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Archive - Apr 4, 2010

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Upcoming Personalized Medicine 3.0 Conference—Targeting Cancer

“Personalized Medicine 3.0--Targeting Cancer” is a one-day conference and networking opportunity for health and industry professionals, educators, and scientists. The conference will focus on cancer--using genomic information to characterize tumors precisely and ensure the use of the most effective treatment regimens for individual patients with the fewest side effects. The organizers note that personalized medicine is poised to transform healthcare over the next several decades, and that it offers both the possibility of improved health outcomes and the potential to make healthcare more cost-effective. The conference will be held in San Francisco at San Francisco State University from 9 am to 7 pm on Tuesday, May 25, 2010. The two previous annual conferences on personalized medicine have been enormous successes and similar results are expected for this third conference. The organizers urge you to register early as space is limited and the registration fee is $249 until April 15, 2010. Registration includes a light breakfast, lunch, and a networking reception at the end of the day. Registration details and a preliminary program are available at the conference web site (http://personalizedmedicine.sfsu.edu/), as are additional details on the conference.

New Genetic Risk Factors Identified for Brain Aneurysms

In the largest genome-wide study of brain aneurysms ever conducted, an international team led by researchers at the Yale School of Medicine has identified three new genetic variants that increase a person's risk for developing this deadly disease. "These findings provide important new insights into the causes of intracranial aneurysms and are a critical step forward in the development of a diagnostic test that can identify people at high risk prior to the emergence of symptoms," said Dr. Murat Gunel, senior author of the report. "Given the often-devastating consequences of the bleeding in the brain, early detection can be the difference between life and death." The new study, the second by Yale researchers published within the last 15 months, brings to five the number of regions of the genome that have been found to contribute to the nearly 500,000 cases of this devastating disorder diagnosed annually worldwide. The researchers searched across the entire genome for changes in the genetic code that were shared more often by aneurysm patients than by unaffected individuals. The researchers determined that if persons carry all of the risk variants discovered by the Yale-led team, they are five to seven times more likely to suffer an aneurysm than those individuals who carry none. While these findings have transformed the understanding of the genetic risks for intracranial aneurysms, considerable work remains to be done, the researchers noted. "These five findings explain about 10 percent of genetic risk of suffering an aneurysm," Dr. Gunel said. "This is 10 percent more than we understood just a couple of years ago, but there is a long way to go."