Clinical OMICS

JAN-FEB 2019

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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www.clinicalomics.com January/February 2019 Clinical OMICs 5 Chronic Kidney Disease Risk Boils Down to 35 Genes An extensive genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify the genetic factors that predispose people to chronic kidney disease identified 35 kidney genes that increase a person's chance of developing the disease. Study co-investigator Fadi Charchar, Ph.D., a professor at Federation University Australia said "we hope that early prediction by genetic testing, even before the development of symptoms, will in the future be the first line of defense against one of the world's top killers. Early detection followed by treatment using kidney-protective medication or avoidance of drugs which can damage the kidneys is the key to healthier kidneys later in life." While encouraged by their findings, the investiga- tors remain cautious to draw any broad conclusions yet, as there is still considerable work to be done identifying potential diagnostic or therapeutic in- terventions that can be derived from this data. n Human Genome Editing Committee Urges Halt in Germline Editing Trials The organizing committee of the second Human Genome Editing summit issued a closing statement that criticized the un- precedented clinical work that has led to the reported birth of twins with an edited genome and called for a suspension of any further clinical trials of germline editing. The committee called the work of Dr. He Jiankui on the birth of germline-ed- ited twins "deeply disturbing" and called for an independent assessment "to ver- ify this claim and to ascertain whether the claimed DNA modifications have occurred," Nobel Laureate David Baltimore said. "Even if the modifications are ver- ified, the procedure was irresponsible and failed to conform with international norms. Its flaws include an inadequate medical indication, a poorly designed study protocol, a failure to meet ethical standards for protecting the welfare of re- search subjects, and a lack of transparen- cy in the development, review, and con- duct of the clinical procedures." n First Use of Fecal Transplant to Treat Immunotherapy-Induced Colitis Reported Researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center report that, for the first time, the transplantation of gut bacteria from healthy donors was used to successfully treat patients suffering from severe colitis caused by treatment with im- mune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). While ICIs have successfully provided durable responses for a subset of patients across a number of different cancer types, the treatments, which release a block on the immune sys- tem to attack cancer, are often associated with significant immune-re- lated toxicities. Colitis is the second most common side effect of ICIs affecting as many as 40 percent of patients receiving these treatments. The research suggests that fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT ) is worth investigating in clini- cal trials as a therapy for this common side effect. n PhonlamaiPhoto / iStock / Getty Images Tigatelu / istock / Getty Images Kateryna Kon / Science Photo Library / Getty Images

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