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Diagnostic Tests

February 12, 2007 | From Times wire reports
U.S. health officials approved a genetic test last week that can give women with early breast cancer an estimate of whether the disease is likely to return in five to 10 years. Officials cautioned, however, that the test was not perfect and should be used with other information to help doctors and patients decide how aggressively to treat an early tumor. Called MammaPrint and made by the Dutch company Agendia, the test is the first with U.S.
January 29, 2007 | From Times wire reports
Rapid flu tests can help doctors decide when patients need antibiotics and when they do not, researchers have reported. Experts almost universally agree that antibiotics are overused in the U.S. and elsewhere and that this overuse has helped new, drug-resistant strains of bacteria to evolve. Antibiotics are useless against viruses, such as influenza, but bacterial and viral infection often cause very similar symptoms. The new findings, published in the Jan.
December 23, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
A specially designed chemical gives a 98% accuracy in diagnosing Alzheimer's disease, UCLA researchers reported Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Previously, the only way to determine whether a person suffered from the devastating brain ailment has been to remove some brain tissue or with an autopsy.
November 29, 2006 | Rong-Gong Lin II, Times Staff Writer
Los Angeles County health and community leaders are calling for renewed efforts at testing and educating minorities about AIDS, noting that Latinos and blacks in the county with HIV tend to learn of their infection too late to get the maximum benefit from drug therapies.
September 11, 2006 | From Times wire reports
The presence or absence of a protein in lung cancer cells could help doctors predict whether chemotherapy will help patients live longer after surgery, researchers say. In a study published in the Sept. 7 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, they found that volunteers with undetectable levels of the protein ERCC1, which is important in repairing DNA, had a five-year survival rate of 47% when treated with the platinum-based class of chemotherapy drugs such as cisplatin.
July 29, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Home DNA kits that claim to warn people of their risk of diseases ranging from cancer to osteoporosis offer little real guidance and are often misleading, according to a congressional report. An investigation into 14 companies that sell the tests showed many gave meaningless information, and some then tried to sell consumers expensive "customized" supplements that were little different from grocery-store vitamin pills.
July 17, 2006 | From Times wire reports
Ultrasound technology is a safer and more accurate way to diagnose Rh disease than the standard technique of sampling fluid from a fetus to check for the blood problem, researchers report. The disease, which can lead to stillbirth or brain damage, is caused by blood incompatibility between mother and fetus, and once led to thousands of stillbirths and infant deaths each year in the United States.
June 25, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
The District of Columbia will launch a campaign this week urging every resident between the ages of 14 and 84 to be tested for HIV, an ambitious undertaking that public health officials say is crucial to reversing rates of infection that are among the worst in the country. The citywide campaign, which appears to be unprecedented in its breadth, will target 400,000 men, women and teenagers, encouraging them to learn their HIV status through an oral swab that delivers results in 20 minutes.
June 18, 2006 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
California lost $2.65 million in federal funding to offer free breast and cervical cancer screening for uninsured women because the state failed to report data on the program. The federal government suspended funding because the state did not collect data that it was required to report to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Each year, an estimated 270,000 women receive testing through the "Every Woman Counts" program.
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