Up at 5AM: The 5AM Solutions Blog

Liquid Biopsies: The “Active Surveillance” of Diseases in Real Time

Posted on Tue, Jul 21, 2015 @ 02:30 PM

Last month, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard University unveiled VirScan, a diagnostic blood test that reveals more than 1000 different strains of viruses that are currently or which have previously afflicted individual patients. Given that VirScan costs about the same as traditional ELISA assays which only detect a limited number of pathogens one-at-a-time, this is a tremendous leap forward toward personalized medicine. Data gleaned from snapshots of patients’ past viral infections can give doctors clues about patients’ present health, and — perhaps — glimpses into the future.

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Tags: cancer, personalized medicine

How Compassionate is Compassionate Use?

Posted on Thu, Jul 02, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

My last post talked about off-label use of drugs, which is one way that patients can get access to drugs that are not officially approved for their condition. There’s another way this can happen, and it’s called compassionate use.

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Tags: clinical trials, map of biomedicine, compassionate use

Great Schools, Nice Parks, More Robust DNA

Posted on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

“Location, location, location” is the realtor’s mantra, and now, besides great schools, walkable streets and friendly neighbors, real estate agents may include “longevity” among the features trumpeted in their listings.

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Tags: genes

Should We, Maybe, Dial Back Personalized Medicine?

Posted on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

The short answer to our provocative headline is no. But two other recent headlines got us pondering the question. Yesterday, the New York Times, and on Monday, the Journal of the American Medical Association(JAMA) published, respectively,  a story and an opinion piece on the potential downsides to medicine that is aimed at specific genetic profiles.

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Tags: clinical trials, personalized medicine, genetic testing, precision medicine

GINA and the "Mystery of the Devious Defecators"

Posted on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

[A disclaimer: you probably won’t want to read this post while having lunch at your desk.]

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Tags: genetic testing, GINA

How to Get Drugs That Haven't Been Approved

Posted on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 @ 03:30 PM

The last two Map of Biomedicine blog posts have introduced us to the clinical trial process. Clinical trials are the gold standard for determining whether a drug works, and are extremely important to make sure that drugs are only used in situations when they are known to help.

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Tags: clinical trials, map of biomedicine, drugs, off label

Faster, Cheaper TB Diagnostics?

Posted on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 @ 04:02 PM

Yesterday evening, the Wall Street Journalreported on its website that researchers at the Texas A&M Health Science Center are closing in on faster, more accurate diagnostics for tuberculosis. The infectious disease usually attacks the lungs, but it can spread to other parts of the body -- extrapulmonary tuberculosis in those cases -- through the air from person to person. Although it is relatively rare in the U.S. it is not unheard of; tuberculosis (TB) made headlines when a woman with extensively drug resistant TB (XDR TB) was admitted to NIH.

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Tags: clinical trials, diagnostics

Personalized Medicine for Brain Tumor Diagnostics and Treatments

Posted on Thu, Jun 11, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

Although researchers can’t quite toss out their microscopes, two new studies reported in the New England Journal of Medicine show that variations in brain tumors’ genomics can be used to determine the best course of treatment for patients with certain kinds of tumors. For the most part, doctors have analyzed tissue samples to categorize and predict tumors’ potential trajectories. The papers’ authors show that genome scans of patients’ tumors remove several degrees of subjective analysis leading to more accurate diagnostics and earlier, better treatments.

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Tags: personalized medicine, diagnostics

Survey Says: Patients Want their Own Genomic Data

Posted on Tue, Jun 09, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

We suspected this all along: people want to be engaged with their own healthcare. Our suspicions were confirmed by researchers in the U.S. in a study published in the European Journal of Human Genetics, as well as by researchers in the U.K. via survey results presented at the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Genetics.

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Tags: personalized medicine, Genomics, genomic data

Destination Healthcare

Posted on Thu, Jun 04, 2015 @ 02:08 PM

Fast Company has reported the Rochester, Minnesota is on track to embark on a 20-year, $6.5 billion makeover. The impetus for the major renovation is to transform the small city best known as the home of the Mayo Clinic into a major player in the global medical tourism industry.

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Tags: innovation, healthcare, biotech, health business, medical tourism


Diagnostic Tests on the Map of Biomedicine


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