Health Life

Artificial intelligence can help to improve prognosis and treatment for glioblastoma

In the first study of its kind in cancer, researchers have applied artificial intelligence to measure the amount of muscle in patients with brain tumours to help improve prognosis and treatment.

Dr. Ella Mi, a clinical research fellow at Imperial College London (UK) will tell the NCRI Virtual Showcase, that using deep learning to evaluate MRI brain scans of a in the head was as accurate and reliable as a trained person, and was considerably quicker. Furthermore, her research showed that the amount of muscle measured in this way could be used to predict how long a patient might survive their disease as it was an indicator of a patient’s overall condition.

Glioblastoma is an aggressive brain tumour that is very difficult to treat successfully. Average survival after diagnosis is 12-18 months and fewer than 5% of are still alive after five years. Some patients do better than others, and so the ability to assess objectively patients’ frailty and physical condition provides important information that can improve prognosis and help guide decisions on treatments, diet and exercise. If patients have sarcopenia—degenerative loss of skeletal muscle—they may be unable to tolerate surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy as well as patients without the condition. This can lead to adverse reactions to therapy, early discontinuation of treatment, accelerated progression of the disease and death.

Dr. Mi said: “Finding a better way to assess patients’ physical condition, general well-being and ability to carry out everyday activities is important in glioblastoma, and indeed in many cancers, because, at present, it’s often evaluated subjectively, resulting in inaccuracy and a high degree of variability depending on who is looking at it. So indicators that can be assessed objectively, such as measures of sarcopenia, are needed.”

Dr. Mi and her colleagues from the Computational Oncology Group at

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Rash Evaluation: MedlinePlus Medical Test

What is a rash evaluation?

A rash evaluation is a test to find out what is causing a rash. A rash, also known as dermatitis, is an area of skin that is red, irritated, and usually itchy. A skin rash may also be dry, scaly, and/or painful. Most rashes happen when your skin touches a substance that irritates it. This is known as contact dermatitis. There are two main types of contact dermatitis: allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis.

Allergic contact dermatitis happens when your body’s immune system treats a normally harmless substance as if it were a threat. When exposed to the substance, the immune system sends out chemicals in response. These chemicals affect your skin, causing you to develop a rash. Common causes of allergic contact dermatitis include:

Allergic contact dermatitis usually causes itching that can be severe.

Irritant contact dermatitis happens when a chemical substance damages an area of skin. This causes a skin rash to form. Common causes of irritant contact dermatitis include:

  • Household products such as detergents and drain cleaners
  • Strong soaps
  • Pesticides
  • Nail polish remover
  • Body fluids, such as urine and saliva. These rashes, which include diaper rash, most commonly affect babies.

Irritant contact dermatitis is usually more painful than itchy.

In addition to contact dermatitis, a rash may be caused by:

Health Life

Research team identifies differences between benign and pathogenic gene variants

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

An international team of researchers led by Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute has performed for the first time a wide-scale characterization of missense variants from 1,330 disease-associated genes. Published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study identifies features associated with pathogenic and benign variants that reveal the effects of the mutations at a molecular level.

“Our study serves as a powerful resource for the translation of personal genomics to personal diagnostics and precision medicine, and can aid variant interpretation, inform experiments and help accelerate personalized ,” said Dennis Lal, Ph.D., assistant staff, Genomic Medicine, and the study’s lead author.Recent large-scale DNA sequencing efforts have detected millions of missense variants, where mistakes in the DNA code change the amino acid (molecular building block of a protein) makeup of proteins. Some of these variants are pathogenic, meaning they alter the structure and function of a protein in a way that leads to disease, while others are benign with no impact on health. The vast majority, however, are considered variants of uncertain significance because their effects remain unknown.

While methods to predict variant pathogenicity exist, they do not elucidate why some variants are more or less likely to cause disease than others or establish their functional impact. Additionally, pathogenic and benign variants can co-exist in almost every disease-associated gene. As such, gaining a better understanding of the mechanistic differences between benign and pathogenic variants will be a critical next step in the development of novel therapies for genetic disorders.

Considering that a protein’s function is closely linked to its three-dimensional structure, in this study the research team identified and compared the protein features of affected by pathogenic versus benign missense variants. Features that are more frequently mutated in pathogenic variants compared

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Colposcopy: MedlinePlus Medical Test

What is a colposcopy?

A colposcopy is a procedure that allows a health care provider to closely examine a woman’s cervix, vagina, and vulva. It uses a lighted, magnifying device called a colposcope. The device is placed at the opening of the vagina. It magnifies the normal view, allowing your provider to see problems that can’t be seen by the eyes alone.

If your provider sees a problem, he or she may take a sample of tissue for testing (biopsy). The sample is most often taken from the cervix. This procedure is known as a cervical biopsy. Biopsies may also be taken from the vagina or vulva. A cervical, vaginal, or vulvar biopsy can show if you have cells that are at risk for becoming cancer. These are called precancerous cells. Finding and treating precancerous cells may prevent cancer from forming.

Other names: colposcopy with directed biopsy

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