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News Article | February 20, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

PORTLAND, OR - Nine years ago, SWOG researchers confirmed a new standard of care for patients with incurable gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), who could survive by being treated with imatinib mesylate, the breakthrough drug marketed as Gleevec. SWOG researchers are back with long-term findings from that study, which estimate that nearly one in four patients treated with Gleevec will survive 10 years. Results are published in JAMA Oncology. "This is a really exciting finding," said Dr. Michael Heinrich, a SWOG investigator and a professor of medicine and cell and developmental biology at Oregon Health & Science University, where SWOG is based. "Until Gleevec arrived on the scene 15 years ago, patients with advanced GISTs faced a life expectancy of 18 months. Now we've learned that some might live a decade or longer. And we've come to understand which class of patients benefit the most from Gleevec." In new study results published in JAMA Oncology, researchers from SWOG, the international cancer research community supported by the National Cancer Institute, report a follow-up of patients originally enrolled in S0033, a SWOG-led trial supported by other groups in the NCI's National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). This was a Phase III study that began in 2000. Initial results published in 2008 confirmed Gleevec as an effective treatment for advanced GIST patients, and recommended that therapy start with a 400 mg daily dose. The SWOG team decided to collect post-study data on S0033 patients, and from 2011 to 2015 gathered information. As part of their research, the team used next-generation DNA sequencing on some tumor tissue samples taken for S0033, which had been deposited in a biospecimen bank. The team reanalyzed tissue from 20 patients originally classified as having a wild-type tumor - one without any mutations of KIT, a gene implicated in 85 to 88 percent of all GISTs. Analysis showed that of the 695 eligible patients originally enrolled in S0033, 189 survived eight years or longer, with a 10-year estimate of overall survival of 23 percent, or nearly one in four patients. DNA sequencing also showed that survival rates were significantly higher for patients with a KIT exon-11 mutant GIST, when compared with patients whose tumor had a KIT exon-9 mutation or with no KIT mutations or mutations in the platelet-derived growth factor receptor gene, or PDGFRA. "Our findings show two things," Heinrich said. "One is that Gleevec has revolutionized treatment for patients with advanced GISTs. Our findings also highlight the importance of banked biospecimens to drive new scientific findings, and how tumor mutation testing can optimize treatment for cancer patients." GISTs are different from more common types of gastrointestinal tumors because of the type of tissue in which they start. GISTs belong to a group of cancers called soft-tissue sarcomas. Soft-tissue sarcomas develop in the tissues that support and connect the body, including muscles, nerves, tendons, and joints. GIST is a rare cancer, with about 6,000 new cases diagnosed in the United States each year. Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have pioneered the treatment of GISTs. Dr. Brian Druker, director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, conducted the most influential work in the development of Gleevec, and OHSU researchers have been part of major discoveries in the use of the drug to treat GISTs, as well as chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Along with Heinrich, lead author of the JAMA Oncology article, the SWOG study team includes: Cathryn Rankin, MS, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center; Dr. Charles D. Blanke of Knight Cancer Institute; Dr. George Demetri of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Dr. Ernest Borden of Cleveland Clinic; Dr. Christopher Ryan of Knight Cancer Institute; Dr. Margaret von Mehren of Fox Chase Cancer Center; Dr. Martin Blackstein of Mount Sinai Hospital; Dr. Dennis Priebat of MedStar Hospital Research Center; Dr. William Tap of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; Dr. Robert Maki of Norwell Health and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; Dr. Christopher Corless of Knight Cancer Institute; Dr. Jonathan Fletcher of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Kouros Owzar, PhD, of Duke University School of Medicine; John Crowley, PhD, of Cancer Research And Biostatistics; Dr. Robert Benjamin of University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; and Laurence Baker, DO, of University of Michigan. Research reported in this article was supported by the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in part under award numbers U10CA180888 and U10CA180819. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. Novartis Pharmaceuticals also supported the research. SWOG is a global cancer research community of over 12,000 members in 47 states and six foreign countries who design and conduct publicly funded clinical trials. Since 1956, SWOG trials have led to the approval of 14 cancer drugs, changed more than 100 standards of cancer care, and saved more than 2 million years of human life. The group is a proud member of the NCI's National Clinical Trials Network and the NCI Community Oncology Research Program, and is a major part of the cancer research infrastructure in the U.S. and the world. Headquartered at the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Ore., SWOG's Statistics and Data Management Center is based at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Wash. and its Operations Office is located in San Antonio, Texas. Learn more at swog.org.


Genta R.M.,Miraca Life science Research Institute | Sonnenberg A.,OHSU
Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics | Year: 2015

Results Of 895 323 patients, 10.6% had Hp-gastritis and 1.5% Helicobacter-negative gastritis. Hp-gastritis, but not Helicobacter-negative gastritis, was more common in males than females (OR 1.17, 95% CI: 1.16-1.19). While Hp-gastritis was more prevalent in high than in low-prevalence areas (OR 3.65, 95% CI: 3.57-3.74), Helicobacter-negative gastritis was only minimally affected by the underlying H. pylori prevalence (1.7% vs. 1.5%). The age-specific prevalence of Hp-gastritis peaked in the 4th to 5th decades; Helicobacter-negative gastritis exhibited a low and relatively flat pattern. The geographic distribution of H. pylori-positive and -negative gastritis showed no significant correlation. Intestinal metaplasia was found in 13.0% of patients with Hp-gastritis and in 6.1% of those with Helicobacter-negative gastritis (OR 0.43, 95% CI: 0.40-0.47). Conclusion These data suggest that Helicobacter-negative gastritis is, in the vast majority of cases, a nosologically and epidemiologically distinct entity that deserves further investigation.Background Helicobacter-negative gastritis is diagnosed when no organisms are detected in a gastric mucosa with typical features of Helicobacter gastritis (Hp-gastritis). If Helicobacter-negative gastritis consisted mostly of 'missed' Helicobacter infections, its prevalence should represent a constant percentage of these infections in a population, and their clinico-epidemiological features would overlap.Aim To compare the epidemiologic patterns of Hp-positive and Hp-negative gastritis.Methods From a pathology database, we extracted demographic, clinical and histopathological data from patients with gastric biopsies (1.2008-12.2013). We allocated patients to high (≥12%) and low (≤6%) H. pylori prevalence regions defined by ZIP code-based data. The prevalence of H. pylori-positive and -negative gastritis by sex, age and state were expressed as a per cent of the total study population stratified accordingly. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


News Article | February 24, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Study to be published in Journal of Cystic Fibrosis for the first time measures cumulative dosage over a patient's lifetime A powerful class of antibiotics provides life-saving relief for people with cystic fibrosis; however, a new study for the first time reveals the levels at which high cumulative dosages over time significantly increases the risk of permanent hearing loss in these patients. Cystic fibrosis, or CF, is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system. Approximately 30,000 people in the United States and 70,000 worldwide are living with the disease. The study, to be published Feb. 23 in the Journal of Cystic Fibrosis, suggests physicians who treat patients with cystic fibrosis may be able to consider alternative strategies for treating the symptoms of respiratory infections associated with CF, especially if patients are responsive to different classes of antibiotics. New medications are emerging that have shown a reduced toxic effect on both the kidneys and ears of these patients, while effectively treating infections. "Preventing or ameliorating the effects of permanent [hearing loss] is crucial for patients with CF who already have a significantly compromised quality of life due to the disease," the authors concluded. The study examined the medical records of 81 CF patients, aged 15 to 63 years, grouping them into four quartiles based on the cumulative dosage of aminoglycoside antibiotics administered intravenously. Researchers found that the two highest dosage groups were 4.79 times more likely to experience permanent hearing loss than the two quartiles with the lowest cumulative dosage exposure. "This is an early step toward developing a model for predicting hearing loss in these patients," said lead author Angela Garinis, Ph.D., a senior research associate in the Oregon Hearing Research Center at OHSU and research audiologist with the VA Portland Health Care System. Aminoglycosides inhibit bacterial protein synthesis, and they are often necessary to clear life-threatening respiratory infections. However, these medications can degrade auditory function in the inner ear as well as kidney function. Previous research had demonstrated a greater risk of hearing loss from aminoglycoside antibiotics, but the new study is the first to factor in cumulative exposure over a patient's lifetime while also weighting the daily dosing schedule used by patients. The findings suggest it is imperative for physicians to routinely monitor hearing in any patient receiving aminoglycosides intravenously. "This information will allow both the patient and the physician to discuss possible modifications to the treatment regimen, particularly if an alternative approach is or becomes available," according to the study. Patients with cystic fibrosis are living longer, raising the importance of maintaining their quality of life over a longer period of time. "People don't realize the trauma of hearing loss until after they've lost it," said senior author Peter Steyger, Ph.D., a professor of otolaryngology/head and neck surgery in the OHSU School of Medicine who lost hearing as a child after being treated with antibiotics for a case of meningitis at age 14 months. "Helen Keller said, 'Blindness separates people from things; deafness separates people from people.' It can lead to isolation, depression and cognitive decline." In addition to Garinis and Steyger, authors include Campbell P. Cross, Priya Srikanth, Kelly Carroll, M. Patrick Feeney, Ph.D., Daniel B. Putterman, Au.D., David M. Cohen, M.D., and Jeffrey A. Gold, M.D., of OHSU; Douglas H. Keefe, Ph.D., of Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, Nebraska; and Lisa L. Hunter, Ph.D., of Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Garinis, Feeney and Putterman have joint appointments at the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research at the VA Portland Health Care System in Portland. The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health CTSA grant (UL1TR000128) to the Oregon Clinical and Translational Research Institute and NIH-NIDCD Grant Awards: R01 DC004555, R01 DC012588, and R01 DC10202.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Connective DX, a digital strategy agency and Sitecore Gold Implementation Partner, announced that three team members have been named “Most Valuable Professional (MVP)” by Sitecore®, the global leader in experience management software. Only 215 technologists worldwide were named a Sitecore MVP this year. Now it its eleventh year, Sitecore’s MVP program recognizes individual technology, digital strategy, commerce, and cloud advocates who share their Sitecore passion and expertise to offer positive customer experiences that drive business results. The Sitecore MVP Award recognizes the most active Sitecore experts from around the world who participate in online and offline communities to share their knowledge with other Sitecore partners and customers. “We’re honored to see Kam and Jeff recognized as Sitecore MVPs again this year and to add Ben Lipson to the list as well,” said Brian Payne, VP of technology at Connective DX. “In addition to leading delivery on dozens of large-scale Sitecore deployments at Connective DX, all three of them are increasingly focused on contributing back to the broader Sitecore community through blogging, meetups and more. This is also a reflection of the commitment Connective DX has to our longtime partnership with Sitecore and the efforts of our entire team, which includes Sitecore-certified developers, designers, project managers, marketers and strategists.” The Sitecore practice at Connective DX is part of a larger web content management practice group that helps organizations successfully plan, deliver and maintain complex publishing platforms. This includes looking beyond the technology and analyzing how organizations approach the people and processes necessary for success with web publishing. The agency publishes the award-winning CMS Myth blog and speaks frequently at CMS conferences around the world. “The Sitecore MVP awards recognize and honor those who make substantial contributions to our loyal community of partners and customers,” said Pieter Brinkman, Director of Developer and Platform Evangelism, Sitecore. “MVPs consistently set a standard of excellence by delivering technical chops, enthusiasm and a commitment to giving back to the Sitecore community. They truly understand and deliver on the power of the Sitecore Experience Platform to create contextualized brand experiences for their consumers, driving revenue and loyalty for life.” Sitecore’s experience platform combines web content management, omnichannel digital delivery, customer insight and engagement, and strategic digital marketing tools into a single, unified platform. The easy-to-use platform captures every minute interaction—and intention—that customers and prospects have with a brand, both on a website and across other online and offline channels. The end-to-end experience technology works behind the scenes to deliver context marketing to individual customers, so they engage in relevant brand experiences that earn loyalty and achieve business results. More information can be found about the MVP Program on the Sitecore MVP site: http://www.sitecore.net/mvp About Connective DX Connective DX is a digital experience agency focused on helping organizations embrace the power of digital, align around the customer, and take control of their future. The agency serves clients globally with services that span digital experience strategy, experience design, technology and digital enablement. Founded in 1997, Connective DX has offices in Portland, Ore., and Boston, Mass. Clients include Columbia Sportswear, Esri, Kindercare, OHSU, BMC Software and Banner Bank. https://www.connectivedx.com For more information, press only: Carmen Hill, Connective DX, chill [at] connectivedx [dot] com Laura Brown, Connective DX, lbrown [at] connectivedx [dot] com


News Article | October 28, 2016
Site: www.prweb.com

To celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month, all Dutch Bros Coffee locations will donate proceeds from the sale of its specialty “Be Aware” travel mugs to the advancement of breast cancer research at Oregon Health Sciences University Knight Cancer Institute (OHSU Knight Cancer Institute). Beginning on Saturday, Oct. 1, these specialty travel mugs will be available at all locations. Dutch Bros will donate $5 from the sale of every mug to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research and the development of new techniques for detection, treatment and prevention. "The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is doing an amazing job in breast cancer research," said Dutch Bros Co-Founder, Travis Boersma. "I cannot be more proud to partner with an organization that has such credibility and a tremendous track record for really making a difference. It's an honor to be a part such impactful work." Dutch Bros locations will donate funds raised throughout the month to the Oregon Health and Sciences University (OHSU) Knight Cancer Institute. Funds will directly benefit this institute as they continue their research. Donated funds support top researchers at OHSU as they discover new forms of breast cancer detection, treatment and prevention. “We are grateful for the support the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute has received from Dutch Bros and the Dutch Bros community over the years,” said Brian Druker, M.D., director of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. “These valuable dollars will help our mission to build an early detection cancer research program, with the ultimate goal to end cancer as we know it.” To find a location near you, please visit http://www.dutchbros.com/locations About Dutch Bros Coffee Dutch Bros Coffee is the country’s largest privately held, drive-thru coffee company, with over 270 locations and over 7,000 employees in seven states. The rich, proprietary coffee blend is handcrafted from start to finish. Every ingredient is measured, every process timed, and every cup perfected. With a mission of, “Making a Difference, One Cup at a Time,” Dutch Bros donates over $2 million annually to nonprofit organizations and local causes selected by local owner-operators. Dutch Bros. Coffee is headquartered in Grants Pass, Ore., where it was founded in 1992 by Dane and Travis Boersma, brothers of Dutch descent. To learn more about Dutch Bros, visit http://www.dutchbros.com, like Dutch Bros Coffee on Facebook or follow @DutchBros on Twitter.


News Article | December 8, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Jennifer Lycette, M.D., understands the importance of treating patients with cancer at home in their in rural communities. It allows them to spend more time with their families and to focus on their treatment and recovery, not traveling. Lycette and other physicians who treat these patients are keenly aware of the numerous challenges they encounter. Consequently, they are strongly committed to ensuring rural patients have access to the latest targeted therapies and other cutting-edge treatment options. When faced with a breast cancer patient with underlying mental illness who was reluctant to try standard cancer treatments, Lycette asked herself an important question: "What good were targeted therapies when her coexisting mental illness prevented her from taking them?" Lycette outlines this and other concerns while sharing one patient's profound struggle in a New England Journal of Medicine "Perspective" paper published today titled, "Neglected -- Cancer Care and Mental Health in Rural America." An oncologist with the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, Lycette treats patients in the coastal community of Astoria, Oregon. Astoria, like many other rural settings in the United States, has a severe shortage of psychiatric health care providers. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 4,000 Mental Health Professional Shortage Areas, defined as having less than one psychiatrist per 30,000 people, were identified in the United States in 2016. In reviewing what was available for the citizens of Clatsop County, of which the city of Astoria is a part, she found a disappointing zero psychiatrists per 100,000 people. Lycette's recounting of this patient's experience demonstrates the terrible impacts of insufficient or nonexistent psychiatric care. In her commentary, Lycette notes her inability to reach her patient with mental illness marked " ... the saddest final chapter in the devastating story of untreated mental illness, the true neglect." Lycette has served as the Columbia Memorial Hospital/OHSU Cancer Care Center's medical director for more than three years through the CMH/OHSU Knight Cancer Collaborative. In 2015, the collaborative, which has the goal to provide rural oncology care, announced the development of an 18,000 square-foot comprehensive cancer treatment center and specialty clinic in Astoria, scheduled to open in October 2017. The Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University is a pioneer in the field of precision cancer medicine. The institute's director, Brian Druker, M.D., helped prove it was possible to shut down just the cells that enable cancer to grow. This breakthrough has made once-fatal forms of the disease manageable and transformed how cancer is treated. The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center between Sacramento and Seattle - an honor earned only by the nation's top cancer centers. It is headquarters for one of the National Cancer Institute's largest research collaboratives, SWOG, in addition to offering the latest treatments and technologies as well as hundreds of research studies and clinical trials. For additional information on the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute visit http://www. or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In the second paragraph, second sentence, the URL embedded in "publication" should read: https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2017.5 (instead of https://www.doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2017.5) Mole photos, measurements, and melanoma risk factor data contributed by over 2,500 participants are made available by Sage Bionetworks and OHSU to accelerate skin cancer research. Sage Bionetworks and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) today publicly released data contributed by 2,798 participants in the Mole Mapper melanoma study. The app-based research study uses Apple’s ResearchKit to enroll participants who use the phone camera to map and measure their moles over time. Abnormal or changing moles can be an indicator of the skin cancer melanoma, so remote monitoring with the possibility of early detection holds great promise for cancer prevention. Whereas most research data are generated in a clinical or laboratory setting, Mole Mapper is crowd-sourced by individuals contributing data to the study from their own phones. Curated Mole Mapper data, consisting of mole photos and measurements together with melanoma risk factors, have been made available to qualified researchers on Sage Bionetworks’ collaborative science platform Synapse and accompanied by a publication in Nature Scientific Data. This is the second such mobile health study that has been made broadly available to qualified researchers around the world. “In designing the study, we first wanted to know if research run remotely and entirely through an app could find the same melanoma risks as years of rigorous epidemiology and genetics research,” said lead author Dan Webster, Research Fellow at the National Cancer Institute. “We show, for instance, that Mole Mapper participants with red hair were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma. This is in alignment with previously published data showing that people with red hair caused by mutations in the MC1R gene have a higher risk for melanoma.” The study data also touches on a frequently asked question about moles: “Is this normal?” Stanford University researchers recently demonstrated that algorithms can accurately diagnose skin conditions by training on a large database of high-quality medical skin images. The Mole Mapper team aims to create a similarly foundational database from participant-contributed data. While clinical resources will undoubtedly be important in answering this question, most moles that are measured and monitored in a clinical setting are already suspect and may already be abnormal. “With Mole Mapper, we have a unique ability to collect thousands of measurements from ‘pre-clinical’ moles that people measure themselves at home,” said Webster. “Over time, this can provide a basis for mole size and shape distributions to serve as a new benchmark for future studies.” The release of the Mole Mapper study data is a part of the larger mobile health ecosystem that Sage Bionetworks is cultivating. Developing open-source modules for integration into mobile applications and enabling the broad sharing of the resulting data are cornerstones of this effort. “In the promising space of mobile health, too often data is controlled by private interests,” said study coauthor Brian Bot, Principal Scientist, Sage Bionetworks. “Shared data resources such as these will help enable the scientific community to more quickly determine what can and cannot be gleaned from these types of remote measurements.” Sage Bionetworks is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit biomedical research organization, founded in 2009, with a vision to promote innovations in personalized medicine by enabling a community-based approach to scientific inquiries and discoveries. Sage Bionetworks strives to activate patients and to incentivize scientists, funders and researchers to work in fundamentally new ways in order to shape research, accelerate access to knowledge and transform human health. It is located on the campus of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington and is supported through a portfolio of philanthropic donations, competitive research grants, and commercial partnerships. More information is available at http://www.sagebase.org.


News Article | February 12, 2017
Site: www.techtimes.com

An Iranian baby who was temporarily banned from coming into the United States because of President Donald Trump's immigration order will soon have her life-saving heart surgery in Portland. The 4-month-old girl Fatemeh Reshad has had a series of diagnostic studies to prepare her for the surgery since she was admitted to the OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital in Portland on Tuesday, Feb. 7. Fatemeh was born with a congenital heart disease. In normal and healthy hearts, the blood pumps to the body, returns to the heart, and goes into the lungs where it collects oxygen before going back to the heart again. In Fatemeh's case, the blood flows from the body and into her heart but instead of passing by the lungs, the blood is pumped back into the body sans getting oxygen from the lungs. Normal hearts circulate blood in a series of circulation flowing from the heart to the body and then to the heart and lungs and then back to the body but in Fatemeh's case, her heart works more like in parallel circulations with one circulating blood in the body and the other circulating blood in the lungs. If the child's heart condition is left untreated, doctors said that it can permanently damage her lungs and may even eventually kill her. "Four-month-old Iranian infant Fatemeh Reshad will undergo heart surgery soon to treat a life-threatening congenital heart defect called transposition of the great arteries with ventricle septal defects, and pulmonary arterial hypertension, a condition if left untreated can cause irreversible damage to the lungs," the OHSU said in a statement released on Feb. 10. Laurie Armsby, of the OHSU's Division of Pediatric Cardiology, said that the procedure known as cardiac catheterization was conducted on the infant on Friday to know the extent of the injury to her lungs went well. Armsby said that despite the excess blood that passes through the child's lungs, the results were encouraging and doctors believe they can proceed with the surgical operation needed to correct her condition as planned. Irving Shen, of the OHSU's Division of Pediatric Cardiac Surgery who will perform the surgery, explained that the heart defects of the girl can be repaired by closing the holes in the heart and reconnecting the transposed arteries to the right pumping chambers of the heart. If all goes well, the health care team expects the child to stay in the hospital for up to three weeks. Doctors in Iran told the baby's parents that she needed surgery for her condition. Unfortunately, her family's tourist visa was abruptly canceled when Trump issued an executive order that bans the entry of people from seven countries including Iran. A Seattle judge issued a temporary restraining order on this ban on the same day that a waiver was granted for the child. The baby's family chose to get her treated in Portland because of the OHSU's known expertise in treating heart conditions as well as because of the location's proximity to the family's relatives. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


News Article | February 23, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

"Mutations are part of life. They are mistakes in a gene like typos in a text message," said Watanabe-Smith, a postdoctoral fellow with the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. "But which mutations cause cancer? That's the real question. And this problem is impossible to understand without a strong model system to test those mutations." Watanabe-Smith's research, published today in the journal Oncotarget, sought to better understand one "typo" in a standard leukemia assay, or test. While studying cancer biology and completing his doctorate in the lab of Brian Druker, M.D., at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, Watanabe-Smith encountered a new problem: an issue with the model system itself. "When I was sequencing the patient's DNA to make sure the original, known mutation is there, I was finding additional, unexpected mutations in the gene that I didn't put there. And I was getting different mutations every time," said Watanabe-Smith. He decided to formally study this phenomenon with his lab advisers, who included Druker; Cristina Tognon, Ph.D., scientific director, Druker lab; and Anupriya Agarwal, Ph.D., assistant professor of hematology & medical oncology, OHSU School of Medicine; researcher with the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, all co-authors on the paper. "Kevin and team would sequence the DNA, just to make sure the mutation's still there, and in that process they would pick up additional mutations that we didn't put there in the gene we were looking at," said Tognon. "After we saw this in several cases we knew it was worth further study." His initial research, identifying and characterizing a growth-activating mutation in a patient with T-cell leukemia, was first published last April in the journal Leukemia. The research published today was focused on better understanding the lab's model system, to ensure that future researchers trying to identify cancer-causing mutations are using accurate and reproducible methods. Their research investigates a common cell line assay, used since the 1980's, to detect which mutations are important in driving leukemia and other cancers. They found this assay is prone to a previously unreported flaw, where the cells, called Ba/F3 cells, can acquire additional mutations. "The potential impact is that a non-functional mutation could appear functional, and a researcher could publish results that would not be reproducible," Watanabe-Smith said. "Then we had the question: 'Did the cells transform because of a mutation the patient had, or did they transform because these new mutations they managed to pick up somewhere?'" Ultimately, he says, the research team recommends an additional step in the Ba/F3 assay (sequencing outgrown cell lines) to improve reproducibility of future results. While the results urge further research, the message to scientific community is clear: There seems to be more potential for problems than previously anticipated in this standard assay. "We're using this method to advance our understanding of patients' cancers. I now have a better idea of what may be contributing to this patient's leukemia and potentially what drugs could be used to control it. It will hopefully help the next person with the same mutation," Watanabe-Smith said. Particulars: Watanabe-Smith is an Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) scholar. Druker is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator.


A research conducted by scientists at the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) has led to a shocking discovery. The research has conclusively proven that antibiotics which are prescribed to patients diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), can eventually cause kidney infections and even permanent hearing loss. CF is a disease which affects both the lungs and the digestive systems. It is known to afflict more than 30,000 people in the U.S. alone while another 70,000 suffer from it worldwide. The latest study was led by Angela Garinis and co-authored by Peter Steyger. The research posits that rather than prescribing the antibiotics for CF, doctors should instead find an alternate solution for respiratory issues. If the patient is responsive to the other classes of antibiotics, then it is better to prescribe those and not the CF antibiotics. The study conclusively proves that patients treated with other drugs show less toxins in the body which affect the kidney and the ear compared to those who are on the aminoglycoside antibiotics. "Preventing or ameliorating the effects of permanent [hearing loss] is crucial for patients with CF who already have a significantly compromised quality of life due to the disease," surmisedthe authors. To reach these conclusions, scientists had to first conduct a study consisting of 81 CF patients who were within 15 to 63 years old. These patients were then divided into four groups depending on the cumulative dosage of the aminoglycoside antibiotics that were administered intravenously. After some research it was found that the two groups taking the highest dosage of the antibiotics were 4.79 percent more likely to suffer from hearing loss than the other two groups. Previous research such as this had also established the harmful effects of the aminoglycoside antibiotic, but this is the only study where the cumulative exposure throughout the patient's life has also been taken into account. Furthermore, these findings indicate that it is essential for physicians to constantly monitor hearing in a CF patient who is being treated with antibiotics. The results may be a cause for worry for patients suffering from CF. It is advisable that the next time you visit the physician, make sure he also checks your ears and kidneys for any signs of damage. The results of the study have been published in the Feb. 23 issue of Journal of Cystic Fibrosis. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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