Researchers identify transitional stage of embryonic stem cells | Preclinical study assesses stem cells' effect on macular degeneration | Researchers study leukemia regimen for older adults

April 17, 2015
AABB SmartBrief
News for the transfusion medicine and cellular therapy community

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Researchers identify transitional stage of embryonic stem cells
Researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they have found a new type of transitional human embryonic stem cell. Bone morphogenetic protein-primed stem cells were identified during a preeclampsia study whose goal was the development of placental cells. The cells are in a transitional state between stem cells and differentiated tissue such as bone, the brain and placenta, according to University of Missouri biochemistry researcher R. Michael Roberts. United Press International (4/16)
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Preclinical study assesses stem cells' effect on macular degeneration
A study in the journal Stem Cells found that an injection of human induced neural progenitor stem cells slowed vision loss in rat models of age-related macular degeneration. Researchers are planning further preclinical studies to support an investigational new drug application. Medical News Today (4/16)
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Researchers study leukemia regimen for older adults
A midstage trial without a control arm found a regimen including clofarabine, low-dose cytarabine and decitabine was associated with a median overall survival of 11.1 months for 118 adults ages 60 and older with acute myeloid leukemia. The findings were reported in the journal Cancer. Healio (free registration)/HemOnc Today (4/16)
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Study associates Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infection with nasal colonization
A 545-patient study found that 71% of patients with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infections had nasal colonization of the bacteria, compared with 7% of patients in the general screening group. In 82% of cases where nasal colonization and infection isolate samples were available, the strains were phenotypically and genetically indistinguishable. Healio (free registration)/Infectious Disease News (4/15)
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Emerging Trends
Study tracks women's biomarkers to develop blood test for breast cancer
A 20-year, 57,000-patient study found that metabolic profiles based on blood samples can predict the risk of breast cancer up to five years before the disease emerges. The findings were reported in the journal Metabolomics. The Telegraph (London) (tiered subscription model) (4/16)
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Researchers working on cellphone-based malaria diagnostics
A rapid-response, cellphone-based diagnostic test for malaria is being developed by researchers from Michigan State University. The test will use a detection circuit connected to the phone, a microfluidic chip and a mobile application to measure the malarial biomarkers present in the patient's blood and serum. Researchers received a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop the test. The Modesto Bee (Calif.)/The Associated Press (4/16)
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Industry News & Practice
EU approves HIV-1 assay from Cepheid
The Xpert HIV-1 Qual, a qualitative HIV-1 test developed by Cepheid for early diagnosis in infants and individuals who are at high risk of HIV, has received the CE-IVD mark from European regulators. The assay, which runs on the company's GeneXpert technology, can detect HIV-1 total nucleic acid in whole blood or dried blood spots. GenomeWeb Daily News (free registration) (4/16)
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Government & Regulatory
Medicare payment legislation signed into law
President Barack Obama signed the Medicare physician payment bill into law Thursday. The measure prevents a 21% cut in physician reimbursement rates. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (4/16), Reuters (4/16)
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Association News
Full series of PBM modules now available online
Four new patient blood management learning modules are now available, along with a video presentation about the series. The latest modules address Managing Preoperative Anemia in the Setting of Patient Blood Management; Red Blood Cell Transfusion Management in the Critically Ill: Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives; Blood Utilization in Patient Blood Management; and Informed Consent for Blood Transfusion. Interested individuals can purchase the PBM modules -- which are available individually and in institutional packages with multiple licenses -- online. The new modules complete the eight-part series.
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