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

A $250 Genetic Test Might Revolutionize Breast Cancer Diagnostics

Posted on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

The New York Times reported today that Color Genomics, a Silicon Valley startup has raised $115 million to make a $249 genetic test a reality. The test identifies faulty BRCA, as well as more than a dozen other cancer-related genes. BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations are responsible for increasing women’s risks for developing certain breast and ovarian cancers. Filmmaker and actress Angelina Jolie has made headlines over the past few years for her decisions to undergo a preventive mastectomy, and more recently, a preventive oophorectomy in response to her own gene-related disease risks.

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Tags: cancer, biomedicine, 23andMe, diagnostic test development, diagnostics, BRCA

Mighty Mouse: Rodent Avatars Push Personalized Medicine Forward

Posted on Thu, Apr 09, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

Personalized medicine is getting a lot of attention these days. In January, President Obama announced that his 2016 budget includes a $215 million investment in precision medicine.

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Tags: cancer, personalized medicine, precision medicine

What We Talk About When We Talk About Curing Cancer

Posted on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 @ 05:01 PM

Last night, the three-night documentary series "Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies" based on Siddartha Mukherjee's bestselling book premiered on PBS. In the first episode, the filmmakers traced the disease's history from a reference in a 15-foot, 4,000-year-old Egyptian medical parchment (under cures it reads: "There is none.") to the present, at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University, where two families are facing unimaginably difficult decisions about how to treat their children's leukemia.

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Tags: cancer, cancer research, research

Drug Development and Discovery Going Viral

Posted on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

Last week, a Reddit user posted a link to an interesting project via the social media site’s You Should Know sidebar. It began, “YSK you can send a scoop of dirt from your backyard to a research group that will analyze it for new antibiotic elements and other medicines.

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Tags: cancer, drug development

Newly Approved Lung Cancer Drug Inhibits Immune Checkpoint

Posted on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

A couple of weeks ago, we blogged about the strides being made to combat melanomas by releasing the brakes on the immune system. Last week, the FDA approved Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo (nivolumab), an immunotherapy drug that has had dramatic results in lengthening the lives of patients with some late-stage melanomas.

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Tags: cancer, clinical trials, immunotherapy, drugs

Slowing Down Aging from the Tips of Your Chromosomes

Posted on Thu, Mar 05, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

Misao Osaka -- the world's oldest person -- turned 117-years-old today. When asked how she achieved such an advanced age, Mrs. Osaka claims to be as baffled as most of us about the secret to longevity. "I wonder about that, too," she tells a reporter

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Tags: cancer, aging, diabetes, chromosomes

Banking on a Cancer "Off Switch"

Posted on Tue, Feb 24, 2015 @ 03:30 PM

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal published a business story (login required for the full story) about a new approach to treating cancer, and particularly a few late stage cancers. According to the story, investors like Michael Milken, George Soros, Jeff Bezos and Paul Allen are among best-known names betting on an emerging sector of cancer drug development called immunotherapy

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Tags: cancer, Innovations, drug development, immunotherapy

NIH Has a $150M to Spend on Pediatric Research this Year

Posted on Tue, Feb 03, 2015 @ 03:00 PM

It seems like a nice problem to have: an additional $150 million for important research. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has found itself in this very position. The agency has a bit more than $150 million to spend on pediatric studies from two sources this year. 

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Tags: cancer, research, EHR, NCS

Rolling the Dice on Cancer, Ctd.

Posted on Thu, Jan 15, 2015 @ 04:10 PM

Last week, we published a post that suggested that Johns Hopkins University researchers had determined that two-thirds of all cancers are caused by bad luck. Like many other outlets reporting and blogging on, "Variation in cancer risk among tissues can be explained by the number of stem cell divisions,” a paper published in Science  by Bert Vogelstein and Cristian Tomasetti, we were wrong.

The news is actually not as bad as has been reported.  The Economist clarifies

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Tags: cancer, cancer statistics, cancer studies


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