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NEWS
December 16, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
News came today that singer Etta James is terminally ill with chronic leukemia; the Riverside Press-Enterprise also reports that the 73-year-old is suffering from kidney failure and dementia. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, where blood cells are produced. When abnormal cells are created they disrupt the function of healthy cells. The disease can be acute or chronic; in acute leukemia, common in children, immature or early blood cells multiply quickly, and immediate treatment is usually necessary.
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SCIENCE
June 11, 2012 | By Thomas H. Maugh II
"Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts, who five years ago beat breast cancer, said Monday that she has now been diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disorder caused by chemotherapy for her cancer. She is now taking chemotherapy in preparation for receiving a bone marrow transplant from her sister later this year. Because she is relatively young and healthy, the combination of treatments should cure the condition, doctors have told her. Myelodysplastic syndrome is sometimes known as pre-leukemia, and many researchers now believe that, if untreated, it will progress to acute myeloid leukemia.
BUSINESS
December 27, 1994
Amgen Inc., a Thousand Oaks-based biotechnology company, said its Neupogen drug has received U. S. Food and Drug Administration approval to be used in the treatment of severe chronic neutropenia, or SCN. SCN is a rare blood disorder involving extremely low levels of infection-fighting white blood cells. Neupogen, which stimulates production of white blood cells, is already used by cancer chemotherapy patients and bone marrow transplant patients.
BUSINESS
June 23, 1989
Drug Reimbursements Approved: The federal Health Care Financing Administration has agreed to reimburse kidney dialysis centers when patients use Amgen Inc.'s new Epogen drug, retroactive to June 1. Epogen is the brand name for erythropoietin, a protein developed by the Thousand Oaks biotechnology company that is used to treat chronic anemia by stimulating production of red blood cells. Amgen said the U.S. will reimburse about 80% of a patient's treatment costs, with states covering the balance.
BUSINESS
January 7, 1997 | LEO SMITH
A drug manufactured by Amgen of Thousand Oaks to aid the production of red blood cells has received approval from the federal Food and Drug Administration to be used prior to surgery. The drug, Procrit, is marketed by Ortho Biotech Inc., a unit of New Jersey-based Johnson & Johnson. Procrit is a genetically engineered version of a natural human hormone, erythropoietin, which stimulates bone marrow to produce red blood cells.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 14, 1991 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
For the first time, researchers have diagnosed fetal genetic disorders by taking blood samples from pregnant women, eliminating risk to the fetus. The new techniques rely on the fact that a very small number of fetal blood cells can make their way into a pregnant woman's bloodstream through leaks in the placenta. The cells are very rare in the mother's bloodstream, however.
NEWS
November 2, 1986 | --Compiled from Times staff and wire service reports
A virus may be the cause of Kawasaki syndrome, a mysterious disease that causes life-threatening heart abnormalities in children and is especially prevalent among youngsters of Japanese and Korean descent, according to Harvard Medical School researchers. In studies on the white blood cells of Kawasaki syndrome patients, the researchers have detected a key viral enzyme, called reverse transcriptase, which is normally not present in blood cells.
HEALTH
September 14, 1998
During this period, the structure of the fetus is completed to the extent that major abnormalities--or good health-- can be determined. MONTH FOUR Weeks 15-16: Amniocentesis can be performed to check for birth defects MONTH FIVE Weeks 16-18: Substantial cardiac defects can be determined. The fetus is fully formed, about 5 inches long. Fetal heart beats twice as fast as mother's. Weeks 18-20: Stem cells begin to occupy the fetal bone marrow. Fetus begins to move.
NEWS
September 3, 1987 | HARRY NELSON, Times Medical Writer
A genetically engineered hormone with the potential for revolutionizing the treatment of infections has passed its first human safety trial, UCLA and Harvard medical scientists said in a report published today. In experiments conducted in Los Angeles and Boston, the hormone was given to 16 AIDS patients suffering from a wide variety of viral, bacterial and fungal infections that typically afflict people with acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
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