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Friday 23 August 2019
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Topic: Pathology and diagnostics

July 25, 2019
A simple finger-prick blood test could help prevent unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics for people with COPD

A simple finger-prick blood test could help prevent unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics for people with COPD, according to a new study by researchers from Cardiff University, University of Oxford and King's College London.

With funding from the National Institute for Health Research, the team demonstrated that using a CRP finger-prick blood test resulted in 20% fewer people using antibiotics for COPD flare-ups.

July 18, 2019
The development of high-throughput ‘omics’ technologies (genomics, transcriptomics or metabolomics) that allow simultaneous examination of thousands of genes, transcripts and proteins is expected to change the playing field
Despite the large number of laboratory tests ordered daily, diagnostic tools proven to be effective when managing immune-mediated diseases are limited, often forcing physicians to rely on a mixture of clinical, laboratory and radiological features to establish a diagnosis. 
July 15, 2019
The rapid, non-invasive technique could help clinicians diagnose the disease earlier, and assess how effectively the selected treatment is controlling the progression of the disease
A new way of detecting rheumatoid arthritis using infrared light could offer an objective way of diagnosing the disease and monitoring treatment effectiveness, a University of Birmingham, UK study shows.
July 15, 2019
Researchers have identified new biomarkers for IBS in urine, which could lead to better treatments and reduce the need for costly and invasive colonoscopy procedures currently used for diagnosis
Scientists at McMaster University in Canada have identified new biomarkers for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in urine, which could lead to better treatments and reduce the need for costly and invasive colonoscopy procedures currently used for diagnosis.
July 8, 2019
Carefully designed, integrated multi-'omic' studies could accelerate the use of precision medicine for asthma patients, according to researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA
In an invited review article published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Scott Tyler, PhD, and Supinda Bunyavanich, MD, MPH, report that numerous studies have shown the value of applying transcriptomics and other 'omic' approaches for defining asthma subtypes - but they also cite the need for more studies aimed at pulling together these disparate data streams for a more comprehensive view of the disease.
July 1, 2019
Even when rhinitis is mild, it is important to accurately diagnose its pathology, understand which allergens trigger it, and follow the prescribed therapy to avoid the condition deteriorating and becoming worse
Allergic rhinitis is one of the most frequently neglected and underappreciated diseases. When the symptoms are limited to sneezing and itchy eyes, many sufferers decide to treat themselves with do-it-yourself remedies or remedies recommended by friends and relatives; however, this is a mistake.
July 1, 2019
Researchers have found that faecal miRNA could be used as a tool to assess the healthiness of gut microbiota and provide early clues to intestinal inflammation in mice
Small molecules found in faecal matter could provide clues to the early inflammation found in chronic gut conditions, such as intestinal bowel disease (IBD), and serve as new biomarkers for diagnosis, according to a study led by the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University.
The researchers found that faecal miRNA, small nucleic acid sequences, could be used as a tool to assess the healthiness of gut microbiota and provide early clues to intestinal inflammation in mice.
July 1, 2019
The test looks at 19 different variants of the DPYD gene that indicate susceptibility with the toxicity of these drugs; DPYD activity is important as it normally acts to breakdown 5-FU.
The Cancer and Haematology Centre at the Churchill Hospital in Oxford and the Horton General Hospital in Banbury have introduced a genetic test that helps predict dangerous side-effects of chemotherapy.
July 1, 2019
Research suggests that fats can help to aggravate the T-cell activated inflammation in the lungs that is seen in asthma
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have studied which genes are expressed in overactive immune cells in mice with asthma-like inflammation of the airways. Their results, which are published in the journal Immunity, suggest that the synthesis and breakdown of fats plays an important part in the process.
Th2 cells plays a vital part in asthma-related inflammation, but the rarity of these cells and a lack of sensitivity technology has made these cells hard to study in any detail.
July 1, 2019
The findings are published in Nature Communications, and the researchers hope that the method can also be used to subdivide other autoimmune diseases
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have found a way of using gene expression conserved across species to divide patients with the inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, into two distinct groups. 
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease affecting the colon and rectum. It manifests itself differently in patients, and only 50-60% respond to the treatment with biological drugs.
July 1, 2019
Research provides a non-invasive, simple test that could not only be useful for diagnosing IBD, but also other gut disorders, such as coeliac disease and food allergies
A new study proposes a novel, non-invasive test for assessing gut function that may help screen and monitor treatment of gut diseases using only a small sample (1ml) of blood and stool. 
June 20, 2019
Crohn’s & Colitis UK and IBD UK campaign to promote better care for everyone with IBD and provide greater access to psychological and dietetic support and more timely diagnosis
IBD UK, a partnership of 17 professional and patient organisations chaired by Crohn’s & Colitis UK, believe that people with IBD should receive safe, consistent, high-quality and personalised care, wherever they live and whatever their age, from diagnosis to treatment and ongoing monitoring, but unfortunately this is not currently the case.
June 18, 2019
Using immuno-positron emission tomography to image monoclonal antibodies directed against specific innate immune cell markers, investigators were able to effectively assess IBD in murine models
Inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be quickly and precisely diagnosed using a new type of nuclear medicine scan, according to research published in the June issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.
June 14, 2019
Over half of patients and rheumatologists report diagnosis within six weeks as the most problematic standard of care
The results of a large pan-European survey presented at EULAR 2019 investigated significant gaps in rheumatoid arthritis care across 16 patient-centred Standards of Care (SoC) in rheumatoid arthritis.1  
June 13, 2019
ApoB:A1 ratio and metabolomic lipoprotein signatures identified as new biomarkers for cardiovascular risk in juvenile SLE patients
The results of a study presented at EULAR 2019 identify ApoB:A1 ratio and metabolomic lipoprotein signatures as potential  biomarkers for cardiovascular risk in patients with  juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE).1
In depth metabolomics was used to investigate dyslipidaemia and cardiovascular risk in a cohort of patients with  JSLE. Unbiased hierarchical clustering stratified patients by metabolomic profile and revealed three distinct groups.
May 30, 2019
Scientists used powerful cryo-electron microscopes at the University of Leeds' Astbury Centre to reveal the structure of the regulator, comprised of two proteins in the body called BRISC and SHMT2, to understand for the first time how they work together in a cell.
Scientists have identified a new internal regulator that helps control the body's response to fight infection.
The discovery could be a target for new drugs to tackle autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and scleroderma, where healthy tissues are attacked by the body's own immune system.
"We want to put a brake on the body's own immune system to stop it turning on itself," said Dr Elton Zeqiraj from the University of Leeds.
May 17, 2019
Analysing fragments of DNA that are shed by tumours into the bloodstream could indicate early on whether patients are at risk of their cancer spreading, according to new research
Researchers at The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in the UK say ctDNA, a form of liquid biopsy, may be an accurate technique to monitor treatment response in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer, allowing treatment to be adapted or changed earlier to try to prevent the development of metastatic disease.
May 10, 2019
Largest trials of their kind suggest that whole body MRI may be quicker and cheaper than standard imaging for detecting spread of colorectal and non-small cell lung cancers, while just as sensitive
Trials with people with newly-diagnosed colorectal and non-small cell lung cancer suggest that whole body MRI could reduce the time it takes to diagnose the stage of cancers.
The results are from two prospective trials with nearly 500 patients across 16 UK hospitals, published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology and The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journals.1,2
May 3, 2019
Researchers found the new test was 90-100% accurate in correctly identifying IBD patients who did not require multiple treatments
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have developed a new test that can reliably predict the future course of inflammatory bowel disease in individuals, transforming treatments for patients and paving the way for a personalised approach.
May 2, 2019
Pancreatic Cancer UK has announced that they are investing £750,000 into developing the first simple test for pancreatic cancer by 2024
Currently, pancreatic cancer is diagnosed by a CT or MRI scan and there is currently no ‘non-invasive’ detection test so a development of one would be welcomed.
However, whilst having a bio-marker for the disease is fantastic and something we should be investing in, this will not solve the problem of late diagnosis (which is the major cause for the extremely low survival rate in pancreatic cancer).  
April 29, 2019
The diagnosis of the causes of urticaria is very challenging, because very many physiological or pathological conditions are associated with the appearance of hives
Urticaria is a clinical condition characterised by the presence of skin lesions, called wheals. Typically, these are intensely itchy and surrounded by an area of erythema. Wheals can have a diameter from a few millimetres or appear as confluent lesions with a diameter of several centimetres. In some cases, urticaria is associated with angioedema, which appears as a swelling of soft tissues from fluid accumulation due to dermal oedema.
April 25, 2019
A report describes how a new battery of tests enables researchers to distinguish patients with IBS from healthy children and identifies correlations between certain microbes and metabolites with abdominal pain
To improve the treatment of children with IBS, investigators have developed a sophisticated way to analyse the microbial and metabolic contents of the gut. 
April 15, 2019
Identification of the allergic triggers of rhinitis is crucial in order to implement adequate avoidance measures in both atopic and non-atopic patients; moreover, this identification can help administer specific therapies, such as allergen immunotherapy
Rhinitis is an inflammatory disorder of the nasal mucosa clinically defined by two or more symptoms of nasal itching, sneezing, anterior or posterior rhinorrhoea, and nasal blockage.1
April 4, 2019
Different models should be evaluated to overcome specific transition items such as barriers to successful outcomes, and poor compliance and complications, in order to improve quality of life for the future adult
Transition is defined as the purposeful, planned movement of adolescents and young adults from a child-centred to adult-oriented health care system.1