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The latest research in the news, this issue featuring topics including antibiotic resistance, renal cell carcinoma, wound healing, and suicide risk.

Antibiotic Resistance Test

Antibiotic resistance is a concern in the context of both treatment failure and the increasing use of more powerful and more expensive antibiotics. A novel medical device is being developed in an effort to reduce time in determining antibiotic resistance. The new test takes approximately 30 minutes, while standard detection tests currently take several days. This test will help doctors to treat patients more effectively, by allowing them to determine antibiotic drug resistance and therefore prescribe the most effective and cost-efficient antibiotic on a case-by-case basis. Researchers will develop a system utilizing disposable cartridges in a small diagnostic machine that will be able to identify and detect antibiotic resistance within half an hour. This system will then be integrated into the io®system by Atlas Genetics. The device is expected to be ready by 2017.

News Release “New system to detect patients’ antibiotic resistance to take just 30 mins” Available from: Last Accessed: June 12, 2015.


Renal Cell Carcinoma

Scientists have developed a test, based on 16 genes, to predict the recurrence of localised renal cell carcinoma after surgery. In the development process, the researchers assessed associations between over 700 genes and clinical outcome in patients with renal cell carcinoma who had previously undergone nephrectomy. The test was then validated in a separate group of patients from France, who also had previous nephrectomy for renal cell carcinoma. The researchers found that recurrence score according to the 16-gene test was significantly associated with risk of tumor recurrence. The scores derived from the 16-gene test were able to predict a significant number of high-risk and low-risk patients, thereby validating the scores as a predictor of clinical outcomes in patients with renal cell carcinoma. The new test will give greater accuracy to determining individual risk of recurrence.

Rini, B, Goddard, A, Knezevic, D, Maddala, T, Zhou, M, Aydin, H, Campbell, S, Elson, P, Koscielny, S, Lopatin, , Svedman, C, Martini, J-F, Williams, JA, Verkarre, V, Radulescu, C, Neuzillet, Y, Hemmerlé, I, Timsit, MO, Tsiatis, AC, Bonham, M, Lebret, T, Mejean, A, Escudier, B “A 16-gene assay to predict recurrence after surgery in localised renal cell carcinoma: development and validation studies” The Lancet Oncology Volume 16, No. 6, p676–685, June 2015.


PlasmaDermTM for Wound Healing

PlasmaDermTM is a new technology that utilizes plasma for fast wound healing. Potential applications include: atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, and chronic venous leg ulcers, present typically in diabetics. PlasmaDermTM works by placing an electrode on the treatment area, combining an electrical field, reactive gas, and UV light to the affected area. The result is an increase supply of blood to the wounded area, in addition to antibacterial effects, promoting faster wound healing. PlasmaDermTM provides a fast, safe, and painless new method to promote wound healing.

News Release “Plasma makes wounds heal quicker” Available from: Last Accessed: June 12, 2015.


Risk of Suicide

A Canadian study has assessed the risk of suicide following self-poisoning in adolescents. Self-poisoning is the leading means of attempted suicide, which is the third most common cause of adolescent death worldwide. Researchers from the Hospital for Sick Children and Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, investigated rates of suicide after self-poisoning, in order to determine potential risk factors. Included in the study were adolescents aged between 10 and 19 years who were hospitalized due to self-poisoning. The study revealed that 248 of adolescents who were discharged from hospital following self-poisoning died during the 7 year follow up period. Over 50% of these deaths were due to suicide. Subsequent self-poisoning, being male, and psychiatric care were all associated with suicide in this group. The researchers therefore suggest that self-poisoning strongly predicts suicide, identifying a high-risk group of adolescents. They suggest that this high-risk group should undergo extended periods of secondary prevention to reduce risk of subsequent suicide.

Finkelstein, Y, Macdonald, EM, Hollands, S, Hutson, JR, Sivilotti, MLA, Mamdani MM, Koren, G, Juurlink, DN, for the Canadian Drug Safety and Effectiveness Research Network (CDSERN) “Long-term outcomes following self-poisoning in adolescents: a population-based cohort study” The Lancet Psychiatry Volume 2, No. 6, p532–539, June 2015.



Written by Deborah Tallarigo, PhD


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