Published May 29, 2015 FoxNews
CDC says150 people possibly came into contact with man who died of Lassa fever.
CDC spokesman Benjamin Haynes said in a statement that most of those people face no danger, but at least six are at a high risk of having been exposed to the disease. About 33 others are at low risk. All of them are being monitored, Haynes said.
The man died Monday after traveling in West Africa and returning to New York's Kennedy Airport May 17.
A man died of a hemorrhagic fever in New Jersey this week. This by itself is fairly unusual in the Garden State. Making the case even more odd was that the man was being monitored for Ebola by New Jersey health officials, and the case should have been caught earlier.
The events expose a hole in a public health system meant to track potential Ebola cases.
A group of doctors and patient advocates are putting pressure on Gilead Sciences—maker of Sovaldi, the $1,000-a-day drug for hepatitis C—to release its patents. The Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK), a U.S. nonprofit advocating for improved access to affordable medications, has filed challenges this week against the company in Argentina, Brazil, China, Russia and Ukraine. The organization had previously filed similar patent challenges in Europe and China.
The World Health Organization estimates 150 million people worldwide live with a chronic form of the disease, which most commonly afflicts the poor, uninsured and incarcerated.
This week, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont called on the secretary of veteran affairs to use an existing law in order to force Gilead to break the patents on the drug. The law allows the federal government to override patents for a product when a need for the product is urgent.
“Our nation’s veterans cannot, and should not, be denied treatment while drug companies rake in billions of dollars in profits,” Sanders wrote.
By Stuart Pfeifer
May 19, 2015, 1:14 a.m.
A West Hollywood woman sued insurer Anthem Blue Cross for refusing to cover the cost of an expensive drug that she says would cure her hepatitis C infection.
Shima Andre said in the lawsuit that Anthem has refused to pay the estimated $99,000 it would cost to be treated with the controversial drug Harvoni, which has been shown to destroy the deadly virus in most patients.
In a denial letter, Anthem explained that the drug was “not medically necessary” because Andre does not have advanced liver damage, the lawsuit said.
“We may approve Harvoni when the liver has a certain amount of scarring on a liver biopsy,” the insurer explained. “Records we received do not show that your liver has this amount of scarring.”
Andre, 42, who was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2011, said she was thrilled when the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug last year. But she hasn't been able to take it because Anthem declined to cover the cost. She said she has postponed becoming pregnant because she fears she would pass along the virus to her child.
It's unconscionable, Andre said, that Anthem won't pay for the drug, which is manufactured by Gilead Sciences Inc. of Foster City, near San Francisco. “I can't believe that they demand that a person get sicker before they'll pay for a cure,” she said. “If there's a cure for something and you have health insurance, they should cover it.”
Anthem Blue Cross spokesman Darrel Ng declined to comment.
Anthem denied coverage despite the recommendation of Andre's doctor, who has unsuccessfully lobbied the insurer to cover the drug, said her lawyer, Ricardo Echeverria.
Q: What does SABRE stand for?
SABRE stands for Superior Achievement in Branding, Reputation & Engagement.
day, Thomas Jefferson University announces a partnership with Exosome Sciences Inc. to evaluate a novel liquid biopsy platform that might offer clinicians new and actionable information about a patient's cancer as the disease progresses and changes, via a simple blood test.
Tumor suppressor gene
Monoclonal antibody therapy
"The term 'liquid biopsy' describes the fact that a simple blood sample can contain many tumor-derived molecules and even tumor cells, enabling molecular analyses similar to those possible in tumor tissue samples," says Ulrich Rodeck, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Dermatology, Cutaneous Biology and Radiation Oncology at Jefferson and co-lead investigator of the study.
Jefferson is a leader in liquid biopsies for cancer. Massimo Cristofanilli, M.D., Director of the Jefferson Breast Care Center at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center discovered in 2004 that a blood test could help to predict the prognosis of women with breast cancer. This study established that the number of circulating tumor cells in a blood sample can give doctors a quick and minimally invasive snapshot of whether a patient is likely to respond to treatment or not. In addition to circulating tumor cells, the blood also contains free-floating cancer DNA, providing researchers with an option to access treatment-relevant gene alterations in blood samples.
The new partnership between Exosome Sciences Inc. and a Jefferson team led by Dr. Rodeck, and Adam Luginbuhl, M.D., Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery, will focus on exosomes as a novel liquid biopsy platform. Exosomes represent a rapidly evolving frontier in liquid biopsy research. They consist of tiny bubbles or sacs pinched off the surface of cells that contain cellular contents such as RNA and proteins enclosed by the cell membrane. Recently, researchers discovered that cancer cells release large amounts of exosomes. Evidence is building that shedding these exosomes may allow a tumor to become more aggressive, to resist treatment more efficiently and, to suppress the body's attempt to fight the cancer by dampening the cancer-specific immune response.
The team aims to collect blood samples from patients with head and neck cancer, specifically tumors in the oral cavity. Exosome Sciences will separate and characterize tumor-derived exosomes. Further molecular characterization of exosomes derived from both, tumor and normal cells will be carried out at Jefferson. The investigators will initially focus on exosome-associated RNA because RNA is abundant in exosomes and can give researchers a sampling of the genes that are currently "in-use" by a cell. The inclusion of 'normal' exosome analysis will provide a look at the whole picture of treatment responses encompassing not just diseased but also normal tissues. The goal is to determine whether molecular signatures correlate with and predict patient responses. In future work, exosome protein content will be included in the analysis. It is expected that diverse liquid biopsy techniques will boost the ability to track cancer development and treatment responses in real time providing critical information to adjust treatment approaches.
"Head and neck cancer is an ideal disease entity to study. We'll be able to look at how treatments affect not only tumor behavior, but also the normal tissue based on exosomes profiles, giving us a window into tolerability of treatment," says Dr. Luginbuhl.
Exosome Sciences is a diagnostic subsidiary of Aethlon Medical, a developer of extracorporeal therapies that target the elimination of infectious viruses and tumor-secreted exosomes from the bloodstream.
The above story is based on materials provided by Thomas Jefferson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.
National Football League linebacker Junior Seau committed suicide in 2012, at the age of 43. A study by five independent brain experts reported that Seau's brain showed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). These signs included the presence of abnormal tau protein, which forms neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs). These protein deposits are also found in other brain diseases, including Alzheimer's disease and the frontotemporal dementias.
sounding like they have something related to there CTE study
The tauopathies are a class of diseases caused by misfolding of the tau protein. Tau prions begin replicating spontaneously in the frontal lobes.
Tau prions are observed in frontotemporal dementia (FTD), posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD), dementia pugilistica, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which has been seen in boxers, football and hockey players, and soldiers after episodes of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Many symptoms of PTSD resemble those of the FTDs: changes in personality, behavior, sleep patterns and executive function dominate these illnesses. Behavioral alterations range from lethargy to disinhibition; apathetic patients may become socially withdrawn. Insomnia and nightmares are common, as are drug addiction and alcoholism. Violent mood swings from euphoria to depression can precede suicide.
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