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The following is a review of diagnostics related medical research worldwide

The information is updated the first week of every month - so ... make this a regular stop in your information gathering activities.

The following information has been compiled from publicly available Sources, StratCom does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or the authenticity of the information and StratCom cannot be held liable for errors.

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Research News for April 1999

The Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International and Sertoli Technologies have formed a two-year research collaboration to develop grafts composed of Sertoli cells and pancreatic islets for use in transplantation therapy to cure diabetes. Sertoli cells, which are obtained from the mammalian testis, produce an array of factors that nourish developing sperm and protect them from attack by the immune system.
Pancreatic islet cells secrete insulin in response to blood sugar levels. A graft consisting of Sertoli cells and islets could simultaneously provide insulin-independence and prevent immune rejection.

Research at the Channing Laboratory in Boston, Mass, has shown that high blood levels of fibrinogen are linked to an increased risk of heart attack. The investigators report that patients with heart attack had significantly higher fibrinogen levels compared with healthy controls. In fact, subjects with especially high fibrinogen levels had a risk of heart attack twice that of men with lower levels of the blood-clotting agent. These findings remained unchanged regardless of the presence or absence of other coronary risk factors, including high cholesterol. The report cautions that it may be too soon for fibrinogen monitoring to become a routine part of medical evaluations. However this may change when drugs that lower fibrinogen become available.
Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, April 1999

Inhibitex and the BioResearch Ireland (BRI) are collaborating in the characterization of cell surface adhesins from Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci with an eye to develop immunotherapeutics targeting the prevention and treatment of hospital-acquired, antibiotic-resistant infections caused by staphylococci.

Japanese researchers at Tokai University have developed a method of diagnosing cancer by measuring, 3-hydroxyproline, an amino acid that shows up in the urine after cells develop into a malignant tumor. Although the test cannot pinpoint the source of malignancy, it can detect all varieties of cancer and could enable the early detection of cancer. Hydroxyproline is a nonessential acid produced in the digestion of proteins, especially collagen. It has applications in tests to monitor the therapy of such illnesses as osteoporosis, bone metastases and rheumatoid arthritis. Classifying cancer into three stages of advancement, they found the tests accurately detected cancer by a rate of 26% in the first stage, 44% in the second stage and 60% in the third stage. The overall rate of accuracy was 42%.

On a similar note, a research collaboration between scientists at Truman State University, Kirksville, Missouri, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Dalian, China, have developed a method to quickly measure levels of pteridines in the urine. Pteridines play a role in metabolism of cells, including the synthesis of certain vitamins such as vitamin B2. But malignant tumors greatly disturb the biosynthesis and metabolism of pteridines, thus leading to a great change in pteridine concentrations, and cancer patients who have not undergone chemotherapy have significantly higher levels of pteridines in their urine than healthy people.
Source: Analytical Chemistry, April 1999

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