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Fast Modeling of Cancer Mutations

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Using CRISPR, researchers at MIT's Koch Institute have developed a new approach to rapidly model the effects of tumor cells’ genetic mutations in mice.

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Personalized Cellular Therapy Achieves Complete Remission in 90 Percent of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Patients Studied

Ninety percent of children and adults with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) who had relapsed multiple times or failed to respond to standard therapies went into remission after receiving an investigational personalized cellular therapy, CTL019, developed at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The results are published this week in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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PTPRZ-MET Fusion Protein: A New Target for Personalized Brain Cancer Treatment

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Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a new fusion protein found in approximately 15 percent of secondary glioblastomas or brain tumors. The finding offers new insights into the cause of this cancer and provides a therapeutic target for personalized oncologic care.

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Biologists Reprogram Skin Cells to Mimic Rare Disease

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Stem cell biologists have reprogrammed skin cells from patients with a rare genetic disorder, called familial dysautonomia, into neural crest cells that mimic and display many biological features of the disease. The research expedites the creation of these precursor cells from any patient with a neural crest-related disorder, allowing scientists to study each patient’s disorder at the cellular level.

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Growing Human GI Cells May Lead to Personalized Treatments

A method of growing human cells from tissue removed from a patient’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract eventually may help scientists develop tailor-made therapies for inflammatory bowel disease and other GI conditions. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have made cell lines from individual patients in as little as two weeks. They said the cell lines can help them understand the underlying problems in the GI tracts of individual patients and be used to test new treatments.

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Study Assesses Impact of Hourly Nursing Rounds on Patient Safety and Satisfaction

Adoption of hourly rounds schedules for nurses working in acute care hospitals may improve patient safety and overall satisfaction with care provided, according to research reported in the Journal for Healthcare Quality, the peer reviewed publication of the National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ, www.nahq.org).

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New Toolkits Ease the Transition from Pediatric to Adult Health Care

The new Transitions of Care initiative spearheaded by the Endocrine Society provides interactive toolkits to help young adults who have hormone conditions navigate the shift from a pediatric to an adult health care team. The Society partnered with several health care organizations on the initiative, which offers resources for young adults, their parents and health care providers.

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Tissue Collection Aids Search for Neurologic and Neuromuscular Disease Causes and Cures

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Like other major research centers studying genetic causes of uncommon and poorly understood nervous system disorders, Cedars-Sinai maintains a growing collection of DNA and tissue samples donated by patients. What sets Cedars-Sinai’s Repository of Neurologic and Neuromuscular Disorders apart is its special emphasis on tissue collection – part of its focus on creating future individualized treatments for patients.

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Telemedicine Catches Blinding Disease in Premature Babies

Telemedicine is an effective strategy to screen for the potentially blinding disease known as retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), according to a study funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI). The investigators say that the approach, if adopted broadly, could help ease the strain on hospitals with limited access to ophthalmologists and lead to better care for infants in underserved areas of the country. NEI is a part of the National Institutes of Health.

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Mayo Clinic Recommends New Routine Testing for some Non-Hodgkin Lymphomas

A Mayo Clinic-led group of researchers has discovered three subgroups of a single type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that have markedly different survival rates. These subgroups could not be differentiated by routine pathology but only with the aid of novel genetic tests, which the research team recommends giving to all patients with ALK-negative anaplastic large-cell lymphoma (ALCL). Findings are published in the journal Blood.

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