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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 25, 2006 | From Times wire reports
A new study has dimmed researchers' hopes of detecting heart disease years before it develops with a battery of laboratory tests done on a single blood sample. Doctors traditionally rely on factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, smoking, obesity and diabetes to spot people in danger of cardiovascular disease. Many seemingly healthy people have heart attacks and strokes each year, however, and heart disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide.
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.
November 6, 2006 | From Times wire reports
Watching changes in men's PSA blood tests may be the best way of predicting which men have life-threatening prostate cancer. A study published in the Nov. 1 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, strengthens the argument that men should have their prostate specific antigen, or PSA, levels tested when they are young, so doctors have a "baseline" for studying future changes.
September 22, 2006 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Times Staff Writer
Every American between the ages of 13 and 64 should be screened for an HIV infection when they encounter a doctor or a hospital in an effort to identify the quarter-million people who are infected and do not know it, government officials recommended Thursday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also called for increased testing of pregnant women to further reduce the already low transmission of the virus from mothers to infants.
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.
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