Tag Archives: future of medicine

THE LIQUID BIOPSY

blood-315278_640Although the idea of a biopsy is never pleasant, the idea of a liquid (blood sample) biopsy has a little excitement to it, as it sounds simpler and less painful.  In fact, it is….and this approach to diagnostics will grow larger in the coming years, supplanting the need for invasive testing that is currently being done.

A recent article in The Lancet shows the benefits of such a liquid biopsy in monitoring patients with Lymphoma for recurrence of disease.  Using blood sampling to test for ctDNA (circulating tumor DNA….genetic material from the cancerous cells), the researchers were able to identify patients at risk for recurrence well before other techniques suggested that disease was active.  Beyond this, they were also able to predict those people who had less concerns and could feel confident in their response to treatment.

Researchers tell us that monitoring with blood testing for ctDNA is likely to become part of the routine regimen of cancer evaluation and follow-up in the future.

Read more >>>>>HERE<<<<<

FUTURE MEDICINE

theranosTheranos labs is test marketing it’s fingerstick lab testing program here in Phoenix, and we have been given a front-row seat to the latest in practical medical technology.

Although imperfect in a variety of ways, the fingerstick method for lab testing has an appeal to patients who either cannot easily get a routine blood draw due to poor venous access, or  who have Aichmophobia (fear of needles or sharp objects).

Read the comments about the experience at Theranos labs from my son Eric Lakin, who is in the biotechnology industry>>>>HERE.

Find out Phoenix latest contribution to medical practice.

iPS…..A GREAT ADVANCE BEGINS

London to Brighton Veteran Car RuniPS stands for Induced Pluripotential Stem Cells and they were transplanted for the first time into a patient’s eye in Japan, to help reverse Macular Degeneration.

These cells are created from mature cells that are coaxed into reverting to stem cells (originating cells) that can then be transformed into any type of tissue that exists.  iPS provides an alternative to embryonic stem cells that are so controversial, and helps to avoid the ethical concerns involved with the obtaining of such tissues.

The result of nearly a decade of research when the 2006 Nobel Prize was awarded for creating iPS, these cells are at the center of the development of ”regenerative medicine” which hopes to reverse aging or defer the aging process, by using these cells to replace damaged tissues from disease or aging.

Although this first attempt to help restore vision is not likely to be wildly successful, the initiation of this process is the first step in another development of the current biological revolution that is just beginning.

Read more >>>>>HERE<<<<<

I’M GLAD TO BE ALIVE TODAY!

charlie chapAs a medical student and medical intern, I prided myself on my ability to get blood samples from ‘difficult to stick’ patients, and I can remember IV drug abusers teaching us students how to find their veins, as they were the most expert of all in finding a difficult to stick vessel.

Now, today, two great technological advances are making life for all of us easier when we need to have blood testing.

First, is Theranos labs, with the fingerstick method for performing a vast array of blood testing.  I’ve spoken several times before, here in these pages, about Theranos labs and their proprietary technology that will reduce labwork cost and create an ease of use with new technology that allows a vast array of all blood testing to be done without a needle.  As Theranos is rolling out into all of the Walgreens in the country, 8000 of them, we are seeing the first wave of testing here in Phoenix, at numerous Walgreens in The Valley.

Second, is the technology called Accu Vein, which allows for the visualization of veins in your arm, prior to having blood taken or IV’s placed.  Using an infrared light, and projection technology, the phlebotomist can see the veins they are trying to stick with the needle.   What formerly took great skill and experience, is now becoming much simpler with a visual map to guide the blood draw.

These innovations are simple but impressive improvements in day-to-day care, and go way beyond anything I could have imagined in my training back in the 80’s.