Increased Molecular Understanding Informs Mantle Cell Treatment Choices

The treatment paradigm for mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is shifting as novel agents are incorporated into prior standard regimens and as next-generation sequencing becomes more readily used, allowing us to identify—well beyond clinical prognostic models—distinct molecular features predictive of poor outcome with conventional approaches, according to Andre H. Goy, MD. Goy is physician in chief at Hackensack Meridian Health Oncology Care Transformation Service, chairman and chief physician officer a

Science journeys: How two women found their passion

I am fascinated by people’s stories and what drives them to their careers in science. Recently, I had the opportunity to talk to two women scientists, one from Iran and another from Brazil, about how they first became interested in science, how their careers have progressed and their plans for the future. Their answers have been edited. Nahal Hoghooghi, a soil scientist and hydrologist from Iran, is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Georgia. She uses geospatial modeling to

Using bacteria to clean the environment

In recent years, concerns have heightened about increasing amounts of drugs in the environment, particularly in water. While the impact of this environmental pollution is not well understood, some evidence indicates that these drugs may be entering the food chain. Researchers believe that most of the drugs that end up in fresh water first accumulate at wastewater treatment facilities. Therefore, there is a need to eliminate the drugs at these facilities. Ashley Robinson, a senior biochemistry m

Targeting nitrated proteins could lead to new cancer drugs

Glioblastoma multiforme is a type of cancer that develops in the brain. Aggressive and difficult to treat, glioblastoma tumors respond to few drugs, and most patients are treated with methods developed about 20 years ago. Kyle Nguyen, a second-year Ph.D. student in Maria Franco’s laboratory at Oregon State University, has been looking for a new way to target these tumors. He will present his work on Friday, 3–3:15 p.m. EDT, at the 2021 ASBMB Annual Meeting. In broad terms, the Franco lab is int

The impacts of COVID-19 on women’s physical health

Now that we are more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic and the light at the end is shining bright, I thought it would be interesting to look at how the disease has specifically affected women’s health. This is, after all, National Women’s Health Week. From the very beginning of the pandemic, it was clear that COVID-19 did not affect everyone the same way. A February 2020 report from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that older people and people with underlying co

How plants use lipids to protect themselves from freezing

Freezing temperatures can kill certain plants, while others adapt to survive cold winters. And a sudden cold snap can damage or kill even winter-hardy plants. Zachery Shomo, a graduate student at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, studies how lipids protect plants from freezing and dying. He will present his recent research on Friday, 11:15 a.m. EDT, at the 2021 ASBMB Annual Meeting. “We would like to increase the ability of plants to withstand unseasonable climate events,” Shomo said. “In fa

COPD and Harmonicas: A Harmonious Match? - Focus on COPD

According to the results of a new study, patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experienced increased breathing control and other quality-of-life benefits by participating in weekly harmonica sessions with an occupational therapist and a musician.1 While there are various evidence-based interventions to help treat and manage COPD, such as flu and pneumonia vaccinations, smoking cessation, inhaled therapies, pulmonary rehabilitation, and lung volume reduction, patient adheren

Does Liquid Biopsy Have a Role in Detecting Response to Therapy and Disease Progression in NSCLC? - NSCLC: Contemporary Approaches

Monitoring plasma epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation levels may help predict clinical response and progression of EGFR-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), suggests a recently published study.1 The prevalence of constitutively activated EGFR mutations in NSCLC ranges from 10% to 15% in Whites to 40% to 50% in Asian populations.2,3 Exon 19 deletion (Ex19Del) mutations and exon 21 L858R point mutations are some of th

In Chronic Lung Diseases, COVID-19 Vaccines Trigger Functional Humoral Responses - Respiratory Disease in Focus

A recently published study in BMJ Open Respiratory Research found that patients with chronic pulmonary diseases had low but functional humoral responses to COVID-19 vaccination, and poorer immunological responses were independently associated with age, comorbidities, and immunosuppression.1 An increased risk of severe and critical COVID-19 infection, as well as that of hospitalization, intensive care unit admission, and mortality have been reported in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary

In Patients with COPD and HFrEF, Are We Doing Enough, and Doing it Right? - Focus on COPD

Continued undertreatment of patients with heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF), including those with concomitant chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), exists despite clinical guidelines based on evidence of improved outcomes with appropriate use of beta-blockers (BBs), suggests a recent study.1 BBs, which block β-adrenergic receptors, are widely prescribed medications.2 Different BBs have different selectivity for receptor subtypes and can be divided into cardioselective

COVID-19 Vaccines in Patients with HIV and Low CD4+ T-cell Counts: How Effective? - COVID-19: Prevention & Prophylaxis

A recent study suggests that people living with HIV-1 who have low CD4+ T lymphocyte counts have a lower immunogenic response to COVID-19 vaccines and would benefit from booster doses.1 Immunocompromised patients—who develop weaker immune responses to vaccines, including lower antibody production—are at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19. Hence, there’s a strong need to evaluate the immune response of these patients to the COVID-19 vaccines. While there have been studies evaluating the

Acute MI Survivors: Reducing Inequalities in Long-Term Outcomes - About CAD and PAD

A recent retrospective analysis of long-term outcomes of patients who survived the first 30 days following an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) showed improved mortality and hospitalization recurrence rates since 1995. However, there were marked differences across demographic groups, indicating the need for national efforts to reduce these disparities.1 From 1995 to 2019 in the U.S., there was an intense focus on improving the quality of clinical care for patients with AMI.2 This resulted in a

ALK Inhibitors Help to Define Precision Medicine

Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)–targeted therapies have increased the survival time for patients with ALK-translocated non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Can ALK inhibitors have the same impact on other malignancies that harbor ALK rearrangements? “One thing I should say about our ALK-positive patients [is that] we’re very hopeful because there have been great breakthroughs in terms of survival. So, we’re so excited for our patients and we want to also utilize this experience in this paradigm