All women, regardless of their ethnic background, should be offered additional carrier screening before pregnancy, according to a new opinion from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Committee on Genetics.
"[T]he pretest probability of being a carrier for a specific disorder may not be consistent with previous assumptions about the prevalence of that disorder in the various ethnic and racial groups with which a patient identifies," the opinion states.
Today is World Malaria Day, and this year's theme is "End malaria for good." The World Health Organization announced that a malaria vaccine will be studied starting in 2018 in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi in trials involving 360,000 children.
Investigators with the University of California at Los Angeles reported in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene that 7 of every 10 US travelers who contract malaria require hospitalization. The researchers estimated that the US has 2,100 annual cases of malaria, which is higher than CDC estimates of 1,500 to 2,000 cases.
A restructuring at Immune Pharmaceuticals could result in the spinoff of Cytovia, its oncology subsidiary, to develop therapies for immuno-oncology and hematologic diseases. Daniel Teper, CEO of Immune Pharma, will go with Cytovia.
A review of 160 elective spinal surgeries found a 44.67% rate of complications with blood transfusions, compared with 23% among those who didn't receive blood transfusions, according to a study in the journal Spine. On multivariate analysis, researchers also found that intra- or perioperative allogeneic red blood cell transfusion was an independent predictor of 30-day readmission after elective spine surgery; 16.67% of those in the transfusion group were readmitted in the first 30 days, compared with 5% for the comparison group.
Researchers found that two proteins have the potential to prevent graft-versus-host disease following stem cell transplants, according to a study in the journal Science Translational Medicine. Retinoic acid-inducible gene I, or RIG-1, and stimulator of interferon genes, or STING, play roles in the immune response signal chains and the replacement of epithelial cells that can be damaged by radiation and drugs used in transplants.
H3 Biomedicine, a subsidiary of Eisai, and Foundation Medicine expanded their existing partnership focused on the discovery and development of precision medicine oncology drugs. The companies will continue to work on current H3 programs and use Foundation Medicine's FoundationCORE genomic data set to identify cancer drivers.
An interagency drill dubbed Tranquil Shift, led by the State Department and HHS, tested their readiness to take on a possible large-scale evacuation of Americans from outside the US due to potential outbreaks of deadly diseases such as Ebola or other highly infectious diseases. Despite some glitches in the operation, "there were no lessons learned; there were lessons reinforced," according to Dr. William Walters, the State Department's managing director for operational medicine.
A National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute study in The New England Journal of Medicine found that eltrombopag was associated with a 58% rate of complete response at six months when used as a first-line therapy for aplastic anemia in addition to immunosuppressive therapy. The drug is approved as a second-line treatment for patients with severe aplastic anemia.
Dutch biotech firm uniQure has announced it will cease production of the gene therapy Glybera for the rare blood disorder lipoprotein lipase deficiency due to a lack of demand in Europe. The drug's European marketing authorization expires in October and will not be renewed, according to the company.
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