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Thursday 27 June 2019
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Topic: Pathology and diagnostics

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
 
March 26, 2019
In contrast to rheumatoid arthritis, no serum autoantibody is associated with psoriatic arthritis, whereas other biomarkers have been proposed for early diagnosis of the disease or to predict treatment response for a more adequate allocation of resources
Psoriatic disease is a chronic inflammatory systemic condition characterised by psoriasis, which affects up to 3% of the general population, and in about 30% of cases, by psoriatic arthritis (PsA), which may also be diagnosed in the absence of a personal history of psoriasis.
 
March 18, 2019
Professor Evelien Dekker discusses the rising burden of colorectal cancer in Europe and the need for consistent and successful screening programmes across the continent
Colorectal cancer is Europe’s second biggest cancer killer, claiming the lives of nearly 200,000 people across the continent each year. Current trends predict that the burden of colorectal cancer could increase by 12% by 2020, affecting 502,000 Europeans a year by 2020.1
 
March 18, 2019
The role of the allergy specialist is critical in risk identification, diagnosis and management of potentially severe allergic reactions in both children and adults
Allergies are a major ongoing problem, especially in Western countries. Currently, it is estimated that about a quarter of the world's population suffers from some type of allergy, mainly due to allergic rhinitis or allergic bronchial asthma.
 
However, the most dangerous reactions (anaphylaxis) usually occur through allergic reactions to foods, drugs and Hymenoptera (for example, wasps, bees, ants, etc) bites.
 
The Big Eight
January 28, 2019
John Smith is the first doctor from the UK since 1982 to be recognised by International Academy of Cytology for dedication and outstanding contribution in the field
 
A top consultant who has played a leading role in helping to develop nationally and internationally recognised services supporting the diagnosis and prevention of cervical cancer has been recognised by the International Academy of Cytology for his outstanding contribution to the field.
 
January 18, 2019
Rapid blood tests used by the NHS are unable to rule out tuberculosis and should be replaced with a new, more accurate test, a study has found
Researchers from Imperial College London have shown that rapid blood tests used by the NHS are unable to rule out tuberculosis (TB) and should be replaced with a new, more accurate test.
 
Diagnosing and treating the condition early is essential for the health of the patient as well as for preventing the spread of TB to others. There is therefore a need for rapid, convenient tests to rule out a TB diagnosis in suspected cases based on a blood sample.
 
January 15, 2019
Academics and health professionals are combining their expertise to trial new technology which could speed up the diagnosis and treatment for thousands of hepatitis and HIV patients
 
Late diagnosis of blood-borne viruses (BBV), such as HIV and hepatitis, remains high in the UK despite efforts to increase testing among those at risk of infection.
 
Experts at Teesside University and South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have developed a new software application to assist GPs and health-care workers to make decisions about BBV- testing in real time.
 
December 13, 2018
There is growing evidence that the composition of the microbiome is a promising predictive tool for disease and for patient response to therapy in conditions such as IBD, cancer and liver disease
BiomX Ltd, a microbiome company developing customised phage therapies,  has entered into a collaboration with Janssen Research & Development to utilise BiomX’s XMarker microbiome-based biomarker discovery platform. The XMarker platform will be used to stratify responders and non-responders to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) therapeutics.
 
The collaboration was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation Limited.
 
December 7, 2018
Novartis's BYL719 is in late-stage development, and Qiagen expects to provide its companion diagnostic to clinical laboratory partners who will then be ready to offer immediate access to the test upon potential regulatory approvals

Qiagen has announced that a clinical development programme is underway with Novartis to bring to market a molecular test as a companion diagnostic to guide the use of the investigational compound BYL719 (alpelisib) in combination with fulvestrant for men and postmenopausal women living with PIK3CA mutated hormone receptor positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 negative (HR+/HER2-) advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

December 4, 2018
The researchers used a next-generation peptide-based immunoassay to subdivide allergenic milk proteins into smaller peptide fragments — called epitopes — and measured the reactivity of the epitopes to a patient’s IgE/IgG4 antibodies
AllerGenis has reported research results in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology(JACI) that demonstrate the ability to predict, with significant accuracy, milk allergy patients’ outcomes before milk oral immunotherapy treatment (Milk-OIT) is administered, using the company’s novel milk allergy diagnostic assay.  
 
December 3, 2018
Faecal calprotectin has a prognostic role for disease course in Crohn's disease and studies have suggested a revision of guidelines to incorporate it as a treatment target
The diagnosis of Crohn’s disease (CD) does not rely on a single gold standard but requires the integration of clinical data with endoscopic, histologic, radiological and biochemical investigations.1
 
December 3, 2018
The study recommends active surveillance to prevent over-treatment, suggesting that 36% of patients with a new diagnosis are candidates for active surveillance, 30% of whom will ultimately have treatment for progression
A new study has confirmed the effectiveness of Prostate-specific Antigen (PSA) screening in reducing prostate cancer mortality.
 
The retrospective cohort study of over 400,000 men, as published in Elsevier’s Urology® journal,1 set out to re-examine the value of PSA screening, to determine the optimal screening interval and the appropriate age groups to be screened. 
 
October 12, 2018
The new unit will focus on digital diagnostics and help laboratories, hospitals and other healthcare providers to 'optimise' their performance

Lab solutions company Roche Diagnostics has launched a new business unit called Roche Healthcare Consulting. 
 
The new unit will focus on digital diagnostics and help laboratories, hospitals and other healthcare providers to “optimise their performance”.
 
The global consulting service will feature over 250 experienced consultants who specialise in business, healthcare and technology, and will use data analytics and reports to help clients improve their operational, clinical and financial performance.