Typically, cancer is difficult to diagnose at the initial stage. This early-stage diagnosis reduces its complications and the mortality rate linked with it. In many countries, cancer is usually diagnosed in later stages which affects the quality of life and results in greater morbidity rates and high treatment costs. Addressing the delays in the detection of cancer and the unavailability of effective treatment is therefore critical in all the health care settings for cancer control.
Early diagnosis strategies are used to confirm the presence of disease, monitor the process of disease and plan interventions to prevent the disease from progression. These strategies help to improve the cancer outcomes by providing care and effective treatments at the initial stage.
Factors that hinder the cancer diagnosis must be identified and addressed so that it becomes easy to implement effective treatment programs at various levels including improving diagnostic and referral capacity, community engagement to address the behavior of the patient, and ensuring the timely access to high-quality treatment.
A team of researchers led by Professor Jenny Yang from the Georgia State University Regents identified a new method for detecting cancer at the initial stage. This method used the target MRI contrast agent that binds with proteins and detects cancer. The study is published in journal Science Advances.
To detect the metastases of the liver, new biomarkers have been identified by Yang and her colleagues at Georgia State and Emory University. Currently, cancer is diagnosed in its late stages such as biopsies. At this stage treatment options become limited and it ultimately lowers the survival rates. The recent discovery discussed in this study provides a wide range of options that includes precise treatments, effective diagnosis and reduce risk for patients.
Yang said that this method is effective as it will have many applications for diagnosis and treatment of any type of cancer. This method is already used in the lab for 10 different types of cancer.
National Cancer Institute-funded this researcher project. Researchers developed an agent which can target specific receptors known as Chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4). In the cancerous cells, this receptor is expressed more than normal in metastasis organs such as the liver.
It would be expected that small instances of cancer can be diagnosed through CXCR4 targeted protein-based MRI contrast agent because it beats all the barriers that hinder the early diagnosis of cancer. This new methodology shows the cancerous cells on multi-color scans known as precision MRI (pMRI).
In MRI technology, Gadolinium is used in contrast to agents that enhance the quality of images. In her previous research analyzing calcium, Yang decided to check the interaction of the metal with proteins. She found that the element wraps the protein around itself and takes it to the site where the image is being formed.
Still is it difficult to diagnose cancer in the early stages even though invasive biopsies. The diagnostic tests that use these contrast agents not only detect the presence of cancerous cells but can distinguish the diseases into different stages. The beauty of this test lies in its high accuracy and sensitivity.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration used the targeted protein contrast agent in the first step of clinical trials to check its efficiency in humans. Yang hopes that these clinical trials in patients will be conducted within 18 months to two years.
Yang is an associate professor at the Center for Diagnosis and Therapeutics. She enrolled 18 foreign and 17 U.S patients in protein engineering. Recently, the National Academy of Inventors awarded her a fellowship. Also, she has started a new company ‘InLight Biosciences’ that allows her to compete for new findings and introduced her latest discoveries to the world.
This research is based on the 2019 study published in the journal Nature Communications. In this study yang and her team identified liver fibrosis for the first time by using a collagen targeted protein contrast agent.
Yang further added that this contrast agent is used for more than 30 years in different aspects and it is my biggest contribution to the scientific world and hoping for the more to come in the future.
The Deadly Coronavirus Takes 250 lives in China, Thousands of Others Infected
The coronavirus is a highly contagious pneumonia-causing illness that infects the respiratory tract and responsible for several deaths in China. But now the virus spreads globally.
The current estimates tell that its death toll has crossed more than 250 people in China and many other countries are also reporting coronavirus infections. That’s the reason countries have started pulling out their residents from Chinese cities. Coronavirus has infected more People than severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
The World Health Organization ( WHO) convoked its panel to estimate whether the Coronavirus is a global emergency. The committee has advised that it may be not the right time to make an announcement. As per to latest news there is an increment in reported cases and deaths. Most of the deaths are in Hubei Province.
Indian Health Ministry states that a local student of Wuhan was observed infected with the virus when the student returned home from Wuhan. However, the health instructor of the Philippine confirmed a woman to be safe from Virus who also traveled from Wuhan.
Some other reports find that the only 9 persons had symptoms of cough and fever from a total of 210 people, who were transferred from China to Tokyo. Europeans countries arranged flights to bring back Europeans. The flights brought 350 Europeans and 195 Americans to their countries. All the evacuees were observed and checked. Other countries are also making efforts to get out there citizens.
The member of the World Health Organization ( WHO), Maria Van Kerkhove speaks about the condition concerning the new virus in a media talk. The airlines have discontinued their services in China and attempts continued to discover the treatment. The South Koreans protested to urge their government officials to evacuate the seven hundred south Koreans from China.
The official Xinhua News Agency reports that the Chinese authorities are trying to fulfill the basic needs of people living in hot-spot areas. Because these areas are facing shortages in daily necessities and food. It is estimated that Wuhan city f China ensures the supply of rice, cooking oil, pork, vegetables, and eggs for the next fifteen days.
The deputy director of market supervision from the National Post, Hou Yanbo requests people not to order food or any other thing from online or home delivery business other than the daily life necessities. The Chinese authorities are trying to keep people at their homes. The foreigners living in Wuhan city can become a cause of virus spread in other countries if they allowed leaving to their homelands.
The emergencies chief of WHO, Michael Ryan, finds that China has taken extraordinary measures to face an extraordinary challenge.
The scientists have given a rough estimate of the fatality rate seems that many virus-infected cases are missed. The death rate due to virus is estimated 2 percent in Ryan as 99 percent cases of virus-infected are estimated in China. The Chinese authorities have asked all the people who traveled from or to the Wuhan city to report to health authorities. And reports show that a person can be infectious after 14 days of leaving Wuhan.
The measures taken by China in response to coronavirus are praiseworthy as many lives will be safe due to taking some measures in time. The SARS lead to 800 people deaths in the whole world due to delayed response.
New Technology to Predict Cancer Recurrence in Melanoma Patients
The beginning of melanoma takes place when a small pigmented spot appears on the skin. By removing the lesion, a primary melanoma can be treated but it has a tendency of reoccurrence and can spread throughout the body. A new study showed that the likelihood of cancer can be predicted after the removal of the lesion.
Despite all medical advancements, the analysis of lesion his performed in the same old way. Generally, molecular diagnostic labs have many advances for the detection of other forms of cancer but for the skin lesion cancer the way of diagnosis is very simple. The diagnosis is based on the thickness of the melanoma and microscopic features.
A patient with thinner melanomas is considered to be normal and the T stage from 1 to 4 is assigned. The complete details of this study are published in Nature Cancer.
The researchers from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in collaboration with international colleagues showed a new technique about the reoccurrence and spread of melanomas. It leverages the sequences of DNA for predicting the possible factors involved in the reoccurrence and spread of melanomas.
Thomas Kupper who is the chairperson of the department of dermatology at the Brigham that there were no treatments available for metastatic melanoma 10 years ago. But now it is possible to treat the patients who have metastatic melanoma and these treatments can be given at the primary stage of the disease. It is important to have a clear idea about the patient’s progress report after giving the new immunotherapy treatments, so we can modify the treatment.
There are immune checkpoint inhibitors that can reinitiate the immune response through T cell against the cancer cells. These inhibitors have changed the results and options for the patients in which cancer has spread throughout the body. Immune checkpoint inhibitors can start dramatic responses such as long-term remission in the period of curing a patient.
Kupper and colleagues wanted to know about some measurable features of T cells. These features are used to check the predictions of the reoccurrence of melanoma in the removed primary melanoma and disease-free patients. Scientists study T2, T2, and T4 primary melanoma as the T1 are rarely metastasized melanoma.
They also face difficulty in finding the sample that was enough for results because skin lesion surgeries are usually performed at private clinics and ambulatory clinics. So, the concentration of the specimen is not available in the hospitals. For resolving this issue and for sharing the resources researchers collaborated with colleagues of the Melanoma Institute of Australia and the Zealand university Hospital in Denmark. The sample size for the analysis contains more than 300 patients from different areas.
The samples of primary melanoma patients with progress have been compared with those patients whose primary melanoma did not show any progress. For analyzing the T cell range of tumors, Adaptive Biotechnologies performed high throughput DNA sequencing. It was found that out of all identified variables the T cell fraction (TCFr) was an independent and strong predictor for the patients’ progress condition.
Patients with the same lesion thickness were more at the risk of developing metastatic disease. If the TCFr value is lower than 20 % in the patients, then they are more at the risk of disease progression. On the other hand, if the TCFr value is more than 20% then the risk of disease progression is low in patients.
The test used in this study is not available at the commercial level for clinical use. It is only used for research purposes. The authors said that the study is retrospective because it took the sample and data of patients that are already available. While the prospective study is that in which data for outcomes is not known and further tests are needed for validation.
Kupper and colleagues imagine that if a test could bring to the clinics then it will improve the patient care and strengthen the results. The test is elegant, simple and quantitative. These types of tests will help us in the future to modify the treatments according to the situation. If the patients have high TCFr then we will benefit him with checkpoint inhibitor therapy. If the value is low in patients, then more interventions are needed.
First Pneumonia Related Death Reported in China
The first case of pneumonia-related death is reported this Saturday in China. It’s a 61 years old man who died with respiratory illness. This illness was caused by a new type of virus that belongs to the same family as that of SARS. Not to forget, SARS is the same virus that took hundreds of life some years ago.
Currently, forty-one people in Wuhan are diagnosed with this new pneumonia-like disease but it is not pneumonia. The experts believe it’s a new viral strain and a statement from the central Chinese city’s health commission on its official website has confirmed it.
After this first death, seven more cases are in critical condition. But two of them are discharged after recovering from the mysterious pneumonia-like disease. The emergence of this new virus has alarmed the health officials and scared the public due to the past SARS outbreak.
In 2002-2003, or Sudden Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) topped the headlines with hundreds of people dying with it in China, Hongkong and many other parts of the world. Only in China SARS killed nearly 349 people and some 299 confirmed death cases in Hong Kong. It affected the national economy of these countries at large and completely distorted the tourism industry.
Chinese scientists are investigating the root cause of this outbreak and they believe it’s a new strain from coronavirus. Coronavirus is a family of viruses that contain different mild and severe varieties of flu virus including common flu and SARS.
The researchers from Kong’s Department of Health in this death announcement on Saturday shared that genetic sequencing of this virus has been found in only one patient from the Wuhan region and is now available online. By going through its sequencing and comparing it with SARS shows that both of these viruses are 80% similar. However, it is too early to give a conclusion if it is SARS or something more deadly. They have warned the people and healthcare authorities to be vigilant this flu season.
“We will remain alert as we believe the epidemic will continue to develop,”
Hong Kong authorities are trying to follow the necessary precautions to stop the spread of this new SARS-like virus. This includes disinfectant sprays in public transport i.e. trains and airplanes, checking of passengers and awareness campaigns on the new virus.
The Wuhan health commission further shares that this first person to die from the new viral disease bought eatables from a local seafood market. This seafood market was located in the city which is currently known to be the hub of this new flu outbreak in China and was cloves on January 1st for public safety.
The patient had the chronic liver disease but he died last Thursday due to “respiratory failure”. Ever since new cases are being detected nearly every day which shows that the evidence of this disease is contagious.
World health organization (WHO) said that there are no traveling restrictions necessary specific measures to follow during trade visits to China. It also expressed full confidence in Chinese health authorities to control the viral spread as soon as possible.
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