Study Shows Experimental Drug Can Encourage Bone Growth in Children with Dwarfism

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Australia and seven other medical institutions report that an experimental drug called vosoritide, which interferes with certain proteins that block bone growth, allowed the average annual growth rate to increase in a study of 35 children and teenagers with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism. The patients’ average boost in height to about 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) per year is close to growth rates among children of average stature, and the side effects of the drug were mostly mild, according to the researchers. Results of the four-year study are summarized … Continue reading

Apply for the NIH Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Program

Application deadline is August 30, 2019 To apply, visit http://www.nih.gov/science/laskerscholar/  

Out of Many Ovarian Precancerous Lesions, One Becomes Cancer

Some deadly ovarian cancers arise from lesions genetically unrelated to each other.   In a novel study of cancer genetics using fallopian tube tissue from 15 women, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have found evidence that the most common and lethal type of ovarian cancer arises not from a uniform group of precancerous lesions, but from individual growths found in groups genetically unrelated to each other. If confirmed in further studies, the discovery, described in the May issue of the Journal of Pathology, would go a long way towards upending a longstanding cancer dogma dictating … Continue reading

NIH Launches New Resource Celebrating Henrietta Lacks and the Impact of HeLa Cells on Biomedical Research

NIH Office of Science Policy (OSP) released a new resource on its website that honors Henrietta Lacks and the impact HeLa cells have had on biomedical research over the past 65 years Thursday, June 13th, the NIH Office of Science Policy (OSP) released a new resource on its website that honors Henrietta Lacks and the impact HeLa cells have had on biomedical research over the past 65 years.  This resource is intended to provide an interactive experience where users can learn how vital HeLa cells have been in moving biomedical research forward. Features include: A timeline of significant research milestones … Continue reading

Implanted Drug ‘Reservoir’ Safely Reduces Injections for People with Macular Degeneration

In a clinical trial of 220 people with “wet” age-related macular degeneration, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers, collaborators from many sites across the country, and Genentech in South San Francisco have added to evidence that using a new implant technology that continuously delivers medication into the eyes is safe and effective in helping maintain vision and reduces the need for injections in the eyes. a The investigators note that research is needed on larger groups of patients before the implant can be approved for commercial availability and use.  “Current treatment programs require frequent visits to the doctor, commonly every four to … Continue reading

ICTR in the News: Feeling Healthy- A Good Start, But Not Always A Good Indicator of Heart Disease Risk

Self-reported ‘good health’ rating combined with measurable risk factors may be best predictors of heart health The research study discussed in this article was supported by funding from the ICTR. Most people feel they have a general idea of how healthy they are based on their diet and exercise regimen and how often they get sick. But a new study by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers adds to evidence that how healthy people think they are isn’t always an accurate indicator of their risk for cardiovascular disease. In a study of medical information gathered on more than 6,800 people in the … Continue reading

Key Acid-Activated Protein Channel Identified

Newly characterized protein could contribute to acid-induced cell death caused by stroke, cancer and heart disease Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered a long-sought protein, the proton-activated chloride channel (PAC), that is activated in acidic environments and could protect against the tissue-damaging effects of stroke, heart attack, cancer and inflammation. The researchers believe the discovery of this protein could provide a new drug target for potential therapies for stroke and other health issues. “Knowing the identity of this acid-stimulated protein opens up a broad new avenue of both basic research and drug discovery,” says the study’s principal investigator Zhaozhu Qiu, Ph.D., an … Continue reading

Newly Discovered Immune Cell Linked to Type 1 Diabetes

‘Rogue defender’ mistakenly spurs attacks on insulin-producing cells in pancreas In a discovery that might be likened to finding medicine’s version of the Loch Ness monster, a research team from Johns Hopkins Medicine, IBM Research and four collaborating institutions is the first to document the existence of long-doubted “X cell,” a “rogue hybrid” immune system cell that may play a key role in the development of type 1 diabetes. The researchers report the unusual lymphocyte (a type of white blood cell) — formally known as a dual expressor, or DE, cell — in a new paper published in the journal Cell. “The cell … Continue reading

Johns Hopkins Researchers Design New Blood Test That Uses DNA ‘Packaging’ Patterns to Detect Multiple Cancer Types

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed a simple new blood test that can detect the presence of seven different types of cancer by spotting unique patterns in the fragmentation of DNA shed from cancer cells and circulating in the bloodstream. In a proof-of-concept study, the test, called DELFI (DNA evaluation of fragments for early interception), accurately detected the presence of cancer DNA in 57% to more than 99% of blood samples from 208 patients with various stages of breast, colorectal, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, gastric or bile duct cancers in the U.S., Denmark and the Netherlands. DELFI also performed … Continue reading

Finding A Cell’s True Identity

New artificial intelligence tools sort cells into types and find commonalities among cells from new contexts based on patterns of gene expression Scientists have long sorted cells into different varieties based on their appearance under a microscope or, for differences that are more visually subtle, based on the behavior of a handful of genes. But in a bid to reveal even more distinctive differences and similarities, researchers from the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, the Johns Hopkins Institute for Genetic Medicine and the Johns Hopkins Department of Neuroscience developed two new artificial intelligence methods that decipher complex gene activity controlling cell fate decisions in retina … Continue reading

Researchers Advance Search For Laboratory Test to Predict Spread of Breast Cancer

Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University and other institutions report that a new laboratory test that induces cancer cells to squeeze through narrow spaces has the potential to accurately predict which breast cancers and other solid tumors are likely to spread, or metastasize, to other sites. The test, they say, might also help clinicians select the best drugs to prevent cancer’s spread. The team received a United States patent on the test, called Microfluidic Assay for quantification of Cell Invasion (MAqCI), which uses a device to assess three key features of metastasis: cancer cells’ ability to move, to compress in order to … Continue reading