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11 February 2020: Federal Government Support for Queensland Rapid Disease-Detecting Technology

The Federal Government has awarded a Queensland biotechnology company $2.4 million to help it further develop its revolutionary disease-detecting technology. XING Technologies has been granted funding under the Cooperative Research Centres Projects (CRC-P) to develop a world-first on-farm disease detection platform for livestock. The rapid and low-cost screening system would allow farmers to conduct their …

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FDA Proposing to Ease DTC Genetic Tests’ Path to Market

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing to ease the approval process for direct-to-consumer genetic tests, saying that the diagnostics can increase consumer engagement in their health. “In its consideration of [genetic health risk] tests, the FDA seeks to strike a balance that provides for an efficient pathway to bring these tests to …

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Common genetic fusion event may be associated with low-risk prostate cancer – ScienceDaily

A Gleason score provides information on how aggressive a prostate cancer is. It is calculated when a prostate needle biopsy specimen is examined under a microscope. Depending on how normal or abnormal the cancer looks, it is assigned a number from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most abnormal and most aggressive. Different areas …

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I don’t look like I have cancer, but I’ve had to learn to live with this incurable disease

I will never forget the words from the oncologist when I was first diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. “We can put out the flames but it will always smoulder,” the doctor said. “You will learn to live with cancer. You will have to overcome the stigma of cancer.” For a start, being diagnosed with breast …

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Playing With Fire

According to Dr. John Timmerman, an oncologist and immunotherapy researcher at the University of California, the use of immunotherapies is a dangerous game. “We’re playing with fire,” he told the NYT, shortly after losing a female patient to the treatment’s after-effects. Weeks after the drug sent her cancer into remission, she suddenly developed cold and …

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Adult Leukemia Trial Put on Hold After Additional Deaths

Juno Therapeutics is working on an immunotherapy for adults with refractory B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Its phase 2 trial was recently placed on hold for the second time this year following the death of two patients who developed cerebral edema, just days after receiving their treatment.8 One of the patients was under the age …

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Breakthrough Therapy Program Raises Stakes for Patients

The FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy program (and the European PRIME) worsens the situation. By rushing approvals, toxicology research ends up lagging even further behind, which means more patients end up being used as guinea pigs without actually being enrolled in a formal study. This is a particularly frightening prospect in light of the fact that drug …

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Immunotherapy Drug Trials Show Severe Side Effects Are Common

A study published in 2010 found that ipilimumab — an immunotherapy drug that blocks cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4, used against advanced melanoma — caused severe side effects in nearly 20 percent of patients. Another study published in 2015 found adverse events in 24 percent of patients receiving ipilimumab, and when used in combination with nivolumab, another …

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