A study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that autologous stem cell transplantation can be an option for patients older than 75 who have multiple myeloma. A three-year overall survival rate of 83.7% was found for patients 75 and older, compared with 82% for those younger than 75.
A 55-year-old woman with chronic lymphocytic leukemia underwent dialysis based on what turned out to be a false positive for high potassium levels, likely due to the use of a sample that had been centrifuged, according to a case study in the journal Laboratory Medicine. The case illustrates the need to be aware of the potential for a false potassium level for patients with high white blood cell counts, researchers said.
The CMS has proposed eliminating Medicare compliance requirements it says are unnecessary, outdated and burdensome for health care facilities as part of its Patients Over Paperwork program. The agency said the proposal could save health care providers an estimated $1.12 billion annually with proposed changes, which would eliminate a provision that requires repeated submission of data for patients needing an organ transplant, as well as a requirement for ambulatory surgical centers to perform pre-surgical evaluations in addition to the operating physician.
Researchers analyzed 12 years' worth of data for 23,422 trauma patients at an urban Level I trauma center and found that gunshot victims were five times more likely to need a transfusion, needed 10 times more units of blood and were 14 times more likely to die compared with other trauma patients. The differences are due to the dramatic severity of firearm injuries compared with other trauma, the study team said in the journal Transfusion.
National University of Singapore scientists are developing a portable test for a range of diseases including hepatitis, dengue, Ebola, malaria and Zika. The assay is also intended to detect human papillomavirus, cancer and genetic conditions.
The US Preventive Services Task Force says there is not enough evidence to support adding C-reactive protein levels measured by high-sensitivity assays, coronary artery calcium score, or ankle-brachial index to traditional cardiovascular disease risk assessments in asymptomatic adults. USPSTF recommended more research on how adding hs-CRP, ABI, CAC and CVD outcomes affects clinical decision thresholds and patient outcomes, particularly in diverse populations.
Hepatic circulating epithelial cells have potential as a biomarker for diagnosing and monitoring chronic liver disease and hepatocellular cancer. In a recent study, circulating epithelial cells of hepatocyte origin in the blood were detected using a novel liquid biopsy cell-sorting device.
Health officials in the Democratic Republic of Congo said five new cases of Ebola virus infection have been confirmed, raising the total to 137. UNICEF announced it is sending specialists to support communication and education efforts against the outbreak.
Officials have declared a health emergency on the Indonesian island of Lombok, where 128 cases of malaria have been reported in the wake of earthquakes that displaced hundreds of thousands of people. The local government is requesting financial support for response efforts, including testing resources and mosquito nets.
Sangamo Therapeutics and Pfizer are developing SB-525, an investigational gene therapy for hemophilia A, and preliminary results from a Phase I/II study indicate the treatment has been well tolerated. The primary endpoints for the trial involve factor VIII levels and treatment-related adverse events.
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