test determines most effective treatment for breast cancer

A breast cancer test has been found that helps doctors make treatment decisions for some breast cancer patients, following research carried out at Queen Mary University of London and funded by Cancer Research UK. The test was successful in predicting whether chemotherapy would be beneficial for patients with the most common type of breast cancer (oestrogen-receptor positive, HER2-negative),…

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Quality assurance

1,500 radiation therapy centers choose myQA

IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.), the world’s leading provider of proton therapy solutions and radiation therapy integrated quality assurance (QA) for the treatment of cancer, announced at the ESTRO 38 congress, that it has reached the milestone of 1,500 myQA customers worldwide. Since the first release of myQA in 2015, IBA has rapidly expanded its customer base across the global radiation…

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Health Innovation Night

Digitization: New therapy approaches for the patient 'hospital'

Digitalization offers great potential for hospitals: diseases can be detected earlier, internal processes more efficiently organized, health expenditure reduced and patients better cared for. Artificial intelligence, robotics, sensor technology, big data, additive manufacturing or augmented reality - the technologies for this have long been available.

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Mass spectrometry in patient care

LC-MS/MS: Why qualitatively high-value analysis is cheaper in the end

In the past, we repeatedly focused our attention on developments in the clinical application of mass spectrometry-based methods in patient care. Various aspects became significant. Today, the use of Liquid Chromatography Triple Quad Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) can be considered today’s standard, although classically applied immunoassays continue to be…

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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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Tailored treatment needed

Half of patients on statins fail to reach ‘healthy’ cholesterol level after 2 years

Half of patients prescribed statins in primary care fail to reach ‘healthy’ cholesterol levels after two years of treatment with these drugs, reveals research published online in the journal Heart. The findings back up those of previous studies, and highlight the need for personalised medicine to tackle high cholesterol and lower the significantly increased risks of future heart disease and…

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Personalized medicine

FDA approves first targeted therapy for metastatic bladder cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to Balversa (erdafitinib), a treatment for adult patients with locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer that has a type of susceptible genetic alteration known as FGFR3 or FGFR2, and that has progressed during or following prior platinum-containing chemotherapy. Patients should be selected for therapy with Balversa…

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Differentiate and select

Myths and truths about antibiotics, antiseptics and vaccination

Sixty-two percent of Germans fear antibiotic resistance, according to a survey recently conducted by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. ‘Patients colonised by multi-resistant pathogens are particularly scared. But many of these fears are rooted in misunderstandings,’ explained Professor Mathias Pletz at the Congress for Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine (KIT).

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Blood transfusions

Donor organs become immunologically invisible

The safety of blood transfusions is questioned again and again by the mass media. Sometimes ‘bad’ blood causes infections; sometimes a transfusion leads to cancer years later. The fact is that transfer blood is subjected to the highest safety standards – there are very clear statutory regulations. Nonetheless, there will be shortages of ‘life’s fluid’ because, given increasing…

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CMT, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's

Study links key protein to Charcot-Marie-Tooth and other nerve diseases

A new study provides critical insight into a little-known, yet relatively common, inherited neurological condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). The findings point to a pathway to possible treatments for this disease and better understanding of other neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, that affect millions. The study focused on two related proteins, MFN2 and…

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In situ vaccination

Turning tumors into cancer vaccine factories

Researchers at Mount Sinai have developed a novel approach to cancer immunotherapy, injecting immune stimulants directly into a tumor to teach the immune system to destroy it and other tumor cells throughout the body. The “in situ vaccination” worked so well in patients with advanced-stage lymphoma that it is also undergoing trials in breast and head and neck cancer patients, according to a…

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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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Tumor-associated macrophages

Immune cells key to predicting cancer outcomes

Scientists have identified key changes in immune cells within cancerous tumours that could help improve the development of treatments. The study, which has been published in the journal Cancer Cell, also found a set of genes that are expressed at high levels in breast cancer tumours and linked to more aggressive cancer types. Researchers say the discoveries offer clues to diagnosis and predicting…

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Rapid diagnostics

T2 Biosystems hosts integrated symposium at ECCMID 2019

T2 Biosystems, maker of rapid diagnostic technology to aid in the detection of blood stream infections to prevent sepsis, will host an integrated symposium titled “Rapid Diagnostics Direct from Whole Blood: A Solution for Fast and Appropriate Antimicrobial Therapy,” at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) in Amsterdam, Monday, April 15, 16:00-18:00…

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Virology

Trapping viruses inside a cell: harmful or helpful?

Viruses are often used as vehicles for delivery in gene therapy because they’re engineered not to damage the cell once they get there, but neglecting to consider how the virus will exit the cell could have consequences. Some viruses use a molecule called heparan sulfate to help them attach to cells. The molecule, found in many different kinds of cells (including those from animal tissue), could…

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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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Meeting of the generations

We need a Senior Laboratory

It’s undeniable: the bulk of our population is growing older. Yet, this demographic change has not altered laboratory medicine: the reference values for many analyses are still based on data of a younger cohort. Inevitably this could lead to serious errors in the interpretation of older patients’ test results.

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Spatial cognition and neurodegeneration

When the compass fails

Where are we coming from? Where are we going? Where are we right now? Our sense of spatial orientation gives us answers to these questions. We spoke with Professor Thomas Wolbers about the problems of diagnosing orientation disturbances and how the measurement of our sense of space could help in the fight against neuro-degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s.

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Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Protein linked to cancer growth drives deadly lung disease IPF

A protein associated with cancer growth appears to drive the deadly lung disease known as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), according to new research from Cedars-Sinai. The discovery, made in laboratory mice and human tissue samples, may have implications for treating the disease using existing anti-cancer therapies that inhibit the protein PD-L1. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a chronic,…

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PARG inhibitors

New class of drugs could treat ovarian cancer

A team of researchers across The University of Manchester have shown that a new class of drugs are able to stop ovarian cancer cells growing. The Cancer Research UK and Wellcome Trust funded study, published in the journal Cancer Cell, showed that the drugs, called PARG inhibitors, can kill ovarian cancer cells by targeting weaknesses within their ability to copy their DNA. The first-in-class…

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Neurological complications

Enterovirus infections: The disease is rare and research scant

Neurological complications due to infections with (novel) enteroviruses are rarely the focus of medical research. Thus, an article published in the German medical journal Der Nervenarzt (published at the Medizinische Hochschule Hanover (MHH) – has created quite a stir. We spoke with one of the authors, Professor Martin Stangel, about current clinical practice in terms of enterovirus.…

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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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Morphology, texture, function, metabolism

Radiomics will transform tumour characterisation

Tumours change over time – and not only in size. They also evolve genetically, mutate and spread through equally diverse metastases. Each is unique and present with a more or less complex structure, but rarely as a unified entity. Characterising them from A to Z and from detection to neutralisation remains a challenge for modern medicine.

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Vive le algorithme

French government gets ready for AI in healthcare

The concept of artificial intelligence (AI) has been touted as an important aid for healthcare for at least adecade. However, despite years of research and major technical and scientific advances we are only at the beginning of its use in a medical environment. For AI to function correctly huge amounts of relevant data need to be accessible to its algorithms. France is conscious of being behind…

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Some problems remain

Some children can 'recover' from autism

Research in the past several years has shown that children can outgrow a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), once considered a lifelong condition. In a new study, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System have found that the vast majority of such children still have difficulties that require therapeutic and educational support.

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Cystic Fibrosis & COPD

An experimental treatment for chronic lung disease

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast have discovered a novel experimental treatment for chronic lung diseases that could improve the lives for people with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

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Glioblastoma

Researchers block protein to stop brain tumors' self-repair

Researchers at the San Diego branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at University of California San Diego, with colleagues around the country, report that inhibiting activity of a specific protein in glioblastomas (GBM) boosts their sensitivity to radiation, thus improving treatment prospects for one of the most common and aggressive forms of brain cancer. The findings are published…

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Algorithms in radiology

AI in diagnostics: Smart scans are the future

AI algorithms are making their way not just into diagnostic workstations, but will also in future be found in the diagnostic methods themselves. Prof. Mathias Goyen, Chief Medical Officer Europe at GE Healthcare, discusses AI algorithms in radiology. "According to a study by the consultancy firm Accenture, the estimated annual market volume for AI applications in healthcare in the USA will…

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Predicting the truth from hybrid imaging

Holomics: a trendy but complex topic

‘Is it possible to know whether a treatment will work before even starting it – in other words, to predict the truth? That’s the great promise of holomics, a concept that everyone has been involved in without even noticing,’ said leading French physicist Irène Buvat, from the In Vivo Molecular Imaging French lab, who is set to focus on this subject at ECR 2019. ‘The truth,’ said…

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Disrupted heartbeat

Why a blow to the chest can kill (or save) you

It is still a mystery why a blow to the chest can kill people by inducing cardiac arrest yet save others that are in cardiac arrest. We may be one step closer to an answer, however, thanks to a device developed by researchers of the University of Bern and the EPFL that can replicate the experience in the laboratory. A hefty blow to the chest can have entirely opposite outcomes. While, for…

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Drones or data cables?

Are humans too slow for digitalisation?

Today the impressive development of drones by some people is happily regarded as the pinnacle of digitalisation in healthcare. Some groups are testing whether drones can quickly and safely deliver defibrillators to patients in need or whether they can transport laboratory samples or blood products. These developments catch lots of attention, but PD Dr Dominik Pförringer, trauma and orthopaedic…

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Aggressive brain tumors

Progress in the treatment of glioblastoma

Cancer researchers at the University of Bonn have reported significant progress in the treatment of glioblastoma. About one third of all patients suffer from a particular variant of this most common and aggressive brain tumor. Survival of these patients treated with the new combination therapy increased on average by nearly half compared to patients who received the standard therapy.

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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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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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Endoprosthetics

Joint efforts: New guidelines for arthroplasty

According to the Swedish Knee Arthroplasty Register, knee arthroplasty – with a revision rate of five percent after ten years – is one of the most successful surgical interventions of the post-World War II decades. The most frequent reasons for revision are loosening or infections, whereas patient dissatisfaction is often caused by mobility impairment and pain. Since many adverse events are…

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Therapeutic progress

Cancer: riding the wave of innovation

In haematology and medical oncology, there is always something new. However, the increasing stratification of cancer therapies presents an enormous challenge for clinical research. Tumour cells – those altered genetically by mutation and thus ought to be recognised by the immune system and destroyed – manage to apply diverse molecular tricks to avoid attack by the immune system. Thus, they…

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Time for a revolution?

About the end of medicine, as we know it

Currently many researchers and experts assume that the next great socio-economic revolution will include a completely new definition of health and how we define illnesses and therapies. “Our health system today can no longer be sustained in its existing form. It has become too expensive and too ineffective,” Professor Harald Schmidt, head of the Department of Pharmacology and Personalised…

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Wound care

Healing helped by fish skin or bio-ink

Many methods to treat current or chronic wounds are available. However, the differences in general conditions prevailing in hospital, or for out-patient care, make effective therapy more difficult. Each patient also has other preconditions for healing. Improved communication between everyone involved in the treatment would benefit patients. We see a lot of progress with the issue of “wounds”,…

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AI, IT, data management

Digital attack on cancer

Several research groups at Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) are working on digitally combating cancer. The main goal is to combine and jointly evaluate existing information. With 500,000 new cancer cases every year in Germany alone, it is worthwhile comparing experiences with different diagnostic and treatment methods, thus allowing more patients to benefit from the most promising approaches. In…

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Hope for diabetics

Insulin-producing cells grown in lab

UC San Francisco researchers have for the first time transformed human stem cells into mature insulin-producing cells, a major breakthrough in the effort to develop a cure for type 1 (T1) diabetes. Replacing these cells, which are lost in patients with T1 diabetes, has long been a dream of regenerative medicine, but until now scientists had not been able to figure out how to produce cells in a…

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Morphine addiction

New pathway target for addiction therapy found

Activating a neural pathway from the Ventral Tegmental Area (VTA) to the Dorsal Raphe Nucleus (DRN) could significantly reduce morphine addiction while not affecting its analgesic effect, suggests new research led by Prof. Li Xiaoming from Zhejiang University’s School of Medicine. The study, published in the January issue of Neuron, found two parallel inhibitory neural pathways from VTA to DRN:…

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High-dose radiation therapy

Stereotactic radiation improves long-term survival in stage IV cancer patients

The first report from a phase II, multi-center clinical trial indicates that a newer, more aggressive form of radiation therapy — stereotactic radiation — can extend long-term survival for some patients with stage-IV cancers while maintaining their quality of life. The study is published in the January issue of International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics (Red Journal),…

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Dormant virus

Finding 'hidden' HIV in cells

Until now, researchers haven’t been able to accurately quantify a latent form of HIV that persists in patients’ immune cells. A new genetic technique is fast and 10 to 100 times more accurate than previous diagnostics. This hidden, inactive version of HIV embeds into cells’ genomes and can persist despite otherwise successful therapies – thwarting attempts to cure the infection. Using a…

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Ornithine Transcarbamylase deficiency

OTC deficiency: First patient benefits from gene therapy trial

A patient at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) was the first person in the world to take part in a pioneering gene therapy trial for Ornithine Transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency, a rare disease that causes toxic levels of ammonia to build up in the blood. Simon Smith, 45, was diagnosed with OTC deficiency as a teenager. Although he defied medical expectations by living a full life in…

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Endoscopy RFA

New tool opens doors for pancreatic cancer treatment

A significantly more effective, minimally invasive treatment for pancreatic tumors may be on the horizon, thanks to a new endoscopy tool created in the Penn State Department of Mechanical Engineering. On average, only about 20 percent of pancreatic cancer patients are eligible for a surgical removal of the tumor, which is currently the most-effective treatment option. The location of the pancreas…

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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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Cancer stem-like cells

Important signaling pathway in breast cancer revealed

In breast cancer, one of the most common cancers in women, tumors contain a small amount of so-called cancer stem-like cells (CSCs). Being able to eliminate breast-cancer stem-like cells in a targeted way is essential for developing successful therapies — conventional treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy followed by drug intake, do not target CSCs. A better understanding of the…

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Keeping a clear head

Alzheimer's: key to early prediction in the blood

Alzheimer's disease is often marked by a creeping progression: Years before symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease manifest, the brain starts changing and neurons are slowly degraded. Scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research (HIH) and the University Hospital Tübingen now show that a protein found in the blood can be used…

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Under pressure

Physician burnout cases are rising

Longer hours, more demanding working practices, complex cases and increased administration are taking their toll on physicians as growing numbers, across a range of specialties, report signs of burnout. All this despite technological advances such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to aid diagnosis, read and interpret images, improve workflow and enhance decision-making. Recognised…

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Innovation

Taiwan at Medica 2018: virtual solutions for real problems

Jhy-Wey Shieh sees the link between Taiwan and Germany as obvious: ‘The word “trade” – of central importance for Medica – starts with “t” for Taiwan and contains “de” for Germany – there is no better way to put it.’ Even though the Taiwanese ambassador’s linguistic journey was not to be taken too seriously, this year’s presentation from the Taiwan External Trade…

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Regenerative medicine

Blood cells can be directly reprogrammed into neural stem cells

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the stem cell institute HI-STEM* have succeeded for the first time in directly reprogramming human blood cells into a previously unknown type of neural stem cell. These induced stem cells are similar to those that occur during the early embryonic development of the central nervous system. They can be modified and multiplied indefinitely…

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Electric wound care

This E-bandage could speed up wound healing

Skin has a remarkable ability to heal itself. But in some cases, wounds heal very slowly or not at all, putting a person at risk for chronic pain, infection and scarring. Now, researchers have developed a self-powered bandage that generates an electric field over an injury, dramatically reducing the healing time for skin wounds in rats. They report their results in ACS Nano. Chronic skin wounds…

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Glioblastoma

New actively personalized therapeutic vaccine for brain cancer

The prospect of an actively personalized approach to the treatment of glioblastoma has moved a step closer with the recent publication in Nature of favorable data from the phase 1 study GAPVAC-101, testing a novel therapeutic concept tailored to specific characteristics of patients’ individual tumors and immune systems. For the first time, the feasibility of such a highly personalized form of…

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Medica 2018

The Czech med-tech market is thriving

The Czech Republic has a long tradition of ground-breaking medical innovations. At Medica 2018, the presence of Czech companies and traders underlined that medical devices and technologies from this country have continuing strength and value. Having recorded steady growth over the past few years, the Czech medical technology sector now produces a volume of around €870 million. 13,400 people…

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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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AI in cardiology

Cardiac ultrasound: Harnessing anatomical intelligence

A new cardiac ultrasound solution is harnessing the power of anatomical intelligence to offer greater diagnostic confidence to clinicians. New EPIQ cardiac ultrasound solutions launched by Philips during the 2018 ESC Congress in Munich, have been designed to simplify workflow The CVx platform which, the firm reports, includes higher processing power, improved image clarity and sharpness, and more…

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Transcranial magnetic stimulation

Treating post-stroke depression with magnetic fields

Obstetricians and midwives often warn new mothers about postpartum depression. They might mention what symptoms women should look out for—such as crying spells or extreme irritability—and where they can turn for help. But people who have strokes may not learn that they, too, are at risk for depression. Post-stroke depression stems from the cardiovascular changes in the brain that lead to a…

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Guselkumab vs Secukinumab

Psoriasis: New data point to improved treatment

The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson announced results from the ECLIPSE study demonstrating that Tremfya® (guselkumab) was superior to Cosentyx® (secukinumab)* in treating adults with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis for the primary endpoint assessed at week 48. Data from the multicentre, randomised, double-blind head-to-head Phase 3 study demonstrated that 84.5…

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Traumatized patients

Improving treatment of anxiety disorders

Traumatic experiences can become deeply entrenched in a person's memory. How can fears following a traumatic event be reduced in the long term and prevented from becoming a permanent stress-related disorder? Researchers at the Mainz University Medical Center have recently shed new light on these questions. The key to their approach lies in firmly anchoring new, positive experiences in the…

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Fighting cancer

'Zapping' tumors might be the future of radiation therapy

New accelerator-based technology being developed by the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University aims to reduce the side effects of cancer radiation therapy by shrinking its duration from minutes to under a second. Built into future compact medical devices, technology developed for high-energy physics could also help make radiation therapy more…

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Evolving technique

Flow cytometry rises to new challenges

Flow cytometry has proved an invaluable diagnostic tool for leukaemia and lymphoma for almost three decades. Now, however, this is evolving in applications to seek out residual disease in cases and in fusion with molecular testing to advance its diagnostic potential. However, although recognised as fast, flexible and accurate, flow cytometry suffers from a lack of standardisation, according to…

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Innovation

AI helpers simplify clinical MRI scans

The new 1.5 Tesla MRI from Siemens Healthineers, Magnetom Sola, is packed with helpful algorithms and other functions. AI-supported systems monitor patients and scan parameters and ensure consistent image quality. Whilst visitors at this year’s ECR-Expo admired the new device, Prof. Ulrike Attenberger has already tested it in practice.

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Interdisciplinary

Exploring the human microbiome

During the International Forum for Laboratory Medicine, one seminar focused on infectious diseases. Professor André Gessner, from the Medical Microbiology and Hygiene Department at Regensburg University, lectured on ‘The human microbiome, an explosive ‘climate’ topic,’ he explained.

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Open source

Machine Learning tool could help choose cancer drugs

The selection of a first-line chemotherapy drug to treat many types of cancer is often a clear-cut decision governed by standard-of-care protocols, but what drug should be used next if the first one fails? That’s where Georgia Institute of Technology researchers believe their new open source decision support tool could come in. Using machine learning to analyze RNA expression tied to…

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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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Gene editing

The future of CRISPR in plastic and reconstructive surgery

The CRISPR genome editing technique promises to be a "transformative leap" in genetic engineering and therapy, affecting almost every area of medicine. That includes plastic surgery, with potential advances ranging from prevention of craniofacial malformations, to therapeutic skin grafts, to new types of rejection-free transplants, according to a paper in the November issue of Plastic…

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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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Cancer management

The enormous potential of liquid biopsy

It is non-invasive, delivers a chance of early diagnosis, prognostic information and sequential monitoring, and, believes Professor Francesco Salvatore, the enormous potential of liquid biopsies has still to be reached. However, the positive results obtained so far have ‘opened the door to a promising new multi-faceted group of tumour markers, at present collectively designated “liquid…

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Nanoparticle therapy

Putting a target on breast cancer

The complex structure of breast tumours makes treatment a medical challenge. A promising, novel selenium-based breast cancer nanoparticle therapy by the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (acib) together with other partners in the EU-project Neosetac could change that: It has proved to boost the active agent delivery and assure it's active only in the target tissue while also bringing…

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Glioblastoma

Building a better model for brain tumours

A research team led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham is launching a study to find a better model for glioblastoma, a particularly devastating type of brain tumour, to help determine the most appropriate treatment modality. The $3.6 million, five-year U01 grant award is funded by the National Cancer Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health. The UAB team will join four other…

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Dying neurons

Decoding the regulation of cell survival

An interdisciplinary and international research group led by Dr. Volker Busskamp from the Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden at the TU Dresden (CRTD) has decoded the regulatory impact on neuronal survival of a small non-coding RNA molecule, so-called miRNA, at the highest resolution to date.

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Fungal testing

One test winning over a run of 10 New β-Glucan test delivers rapid results

Fungal testing plays a critical role in patient care. However, the turnaround for results can be lengthy because the existing tests need 10 samples in a run. Professor Maurizio Sanguinetti, Professor of Microbiology at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart (Università Cattolica del S. Cuore), in Rome, Italy, is comparing the results of a new test with those from existing tests. Created by…

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Blood flow imaging

A new tool box enhances heart failure diagnosis

One of the challenges for every echocardiography lab is the technically difficult patient. Conventionally, labs use contrast agents to enhance endocardial border visualization. The application of contrast agents increases the exam time, resources and costs. Additionally, the use of contrast turns a previously non-invasive exam into an invasive procedure. Hitachi Healthcare has now developed a…

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Weak heart

The many causes of dilated cardiomyopathy

A major study has been launched to investigate the interaction between genes and lifestyle factors and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Led by Professor Stuart Cook, at the National Heart and Lung Institute, this, the largest ever DCM study, will investigate why people develop DCM, with a focus on who is most at risk of sudden death or heart failure (HF). Six hospital trusts across England –…

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Reinforced learning

AI masters tightrope walk of cancer treatment dosage

Using a new approach called 'reinforced learning', researchers have taught an artificial intelligence (AI) to responsibly choose the right amount of chemo- and radiotherapy for glioblastoma patients. The technique, which is insprired by behavioural psychology, has given the AI the ability to master the tightrope walk between effective tumor shrinkage and the medications' severe side effects.

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Morbus Charcot-Marie-Tooth

CMT: Unlikely ally against deadly neuropathy

Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is the most common hereditary neuropathy and affects more than two million people worldwide. In Germany, at least 30.000 people suffer from CMT which belongs to the class of rare disease. In a close collaboration, researchers at the Max-Planck-Institute for Experimental Medicine and the University Medical Center of Göttingen now hope to use lecithin, a harmless…

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Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis

Taking a pill can effectively treat brutal lung disease

Researchers Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center report that they figured out why air sacs in the lungs clog up with a thick substance called surfactant in a brutal disease called Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis (PAP), and they show taking cholesterol-busting pills called statins can effectively treat the disease.

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Quality assurance

Applying Monte Carlo accuracy with clinical workflow simplicity

IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.) announces the launch of SciMoCa, a new Monte Carlo-powered secondary dose check and plan verification software, at the 60th annual AAPM meeting. Monte Carlo is generally accepted as the gold standard for dose calculation accuracy in treatment planning. With SciMoCa, Monte Carlo accuracy is now available for secondary independent dose calculation and verification,…

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Switching sides

How cancer cells 'brainwash' their foes

It doesn’t often happen that army generals switch sides in the middle of a war, but when cancer is attacking, it may cause even a gene that acts as the body’s master defender to change allegiance. Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science have discovered that this gene’s betrayal can occur in more ways than previously appreciated – and might even return the renegade cells to their…

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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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Patient blood management

Blood transfusions: Patient groups should be precisely defined

Although blood transfusion today is a well-established and safe procedure, the medical science community has not yet arrived at a consensus regarding appropriate patient blood management (PBM) methods. ‘Many PBM approaches have not yet been scientifically validated; consequently over- as well as under-transfusion might be associated with adverse events and complications for the patient,’…

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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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Brain cancer

Typical mutation in cancer cells stifles immune response

The exchange of a single amino acid building block in a metabolic enzyme can lead to cancer. In addition, it can impair the immune system. It thus blocks the body’s immune response in the battle against the mutant molecule and also impedes immunotherapy against brain cancer. This finding opens new insights into cancer development and progression and it also suggests that rethinking antitumor…

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Gaining ground

MRI advances approach the realm of precision medicine

MRI has developed rapidly over the past decade in Poland, where clinicians are combining MRI with PET and CT to highlight tumour growth or regression and perfusion. ‘The fact that MRI offers new software and programmes means we can diagnose pathologies more precisely and make a diagnosis faster than a few years ago,’ explained Poland’s national advisor on radiology and diagnostic imaging…

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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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Plaster

Self-adhesive drug-eluting patch to treat oralulcers

Until now ulcers inside the mouth have been treated using creams or mouthwashes for the whole mouth. A new biodegradable patch administers steroids directly to oral ulcers and forms a protective barrier. Scientists from the University of Sheffield’s School of Clinical Dentistry, working in close collaboration with Dermtreat A/S from Copenhagen, have developed a unique patch using special…

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Live long and prosper

Key molecule of aging discovered

Every cell and every organism ages sooner or later. But why is this so? Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg have now discovered for the first time a protein that represents a central switching point in the aging process. It controls the life span of an individual - from the fly to the human being. This opens up new possibilities for developing therapies against…

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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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Gas embolotherapy

Blowing bubbles for cancer treatment

Recently, scientists have explored another version of embolization, called gas embolotherapy. During this process, the blood supply is cut off using acoustic droplet vaporization (ADV), which uses microscopic gas bubbles induced by exposure to ultrasonic waves. A team of researchers from China and France has discovered that these bubbles could also be used as potential drug delivery systems.

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Analyzing free-floating DNA

Blood test shows potential for early detection of lung cancer

A test that analyzes free-floating DNA in the blood may be able to detect early-stage lung cancer, a preliminary report from the ongoing Circulating Cell-Free Genome Atlas (CCGA) study suggests. Lead study author Geoffrey R. Oxnard, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: “There is an unmet need globally for early-detection tests for lung cancer that can be easily implemented by health-care…

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Hematopoietic Stem Cells

What keeps our blood in balance

Blood is the juice of life, as while circulating through the body it delivers vital substances such as oxygen and nutrients to cells and tissues. Chemotherapy, radiotherapy and blood loss in general impoverish the system. A special kind of cells in the bone marrow, called hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) is able to replenish the impoverished system by giving rise not only to red blood cells, but…

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New study

Pancreatic cancer: Chemotherapy goes platinum

A small study of adults with the most common form of pancreatic cancer adds to evidence that patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations long linked to a high risk of breast cancer have poorer overall survival rates than those without the mutations. The same study also found that those with BRCA1 or BRCA2 had better survival rates with platinum-based chemotherapy, compared with similar patients…

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Photoacoustics

New method shows 3D images of cancer cells in the body

Making tumour cells glow: Medical physicists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have developed a new method that can generate detailed three-dimensional images of the body's interior. This can be used to more closely investigate the development of cancer cells in the body. The research group presents its findings in "Communication Physics".

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Assisting algorithms

Big data advances rare disease diagnosis and cancer therapy

Two major projects feeding on big data and based in Spain have recently come under the spotlight: Mendelian, a tool to expedite rare diseases diagnosis, and Harmony, an EU platform that aims to improve targeted therapy in haematological cancer. Rare diseases affect as many as 6% of the Spanish population. Although this percentage is high, these conditions are individually rare, which complicates…

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Bone health

Osteoporosis defined: causes, symptoms and treatments

Weak, easily broken bones are an epidemic in the United States. They’re often tied to osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to degenerate over time. This makes them less flexible, more brittle, and easier to break. According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, more than 44 million Americans aged 50 and older either have or face the threat of developing osteoporosis due to low bone…

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Exhibition

Progress in medicine presented at Bulmedica/Buldental 2018

New products and technologies in medical practice expect the specialists of the leading international exhibition Bulmedica/Buldental from 16 to 18 May at Inter Expo Center. This year, the medical profile of the exhibition will focus on the progress in imaging, physiotherapy, aesthetic medicine. Once again Bulmedica/Buldental will be a platform to keep an eye on the tendencies, a meeting point of…

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Astrozytes

The brain’s “rising stars”: New options against Alzheimer’s?

A study by scientists of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) points to a novel potential approach against Alzheimer’s disease. In studies in mice, the researchers were able to show that blocking a particular receptor located on astrocytes normalized brain function and improved memory performance. Astrocytes are star-shaped, non-neuronal cells involved in the regulation of…

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Hygiene and microbiology meeting

No all clear for nosocomial infections

Experts at the 70th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Hygiene and Microbiology, held in Bochum, exchanged information on newly discovered resistances. ‘Specifically, resistance against a class of antibiotics that has, so far, always been viewed as a reserve appears to be developing more intensively than previously assumed,’ explained Professor Sören Gatermann, congress president and…

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Matrix-forming proteins

Experimental targeted therapy might prevent heart failure

Scientists used an experimental targeted molecular therapy to block a matrix-forming protein in heart cells damaged by heart attack, reducing levels of scarred muscle tissue and saving mouse models from heart failure. Researchers at the Cincinnati Children’s Heart Institute report in the journal Circulation testing a manufactured peptide called pUR4 to block the fibronectin protein in human…

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Big data in the lab

The benefits of tackling acute kidney injury at the earliest opportunity

Steps taken by a New York health system to identify and tackle acute kidney injury (AKI) at an early stage are having a significant impact on improving intervention and patient outcomes. Key to the turnaround has lay in pathologists accessing big data from the laboratory, and working more closely with administrative personnel to identify early AKI and then responding to it more quickly. Speaking…

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Otolaryngology

Treating head and neck cancer — the patient's perspective

Jan Walker, a retired administrative assistant to the superintendent of Boaz City Schools, was getting ready for her regular doctor visit and noticed a lump on her neck. Her primary care physician examined it and determined it was a simple swollen lymph node. Two months later, she began to lose feeling on the right side of her throat and noticed the lump had increased in size. After seeing other…

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Fact-checking

Inherited cancer and genetic testing - looking beyond the myths

Cancer is a genetic disease caused by abnormal changes over time to genes that control cell function, typically starting in a single cell (an acquired mutation) and often not linked to an inherited genetic mutation. In other words, most cancers happen by chance. Only about 5 to 10 percent of cancers are due to an inherited genetic mutation, says Monique Lubaton, MGC, CGC, cancer genetic counselor…

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DNA research

Stroke: largest-ever genetic study provides new insight

An international research group, including scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, studying 520,000 people from around the world has identified 22 new genetic risk factors for stroke, tripling the number of gene regions known to affect stroke risk. The results show that stroke shares genetic influences with other vascular conditions, especially blood pressure, but also…

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Memory-Driven Computing

Time lapse for dementia research

The German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) is just starting the operation of a new high-performance computer in Bonn. It should significantly accelerate the evaluation of biomedical data and thus lead to faster progress in dementia research. For this the computer uses the principles of the novel computer architecture "Memory-Driven Computing". Time is running out: Dementias…

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Counting the cost

New model to calculate breast cancer survivors’ risk of death

As early detection and treatment of breast cancer improves, more and more women are surviving the disease. However, they still face challenges, which include determining the moment when it might be reasonable to state they are “cured” of the disease, and obtaining life insurance. “In the Netherlands, most applications for life insurance are accepted, but not for cancer survivors. A lot of…

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Breast cancer

Double mastectomy slashes risk - but not for all women

Healthy women who carry a breast cancer-causing mutation in the BRCA1 gene, not only reduce their risk of developing the disease but also their chances of dying from it if they have both breasts removed, according to new research presented at the 11th European Breast Cancer Conference. However, the study also found that for women with a mutation in the BRCA2 gene, there was no difference in their…

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Small molecule, huge effect

Progress toward a new flu treatment, thanks to a small tweak

This year’s unexpectedly aggressive flu season reminds everyone that although the flu vaccine can reduce the number of people who contract the virus, it is still not 100 percent effective. Researchers report that a tweak to a small-molecule drug shows promise for future production of new antiviral therapies that could help patients, regardless of the strain with which they are infected. The…

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Power of the heart

Gene therapy can make the heart stop atrial fibrillation itself

The heart is capable of terminating arrhythmias itself after local gene therapy, potentially avoiding the need for patients to undergo painful electric shocks, according to a proof-of-concept study presented today at EHRA 2018, a European Society of Cardiology congress. Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia). Treatment aims to restore the heart’s normal rhythm…

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Screening tumor samples

A molecular map of childhood cancers

Researchers led by Professor Stefan Pfister from the "Hopp Children's Cancer Center at the NCT Heidelberg" (KiTZ) have been able to draw an extremely detailed molecular map of childhood cancers. In close collaboration with the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and the Society for Pediatric Oncology and Hematology (GPOH), they screened almost 1,000 tumor samples from 24 cancer types for…

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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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Award

DZNE researcher receives world’s top Brain Prize

Together with three other neuroscientists Professor Christian Haass, speaker of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Munich site and Professor at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, receives the world’s most valuable prize for brain research. The 2018 Brain Prize, awarded by the Lundbeck Foundation in Denmark, is worth one million Euros. Awarded annually, it…

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Innovation convention

High-tech event aims to push progress

In the German healthcare system, innovations are difficult – Xpomet boss Ulrich Pieper is certain of this. Not because the system is different, but because the point of view is wrong. ‘The system assesses innovations according to how much money they save, and not according to whether they achieve healing,’ the industrial engineer explains. Precisely for this reason, he adds, the three-day…

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Ein aktueller Versuch

Could telemedicine cure Germany’s health system?

The term telemedicine has been around since the 1980s. Ten years later Deutsche Telekom demonstrated the first applications designed to provide medical services to people living remotely such as (based on American ideas) astronauts in space, workers on oilrigs or injured personnel in field hospitals. Since then, the concept of medical care across long distances via telecommunication has not…

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Predictive biomarkers

Immunotherapy follow-up with MRI: the search is on

Immunotherapy is taking center stage in imaging, but patient follow-up with CT is no cookie and may fall short in the peripheral limbs, brain and bone marrow. MRI offers specific benefits in these situations, and, combined with PET, it may bring even more results. Research must be carried out on quantitative techniques and tracers developed to fully exploit that potential, Prof. Dow-Mu Koh…

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Daily practice

Point-of-care ultrasound races ahead in sports medicine

Sports injuries often require immediate attention to shorten recovery times and prevent further damage, creating a demand for healthcare professionals who specialise in sports medicine and have the flexibility to adapt to the changing pressures of the sporting seasons. Point-of-care ultrasound is establishing itself in this field, supporting the assessment and treatment of a range of injuries…

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Therapy monitoring

Liquid biopsy versus radiomics – the race is on

The development of new procedures to monitor cancer treatments is gathering momentum. One such innovation is liquid biopsy. This new lab technique allows non-invasive identification, characterisation and monitoring of circulating tumour DNA. Thus, liquid biopsy can potentially revolutionise oncological diagnostics – and put a spoke in the wheel of radiology. High time to act, says Professor Dr…

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Follow-ups

Early countermeasures against ineffective cancer therapies

What effect does a particular cancer medicine or radiation therapy have on patients? To find out, physicians use CT images to determine whether a tumor’s size changes during the course of treatment. In the PANTHER project, a joint team of experts aims at gaining further valuable information from these images. In the future, doctors will be able to find out at an early stage whether a cancer…

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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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Beyond PSA monitoring

New prostate cancer risk model could better guide treatment

One of the biggest challenges in treating prostate cancer is distinguishing men who have aggressive and potentially lethal disease from men whose cancer is slow-growing and unlikely to metastasize. For years, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level, cancer grade and tumor stage have been used to sort prostate cancer patients into risk groups established by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.…

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Discovery

'Selfish' gene may protect against heart disease

Scientists have identified a gene that may play a protective role in preventing heart disease. Their research revealed that the gene, called MeXis, acts within key cells inside clogged arteries to help remove excess cholesterol from blood vessels. Published in the journal Nature Medicine, the UCLA-led study in mice found that MeXis controls the expression of a protein that pumps cholesterol out…

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Responsive or not?

Breast cancer: Near-infrared light shows chemo beneficiaries

A new optical imaging system developed at Columbia University uses red and near-infrared light to identify breast cancer patients who will respond to chemotherapy. The imaging system may be able to predict response to chemotherapy as early as two weeks after beginning treatment. Findings from a first pilot study of the new imaging system—a noninvasive method of measuring blood flow dynamics in…

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HER2 breast cancer

‘Soft’ chemotherapy plus targeted treatment spell new hope for elderly patients

Avoidance of side-effects of chemotherapy is particularly important in the elderly, but finding the balance between reduced toxicity and maximum effectiveness is not always easy. A trial carried out by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer, published in The Lancet Oncology, shows that, in older patients with HER2 positive metastatic breast cancer (an aggressive breast…

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Immunotherapy

The DNA mismatch repair mechanism

A new genetic study by UK-based scientists suggests that immunotherapy drugs could prove to be an effective treatment for some breast cancer patients. Scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, near Cambridge – one of the world’s leading genome centres – and their collaborators, have identified particular genetic changes in a DNA repair mechanism in breast cancer. Led by Dr Serena…

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AEC syndrome

Cause of severe genetic disease identified

Mutations in the p63 protein lead to a number of disorders, but none is as severe as the AEC syndrome. Scientists at Goethe University Frankfurt in collaboration with a research group from the University of Naples Federico II have now discovered that this syndrome resembles diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or ALS more closely than it does other p63-based syndromes. Their results,…

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Diverse benefits

Experts present CEUS insights

In April 2016 CEUS received the USA’s FDA approval. This year‘s RSNA Samsung Symposium ‘Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound (CEUS): Innovations and a Problem-Solving Tool in Clinical Practice’ provided an opportunity to take stock. For European Hospital, Professor André Clevert, Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Ultrasound at University Hospital Munich, Germany, describes the current…

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European diploma

Levelling EU qualifications for radiographers

Radiographers are increasingly central to patient care, but the heterogeneous education and skills across Europe remain challenging. Dr Jonathan McNulty and Håkon Hjemly, of the European Federation of Radiographers Societies (EFRS), explained how they plan to improve radiographers’ visibility and work towards homogenising training across Europe, notably by launching a European Diploma in…

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Microbubbles

Bracco Imaging to innovate ultrasound for new personalized gene therapy

Bracco Imaging S.p.A., a global leader in diagnostic imaging, announced that it has initiated new experimental activities in its R&D Center in Geneva, Switzerland, to explore a new application for gas-filled microbubbles in the development of personalized gene therapy for treatment of chronic dysfunctional diseases related to lipid metabolism. Microbubbles have already revolutionized medical…

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CancerSEEK

Single blood test screens for 8 cancer types

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer. The test, called CancerSEEK, is a unique noninvasive, multianalyte test that simultaneously evaluates levels of eight cancer proteins and the presence of cancer gene mutations from circulating DNA in the blood. The test is aimed at…

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Radiation therapy

New gel reduces side effects of prostate cancer treatment

Radiation therapy is a popular and effective treatment for many men with prostate cancer, and now a temporary gel offers greater protection for organs at risk during treatments. “Treating prostate cancer with radiation therapy can cause unintended injury to adjacent, healthy tissue, which can lead to bowel and urinary problems, as well as erectile dysfunction,” said Daniel Krauss, M.D., a…

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Primary ciliary dyskinesia

Molecular roots of genetic lung disease identified

Respiratory infections peak during the winter months, and most people recover within a few weeks. But for those with a rare genetic lung disease, the sniffling, coughing and congestion never end. The tiny hairlike structures called cilia that normally sweep mucus through the airways don’t work properly in people with what’s known as primary ciliary dyskinesia. When the cilia don’t brush…

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Discovery

‘Hijacker’ drives cancer in some patients with high-risk neuroblastoma

Researchers have identified mechanisms that drive about 10 percent of high-risk neuroblastoma cases and have used a new approach to show how the cancer genome “hijacks” DNA that regulates other genes. The resulting insights may help scientists develop more effective therapies, including precision medicines. The research involved investigators at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital;…

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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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Marine bioluminescence

Deep sea creatures light the way to develop cancer-fighting therapies

A team of scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of USC is looking to some deep sea dwellers to create a better way to develop cancer-fighting therapies. Harnessing the power of the enzymes that give these marine animals the ability to glow, the team created a test that makes it easy for researchers to see whether a therapy is having its intended effect — killing cancer cells. The results of…

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Nomen est omen?

Sleeping sickness – more than just a sleeping disorder

Sleeping sickness could use a more encompassing moniker. An international study from the O’Donnell Brain Institute shows one of Africa’s most lethal diseases is actually a circadian rhythm disorder caused by the acceleration of biological clocks controlling a range of vital functions besides sleep. By understanding which clock genes are affected by the parasitic disease, scientists hope the…

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Ophthalmology

Researchers explore way to reverse diabetic blindness

Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered a cell signaling pathway in mice that triggers vision loss in patients with diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion – diseases characterized by the closure of blood vessels in the retina, leading to blindness. In experiments that suppressed vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the eye, researchers were able to re-establish normal blood…

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Macrophages

How immune cells help early breast cancer spread

Mount Sinai researchers have discovered that normal immune cells called macrophages, which reside in healthy breast tissue surrounding milk ducts, play a major role in helping early breast cancer cells leave the breast for other parts of the body, potentially creating metastasis before a tumor has even developed, according to a study published in Nature Communications. The macrophages play a role…

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Antiviral design

CAR-T gene therapy could provide long-term HIV protection

Through gene therapy, researchers engineered blood-forming stem cells (hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells, or HSPCs) to carry chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) genes to make cells that can detect and destroy HIV-infected cells. These engineered cells not only destroyed the infected cells, they persisted for more than two years, suggesting the potential to create long-term immunity from the virus…

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Effectiveness study

Medications alone don’t help smokers quit

Pharmaceutical interventions are routinely prescribed to help people quit smoking. However, a new study by University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers suggests that, despite promising results in clinical trials, smoking cessation drugs alone may not be improving the chances of successful quitting among smokers in general.

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Delivery options

Radiosurgery vs. whole-brain radiation in lung cancer patients with multiple brain metastases

Although targeted therapies have produced dramatic advances in our ability to control some types of advanced lung cancer, growth of the disease in the brain remains a major problem. Radiation is often used to treat deposits in the brain, but the best technique to deliver radiation can be controversial. Whole-brain radiation therapy, as its name suggest, treats the entire brain but can be…

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Duchenne

Researchers create skeletal muscle from stem cells

Scientists from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have developed a new strategy to efficiently isolate, mature and transplant skeletal muscle cells created from human pluripotent stem cells, which can produce all cell types of the body. The findings are a major step towards developing a stem cell replacement therapy for muscle diseases including Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, which…

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Ventricular tachycardia

Deadly heart rhythm halted by noninvasive radiation therapy

Radiation therapy often is used to treat cancer patients. Now, doctors at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that radiation therapy — aimed directly at the heart — can be used to treat patients with a life-threatening heart rhythm. They treated five patients who had irregular heart rhythms, called ventricular tachycardia, at the School of Medicine. The patients…

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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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Genetic engineering

CAR-T: Landmark cancer study sheds new light on immunotherapy

Loyola University Medical Center is the only Chicago center that participated in the pivotal clinical trial of a groundbreaking cancer treatment that genetically engineers a patient's immune system to attack cancer cells. Patrick Stiff, MD, director of Loyola's Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, is a co-author of the study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The treatment used in…

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More than the sum of its parts?

Combination strategy could hold promise for ovarian cancer

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers demonstrated that mice with ovarian cancer that received drugs to reactivate dormant genes along with other drugs that activate the immune system had a greater reduction of tumor burden and significantly longer survival than those that received any of the drugs alone. The study already spurred a clinical trial in ovarian cancer patients. The…

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Natural system

Papillomaviruses promote skin cancer

UV radiation has been known for a long time to be a risk factor for the development of skin cancer. Simultaneous infection with human papillomaviruses (HPV) has also been suspected to promote skin cancer, particularly in organ transplant recipients. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now been able to show for the first time in a natural system that papillomaviruses…

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A double-edged sword

Killing cancer cells can also drive tumor growth

Cancer therapies including radiation and chemotherapy seek to treat the disease by killing tumor cells. Now a team including researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) have shown that the dead and dying cancer cells generated by chemotherapy and targeted cancer therapy paradoxically trigger inflammation that promotes aggressive tumor growth. In a study published today in the…

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Combined techniques

Raising the bar higher in CRC imaging

Combining molecular information and high contrast resolution may well improve current performance in colorectal cancer (CRC) cases, according to Vicky Goh, who presented the latest results on PET/MRI during the last European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) meeting in Madrid PET/MRI brings the best of both modalities together: high contrast to noise and high spatial resolution combined with…

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Meyenburg Award

A high distinction for a pioneer in liquid biopsy

Nitzan Rosenfeld from Cancer Research UK in Cambridge is being honored with the 2017 Meyenburg Award, which carries a €50,000 monetary prize. He receives the award for his excellent work on the detection of tumor DNA in the blood. Rosenfeld has made seminal contributions to advancing a method for detecting cancer DNA in the blood to applicability in cancer medicine. The Meyenburg-Award will be…

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Key in the stem cells

This is why testicular cancer is so responsive to chemo

Cornell researchers have taken a major step toward answering a key question in cancer research: Why is testicular cancer so responsive to chemotherapy, even after it metastasizes? Professional cyclist Lance Armstrong, for example, had testicular cancer that spread to his lung and brain, yet he made a full recovery after conventional chemotherapy. The key to such success appears to lie in the…

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The interdisciplinary challenge

Evaluating ICU care for cancer patients

Progressive treatments offer new chances for cancer patients, but also could result in as yet unknown complications. The number of cancer patients transferred to the ICU for cancer-specific and internal medicine related reasons is on the increase. Caring for them on the ICU is a complex challenge, with interdisciplinary cooperation playing an essential part. Certain criteria need to be met for…

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Gene editing

CRISPR system embeds images in DNA

A research team in the United States has developed a revolutionary technique that has encoded an image and short film in living cells. Scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Harvard Medical School (HMS) used CRISPR gene editing to encode the image and film in DNA, using this as a medium to store information and produce a code that relates to the individual…

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Deafness reversal

Inner ear stem cells may someday restore hearing

Want to restore hearing by injecting stem cells into the inner ear? Well, that can be a double-edged sword. Inner ear stem cells can be converted to auditory neurons that could reverse deafness, but the process can also make those cells divide too quickly, posing a cancer risk, according to a study led by Rutgers University–New Brunswick scientists. The encouraging news is that turning stem…

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Sertraline usage

Standard antidepressant may be ineffective with chronic kidney disease patients

A clinical trial involving hundreds of participants has shown that one of the most frequently prescribed antidepressants may not benefit millions of patients who also have chronic kidney disease (CKD). “These results provide evidence that could change clinical practice,” said Dr. Susan Hedayati, Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern and first author of the study, which was…

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Russian biotechnology

Biocad prepares to enter the European market

The Russian biotechnology company Biocad plans to enter the European market with oncological and autoimmune medicines. So far, there are seven molecules in the European portfolio of Biocad. The biosimilar products could be used in treatment of melanoma, breast, stomach, kidney and lung cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis.

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Nationwide cohort study

Can an aspirin a day keep liver cancer away?

A new study presented this week at The Liver Meeting held by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases found that daily aspirin therapy was significantly associated with a reduced risk in hepatitis B virus‐related liver cancer. Past research suggests that daily aspirin therapy — which is often prescribed to prevent cardiovascular disease — may also prevent the development of…

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Dose management

Enhancing radiation protection

A new EC-funded project will bring together medical and radiation scientists, physicists and clinicians to enhance the radiation protection of patients and medical professionals. The four-year MEDIRAD project, which kicked off in June 2017, is led by the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research – EIBIR (AT) and comprises a consortium of 33 partners from 14 European countries.

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Cancer research

Esophageal cancer “cell of origin” identified

Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have identified cells in the upper digestive tract that can give rise to Barrett’s esophagus, a precursor to esophageal cancer. The discovery of this “cell of origin” promises to accelerate the development of more precise screening tools and therapies for Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma, the fastest growing form of…

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Brain disease

Risks – and benefits – of the Alzheimer’s gene

Scientists drilling down to the molecular roots of Alzheimer’s disease have encountered a good news/bad news scenario. A major player is a gene called TREM2, mutations of which can substantially raise a person’s risk of the disease. The bad news is that in the early stages of the disease, high-risk TREM2 variants can hobble the immune system’s ability to protect the brain from amyloid beta,…

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Recommendations

First European advice on deep vein thrombosis

The first comprehensive European advice on deep vein thrombosis is published in the current issue of European Heart Journal. The recommendations were produced by the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Working Group on Aorta and Peripheral Vascular Diseases and Working Group on Pulmonary Circulation and Right Ventricular Function.

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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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Electrospinning

Renewing the promise of bioabsorbable implants

Electrospun materials bring a spark of hope to a cardiovascular landscape darkened by setbacks for reabsorbable stents. It was famously said that implanting a device in a person to cure a disease is to implant a new disease. Simply put, the human body will continually fight against foreign materials, leading to chronic inflammations or repeated interventions.

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ESC Congress 2017

Entering the future of cardiology

With 4,500 accepted abstracts, 600 sessions and 30,000 expected attendees, ESC Congress 2017 is undoubtedly the world’s largest cardiovascular event. On healthcare-in-europe.com, Dr Stephan Achenbach, Congress Program Committee Chairperson, gives an overview of issues and events unfolding in Barcelona from August 26-30.

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Risk of complications

Diabetes prolongs hospital stays

One in four patients in a university hospital suffers from diabetes (22 percent), and again as many suffer from prediabetes (24 percent), a current study finds. Furthermore, patients with diabetes have prolonged hospital stays and a higher risk of complications.

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Integrated quality assurance

IBA releases the newest version of myQA global platform

IBA (Ion Beam Applications S.A.), the world’s leading provider of proton therapy solutions and radiation therapy integrated quality assurance (QA) for the treatment of cancer, announces the release of myQA version 2017-001. This new version further enhances the integration of quality assurance across all QA applications, departments and people.

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CRISPR-Cpf1

Firefly gene illuminates ability to edit human genome

Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have improved a state-of-the-art gene-editing technology to advance the system’s ability to target, cut and paste genes within human and animal cells—and broadening the ways the CRISPR-Cpf1 editing system may be used to study and fight human diseases.

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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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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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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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DNA manipulation

Chaos in cancer cells: Mysterious gene transcripts after therapy

Drugs that are used in cancer therapy to erase epigenetic alterations in cancer cells simultaneously promote the production of countless mysterious gene transcripts, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) now report in Nature Genetics. The substances activate hidden regulatory elements in DNA. The unusual gene activity has the potential to stimulate the immune system – a…

Diabetes research

Healing burn wounds with cell therapy

An experimental treatment in mice allows the reprogramming of blood cells in order to promote the healing process of cutaneous wounds. This approach could prove to be beneficial in healing challenging wounds in diabetics and major-burn victims.

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Neuro-oncology

Study provides better understanding of how brain tumors ‘feed’

All cancer tumors have one thing in common – they must feed themselves to grow and spread, a difficult feat since they are usually in a tumor microenvironment with limited nutrients and oxygen. A study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has revealed new details about how an enzyme called acetyl-CoA synthetase 2 (ACSS2) allows brain tumors to grow despite their harsh…

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Smartphone app

Unlocking the mystery of multiple sclerosis with tech

What if a single smartphone app could help solve the enigma of multiple sclerosis (MS) and move new treatments ahead at lightning speed? That was the bold idea that led Daniel Pelletier, MD, professor of neurology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC and division chief of the Neuro-Immunology and USC Multiple Sclerosis Center, to develop myMS, the world’s first smartphone app capable of…

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Ophthalmology

Potential predictor of glaucoma damage identified

Glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness worldwide, most often is diagnosed during a routine eye exam. Over time, elevated pressure inside the eye damages the optic nerve, leading to vision loss. Unfortunately, there’s no way to accurately predict which patients might lose vision most rapidly. Now, studying mice, rats and fluid removed from the eyes of patients with glaucoma, researchers at…

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Stem cell research

3D bioprinting of cartilage could soon be a reality

A team of researchers at Sahlgrenska Academy has managed to generate cartilage tissue by printing stem cells using a 3D-bioprinter. The fact that the stem cells survived being printed in this manner is a success in itself. In addition, the research team was able to influence the cells to multiply and differentiate to form chondrocytes (cartilage cells) in the printed structure.

Gene test could extend lives of women at risk of hereditary breast cancer

Value in Health, the official journal of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR), has announced the publication of new research indicating that testing for variants in 7 cancer-associated genes (versus the usual process of testing in just 2 genes) followed by risk-reduction management could cost-effectively improve life expectancy for women at risk of…

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Going Viral

An unusual 'friend' to help fight ovarian cancer

In some cases, the Lassa virus starts with a fever and general weakness, moving toward headache, muscle pain, possible facial swelling, deafness, and worse. About 15 percent of patients hospitalized with severe cases die. Lassa fever is contagious, endemic in West Africa, and Dr. Anthony van den Pol thinks he can use it to cure ovarian cancer.

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Biotechnology

Engineered muscle for the treatment of heart failure

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between Georg-August-Universität Göttingen Stiftung Öffentlichen Rechts, Universitätsmedizin (UMG) and the biotech company Repairon GmbH about commercial production and use of engineered human myocardium for heart failure repair. The production methods are based on the scientific work from the group of Prof. Dr.…

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Breast Cancer

Biomarker Identified for Likely Aggressive, Early Stage Breast Cancer

The one-size-fits-all approach to early stage breast cancer creates a paradox: Millions of dollars are spent on unnecessary surgeries and radiation to treat women with low-risk ‘in situ’ lesions, an estimated 85% of which would never progress to invasive cancers. Meanwhile, the standard conservative treatment is insufficient for many early-stage tumors that have progressed past the in situ…

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Annual conference

The role of cardiology at the extremes

Cardiology at the extremes will be the key theme at the British Cardiovascular Society annual conference in Manchester in June. Topics covered include reflections in cardiology and space travel, physiological challenges associated with living under extreme environmental conditions and polar expeditions. Report: Mark Nicholls

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DNA

DNA labels predict mortality

Methyl labels in the DNA regulate the activity of our genes and, thus, have a great influence on health and disease. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and from the Saarland cancer registry have now revealed that an altered methylation status at only ten specific sites in the genome can indicate that mortality is increased by up to seven times. Smoking has a particularly…

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Coronary Artery Disease

Benefits of instant wave-free ratio (iFR) compared to fractional flow reserve (FFR)

Royal Philips today announced that the results from two large clinical trials comparing patient outcomes using instant wave-free ratio (iFR) and fractional flow reserve (FFR) in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine. First released in 2013, iFR is an innovative pressure-derived index unique to Philips, a global leader in…

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Radiographer & Industry

You can’t compare an apple with an orange

Usually radiographers work in a clinical environment, are specialised in CT, MR or ultrasound and take care of patients and their treatment. Not so Patrick Doherty, Siemens Healthcare Regional Business Manager, Dublin undergraduate who worked in a University Hospital for five years before switching to work within the healthcare industry.

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MRI

New technology adapts automatically to individual characteristics

Just in time for the ECR, Siemens Healthineers is coming up with an innovation. Magnetom Vida, the new high-end 3 Tesla MRI scanner with BioMatrix technology from Siemens Healthineers, was launched to the public at University Hospital Tübingen yesterday, where the first system is installed. The new BioMatrix technology adapts automatically to individual anatomical and physiological…

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Cardiology

Simpler MR-conditional cardiac device selection

The ProMRI Configurator made by Biotronik is an online tool that enables physicians to select from a series of MRI requirements for a patient and subsequently generates a recommendation of all suitable MR-conditional cardiac device and lead combinations available in a particular country, thus helping physicians to choose the most suitable MR-conditional cardiac systems for each patient.

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Liver-Surgery

Ultrasound scalpel destroys liver tumors

Focused ultrasound can effectively destroy tumor cells. Until now, this method has only been used for organs such as the prostate and uterus. At the European Congress of Radiology, Fraunhofer researchers will present a method, developed as part of the TRANS-FUSIMO EU project, that enables focused ultrasound treatment of the liver, an organ that moves while breathing. In the future, this could…

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Digital Ecosystem

Siemens Healthineers establishes global Digital Ecosystem to drive digitalization of healthcare

At the Health IT Conference (HIMSS) 2017 in Orlando, Siemens Healthineers has announced a digital platform for healthcare providers as well as for providers of solutions and services, aimed at covering the entire spectrum of healthcare. The platform is to foster the growth of a digital ecosystem linking healthcare providers and solution providers with one another as well as bringing together…

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Cancer Care

Biosimilars Create New Opportunities

Biosimilars create opportunities for sustainable cancer care, says the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in a position paper published in ESMO Open.1 The document outlines approval standards for biosimilars, how to safely introduce them into the clinic, and the potential benefits for patients and healthcare systems.

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Brain activity

Molecular pathway to improved memory discovered

Scientists from Rutgers University have discovered a molecular pathway that could help develop drug therapies to prevent dementia. It could also provide new insights into memory degradation in the elderly.

iCAGES

New precision medicine tool helps optimize cancer treatment

Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers have created a computational tool that can rapidly predict which genes are implicated in an individual’s cancer and recommend treatments. It is among the most comprehensive tools of its kind, and the first that incorporates a user-friendly web interface that requires little knowledge of bioinformatics.

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New discovery may improve recovery after stroke

Faster and better recovery after stroke may be the result of a newly discovered treatment strategy that created new nerve synapses in the brain—a key factor for learning. A study at Sahlgrenska Academy showed improved ability to use the affected paw in mice that received the treatment.

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Artificial beta cells

New weapon against Diabetes

ETH Researchers have used the simplest approach yet to produce artificial beta cells from human kidney cells. Like their natural model, the artificial cells act as both sugar sensors and insulin producers.

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Long-Sought

Genetic model of common infant leukemia described

After nearly two decades of unsuccessful attempts, researchers from the University of Chicago Medicine and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have created the first mouse model for the most common form of infant leukemia. Their discovery could hasten development and testing of new drug therapies.

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Xenon MRT

A revolution in lung function diagnostics

Since lung diseases tend to be complex, imaging is a crucial diagnostic tool. While computed tomography has become the standard modality, which is frequently used outside hospital settings, specialised MRI diagnostics remains the preserve of large university medical centres.

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MR Fingerprinting

Radiologists will become computer technicians

‘Magnetic resonance imaging is a very dynamic field,’ declared Professor Siegfried Trattnig, head of the Centre of Excellence for High Field MRI in the Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy, at Vienna Medical University. Indeed, this September, two mega trends emphasised by Trattnig – the shift from qualitative to quantitative imaging and Big Data – dominated the 33rd…

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Big Data

‘Dr Computer’ aids intelligent lung cancer diagnoses

In imaging diagnostics computers are taking over – well, not quite, but they might soon play an important role, according to Professor Hans-Ulrich Kauczor, Medical Director of the Clinic of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at University Hospital Heidelberg. Meeting with European Hospital, he discussed an EU-funded project to assess malignancy in pulmonary nodules and its implications for…

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Surgery 4.0

Robots will not see off human specialists

Big Data, automation, and artificial intelligence – no doubt, all these developments will have an impact on surgery. During our interview, Professor Hubertus Feußner, Head of the interdisciplinary research group ‘Minimally invasive interdisciplinary therapy intervention’ at the Technical University Munich, Germany, and Professor Christoph Thümmler, Professor for eHealth at Edinburgh…

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Computer intelligence

Cognition-guided surgery – a rocky road

Surgery will change – with all the challenges that developments such as Big Data create there are no two ways about it. However, how deep those changes run remains to be seen. In a rather young field of research, scientists look at the ways all components used during surgery can be interlinked. Professor Beat Müller, co-initiator of the project ‘Cognition-Guided Surgery’, explains results…

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Contrast enhancement

Sonic boom with bubbles

Illuminating blood vessels, opening the blood-brain barrier and delivering drugs. What will be the next big thing that tiny microbubbles can do?

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Diabetes

Friendly Fire in the Pancreas

n type 1 diabetes, the body attacks its own insulin-producing cells. Scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München, partner in the German Center for Diabetes Research, and their colleagues at Technical University of Munich have now reported in the journal ‘PNAS’ about a mechanism used by the immune system to prepare for this attack. They were able to inhibit this process through targeted…

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Melanoma treatment

Dermatology develops an effective immunotherapy against solid cancer

Melanomas account among the eight most frequent deadly cancers in Europe and Northern America. Two major clinical criteria separate melanomas from most other cancers: the risk to die from a melanoma is a question of being less or more than 1 mm – and not a question of cm. About 95% of patients with melanomas ≤0.5 mm in thickness are clinically cured by early detection and appropriate melanoma…

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Flatpanel

Clinica Mobile’s DRX-1 delivers high-speed care

Exuding the aroma of hi-octane fuel, the glamour of multi-coloured racing leathers, flashy sponsored brands and the glitz of the circuits, motorcycle racing can be an irresistible fast-action sport. Amid the roar of engines, the world’s leading motorcycle aces, such as Marc Marquez, Valentino Rossi or Jonathan Rea, hit around 300kmh on tracks across the globe. High-speed duels thrill the…

Proton Adaptive Therapy

IBA to open the path towards adaptive proton therapy

IBA (Ion Beam Applications) today unveils its unique platform, 'Leading the PATh', which gathers the leading experts in the field of proton therapy all in one place. It is anticipated that 'Leading the PATh' will enable the worldwide medical community to shape the most efficient Proton Adaptive Therapy (PATh), a proton therapy process which improves the accuracy of what is considered to be the…

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Solid-State nanopores unravel twisted DNA mystery

Cancer thrives when mutated cells undergo frequent division. Most anti-cancer drugs work by inserting themselves in between the DNA base pairs that encode our genetic information. This process is known as intercalation, and it can result in subtle changes to the DNA molecule’s geometric shape or tertiary structure. These structural changes interfere with the DNA’s transcription and a cell’s…

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Oncology

Nanovaccine could enhance cancer immunotherapy

NIBIB researchers have created a nanovaccine that could make a current approach to cancer immunotherapy more effective while also reducing side effects. The nanovaccine helps to efficiently deliver a unique DNA sequence to immune cells – a sequence derived from bacterial DNA and used to trigger an immune reaction. The nanovaccine also protects the DNA from being destroyed inside the body, where…

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Patient care

Advancing AF and renal dysfunction care

An innovative cardiac monitoring system that delivers continuous resynchronisation to patients, has shown a 35% risk reduction of hospitalisation for heart failure (HF) patients. The finding comes from the RESPOND-CRT (cardiac resynchronisation therapy) clinical trial, which was designed to investigate the clinical efficacy and safety of device-based optimisation using the SonR cardiac…

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Research

Testosterone clue to male heart deaths

As men appear to have higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) than women of a similar age – with vascular calcification a strong predictor of mortality and morbidity from CVD – a team from the University of Edinburgh hopes that exploration of a link between gender and calcification could help unlock the pathway to new therapies. The researchers have been looking at whether sex hormones…

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Plasma: A technology to improve bone healing?

Cold plasma looks like the glow from the “Star Wars” blue light saber but this beam of energy, made of electrons that change polarity at micro-second or nanosecond speeds, could help bones heal faster, according to researcher from the Thomas Jefferson University.

Agreement

Siemens and INSIGHTEC provide access to Exablate Neuro technology

INSIGHTEC announced the signing of a strategic agreement with the global leader in Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Siemens Healthineers. The strategic collaboration will involve the development of compatibility between Exablate Neuro and Siemens leading 1.5T and 3T clinical MRI systems, MAGNETOM Aera and Skyra. With this agreement, Siemens Healthineers follows its strategy of broadening and…

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Infection

Antibodies identified that thwart Zika virus

Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified antibodies capable of protecting against Zika virus infection, a significant step toward developing a vaccine, better diagnostic tests and possibly new antibody-based therapies. The work, in mice, helps clarify recent research that also identified protective Zika antibodies but lacked important details on how the…

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Research

New Biomarker for cancer immunotherapy?

The Ligand PD-L1 is one of the most important targets for cancer immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors. But not all tumors have sufficient quantities of PD-L1 ligands on their surface. Scientists from the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) have now shown that different types of cancer possess different quantities of PD-L1-Gen copies. Genetic analysis of the PD-L1 gene may in the future help to…

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Drug delivery

Biotherapeutics strike cancer cell growth

Many drug treatments do not work due to their poor ability to reach their intended targets inside patients’ cells. To address this, researchers at Cardiff University’s Schools of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Biosciences have designed a highly efficient method to improve the delivery of therapeutic molecules into diseased cells such as those in stomach cancer, breast cancer and…

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Fight inflammation

Stem cells engineered to grow cartilage

With a goal of treating worn, arthritic hips without extensive surgery to replace them, scientists have programmed stem cells to grow new cartilage on a 3-D template shaped like the ball of a hip joint. What’s more, using gene therapy, they have activated the new cartilage to release anti-inflammatory molecules to fend off a return of arthritis. The technique was demonstrated in a collaborative…

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Photoacoustic imaging

Promising option for noninvasive monitoring of prostate cancer

While active surveillance is often recommended for patients with nonaggressive prostate cancer to reduce unnecessary treatment, the challenge for clinicians is to monitor and distinguish early-stage tumors from advanced cancers. A team of scientists led by researchers from Roswell Park Cancer Institute have demonstrated that photoacoustic imaging (PAI) may be an effective tool for more accurately…

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E. Coli

The ideal transport vehicle for next-gen vaccines?

Most people recoil at the thought of ingesting E. coli. But what if the headline-grabbing bacteria could be used to fight disease? Researchers experimenting with harmless strains of E. coli — yes, the majority of E. coli are safe and important to healthy human digestion — are working toward that goal. They have developed an E. coli-based transport capsule designed to help next-generation…

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Microfluidic device tests effects of electric fields on cancer cells

Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology research center in Singapore have developed a new microfluidic device that tests the effects of electric fields on cancer cells. They observed that a range of low-intensity, middle-frequency electric fields effectively stopped breast and lung cancer cells from growing and spreading, while having no adverse effect on neighboring healthy cells.

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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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Hybrid

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts

‘The combination of nuclear medicine and modern imaging procedures such as CT and MRI is becoming increasingly important in the diagnosis, treatment planning and aftercare of cancerous diseases,’ explains Professor Katrine Åhlström Riklund, who presides over the newly established European Society for Hybrid Medical Imaging, ESHI.

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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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Respiratory support

Extracorporeal technology eases stress

Conventional therapy for ARDS patients and for patients with exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) has relied on invasive mechanical ventilation. Mechanical ventilation, however, has several major drawbacks: sedation has to be induced and the air being pressed into the lungs with positive pressure can damage the pulmonary alveoli or the diaphragm. Moreover, even maximum…

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Targeted treatments

Gene therapy against brain cancer

A team from the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste has obtained very promising results by applying gene therapy to glioblastoma. Tests in vitro and in vivo on mice provided very clear-cut results, and modelling demonstrates that the treatment targets at least six different points of tumour metabolism. Gene therapy, a technique that selectively attacks a tumour, might…

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Ultrasound

Taking a look over your shoulder

As a former top-flight athlete with the French national gymnastics team, physiotherapist Luc D'Asnières de Veigy appreciates the value of rapid diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation following an injury. A specialist in the treatment of shoulder disorders, he explains how using point-of-care ultrasound systems helps in his day-to-day practice at Monte Carlo Joint Repair.

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Moving on

I saw the future of pathology – and it’s digital

Healthcare is going digital. No doubt about it, Prof. Hufnagl predicts. Information and communication technologies have gone beyond moving data from one place to the other; they are triggering stellar improvements in healthcare: diagnoses are becoming ever more precise, therapies ever more personalised. The extent to which the individual clinical disciplines have progressed in their technological…

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Breakthrough

How Dual Source technology is revolutionizing CT

Since launching Somatom Definition in 2005, Siemens has continued to develop Dual Source technology in order to overcome the remaining challenges in computed tomography. This significant development has made it possible to produce diagnostic images of a patient’s beating heart and coronary vessels without having to artificially lower their heart rate, for example. Scanning speeds that were…

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Genetic mutations

New neurodevelopmental syndrome identified

A multicenter research team led by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) has discovered a new neurodevelopmental syndrome and the genetic mutations that cause it. The discovery is an important step toward creating targeted therapies for individuals with this syndrome, which causes severe developmental delays, abnormal muscle tone, seizures, and eye complications.

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Breakthrough

Gut bacteria drive growth of stem cells in colon cancer

Colon cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in Germany. Prof. Dr. med. Sebastian Zeißig, group leader at the DFG Research Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) - Cluster of Excellence at the TU Dresden and physician at the Department of Medicine I, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden, has now shown a decisive role of gut bacteria in the regulation of intestinal…

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E. coli

Using harmless bacteria to fight cancer

Several bacterial species have pledged promise in fighting tumors. However, most of them are pathogens. In order to use them as a weapon against cancer and other diseases in humans, researchers must find a balance between their therapeutic aggressiveness and safety for the patient. To overcome this problem, researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) have shifted their focus…

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Key factor identified

Why is the immune system unable to combat HIV?

An international research group with essential participation of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, has identified NLRX1, a cellular factor of the human cell that is indispensable to the replication of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1). This factor plays a key role in attenuating the innate immune system towards HIV-1. Until now, the significance of NLRX1 for the replication of HIV-1 and the…

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Immune system

How can two types of immune cells arise from one?

The fates of immune cells can be decided at the initial division of a cell. Researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have discovered that the production of daughter cells with different roles in the immune system is driven by the lopsided distribution of the signaling protein c-Myc. Nudging c-Myc in one direction or the other could make vaccines more effective or advance…

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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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Peripheral artery disease

Treating poor blood circulation with injectable gel

Bioengineers and physicians at the University of California, San Diego have developed a potential new therapy for critical limb ischemia, a condition that causes extremely poor circulation in the limbs and leads to an estimated 230,000 amputations every year in North America and Europe alone to prevent the spread of infection and tissue death. The new therapy could prevent or limit amputations…

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Ovarian cancer

The story of the silent killer

Andrea G. Rockall, Consultant Radiologist at the Royal Marsden Hospital and Visiting Professor of Radiology at Imperial College in London, delivered the prestigious Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen Honorary Lecture at ECR 2016 on ‘Imaging the invisible killer: towards personalisation of ovarian cancer care’.

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Trends

The beauty of radiology

The trend in radiology is towards an increasing split into subspecialties such as interventional radiology, paediatric radiology or neuroradiology, which, with the growing complexity of this field, are becoming more independent of each other.

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Drug delivery vehicles

Stealth effect of nanocarriers conferred more efficiently

By using drug delivery vehicles, so-called nanocarriers, pharmaceuticals reach the diseased area in the body. There they accelerate the healing process. But in order to prevent them from getting ingested by phagocytes, the surfaces of the nanocarriers are typically coated with the biocompatible synthetic polymer poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG). Scientists at the Mainz University Medical Center and…

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Update on X-Ray

Leading hospital installs new generation devices

The radiology department at the German hospital Asklepios-Klinik Lindau recently received the high-performance R/F table Sonialvision G4, a new generation of X-ray and fluoroscopy systems, which complements examination and therapy options, particularly in internal medicine, as well as general surgery and for spinal disorders, the manufacturer Shimadzu reports.

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Diabetes

No more Insulin injections?

In patients suffering from Type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the pancreas, eventually leaving patients without the ability to naturally control blood sugar. These patients must carefully monitor the amount of sugar in their blood, measuring it several times a day and then injecting themselves with insulin to keep their blood sugar levels within a healthy range. However, precise control…

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Antibodies

A ‘silver bullet’ for Ebola viruses?

There may be a “silver bullet” for Ebola. Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston (UTMB) reported that they have isolated human monoclonal antibodies from Ebola survivors which can neutralize multiple species of the virus.

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Discovery

Blueprint of body's heat sensor

Touch a hot stove, and your fingers will recoil in pain because your skin carries tiny temperature sensors that detect heat and send a message to your brain saying, "Ouch! That's hot! Let go!" The pain is real and it serves a purpose, otherwise we'd suffer greater injury. But for many people with chronic pain, that signal keeps getting sent for months or years, even when there is no…

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Politics

EU aims to avoid opioid epidemic

In the USA, there is already talk of an ‘opioid epidemic’. Whereas in the past 20 years some 100,000 people died directly or indirectly through prescribed opioids, reports indicate that more than 16,000 died in 2010 alone. Since the sales of opioid analgesics quadrupled between 1999 and 2010 recent debates have intensified surrounding the use of opioids for non-tumour-related pain in the USA,…

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Body dysmorphic disorder

Online therapy can help

Internet based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help people affected by body dysmorphic disorder, finds a study published by The BMJ today. This is the largest clinical trial of body dysmorphic disorder ever conducted, and the first to evaluate the effect of an internet based programme for the condition.

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Intervention

Flat Panel Surgical C-arm

Directly from the factories, PrimaX offers a complete range of interventional and radiological units available worldwide. 30 years experience in the field of medical imaging will convince you.

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Immunotherapy

The new frontier of cancer therapy

Healthcare, the world’s largest industry, is more than three times the size and value of the financial services sector, and is transforming faster than ever before, driving humanity to rethink the way we approach our health.

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Infection control

Topical antibiotic therapy is an indispensable add-on

Locally applied antibiotics are a component of effective infection management in orthopaedics and trauma surgery. Successful concepts are based on patient-specific surgical and antimicrobial treatment. At the symposium “Infections and high-risk patients: solutions for joint replacements and traumatology” at this year’s Congress on Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgery (DKOU) in Berlin last…

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High rating

Immunotherapy brings striking successes

Checkpoint inhibitors can achieve a lasting treatment response in around 20% of some kinds of advanced cancer cases. ‘Immunotherapies are given the highest possible rating on the Magnitude of Clinical Benefit Scale of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO), which assesses the actual clinical benefit of tumour treatments,’ emphasises Professor Christoph Zielinski MD, Head of the…

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Fluorescent agent

Injectable agent illuminates cancer during surgery

Doctors at the Duke University School of Medicine have tested a new injectable agent that causes cancer cells in a tumor to fluoresce, potentially increasing a surgeon’s ability to locate and remove all of a cancerous tumor on the first attempt. The imaging technology was developed through collaboration with scientists at Duke, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Lumicell Inc.

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σ=p*r/2h

Physics Law Applied to Improve Left-Sided Heart Failure

Cardiologists from 15 centers in 6 countries have evaluated a new approach for the treatment of Left-Sided Heart Failure under the leadership of Stefan D. Anker, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Innovative Clinical Trials at the Cardiology and Pulmonology Clinic in the Heart Center of the Medical University Göttingen (UMG). The investigators in the clinical evaluation entitled AUGMENT-HF demonstrated…

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Treating colon cancer with vitamin A

A leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, colon cancer is famously resistant to treatment. There are many reasons for this, but one has to do with a group of persisting cancer cells in the colon that cause relapses. Conventional therapies against them are mostly ineffective. EPFL scientists have now identified a biological mechanism that can be exploited to counteract colon cancer relapses.

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VenomKB

World's first therapeutic venom database

What doesn't kill you could cure you. A growing interest in the therapeutic value of animal venom has led a pair of Columbia University data scientists to create the first catalog of known animal toxins and their physiological effects on humans.

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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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Evolution

On the cusp of Medicine 4.0

In the world of technology, the term Industry 4.0 is already well known. Univ-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Bernhard Wolf has reveals a comparable development in medicine. Smart systems and personalisation have enormous potential, the Professor for Medical Electronics at the Technical University of Munich is convinced.

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Surgery

World’s first bilateral hand transplant on a child performed

Surgeons at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) joined with colleagues from Penn Medicine recently to complete the world’s first bilateral hand transplant on a child. Earlier this month, the surgical team successfully transplanted donor hands and forearms onto eight-year-old Zion Harvey who, several years earlier, had undergone amputation of his hands and feet and a kidney…

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“JEDI” Technology

New understanding of how immune system works

When it comes to fending off disease and helping prevent people from falling ill, the body’s immune system – armed with T-cells that help eliminate cancer cells, virus-infected cells and more – is second to none. But exactly how the immune system works remains, in many ways, a mystery, as there are numerous cell types whose functions and interactions with our immune systems have not been…

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Toolkit

Microchip helps to visualize breast cancer proteins

A photograph may reveal how something looks, but direct observation can divulge how the objects behave. The difference can mean life or death, especially when it comes to fighting human disease. To help researchers examine exactly how human diseases work at the molecular level, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientist Deborah Kelly has developed a new set of tools to peer into the…

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Mystery solved

Key Element of cellular organization found

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have discovered evidence of a mechanism at the heart of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and related degenerative diseases. The research highlights a possible new treatment strategy for the devastating disorders.

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Cancer

New molecular markers for high-risk neuroblastoma

Researchers from the University of Cologne and NEO New Oncology AG today jointly published in Nature* the findings of an extensive genomic analysis of neuroblastoma, a malignant pediatric tumor of the sympathetic nervous system. In the most aggressive forms of this tumor, the researchers identified previously unknown genomic alterations leading to up-regulation of the telomerase reverse…

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Mutations

Cancer Genes open door to targeted treatments

In a discovery that could lead to more targeted and effective treatments for certain lung and prostate cancers, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have identified two new cancer-causing gene mutations – mutations that may be particularly susceptible to cancer-fighting drugs already approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. One of the gene mutations also may…

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Protein DART

New shock-and-kill strategy against HIV

A unique molecule developed at Duke Medicine, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and MacroGenics, Inc., is able to bind HIV-infected cells to the immune system’s killer T cells. It could become a key part of a shock-and-kill strategy being developed in the hope of one day clearing HIV infection.

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Event

EHFG: Cross-border healthcare

At this year's European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG), several discussions focused on the increasing demands for new strategies to ensure equal access to high quality healthcare. The funding and pricing of medicines as well as universal access to healthcare were also addressed, as was the role of the EU in this area.

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Management

A challenging shift from cure to care

Healthcare systems need to move beyond reform and transform services delivered outside hospitals for the chronically ill patients. After 20 years of reform and reorganization efforts, many countries in Europe continue to deliver antiquated and inadequate care for chronically ill patients, according to Yann Bourgueil, the Director of the Institute for Research and Information in Health Economics…

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Parenteral nutrition

Blocking light improves premature babies' survival rates

The survival rate of premature babies born between 26 to 31 weeks of gestation is improved by blocking light from reaching the intravenously-fed infused nutritious mixture they depend on for survival, researchers at CHU Sainte-Justine and the University of Montreal have revealed in a new study.

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Parkinson’s Disease

Noninvasive brain stimulation improves motor symptoms

People with Parkinson’s disease (PD) tend to slow down and decrease the intensity of their movements even though many retain the ability to move more quickly and forcefully. Now, in proof-of-concept experiments with “joysticks” that measure force, a team of Johns Hopkins scientists report evidence that the slowdown likely arises from the brain’s “cost/benefit analysis,” which gets…

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IT

Smart watch promises smarter medication

While Swatch and Rolex count the hours until their smart watches overwhelm the time market, medical informatics researchers have already been working on solutions to improve healthcare. Some demonstrated their work on a medication reminder application during the Medical Informatics Europe conference in Madrid. Report: Mélisande Rouger

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Study

Spheroid stem cell production sows hope for IPF treatment

In a small pilot study, researchers from North Carolina State University have demonstrated a rapid, simple way to generate large numbers of lung stem cells for use in disease treatment. This method of harvesting and growing a patient’s own lung stem cells shows promise in mice for treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), and could one day provide human IPF sufferers with an effective, less…

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Genetics

Genetic interaction offers target for glaucoma therapy

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have elucidated a genetic interaction that may prove key to the development and progression of glaucoma, a blinding neurodegenerative disease that affects tens of millions of people worldwide and is a leading cause of irreversible blindness.

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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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Systems medicine

IT is a resource just like water or energy

Systems medicine – the interdisciplinary field incorporating biochemical, physiological and environmental interactions in the study of human body systems as part of an integrated whole – draws heavily on the technological advances in information technology (IT). New ways to use data impact on healthcare and society, says Professor Dr Heyo Kroemer, Dean of the Medical School, Georg August…

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Cancer Treatments

The DNA damage response goes viral

Every organism—from a seedling to a president—must protect its DNA at all costs, but precisely how a cell distinguishes between damage to its own DNA and the foreign DNA of an invading virus has remained a mystery. Now, scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered critical details of how a cell’s response system tells the difference between these two perpetual threats. The discovery…

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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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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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Infectious disease

Ancient origins of deadly Lassa Virus

Working as part of an international team in the United States and West Africa, a researcher at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has published new findings showing the ancient roots of the deadly Lassa virus, a relative of Ebola virus, and how Lassa virus has changed over time.

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Thrombectomy

Stroke is a surgical disease!

They did it for heart attacks. Can cardiologists now lead an effort to speed up the emergency medical response for stroke? Over the past five years, the Stent for Life initiative organised by interventional cardiologists has pushed majors medical centres to assure 24/7 coverage and reduce the time to treatment for patients showing up with severe chest pain.

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Counter-pulsation

Evidence at last

Cardiac surgeons have finally found what cardiologists had reported missing three years ago: evidence to support the use of the oldest mechanical circulatory assist devices: IABP. Nevertheless, the findings may have only limited impact.

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Real-time data for cancer therapy

In the battle against cancer, which kills nearly 8 million people worldwide each year, doctors have in their arsenal many powerful weapons, including various forms of chemotherapy and radiation. What they lack, however, is good reconnaissance — a reliable way to obtain real-time data about how well a particular therapy is working for any given patient.

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Therapy

Approach to reverse kidney damage

Adults who are worried or terrified sometimes curl up into a fetal position. Likewise, adult cells that are injured, including genetic injury leading to cancer, initiate a process that was present during embryonic development.

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Brain training

App may improve memory of people with schizophrenia

A 'brain training' iPad game developed and tested by researchers at the University of Cambridge may improve the memory of patients with schizophrenia, helping them in their daily lives at work and living independently, according to research published today.

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Multi-parametric MRI

Prostate MRI: “Yes, we scan!”

One in six men will develop prostate cancer. It is the second leading cause of cancer death amongst men in both the US and the EU. Definite diagnosis at an early stage is vital for survival and early treatment minimizes the risk of adverse effects, such as incontinence, erectile dysfunction, or impotence. While there is no preventive screening there is a ray of hope. Prof. Jelle Barentsz,…

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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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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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Immunotherapy

apceth and University of Cologne to Join Forces

apceth announced a broad partnership with the Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne (CMMC), University of Cologne, to combine technologies and expertise, on the development of immunotherapies for solid tumors and haematological malignancies. The collaboration will start immediately and is based on combinations of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cells, developed at the laboratory of Prof Hinrich…

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Big data

Multiparametric imaging

The vast amounts of data accumulating in breast diagnostics require new methods to extract clinical information in a practical way. When dealing with large amounts of data that is too big or too complex to be analysed with traditional data processing applications, the talk today is of ‘Big Data’. The data volume accumulating in breast diagnostics has become increasingly complex over recent…

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Novel DNA repair mechanism brings new horizons

A group of researchers, lead by Vasily M. Studitsky, professor at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, discovered a new mechanism of DNA repair, which opens up new perspectives for the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. The article describing their discovery is published in AAAS' first open access online-only journal Science Advances.

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"Pulse" technology may replenish skin's collagen

A team of Tel Aviv University and Harvard Medical School researchers has devised a non-invasive technique that harnesses pulsed electric fields to generate new skin tissue growth. According to their research, the novel non-invasive tissue stimulation technique, utilizing microsecond-pulsed, high-voltage, non-thermal electric fields, produces scarless skin rejuvenation and may revolutionize the…

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POCT

Evolutionary POCT

A growing number of clinical tests are being delivered in community hospitals with more patients receiving quicker, accurate diagnoses closer to home, without stays in acute hospital beds. Professor Daniel Lasserson, an Associate Professor in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences at Oxford University, shares the opinion that using point-of-caretesting (POCT) to facilitate high…

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Drawing radiology and nuclear medicine together

‘Let’s work as a team!’

Dr Gerald Antoch, professor of radiology and chairman of the department of diagnostic and interventional radiology at Düsseldorf University Hospital and active member of several scientific societies, delivered the prestigious Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen Honorary Lecture at ECR 2015 on ‘Hybrid imaging: Let the two worlds of radiology and nuclear medicine come together’. Report: Marcel Rasch

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Stroke treatment

Six international studies endorse thrombectomy

Results from six international randomised controlled studies conclusively and uniformly confirm, for the very first time, the effectiveness of thrombectomy in patients with acute, severe ischaemic strokes caused by a blood clot in one of the proximal cerebral arteries. The endovascular procedure is an add-on to conventional thrombolysis. EH reports from a German Stroke Society (DSG) press…

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PlasmaDerm

Plasma makes wounds heal quicker

Many people suffer from skin disorders. Open wounds are a particularly acute problem, especially among the elderly. PlasmaDerm, a new medical technology solution, uses plasma to facilitate faster healing of wounds.

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HIV

Identification of a molecule that recognizes HIV in immune cells

In collaboration with colleagues from California and New York, researchers of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified a cytosolic receptor which enables cells of the immune system to recognize HIV and to trigger an immune response. The findings of the researchers may be a useful tool for creating an effective endogenous immune response against HIV and helpful to boost vaccine responses.

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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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Orthopedics

Bioactive gel to treat knee injuries

Knee injuries are the bane of athletes everywhere, from professionals and college stars to weekend warriors. Current surgical options for repairing damaged cartilage caused by knee injuries are costly, can have complications, and often are not very effective in the long run. Even after surgery, cartilage degeneration can progress leading to painful arthritis. But a University of Iowa orthopedics…

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Radiotherapy

Prostate: Free of cancer after five years

Results from a randomised controlled trial to compare the use of permanent radioactive implants (brachytherapy) with dose-escalated external beam radiotherapy in patients with prostate cancer show that the men who received brachytherapy were twice as likely to be cancer-free five years later. These results presented Professor James Morris, from the Department of Radiation Oncology, Vancouver…

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Cardiology I

Chest pain units in Germany

The German care system for patients with acute and unspecific chest pain is unique in Europe. The closely knit and countrywide network of accredited Chest Pain Units (CPUs) ensures fast and targeted diagnosis of acute cardiac events. The German CPUs may soon serve as a blueprint for other European countries. The German Cardiac Society (DGK) has already accredited the first institutions – others…

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Personalised medicine

Computerised tailor-made retinopathy therapy

Nowadays the concept of personalised medicine is usually applied to oncology. However, there are other clinical disciplines in which therapies tailored to the individual patient are within reach, viz. ophthalmology. In the researchers’ limelight is intravitreal drug delivery since the outcomes of injections into the vitreous differ from patient to patient. Ophthalmologists in Vienna, Austria,…

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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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Liver Cancer

New Treatment Approved for EU

A new treatment for liver cancer developed by the University Medical Center (UMC) Utrecht has received the European CE mark for quality and safety. This implies that hospitals throughout Europe can now start using this innovative treatment that uses radioactive holmium microspheres to attack liver tumors. The treatment is being marketed by Quirem Medical, a spin-off company of the UMC Utrecht.

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Education in surgery

Suffering permanent stress

‘There are still only 24 hours in a day – even for surgeons,’ said Professor Vogt MD during our interview. The Director of the clinic for plastic, hand and reconstructive surgery at Hanover Medical School and President of the DGCH (German Society of Surgery) is calling for solutions to the dilemma trainee surgeons face: undergoing high-quality specialist medical training while completing…

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Sequencing

Precision medicine in oncology

Professor Hedvig Hricak MD PhD, Chair of the Department of Radiology at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre, New York, and Professor of Radiology at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, is a notable expert on crosssectional anatomic and molecular imaging, particularly of gynaecologic and prostate cancers. EH interviewed her about the potential and impact of more precise viewing of inter-…

Study

British lung transplant patients fare better than Americans

Publicly insured Americans who undergo lung transplantation for cystic fibrosis fare markedly worse in the long run than both publicly insured patients in the United Kingdom and privately insured Americans, according to the results of a study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and U.K. colleagues working in that nation’s government-funded National Health Service.

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Frostbite

Chilled to the bone!

For people living in Chamonix-Mont Blanc medical services at the nearby community hospital have been reduced to little more than a stopover visit before being referred down the mountain to larger facilities in the network of the Hospitals of Mont Blanc Country. Report: John Brosky

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Cancer researchers identify new function in an old acquaintance

Cells have two different programs to safeguard them from getting out of control and developing cancer. One of them is senescence (biological aging). It puts cancer cells into a permanent sleep so they no longer divide and grow in an uncontrolled way. Now the research group led by Professor Walter Birchmeier (Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine, MDC, Berlin-Buch) has discovered that an…

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Diagnostics

Part II: Iron deficiency and anaemia

Iron deficiency and resulting anaemia cause fatal comorbidities worldwide. Despite this, they are generally underestimated. Professor Lothar Thomas, specialist in laboratory medicine at the Central Laboratory in the Frankfurt/Main University Hospital, is seeking more information about new laboratory parameters for diagnosis and monitoring of iron deficiency and iron substitution therapy. The…

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Breast Cancer

Decision-making based on personalized data

No alcohol, but exercise and a healthy diet – that’s what women can do to help prevent breast cancer recommends Prof. Thomas Helbich (Director of Molecular and Gender Imaging at the Medical University of Vienna) who hosted the European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR) session ‘The complexity of personalized breast care’ at ECR 2015. Report: Chrissanthi Nikolakudi

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Liver

Stellate cells control regeneration and fibrosis

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Medical Faculty in Mannheim at Heidelberg University are searching for new approaches to prevent liver fibrosis. They have identified a surface molecule on special liver cells called stellate cells as a potential target for interfering with this process. When the researchers turned off the receptor, this led to reduced liver…

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Digital pathology

Biopsy results

Gideon Ho, CEO and co-founder of Singapore-based HistoIndex is confident: ‘After a biopsy a patient waits in a hospital bed, but now, instead of waiting a couple days until doctors know how to treat this patient, we can deliver results while the patient is still in the hospital.’ Report: John Brosky

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Diagnostics

Iron deficiency and anaemia

Iron deficiency and resulting anaemia cause fatal comorbidities worldwide. Despite this, they are generally underestimated. Professor Lothar Thomas, specialist in laboratory medicine at Central Laboratory of the University Hospital of Frankfurt/Main, is calling for more information about the new laboratory parameters for diagnosis and monitoring of iron deficiency and iron substitution therapy.

Politics

Call for urgent action to improve CDI management

CDI Europe, the European Hospital and Healthcare Federation (HOPE) and MEP Karin Kadenbach hosted an event at the European Parliament to highlight the urgent action needed to address the current issues relating to the management of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) and Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).

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Brain Imaging

Detailed images of the brain

Refined acquisition techniques and coils facilitate the assessment of cranial nerves with MRI. Professor Dr Elke Gizewski, Director of the University Clinic for Neuroradiology at the Medical University Innsbruck, Austria, is an expert in diagnostic and interventional neuroradiology and explains pathologies and scanning techniques for intracranial nerves.

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Biologised medical technology

New approaches, solutions and outlooks on biologised medical technology developed in the Berlin metropolitan region were presented at this year’s annual 'Medical technology meeting place' in Berlin, which presents the latest research, new product developments and best practice examples from the greater-Berlin area. report: Bettina Döbereiner

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A little revolution in sonography

Until recently liver biopsies were performed to stage hepatic fibrosis in order to identify the suitable therapy. ‘Since any intervention in the human body is associated with risks – haemorrhage and infection for example – we have long been looking for an alternative method to determine liver tissue elasticity. Today shear wave elastography is exactly such a method,’ says Professor…

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A pathologist in your pocket

We live in a connected world, a very different world than it was a decade ago, said Eric Topol MD. Mobile devices, wearable devices are driving a creative revolution, reducing costs of healthcare, increasing patient access to health information.

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To pulse or not to pulse

Whether mechanical, temporary cardiac assist systems should pulsate in the same way as a biological heart is a discussion topic, which raises the pulse rates amongst all those involved within the industry and in hospitals.

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Study

Sepsis cases are rising

Sepsis kills around a hundred and thirty patients daily In Germany alone. This systemic disease is mostly caused by bacterial pathogens, and less frequently by fungal organisms or parasites. The delayed diagnoses result in high mortality. Professor Dr Frank M Brunkhorst of the Centre of Sepsis Control and Care (CSCC), at Jena University Hospital, Germany, is seeking strategies to combat such…

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High quality care at low costs

Whilst participants at the ‘Boundary-less Hospital in Health Care Networks’ conference, organised by the Centre for Advanced Studies in Management (CASiM) at Leipzig Graduate School of Management (HHL) in mid-June agreed on the need as such, there was plenty of room to discuss exactly which changes could make the German healthcare system future-ready.

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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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Oocyte modification

USA - Oocyte modification to eliminate inherited mitochondrial defects in a human embryo was the subject of a globally scrutinised Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hearing held in February.

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Delayed diagnoses result in high mortality

Sepsis kills around 130 patients daily In Germany alone. This systemic disease is mostly caused by bacterial pathogens, and less frequently by fungal organisms or parasites. Professor Dr Frank M Brunkhorst of the Centre of Sepsis Control and Care (CSCC), at Jena University Hospital, Germany, is seeking strategies to combat such scary figures.

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Gathering to beat pain

This March, the Complesso Monumentale Santo Spirito in Sassia, Rome, was the unique and original venue for the 6th Annual SIMPAR Meeting, which aims to spread and support a wider scientific and cultural awareness of pain. Jane MacDougall interviewed Professor Massimo Allegri, President of organising committee, about the meeting and his own pain research projects.

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The German Stem Cell Network

More than 400 international scientists headed for the Max Delbrück Centre in Buch, near Berlin for updates on stem cell biology findings and discuss how to develop synergies between basic research, regenerative medicine and pharmacology, as well as strategies to cope better with researchers’ needs. The three-day event was the first annual conference of the German Stem Cell Network founded at…