ASCLS eNewsBytes
July 6, 2010

Gotenburg study : PSA screening halves mortality from prostate cancer
Medscape Medical News
New data from a Swedish study show that population screening with prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in men between 50 and 69 years of age reduced prostate cancer mortality by almost half during a follow-up period of 14 years. The finding was published online in Lancet Oncology. "In this trial, prostate cancer screening was well accepted by the general population and can result in a relevant reduction in cancer mortality, greater than that reported in screening for breast and colorectal cancer," conclude the researchers, headed by Jonas Hugosson, MD, from the Department of Urology at the University of Gotenburg, Sweden.More

New pain-free way to test for bone marrow donors
The Independent
Britain's leading leukemia charity has invented a painless new way to test whether someone is a match for a bone marrow transplant. The Anthony Noland Trust has developed a saliva DNA kit which will allow doctors to match transplant candidates and patients without having to take any blood samples.More

ACC, AHA: No routine genetic or platelet-function testing for clopidogrel nonresponsiveness
Heartwire via Medscape
The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association urge clinicians to adhere to the existing guidelines when using antiplatelet therapy but are reminding doctors about genetic variability altering clopidogrel metabolism, which in turn affects drug's inhibition of platelet function. The new report stops short of recommending routine genetic testing or assessments of platelet function because the evidence base is currently insufficient but does state that "genetic testing to determine if a patient is predisposed to poor clopidogrel metabolism (poor metabolizers) may be considered before starting clopidogrel in patients believed to be at moderate or high risk for poor outcomes."More

Study: Rogue cells explain Parkinson's transplant problem
Scientists working with Parkinson's disease patients who had pioneering transplant surgery using aborted foetal tissue have figured out what causes one of the most damaging side-effects of the treatment. The finding opens the way for a revival of the controversial and unpredictable procedure, which was halted in the mid-1990s after many patients suffered bouts of serious sudden and uncontrolled movements.More

New website evaluates stem cell claims
MedPage Today
Patients seeking stem cell treatments for various conditions now have an online resource to help them evaluate the claims of clinics and companies around the world. The recently launched website — — set up by the International Society for Stem Cell Research, provides information about stem cell biology as well as questions to ask clinics offering these often-experimental treatments. The site will eventually contain a list of clinics that did — or did not — provide information to the ISSCR on issues such as whether a medical ethics committee is involved in a treatment to protect patients' rights, or whether there is oversight from a regulatory body like the FDA or the European Medicines Agency.More

FDA clears handheld needleless hemoglobin spot-check device
Medscape Medical News
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted 510(k) clearance for a handheld device (Pronto-7; Masimo) for noninvasive hemoglobin spot-check testing, along with saturation of peripheral oxygen, pulse rate, and perfusion index, in virtually any environment.More

CDC: West Nile virus illness continues to decline
The Associated Press via Google News
Last year's West Nile virus season was the mildest in eight years, and just one case of serious illness has been reported so far this year. U.S. health officials said there were 386 cases of severe West Nile illness and 33 deaths last year. That's a far cry from the peak years of 2002 and 2003, when illnesses numbered nearly 3,000 and deaths surpassed 260.More