By mid-January 2021, the U.K., South Africa and Brazil had confirmed that “variants of concern” were driving massive surges in COVID-19 cases in their countries. Once alerted, other nations found these troubling strains rapidly multiplying within their populations as well. At the time, the world had reported 90 million cases, creating abundant opportunities for the coronavirus to mutate. Of those cases, the virus in just 360,000 had been sequenced – and nearly all of them from just a handful of countries.
As of the end of January, SARS-CoV-2 has demonstrably infected more than 100 million individuals globally. It has killed more than 2 million. And the long-term sequelae of COVID infections – to say nothing of the health consequences of grief, social isolation and widespread economic distress – are still unfolding and will be for years to come.
KRAS is the most frequently mutated oncogene in solid tumors in general, and in lung tumors in particular. There are more patients whose lung tumors are driven by KRAS mutations than by ALK, Ros, Ret and TRK alterations. Combined. And after 40 years, they look to be getting a targeted therapy, or even two.
Mckesson Corp. has brought together several oncology organizations, life sciences companies, and patient advocacy groups to increase understanding of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and leverage targeted therapies to improve outcomes. The Molecularly Informed Lung Cancer Treatment in a Community Cancer Network: A Pragmatic Consortium (MYLUNG) study will observe and analyze 12,000 community-based, metastatic NSCLC patients to learn more about barriers to molecular testing for targeted therapies, how those therapies are being used, and to expand opportunities for participation in clinical trials.
The Human Skin Cell Atlas, comprising transcriptomes of 528,253 single cells, shows that cellular processes involved in skin development in embryos are reactivated in inflammatory skin diseases. In addition to suggesting potential new drug targets for atopic dermatitis and psoriasis, the transcriptomes provide a new route to understanding other inflammatory diseases, and provide a template for culturing skin for wound repair, according to the authors of a paper published in the Jan. 22, 2021, issue of Science.
Using Rhythm AI Ltd.'s stochastic trajectory analysis of ranked signals (STAR) mapping system with pulmonary vein isolation terminated and eliminated recurrence of persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) at much higher rates than other ablation procedures in a study published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology. The artificial intelligence-driven STAR mapping process collects and analyzes thousands of heart signals to precisely identify the areas of the heart responsible for the errant electrical signals causing atrial fibrillation, enabling more thorough and accurate ablation.
A Swiss diagnostics company is looking to tap into China’s vast patient pool to validate its diagnostic test for prostate cancer. Schlieren-based Proteomedix AG inked a partnership with Zhengzhou University Henan Cancer Hospital in China to validate its Proclarix diagnostics test in the local population.
Driving to a laboratory for blood testing may soon be a thing of the past. Babson Diagnostics Inc. just completed a pivotal study of its new system for collecting and analyzing blood from a finger prick at a pharmacy counter. The results indicate that the microsample system provides comparable results to phlebotomist-drawn venipuncture blood samples.
Theranica Bioelectronics Ltd. has snagged an expanded clearance from the U.S. FDA for use of its smartphone-controlled Nerivio device to treat migraines in adolescents. The new indication, for acute treatment of episodic or chronic migraine in people 12 years and older, is supported by a study published last month in the journal Headache.
One in five breast cancer conserving surgeries leaves behind some of the tumor. That means patients must schedule a second surgery and then endure additional pain, infection risk, recovery time and cost. Cairnsurgical Inc.'s Breast Cancer Locator system may change that by providing 3D tools that enable surgeons to precisely tailor resection to the shape, size and location of each tumor.