• Aloka (Tokyo) introduced its new compact color ultrasound system, the ProSound Alpha 6. The new system is released with a full suite of application-specific probes and software, designed to target all specialist diagnostic areas in general imaging, cardiovascular, obstetrics & gynecology and internal medicine. The Alpha 6 high power processor allows a number of different imaging modes previously seen only in high end systems, without compromise on image quality and color Doppler sensitivity.

• Foresight (Dublin, Ohio) reported the integration of eEmergence's exclusive HIPAA 5010 interpretive content into selected products, a move that will facilitate 5010 migration for Foresight's customers. eEmergence's interpretive content provides insights into the reasoning behind specific changes from ASC X12 version 4010A1 to 5010 transaction sets. This content comes directly from authors of the 5010 standards and goes far beyond being just a description of changes. With the HIPAA Change Interpretation Guide, users can see a side-by-side on-screen and printed comparison for every segment, element and/or code value that has changed from HIPAA version 4010A1 to 5010, greatly reducing the time required to research the transactional changes during the Gap Analysis and Guideline Management stages of 5010 migration.

• Geneuity Clinical Research Services (Maryville, Tennessee) reported the recent validation and use in clinical trials of two human biomarker assays that play a key role in the early detection of kidney damage.These quantitative, predictive measurements for the biomarkers NGAL (Neutrophil Gelantinase-associated lipocalin) and KIM-1 (kidney injury molecule 1) will assist our drug development clients in initial Phase I dosing and Phase II proof of concept clinical trials as well as play a crucial role in Phase III efficacy/safety trials for early detection of drug toxicity. The urine biomarkers NGAL and KIM-1 can detect potential drug-induced damage to kidney cells in human clinical trials at a much earlier stage of renal toxicity than the nonspecific BUN (Blood Urea Nitrogen) and serum creatinine markers traditionally used to detect kidney damage. Serum creatinine and BUN have poor sensitivity and specificity, are expressed in a steady state, and lag behind both renal injury and renal recovery. These results delay detection of damage and discontinuation of nephrotoxic agents.

• Gen-Probe (San Diego) reported that the company has begun a clinical trial intended to secure U.S. regulatory approval of its Progensa PCA3 assay, a new molecular test that may help determine the need for a repeat prostate biopsy. "Based on the results of our extensive clinical research studies and our European commercial experience, we believe that our Progensa PCA3 assay can help predict the risk of a positive follow-up biopsy, thereby improving patient care," said Eric Lai, PhD, Gen-Probe's senior VP of research and development. "In addition, this is an important step forward in our efforts to maximize the economic value of our oncology strategy." The clinical study of the assay is expected to conclude in less than a year, after which Gen-Probe intends to submit a PMA to the FDA. The company anticipates the trial will enroll about 500 men, all of whom have had a negative prostate biopsy, at 10 or more clinical trial sites. Data from more than 20 peer-reviewed publications suggest that the Progensa PCA3 assay, when used in conjunction with other patient information, may help address some of the well-known challenges urologists face when identifying prostate cancer, such as minimizing unnecessary biopsies. PCA3 is a gene that is highly over-expressed in more than 90% of prostate cancers, and that can be quantified in urine specimens following a digital rectal examination.

The Renaissance Laser and Vein Clinic (Thousand Oaks, California) says it is offering patients three of the biggest breakthrough skin laser treatment including Titan, Laser Genesis and Pearl. Each one of these cutting edge lasers is targeted to treat a different skin care concern. The Titan laser treatment is ideal for tightening loose skin around the neck, jowls, arms and stomach. Laser Genesis is a laser skin treatment that targets fine lines on the face and neck. The Pearl treatment is a cutting edge laser skin treatment that combines the effectiveness of lasers with the power of microdermabrasion.