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Biobanks, biospecimens, and big data will be world-changing

Biobanks, biospecimens and big data will change the world

June 14, 2018

By Dr. Christopher J. Ianelli, iSpecimen Every sample has a story to tell. My co-presenter Rohit Gupta was referring to biospecimens in that presentation title. “What would the patients say if they knew that all their samples you collected are still sitting in a freezer somewhere?” he asked the audience. “Samples are not meant to live […]

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Tumor Tissue Samples and Detailed Data for Ovarian Cancer Research

June 7, 2018

June Specimen Spotlight Approximately 22,000 American women this year will receive a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, the fifth-ranked fatal cancer among women. Among the conditions related to ovarian cancer are mutations of: The tumor-suppressing TP53 gene (mutations are seen in nearly half of ovarian cancer tumors). And the KRAS oncogene. Scientists are aggressively seeking treatments and […]

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Depression’s hidden biology exposed

May 31, 2018

Although everyone experiences sadness from time to time, depression is different. It causes severe, lingering symptoms that can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working. An estimated 16.2 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in 2016, representing nearly 7 percent of all U.S. […]

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biobank challenges acquiring human biospecimens

As specimens lie idle in freezers, patients await cures

May 22, 2018

And biobanks lose needed revenue Although biobanks do tremendous good for the world, many want to do even better. Biobanks collect tissue, biofluids and cells for use by researchers working toward new cures, treatments and vaccines. To better understand their challenges, we created a detailed questionnaire that 42 biobank professionals from around the world filled […]

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tissue blocks for finding new breast cancer therapies

Cancer Tissue Blocks for Triple Negative Breast Cancer Research

May 10, 2018

May Specimen Spotlight “Triple negative” is a less common category of breast cancer that is more challenging to treat, often requiring surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. The name signifies that the cancer is not fueled, as the majority of breast cancers are, by estrogen, progesterone or the HER-2 protein. These other cancer types can often be […]

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Microbiome biospecimens

Our microbiomes show potential for precision medicine and better cancer treatment

April 19, 2018

A universe of 40 trillion creatures lives in your gut, making it one of the richest, most fascinating and mysterious platforms for precision medicine. Researchers are quickly discovering new medical insights by cross-referencing these worlds – patients’ unique microbiomes of bacteria, fungi and other microbes – with clinical outcomes. For example, new studies show that the […]

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Detecting ctDNA in the blood of cancer patients may help reoccurrence

Genomics and the blood – a powerful duo for cancer patients

April 12, 2018

A person’s blood can tell us a lot about their health. We’ve blogged about blood biomarkers that may soon help clinicians diagnose concussions, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. Yet, it seems like we’re still only scratching the surface of blood’s potential to reveal health insights. For example, Stanford researchers have recently discovered that the blood from certain […]

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April Specimen Spotlight: Biospecimens for Alzheimer’s Research

April 5, 2018

An estimated 5.7 million Americans of all ages are living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2018, according to just-released facts and figures from the Alzheimer’s Association. By 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s dementia is estimated to reach 7.1 million – an increase of almost 29 percent from the 5.5 million […]

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Medicare to cover next-generation sequencing for cancer patients

March 30, 2018

Great news for cancer patients, their doctors and the scientists creating personalized medicine solutions: Medicare will immediately begin covering next-generation sequencing (NGS) tests that help doctors prescribe specific cancer treatments likely to help individual patients based on their genetic profiles. “CMS believes when these tests are used as a companion diagnostic to identify patients with […]

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Human subcutaneous fat biospecimens were used by researchers to study the effects of the winter sunlight deficit on weight gain

Sunlight shrinks fat cells, says new research

March 22, 2018

For many of us, spring means laboring to shed winter weight and doing penance for rich holiday food and drink and “forgetting” to exercise. A new study, however, suggests winter weight gain may in part be beyond our control – and rather a function of winter’s sunlight deficit. The study found that sunlight can shrink […]

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