Featured Articles

Automated Analysis Of MR Images May Identify Early Alzheimer

Analyzing MRI studies of the brain with software developed at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) may allow diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease and of mild cognitive impairment, a lesser form of dementia that precedes the development of Alzheimer's by several years. In their report the team show how their software program can accurately differentiate patients with mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease from normal elderly individuals based on anatomic differences in brain structures known to be affected by the disease.

Drug Combo Helps With Repeat Cancers In Women

Combined treatment with the chemotherapy drugs topotecan and docetaxel is effective for women who have had a return of their uterine or ovarian cancer and have already been treated with other drug combos, new research shows.

The study, which is the first to evaluate this drug regimen in such patients, also found that the combination of these two chemotherapy agents was fairly well tolerated.

Noninvasive Test Accurately Identifies Gynecologic Malignancies

Diffusion weighted MR can accurately identify benign from malignant pelvic lymph nodes in patients with gynecologic malignancy, according to a study performed at Massachusetts General Hospital. Diffusion weighted imaging is a noninvasive test that uses an MRI sequence sensitized to the motion of water molecules within tissue.

"Conventional imaging with CT or MRI uses the size of a lymph node to determine whether it is malignant. Unfortunately, lymph node assessment by size criteria and morphology is not very accurate in detecting metastasis,".

Chemical Found In Medical Devices Impairs Heart Function

Researchers have found that a chemical commonly used in the production of such medical plastic devices as intravenous (IV) bags and catheters can impair heart function in rats. These new findings suggest a possible new reason for some of the common side effects-loss of taste, short term memory loss--of medical procedures that require blood to be circulated through plastic tubing outside the body, such as heart bypass surgery or kidney dialysis. These new findings also have strong implications for the future of medical plastics manufacturing.

First Melanoma Trial To Target KIT Aberrations With Imatinib

The incidence of malignant melanoma is increasing by 4% every year - the highest of any cancer type. At the same time, patients with melanomas arising from mucosal surfaces (eg, sinuses, mouth, vagina) or acral surfaces (eg, non-hair-containing palms, soles, and nailbeds) have very limited treatment options and survive less than 12 months once the disease has disseminated. A recent discovery, however, may offer new hope: a significant fraction of these melanomas and of those arising from chronically sun-damaged skin carry KIT aberrations; F. Stephen Hodi, MD (DFCI), is now leading a clinical trial to target this distinct subtype of melanomas with imatinib (Gleevec), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI).


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