Lab Sciences
Top stories summarized by our editors
2/19/2019

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard is unveiling the Gerstner Center for Cancer Diagnostics at the Broad Institute, through which researchers will develop a biopsy procedure to detect and monitor cancer using a blood draw.

2/19/2019

The CMS' update to Protecting Access to Medicare Act regulations, which expanded the definition of "applicable laboratory" for private payer data reporting to include laboratories that use the 14x type bill to submit Medicare claims, is designed to paint a more diverse picture of laboratory test payments. However, it's unclear whether this will lead to a significant rate increase in the CMS' next calculation of weighted median rates, as the 14x bill is used by just 12% of hospital laboratories.

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CMS, PAMA
2/18/2019

A $75 million donation will help NYU Langone Health's Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center start a Center for Blood Cancers. Officials say the center aims to increase patient recruitment for trials, promote research and seek to identify markers for different blood malignancies.

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Myeloma Research News
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New York University, Laura
2/15/2019

Preliminary data from a late-stage clinical trial showed that patients with hematologic malignancies who received umbilical cord blood grafts expanded ex vivo with nicotinamide, or NiCord, had median post-transplant neutrophil recovery time decreased by almost 50% compared with patients who received standard UCB transplantation, and incidence of graft-versus-host disease was also lower in patients receiving NiCord cells. "This study suggests that NiCord obviates the need for a second UCB graft. NiCord paves the way for use of smaller, better-matched units for adult patients that otherwise could not be used because of excessive risk of graft failure," the study team wrote in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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UCB, nicotinamide
2/15/2019

Medicare would cover chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies approved by the FDA under a proposal from the CMS, which would include Kymriah, or tisagenlecleucel, and Yescarta, or axicabtagene ciloleucel. The proposed National Coverage Determination would cover CAR T-cell therapies offered through clinical trials or CMS-approved registries, according to the CMS.

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MarketWatch
2/15/2019

A study in the journal Blood found that absence of the protein CDK6 in mouse models of JAK2V617F-initiated myeloproliferative neoplasms was associated with reduced stem cell proliferation and increased cell death. The study team said CDK6 plays a role in inhibiting apoptosis and activating the inflammation-regulating protein NFkB, as well as being involved in malignant stem cell function.

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Rare Disease Report
2/14/2019

A prospective study found that survival was longer with consolidative autologous stem cell transplants during the first complete remission for patients with nodal peripheral T-cell lymphoma who had intermediate to high scores on the International Prognostic Index or who had advanced-stage disease. Median overall survival was 57.6 months for patients who did not get ASCT, and the median had not yet been reached at 2.8 years for the ASCT group.

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Medical Xpress
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peripheral T-cell lymphoma, HSCT
2/14/2019

A trial in the Democratic Republic of Congo of four Ebola treatment candidates is expanding to the current hot spots of Katwa and Butembo. The total number of cases in the current Ebola outbreak has reached 823.

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Ebola
2/13/2019

A new nanotech-based microchip was able to identify antibodies that indicate the early stages of type 1 diabetes one year earlier in two of six patients who developed diabetes during the study, and four years earlier in one individual, compared with traditional methods that could detect antibodies in the latter stages of diabetes development, according to a study in the journal PLOS ONE. Findings were based on 14 individuals with and without diabetes from the TrialNet study.

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Diabetes (UK)
2/13/2019

Innovate UK awarded SAW Diagnostics a grant worth approximately $1.9 million to support development of its integrated sample processing technology platform for detecting infectious diseases and other applications. The low-cost, point-of-care system is designed to allow molecular detection from complex clinical sample types.

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Innovate UK