In the first week of November, Industry Watch brings you news of strategies to improve cancer screening via novel multi-cancer early detection (MCED) tests, which are nearing commercial availability. In addition, there’s also a study that suggests a drug widely prescribed to control blood pressure may improve patients' response to cancer immunotherapy. In COVID-19 research a CRISPR looks at gene targets not previously considered to treat the virus, and the need for better understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy outcomes. We’re also looking at new insights into acute kidney injury (AKI); and targeting microglia in neurodegenerative diseases.
Taking Early Cancer Detection to the Next Level
Early cancer detection can save lives, yet, cancer is predicted to become the world’s number one killer because we are still diagnosing most cancers too late. In the United States, we currently screen for only five types of common cancers. The rest are only identified when signs or symptoms appear, often signifying advanced disease when outcomes are poor.
Blood Pressure Drug May Improve Cancer Patients’ Response to Immunotherapy
The same biochemical triggers that spur a "fight or flight" response when we encounter threats may help tumor cells to thrive. A team of researchers from Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is looking at ways to disrupt that dynamic so that cancer treatments can be more effective.
Apple Collaborates with Researchers on Studies of Heart Failure and Flu
In addition to a study of asthma patients with Anthem, the tech giant is working with the Universities of Toronto and Washington on two other studies using its new Apple Watch Series 6. In an invitation-only study of patients with heart failure, researchers will use Apple Watch sensors, including the new VO2 Max algorithm, along with traditional in-clinic assessments, to monitor patients through the course of their treatment.
Biomarker Combination Predicts Kidney Injury in Critically Ill Children
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have identified a unique method of identifying the early signs of a potentially serious condition known as Acute Kidney Injury (AKI). The condition occurs commonly in critically ill children admitted to pediatric intensive care units often because of reduced blood supply to the kidneys (for example due to dehydration or sepsis), heart bypass surgery, or due to medicines which can cause kidney injury. Children who develop AKI have poorer immediate outcomes.
CRISPR-Based Screen Identifies Host Factors for SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Antiviral treatments can interfere with multiple targets that are important for the coronavirus to set up an infection and replicate. Since the start of the pandemic, many researchers have been searching for those targets for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Now, to identify new potential therapeutic targets for SARS-CoV-2, a team of scientists from multiple institutions in New York City, performed a genome-scale, loss-of-function CRISPR screen to systematically knockout all genes in the human genome.
COVID-19 Highlights the Need for Real-World, Real-Time Data in Ob-Gyn and Beyond
Millions of pregnant women and future generations depend on our ability to understand the impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy outcomes. Ob-Gyn physicians are coming together in informal groups on Facebook and discussing anecdotal up-ticks in preterm birth, stillbirth, and pregnancy losses. Unfortunately, there is no comprehensive pregnancy data set available to inform national guidelines and validate or refute these anecdotal observations. This problem is worth solving.
Newly Discovered Immune Cell Offers Path to Treating ALS, MS and Other Brain Diseases
Neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cause damage to nerve fibers that can’t be reversed. Now, scientists at Ohio State University and the University of Michigan have discovered an immune cell they believe could be harnessed to partially reverse this damage and slow MS, ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders.