Chest pain relief via stem cells; Epizyme advances personalized therapeutics

Stem Cells

> Heart patients who have bouts of severe, disabling, chest pains could find relief as a result of stem cell experiments going on at Northwestern University in Chicago. The treatment cut in half the number of times test subjects suffered angina-related chest pain. Story

> Man gets first artificial trachea grown from the patients' own stem cells. Q&A from LA Times

> Canadian scientists have isolated a blood stem cell that is capable of regenerating the entire blood system, which opens up the possibility of using stem cells for more clinical applications, the scientists say. Article

Cancer Research

> Epizyme, based in Cambridge, MA, has published a paper in Cancer Cell saying it has advanced personalized therapeutics and treatment of multi-lineage leukemia. The research supports use of small molecule inhibitors of the histone methyltransferase enzyme DOT1L to treat the rare form of leukemia. Release | Abstract

> Increasing evidence links alcohol to cancer, yet alcohol consumption guidelines do not address this long-term effect. In fact, in many cases, alcohol producers helped come up with the guidelines, themselves. Release | Booster Shots blog

> Micromet signs cancer drug development deal with Amgen. Micromet handle discovery and pre-clinical development while Amgen will lead clinical development, manufacturing and marketing. Micromet gets $14.5 million on signing and up to $496.2 million, plus royalties, after milestones. Story

Genetics

> Meckel syndrome and Joubert syndrome appear to be two very different, rare diseases. However, researchers have discovered that they both have the same underlying genetic cause. Release

> Age-related macular degeneration: Is it genetics or environment? According to a new study on twins, more advanced AMD appears in smokers, while less advance stages appear in the twins who reported higher intakes of betaine and methionine. Report

> Fertility doctors in the U.K. say they have found a non-invasive way to screen IVF embryos for genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome. Currently, cells are taken from the embryos, which could be harmful. Now, though, it may be possible to run the same checks on cells surrounding the fertilized egg that are normally thrown away. Story

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