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Included below are news items from the last six months.

 

Could a new blood test help rule out a heart attack more quickly?

16 October 2017

A new blood test becomes positive earlier than current tests after a heart attack. It has the potential to reduce the pressure on A&E and hospital beds by increasing the early discharge of low-risk patients.

Viral DNA test successfully screened those at high risk of nasopharyngeal cancer

22 September 2017

Cancer of the nasopharynx (that part of the throat between the back of the nose and the back of the mouth) is prevalent in Southeast Asia. It often causes no symptoms until locally advanced. In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine on 10 August 2017, blood plasma samples from more than 20,000 men of Chinese descent aged 40 to 62 living in Hong Kong were tested for circulating DNA fragments of the Epstein-Barr virus. There were persistently positive results in 309 men who were then offered examination of their nasopharynx with an endoscope and by MRI scanning. Of the 300 men examined 34 (11%) were found to have nasopharyngeal cancer, and it was at an early and potentially curable stage in 16 of them.

Lithium present in tap water may protect against dementia

14 September 2017

A recent publication published in JAMA Psychiatry suggests that the lithium present naturally in small quantities in tap water may have a protective effect against dementia.

MHRA seizes HIV home-test kits over false result risk

11 September 2017

MHRA seizes more than 100 unreliable HIV home-testing kits

Lab Tests Online-UK is recommended by GP’s in Which? magazine

7 September 2017

The September edition of Which? member's magazine featured the article 'Help your GP to help you' providing the reader with an insight into GP appointments. The article features 'Useful websites recommended by GP's'. It includes Lab Tests Online-UK as one of only five recommended and trusted websites.

Blood test for unstable chromosomes can help predict the return of lung cancer

8 May 2017

A study of patients who had operations to remove non-small-cell lung cancers was reported online in the New England Journal of Medicine on 26 April 2017. Those patients whose tumours showed a high proportion of unstable chromosomes were found to be four times more likely to have a recurrence within two years. The researchers reported online in Nature on the same day how traces of circulating tumour DNA changed in sequential blood samples taken after operation. Concentrations dropped rapidly following the operation, but then increased in those whose tumour recurred. Concentrations increased up to a year before CT scans showed evidence of recurrence, raising the possibility of using the test to initiate intensive treatment earlier.

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