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Biomarkers Could Give Early Warning of Late Heart Transplant Rejection

Researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital have found a combination of biomarkers related to blood vessel and tissue injury that, when measured together, could signal when a transplanted heart is becoming damaged to the point of failure, a process that is often undetected. The markers would give doctors an opportunity to intervene and save a recipient’s heart, and also provide a starting point for identifying long-term rejection biomarkers for several kinds of organ transplants.

Plasma Biomarkers in Liver Cancer Refine Stratification of Patient Risk

According to an Internal Medicine News report, data presented at the 2011 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting on gastrointestinal cancers in January sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology suggests that a simple blood test may improve on systems conventionally used to estimate prognosis in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

Biomarkers May Predict Death in AIDS Patients with Severe Inflammation

HIV, which causes AIDS, infects and kills immune system cells, eventually making the immune system so weak that “opportunistic” infections – infections that take advantage of the opportunity offered by a weakened immune system – begin to occur. One common opportunistic infection in AIDS patients is cryptococcal meningitis, a fungal infection around the brain. Approximately one million cases of cryptococcal meningitis occur every year.

Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) is an exaggerated inflammatory immune response that kills up to one-third of affected people. AIDS patients with cryptococcal meningitis who start HIV therapy are predisposed to IRIS. A study in this week’s PLoS Medicine (link below) suggests that a panel of blood biomarkers, which show evidence of a damaged immune system that is not capable of clearing the fungal infection, can be used to stratify AIDS patients by risk for IRIS.

Novel Biomarker May Predict Response to New VEGF Receptor Inhibitor

Researchers believe there may be a way to predict, based on individual tumors, those patients that are more likely to respond to the investigational new drug tivozanib.

New Data From Phase 2a Oral Mucositis Study Presented at American Association for Cancer Research Conference

SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that researchers have identified two unique gene clusters that differentiated subjects who responded to treatment in the Company’s phase 2a proof of concept study of SCV-07 for the prevention of severe oral mucositis (OM; WHO grades 3-4) in patients with advanced head and neck cancer. The Company believes that the discovery of these gene clusters may assist in providing the framework for effectively identifying those patients most likely to respond to SCV-07 in future clinical trials based on their individual genomic profile or gene signature.