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PatientPartner Improves Adherence in First Independent IRB-Approved Clinical Trial of a Mobile Game Application in Diabetes Patients

Breakthrough clinical trial results for “PatientPartner,” a new mobile game application designed by scientists and researchers at CyberDoctor, document for the first time the effectiveness of a story-driven game in changing health behavior and biomarkers. Results of the clinical trial demonstrating increased adherence among patients with diabetes were announced last month at the Health 2.0 Conference, October 2nd, in Santa Clara, CA. The unique, universal, non-disease specific approach allows PatientPartner to be effective in improving adherence in all patient populations.

Rosetta Genomics Announces Acceptance for Publication of Kidney Cancer microRNA Diagnostic Manuscript by Molecular Oncology

Rosetta Genomics Ltd. (NASDAQ: ROSG), a leading developer and provider of microRNA-based molecular diagnostics, recently announced that a manuscript regarding the development and validation of the Company’s microRNA-based diagnostic assay for the classification of renal cell tumors has been accepted for publication by Molecular Oncology. Yael Spector, a scientist from Rosetta Genomics, and Dr. Eddie Fridman , a pathologist and an expert in urological pathology from Sheba Medical Center in Tel-Hashomer, Israel, are the lead authors on the manuscript.

An unedited version of the manuscript is available online ahead of print publication of the final article at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S157478911300046X.

The manuscript discusses the development and validation of the miRview® kidney assay, which differentiates between the four main types of primary kidney tumors: the three subtypes of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) namely clear cell, papillary and chromophobe RCC, and typically benign behaving oncocytoma. The assay was developed on a microarray platform using 181 training samples and validated on an independent set of 201 samples. The assay provided results for 92% of the validation samples, with 95% accuracy.

The topic of this manuscript will also be summarized in a poster to be presented on April 7 at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2013 in Washington, D.C.

“There are an estimated 65,000 new cases of kidney cancer each year in the U.S. and more than 13,000 deaths. Distinguishing between the four main types of primary kidney tumors is critical in determining the optimal treatment regimen,” said Kenneth A.

Berlin , President and Chief Executive Officer of Rosetta Genomics. “Our miRview® kidney assay accurately classifies clear cell RCC, papillary RCC, chromophobe RCC and oncocytoma. We are delighted that this work has been accepted for publication in Molecular Oncology, an important industry trade journal.”

“The classification into subtypes of RCC has historically been less than definitive by histology, cytology and immunohistochemistry particularly in the growing context of fine needle aspirate (FNA) diagnostic specimens. The discrimination of the four subtypes can lead to the avoidance of aggressive surgical intervention in oncocytomas, and the others have differing biological behaviors that can be correlated with subtype. Importantly, newer therapeutic agents may show evidence of specificity of response by cell type. The expanded clarity of RCC diagnosis through the availability of this test will help lead to improved rationalization and optimization of new and emerging therapies, particularly in the community setting,” said Bob Wassman , M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Rosetta Genomics.

Source: PR Newswire

Head of Nation’s Leading Patient Advocacy Organization Addresses Personalized Medicine and E-Health at BIOVISION Global Conference

Nancy Davenport-Ennis, founder and CEO of the National Patient Advocate Foundation, recently addressed attendees at the BIOVISION conference in Lyon, France on personalized medicine and e-health technology and engaged healthcare stakeholders from across the globe on the future of e-health and the impact technology integration will have on the lives of patients.

“As we continue to make strides in technology and digitize healthcare, we are on the cusp of a digital revolution that will enhance patient access to treatment information, change the paradigm of the patient-provider relationship and create a social contract with those who serve our country,” stated Davenport-Ennis. “Health information technology also stands to significantly reduce costs and provide more coordinated care for patients.”

The Veterans Health Information Systems and Technology Architecture (VistA) program serves as a practical illustration of the social contract to service members. This 160 module program of financial and clinical support is used on the battlefield and for veterans nationally. VistA is one of the most widely used Electronic Health Records (EHR) programs in the United States. The e-health session also included a review of the role of telemedicine and Personal Health Records.

Davenport-Ennis addressed policy advances made in the U.S., including the passage of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2010. The HITECH Act dedicates $25.9 billion to health information technology in rural settings and community clinics. The Act also increases efforts in all 50 states to pass security legislation protecting consumers’ Personal Health Information from employers and insurers.

Her presentation also highlighted patient requirements to protect Personal Health Information in conformity with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) law passed in 2009, while also acknowledging some of the remaining challenges to infrastructure, processes and training within the e-health environment.

Additional presenters included Najeeb Al-Shorbaji of the World Health Organization, Roberto Santoro of Italy, President of the European Society of Concurrent Enterprising Network, Brigitte Trousse, President of France Living Lab , and Veronique Thouvenot , Head of Head of Millennia2015 “Women and eHealth” International Working Group.

Source: PR Newswire

New Evidence for Link Between Depression and Heart Disease

A Loyola University Medical Center psychiatrist is proposing a new subspecialty to diagnose and treat patients who suffer both depression and heart disease. He’s calling it “Psychocardiology.”

In his most recent study, Angelos Halaris, MD, PhD, and colleagues found that an inflammatory biomarker, interleukin-6, was significantly higher in the blood of 48 patients diagnosed with major depression than it was in 20 healthy controls. Interleukin-6 has been associated with cardiovascular disease. Halaris presented findings at a joint congress of the World Psychiatric Association and International Neuropsychiatric Association in Athens, Greece. At the congress, Halaris formally proposed creation of a new Psychocardiology subspecialty.

Forty to 60 percent of heart disease patients suffer clinical depression and 30 to 50 percent of patients who suffer clinical depression are at risk of developing cardiovascular disease, Halaris said.

Stress is the key to understanding the association between depression and heart disease. Stress can lead to depression, and depression, in turn, can become stressful.

The body’s immune system fights stress as it would fight a disease or infection. In response to stress, the immune system produces proteins called cytokines, including interleukin-6. Initially, this inflammatory response protects against stress. But over time, a chronic inflammatory response can lead to arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and cardiovascular disease.

It’s a vicious cycle: depression triggers a chronic inflammation, which leads to heart disease, which causes depression, which leads to more heart disease.

Clinical depression typically begins in young adults. “Treating depression expertly and vigorously in young age can help prevent cardiovascular disease later on,” Halaris said.

Physicians often work in isolation, with psychiatrists treating depression, and cardiologists treating cardiovascular disease. Halaris is proposing that psychiatrists and cardiologists work together in a multidisciplinary Psychocardiology subspecialty.

A Psychocardiology subspecialty would raise awareness among physicians and the public. It would forge closer working relationships between psychiatrists and cardiologists. It would formalize multidisciplinary teams with the requisite training and expertise to enable early detection of cardiovascular disease risk in psychiatric patients and psychiatric problems in heart disease patients. And it would provide continuing education to physicians in the safe and correct use of medications in cardiac patients who have psychiatric disorders.

“It is only through the cohesive interaction of such multidisciplinary teams that we can succeed in unravelling the complex relationships among mental stress, inflammation, immune responses and depression, cardiovascular disease and stroke,” Halaris said.

Source: EurekAlert!

Definiens and Advanced Cell Diagnostics Introduce RNAscope SpotStudio – Early Access Program Started

Definiens and Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD) recently unveiled the details of the RNAscope SpotStudio image analysis software to attendees at the Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference meeting in San Francisco, USA. The software has already been sold to a top pharmaceutical company and a leading academic medical center under an early access program. This advanced image analysis solution brings objective and accurate quantification to RNA in situ hybridization and enables a new generation of diagnostic applications based on single cell analysis. For the first time, gene expression can be measured quantitatively at single-cell resolution and interpreted by pathologists within histopathological context.

Empowering Pathologists with an Easy-to-Use Tool for Quantitative Biomarker Analysis

Quantitative RNA in situ hybridization analysis has recently been made possible by the single molecule sensitivity and digital nature of RNAscope® assay technology. However, manual scoring is time consuming and prone to subjectivity and poor reproducibility. RNAscope SpotStudio software is designed for pathologists with no prior training in image analysis. It is an intuitive automated solution that generates standardized and objective results in minutes. Testing has shown that results obtained with RNAscope SpotStudio are comparable to careful manual annotations by pathologists. The software is compatible with image data from whole slide scanners and microscopes.

“In situ biomarker analysis tools such as immunohistochemistry (IHC) have been limited to subjective semi-quantitative scoring. RNAscope and the SpotStudio image analysis software take in situ biomarker analysis to a whole new level, where quantitative data at the single cell level can be obtained and interpreted within the histopathological context of the clinical specimen”, said Yuling Luo, Founder, President and CEO of ACD. “RNAscope combines the advantages of IHC and PCR, making it a superior tool for tissue-based diagnostics and companion diagnostics”, Dr. Luo added. “Definiens’ invaluable expertise with tissue image analysis made it an ideal partner for the joint development of RNAscope SpotStudio.”

“Coming from a leading position in providing image analysis solutions to the life sciences market, Definiens is rapidly expanding its footprint in tissue diagnostics. We are very excited about this partnership with ACD representing a great example of advanced diagnostic solutions based on Definiens image and data analysis capabilities that will drive next generation diagnostics to truly enable personalized medicine”, said Thomas Heydler, CEO of Definiens.

Definiens and ACD will showcase RNAscope SpotStudio at the Molecular-Med Tri-Con in San Francisco (booth 210). The solution will be marketed and distributed by ACD and is currently being distributed to selected customers in an early access program. General availability is planned for the second quarter of 2013.

While RNAscope Spot Studio supports the analysis of brightfield images, RNA FISH assays can be quantified with Definiens Tissue Studio. With over 450 deployed licenses, Definiens Tissue Studio is the leading image analysis solution for digital pathology. Beyond the detection of spot-like stains, Definiens Tissue Studio provides morphological and molecular expression profiles from any solid tissue (IHC and IF) on a cell-by-cell basis.

Source: Definiens