Genome-wide association studies are a means of identifying genes associated with traits or diseases. For those who didn't graduate college lately, here's a guide to how they work, what they find, and their limitations.
From hospital inpatient “wealth screenings” for potential donors, to digital "geofencing" cell phones in emergency rooms, the erosion of patient privacy is real. Guess who's the latest to have access to your intimate data (e.g. pregnancy status, ovulation cycle, blood pressure) without your consent?
Does Geisinger Health System's latest pitch, to offer DNA sequencing as part of routine testing at the primary care visit, promise more than it can deliver?
Personalized medicine is the rage but it's yet to realize much of its potential. That is why a study that was recently reported for ovarian cancer surveillance is exciting.
A new blood test that detects prostate cancer may send PSA formerly the gold standard of detection to the scrap heap. Not only does it involve a blood sample, rather than a biopsy, but the test also detects the deadly, aggressive form of the disease that PSA can miss entirely.
The field of personalized medicine continues to explode. We have discussed the nascent approach of tailoring cancer treatments to specific gene mutations rather than the type of cancer. Although results have been mixed, many researchers believe that this is the future of cancer therapy, replacing the traditional scattershot approach.
Today s New York Times features a story on a topic we have discussed frequently very expensive cancer drugs that provide only a modest benefit to most patients, but maybe a large benefit to some.
Hardly a week goes by without a surprise popping up in the world of cancer research. The understanding of how genetic mutations cause certain cancers continues to evolve, and this is radically changing how we view cancer, which could lead to a revolution in its treatment.
We have seen some remarkable medical breakthroughs in the past two decades. In terms of sheer impact, it could be argued that transforming HIV infection from a certain death sentence into a manageable chronic disease, and a cure for hepatitis C, which is four times more prevalent than HIV worldwide, are at or near the top of this list.
It is generally accepted that the chronic use of aspirin and some other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduce the risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). A new study shows that this beneficial effect may not apply to everyone.
In today s Why didn t I think of that? feature, a simple, but elegant solution that could partially eliminate the guessing game: Which chemotherapy drugs are better to treat a given cancer? While some chemotherapy regimens are well-established to treat a certain type of cancer, in some ways, cancer chemotherapy is still a guessing game.
Hats off to Paul Howard at the Manhattan Institute for a fascinating and very timely commentary entitled Sure, We'll (Eventually) Beat Cancer. But Can We Afford To? Howard s piece is about the disconnect between emerging scientific advances to fight cancer and our ability as a society to pay for them.