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 7 Epigenetic Regulation to Treat Lung Cancer May Instead Support Progression Studies in mice by researchers headed by a Boston Children's Hospital team suggest that blocking one epigenetic regulator—a histone methyltransferase known as G9a— which was thought to represent a promising target for lung cancer actually had the opposite effect, and boosted the numbers of cancer stem cells, or tumor propagating cells (TPCs) that drive cancer progression. "People had looked at cell lines from lung tumors and found that they are sensitive to drugs inhibiting G9a," said Samuel Rowbotham, Ph.D., first author of the researchers' published paper in Nature Communications. "In general tumor cell populations, these drugs would slow down growth or even kill the cells. But we found that these drugs were also making the surviving tumor cells more stem-like. We predicted that this would advance disease progression, and this is what we saw.". n Genes Identified That Turn Commensal Staph to Deadly Form University of Bath scientists have iden- tified 61 genes containing infection-as- sociated genetic elements that correlate with pathogenicity, or in their words, "in vitro variation in known pathogenici- ty traits" such as biofilm formation, cell toxicity, interleukin-8 production, and methicillin resistance. "Staphylococcus epidermidis is a deadly pathogen in plain sight," said Sam Shep- pard, director of bioinformatics at Uni- versity of Bath. "It's always been ignored clinically because it's frequently been assumed that it was a contaminant in lab samples, or it was simply accepted as a known risk of surgery. Post-surgical in- fections can be incredibly serious and can be fatal. Infection accounts for almost a third of deaths in the U.K. so I believe we should be doing more to reduce the risk if we possibly can. If we can identify who is most at risk of infection, we can target those patients with extra hygiene precau- tions before they undergo surgery." n New York State OKs MDx- Health's Prostate Cancer Test Molecular diagnostics company MDx- Health announced that the New York State Department of Health granted ap- proval for its liquid biopsy SelectMDx test for Prostate Cancer, now making it avail- able to patients and physicians in all 50 states in the U.S. SelectMDx is a urine-based molecular diagnostic designed to detect biomark- ers that identify those men at higher risk of developing prostate cancer. According to company research published in the journals Urology Practice and the Journal of Urology, the test has the potential to decrease the number of unnecessary tis- sue biopsies and MRIs for prostate cancer diagnosis by as much as 50% and could potentially save as much as $500 million in annual healthcare costs. n Royaltystockphoto / Sciencephoto / Getty Images Kateryna Kom / Science Photo Library / Getty Images Shubhangi Ganeshrao Kene / Science Photo Library / Getty Images

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