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Brain Inflammation Linked to More Severe Parkinson’s Symptoms

Reversing inflammation in the fluid surrounding the brain’s cortex may provide a solution to the complex riddle of Parkinson’s, according to researchers who have found a link between pro-inflammatory biomarkers and the severity of symptoms such as fatigue, depression and anxiety in patients with the chronic disease.

Lena Brundin of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine was part of a research team that measured inflammatory markers found in cerebrospinal fluid samples of Parkinson’s patients and members of a control group.

“The degree of neuroinflammation was significantly associated with more severe depression, fatigue, and cognitive impairment even after controlling for factors such as age, gender and disease duration,” said Brundin, an associate professor in the college and a researcher with the Van Andel Institute.

“By investigating associations between inflammatory markers and non-motor symptoms we hope to gain further insight into this area, which in turn could lead to new treatment options.”

The results of the study were published in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Inflammation in the brain long has been suspected to be involved in the development of Parkinson’s disease, specifically in non-motor symptoms such as depression, fatigue and cognitive impairment. Recent research suggests inflammation could drive cell death and that developing new drugs that target this inflammation might slow disease progression.

Parkinson´s disease is the second most common degenerative disorder of the central nervous system; the causes of the disease and its development are not yet fully understood.

“The few previous studies investigating inflammatory markers in the cerebrospinal fluid of Parkinson’s patients have been conducted on comparatively small numbers of subjects, and often without a healthy control group for comparison,” Brundin said.

In the study, 87 Parkinson’s patients were enrolled between 2008 and 2012. For the control group, 37 individuals were recruited. Participants underwent a general physical exam and routine blood screening. Researchers looked at the following markers: C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, eotaxin, interferon gamma-induced protein-10, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and macrophage inflammatory protein 1-β.

The study was carried out in collaboration with researchers from Lund University in Sweden, Skåne University Hospital in Sweden and the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Florida.

Study: Cerebrospinal fluid inflammatory markers in Parkinson’s disease – Associations with depression, fatigue, and cognitive impairment [Brain, Behavior, and Immunity]

Source: EurekAlert!

bioTheranostics To Present Data on CancerTYPE ID and Breast Cancer Index at 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting

bioTheranostics, Inc., a leading provider of molecular diagnostic solutions for cancer, recently announced that 11 data presentations will be released during the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting May 31–June 4, 2013, in Chicago. The studies highlight the clinical utility of the company’s CancerTYPE ID® assay and Breast Cancer IndexSM (BCI), with results supporting the role of these molecular tests in individualized treatment programs for cancer patients.

bioTheranostics also will host an Industry Expert Theater educational presentation titled, “Demanding Certainty in Metastatic Cancer Diagnosis: The Clinical Impact of
CancerTYPE ID®,” June 2, 2013, at 11:30 a.m. The company’s products will be demonstrated at booth #23041.

“These studies are part of a large and growing body of clinical evidence demonstrating the positive impact our CancerTYPE ID and Breast Cancer Index molecular tests have on the management of cancer patients,” said Richard Ding, president and CEO of bioTheranostics. “The data provide key insights into the value of our molecular tests in influencing clinical decision making and impacting patient outcomes and healthcare costs, and we look forward to sharing and discussing the results during the 2013 ASCO meeting.”

The studies were conducted by researchers at leading institutions, including Linköping University (Sweden); Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center; Massachusetts General Hospital; Sarah Cannon Research Institute; University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine; University of Kentucky; University of Pittsburgh Medical Center; and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

CancerTYPE ID Posters & Abstracts

  • Poster presentation: Molecular tumor profiling (MTP) of poorly differentiated neoplasms (PDN) of unknown primary site. Greco FA, et al. Abstract #11080.
  • Multivariate analysis of prognostic factors in cancer of unknown primary (CUP) patients treated with site-specific therapy based on the 92-gene cancer classifier. Schnabel CA,
    et al. Abstract #e15006.
  • Impact of the 92-gene assay on cost of diagnosis of tumor type in metastatic cancer of uncertain origin. Bentley TG, et al. Abstract #e15104.
  • Effect of the 92-gene molecular classifier on therapeutic decision-making in cancers of uncertain primary. Schroeder B, et al. Abstract #e15130.
  • Use of the 92-gene assay to identify tumor type and direct predictive biomarker testing in limited tissue specimens. Operana TN, et al. Abstract #e19072.
  • Poster presentation: Diagnostic utility and prognostic performance of a 92-gene cancer classifier to molecularly profile periampullary adenocarcinomas (PAA). Overman MJ, et al. Abstract #4133.
  • Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) presenting as cancer of unknown primary (CUP): Diagnosis by molecular tumor profiling (MTP). Hainsworth JD, et al. Abstract #e15501.
  • Poster presentation: Gene expression profiling (GEP) to predict the primary site of metastatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) presenting with an unknown primary. Woltering E, et al. Abstract #4141.
  • Confirmation of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) diagnosis using ALK testing and genetic profiling in patients presenting with carcinoma of unknown primary site (CUP). Penley WC, et al. Abstract #e19062.

Breast Cancer Index Poster & Abstract

  • Poster presentation: Prediction of early and late distant recurrence in early-stage breast cancer with Breast Cancer Index. Zhang Y, et al. Abstract #594.
  • Health economic analysis of Breast Cancer Index in patients with ER+, LN- breast cancer. Gustavsen G, et al. Abstract #e11504.

Abstracts for the 11 studies concerning bioTheranostics’ molecular tests can be accessed on the ASCO website.

Source: bioTheranostics

Virus-like Particles Provide Vital Clues About Brain Tumors

“Current wisdom says that cells are closed entities that communicate through the secretion of soluble signalling molecules. Recent findings indicate that cells can exchange more complex information – whole packages of genetic material and signalling proteins. This is an entirely new conception of how cells communicate”, says Dr Mattias Belting, Professor of Oncology at Lund University and senior consultant in oncology at Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.

Exosomes are small vesicles of only 30 nm. They are produced inside cells and act as “transport vehicles” of genetic material that can be transferred to surrounding cells. Since their first discovery, exosomes have been found in blood, saliva, urine, breast milk and other body fluids.

Mattias Belting’s research group has investigated exosomes released from tumour cells of patients with gliomas.

The tiny exosome particles are delivered from the tumour to healthy cells of the brain and may prime normal tissue for efficient spreading of the tumour. The researchers in Lund have now shown that the aggressiveness of the tumour is reflected in the exosome molecular profile.

“We have succeeded in developing a method for the isolation of exosomes from brain tumour patients through a relatively simple blood test. Our analyses indicate that the content of exosomes mirrors the aggressiveness of the tumour in a unique manner”, says postdoctoral researcher Paulina Kucharzewska.

Exosomes could thus be utilised as biomarkers, i.e. to provide guidance on how the patient should be treated and to monitor treatment response. This possibility is particularly attractive with brain tumours that are not readily accessible for tissue biopsy. However, analysis of exosomes from the blood may also prove important with other tumour types. The value of conventional tumour biopsies is limited by the heterogeneity of tumour tissue, i.e. the tissue specimen may not be fully representative of the biological characteristics of a particular tumour. Exosomes, however, may offer more comprehensive information, according to the researchers.

The second international meeting on exosomes has just opened in Boston, and Mattias Belting and members of his team are there.

“It is very exciting to be part of the emergence of a novel research field. It can be anticipated that the most influential researchers in this area may one day be awarded the Nobel Prize”, says Dr Belting.

Study: Exosomes reflect the hypoxic status of glioma cells and mediate hypoxia-dependent activation of vascular cells during tumor development

Source: EurekAlert!

Cardiac IVD Company Critical Diagnostics Expands Its Global Presence

Critical Diagnostics, a U.S.-based biomarker company focused on cardiovascular diseases, and makers of the Presage® ST2 Assay, recently announced several new European distribution deals.
The Company has chosen as exclusive distributors (in alphabetical order), Assut Europe in Italy and San Marino, Biochemmack in Russia, Cruinn Diagnostics in Ireland, IVD Bulgaria in Bulgaria, Life Biomedical in the UK, Maritim Ltd. In Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, Nordic Diagnostica in Sweden, and Sopachem in Benelux.

“In addition to established distributor relationships in France, Germany and Spain, Portugal and Turkey, these new partnerships continue to broaden our presence across Europe,” notes Richard Hughes, Vice President, Business Development Europe for Critical Diagnostics. “With our extensive network of distributor partners all across the Asia Pacific region, we are truly a global company, prepared to meet the needs of the 23 million heart failure patients that suffer from this serious disease.”

Source: Critical Diagnostics

Aushon BioSystems and AH diagnostics Sign Distribution Deal for Scandinavia

Aushon BioSystems has appointed AH diagnostics as its exclusive distributor in Scandinavia (Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Iceland), effective November 1, 2012. AH diagnostics will offer Aushon’s complete portfolio of Cira™ platform products including Cirascan™, Ciraplex™ and Cirasoft™ products for multiplex ELISAs.