A double-blind trial in Uganda found that rates of malaria infection were not higher among children treated with hydroxyurea for sickle cell diseases compared with children who received a placebo. "There are concerns that hydroxyurea might worsen the severity of malaria in young children with sickle cell anemia, so a clinical trial using hydroxyurea in a malaria endemic region of Africa was warranted," Dr. Chandy John of Indiana University said of the study in the journal Blood.
Two studies, one in The Lancet and the other in Emerging Infectious Diseases, outline evidence-based recommendations for treatment and triage of cases of Ebola virus infection. The first study emphasizes supportive care including immediate oral and intravenous hydration, while the second recommends using risk scores based on symptoms and, if available, laboratory test results to identify patients likely to have the Ebola virus until rapid point-of-care tests are available.
Researchers who conducted a small case-control study in Puerto Rico found more compelling evidence linking the Zika virus infection to the onset of Guillain-Barre syndrome based on survey responses from 47 cases, according to a research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study analysis established three risk factors for GBS, consisting of severe illness two months prior to the onset of GBS symptoms, laboratory documentation of Zika infection and positive test results for Zika confirmed by a reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction test.
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center investigators found that the cytokines IL-6 and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 could function as biomarkers for fatal neurotoxicities among patients who are being treated with chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies and who have high fevers, according to a study in the journal Cancer Discovery. Of 133 patients with blood cancers being treated with CAR T-cell therapies, 53 developed neurotoxicity within 28 days, seven of them grade 4 or higher.
The Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation has taken on a new name: MTF Biologics. MTF Biologics is a supplier of donated tissue including skin, bone, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and birth tissue and has distributed more than 7.5 million grafts since it was founded in 1987.
University of North Carolina Tar Heels mascot Jason Ray died 10 years ago, and a news story about his tissue and organ donation inspired 50,000 people to register as organ donors, according to Donate Life America. The donations helped 118 people in 26 states and Canada, according to MTF Biologics, and the Jason Ray Foundation has raised more than a half-million dollars to help the families of patients who need transplants.
TxJet was launched by the Indiana Donor Network in 2014 to speed the delivery of organs for transplant. The service has been recognized by the 2017 Indiana Innovation Awards for its work delivering almost 625 organs across the nation.
The University of Virginia is building a chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy research facility. Physician-scientists at the university are working on new approaches to use CAR T-cell therapies to treat leukemia and in combination with chemotherapy.
Researchers at the McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute in Canada found that treating acute myeloid leukemia in preclinical tests with a PPAR-gamma agonist diabetes therapy resulted in suppression of AML cells and increased production of red blood cells. The study was published in the journal Nature Cell Biology.
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