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Nissho Corp., Osaka, has developed agents and equipment for treating leukemia and other blood diseases, jointly with the New York Blood Center and the Hokkaido Red Cross Blood Center. The system involves transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells found in cord blood.
Group B streptococcal disease has been the leading cause of bacterial illness in newborns since the 1970s, but its incidence has declined significantly in recent years, according to the May 30 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that the first cases of vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus have been reported in Japan. The drug vancomycin has been successfully used for more than three decades, but beginning in 1989, there was a rapid increase in vancomycin-resistant enterococci, another common source of infection in hospitals. Since then, scientists have been concerned that the vancomycin-resistance genes in enterococci might be transferred to staphylococcus aureus.
Finnish researchers report that serum
levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) may
prove to be a useful marker for diagnosis of cancer. They found
that cancer patients had higher levels of serum VEGF than healthy
volunteers. The researchers expect that a serum VEGF level could
be a useful marker in the diagnosis of cancer and in monitoring
of tumor response to cancer therapy.
Source: Clinical Cancer Research 1997;3
A low serum concentration of antioxidants,
such as vitamins A and E and beta-carotene, appears to be
a risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland,
conducted a 15-year prospective study and found that patients
who developed either rheumatoid arthritis or lupus had lower antioxidant
Source: Annals of Rheumatic Diseases 1997;56
Up to 20 percent of Bacteroides
fragilis group organisms, the most common clinically important
anaerobes, may be resistant to the standard anti-anaerobic drug,
clindamycin. However, clinicians seldom test these bacteria for
drug susceptibility, and usually are not aware of resistance patterns
in their own medical centers.
Source: Clincal Infectious Diseases May 1997
appears to have a different natural history in carriers of BRCA1
and BRCA2 mutations, and to differ histologically from sporadic
breast cancers, reported researchers involved with the UK Breast
Cancer Linkage Consortium. They found that the histological characteristics
of breast cancers due to BRCA1 and, to a lesser extent, BRCA2
mutations differ from those of sporadic breast cancers. Cancers
in BRCA1 carriers were significantly higher grade than sporadic
cancers. The findings have implications for the management of
breast cancers, specifically in patients with BRCA1 mutations,
since these cancers may be associated with a faster rate of tumor
Source: The Lancet May 24 1997
A group of Salt Lake City researchers
have found a high rate of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in pregnant
women with the factor V Leiden mutation and recommend that
all women with a thrombotic event during pregnancy be screened
for this mutation.
Source: American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 1997;176
Homocysteine appears to be a new risk factor for coronary atherosclerosis, according to a report in the May issue of Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology. Dutch researchers have reported that homocysteine levels - fasting and loaded - are positively related to risk of coronary atherosclerosis.
Researchers at Brown University,
Providence, RI, have found that p53 gene mutations are
associated with poor survival in patients with colon cancer.
They reported that the presence of a p53 mutation was the single
most important risk factor associated with poorer survival in
patients with stage II and stage III colon carcinoma through a
follow-up period of 87 months.
Source: Archives of Surgery 1997;132
Patients with elevated serum cardiac troponin T may be at risk of major cardiac complications following noncardiac surgery, according to a report in the May 1997 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Researchers measured serum cardiac troponin T in 772 patients who underwent noncardiac surgery. They found that elevated levels of this marker increased the risk of postoperative major cardiac complications by 5 fold. None of the patients had clinical evidence of major cardiovascular complications during their inpatient course, but 2.5% had major cardiac complications during the 6-month follow-up.
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