May 2017

Viewing posts from May , 2017

New Sensor for Early Cancer Detection

A new plasmonic sensor developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will serve as a reliable early detection of biomarkers for many forms of cancer and eventually other diseases.

Research from University of Illinois

“…instead of needing a vile of blood for a test, a simple finger prick will do.”

For now, detection methods for cancer biomarkers are being implemented in high-risk patients, especially cancer patients in remission. They take time, specialized equipment, and are labor-intensive.
In the future, however, because of the portability and inexpensive nature of this method, it can be more easily administered to any patient at routine check-ups. This would allow those with an elevated concentration of CEA to be treated even before cancer cells spread in the body.
Read the full article at the University of Illinois Engineering site.

Spit Here for Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

Your spit may hold a clue to future brain health. Investigators at the Beaumont Research Institute, part of Beaumont Health in Michigan, are hopeful that their study involving small molecules in saliva will help identify those at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease – a neurologic condition predicted to reach epidemic proportions worldwide by 2050.

New Test for Alzheimer’s?

Researcher Stewart Graham, Ph.D. said, “We used metabolomics, a newer technique to study molecules involved in metabolism. Our goal was to find unique patterns of molecules in the saliva of our study participants that could be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease in the earliest stages, when treatment is considered most effective. Presently, therapies for Alzheimer’s are initiated only after a patient is diagnosed and treatments offer modest benefits.”

“Worldwide, the development of valid and reliable biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease is considered the No. 1 priority for most national dementia strategies. It’s a necessary first step to design prevention and early-intervention research studies.”

–Dr. Stewart Graham
Read the entire article from Beaumont Health here.

Will the U.S. Keep Up in Precision Medicine?

A recent post on The Hill points out that Precision Medicine is the “next Gold Rush.” Is the U.S. doing what it takes to keep up with the rest of the world?

As the authors state, rather than being contested in gold mines, this race will be contested in research labs, clinics, and patent offices. They point out that federal funding commitments will be needed to keep America in the running. The entire article is available here.

At Forentis we believe that the private sector needs to step up too, thus the impetus behind our Fund. Investing in the companies that are delivering new discoveries and creating intellectual property should pay big dividends as the race for cures and early diagnoses heats up.

“…precision medicine allows clinicians to advance beyond the relatively coarse diagnostic and therapeutic categories of the present day, towards a more targeted, fine-grained system, based in part on genetics and molecularly defined phenotypes.”

Promise of Precision Medicine

An excellent article in Fortune’s Brainstorm Health series takes a look at the opportunities and challenges in today’s Precision Medicine focus. You can view the article and related video here.

“You pick up conditions way before people have symptoms and way before they’re likely to spread anywhere.”

— Shelley Hwang, Duke Cancer Institute