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Good News for Cancer Patients (the Ones in Boston, Anyway)

This article from the Boston Globe reports that Massachusetts General Hospital will begin to routinely perform genetic screens on "nearly all new patients' tumors, a novel strategy designed to customize treatment." Oncologists will be looking at 110 genetic variants on 13 cancer genes in these patients to help determine the best course of treatment. "Mass. General's decision to make gene testing standard in cancer treatment - it's believed to be the first hospital in the nation to do so - represents a major step in delivering personalized medicine to the masses," the article says.

Over at Omics! Omics!, Keith Robison reacts to the news, agreeing with cancer researchers quoted in the story who say that the clinical outcome of this new program is unclear. Still, Robison calls it "an exciting push forward into personalized medicine" and says that the main benefit may be the database the hospital will assemble from all this. "MGH is also presumably planning to screen patients on both initial diagnosis and after relapses, so an increasingly rich database of mutations appearing during cancer progression will emerge," he writes.

Filed under

The Scan

Alzheimer's Risk Gene Among Women

CNN reports that researchers have found that variants in MGMT contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk among women but not men.

Still Hanging Around

The Guardian writes that persistent pockets of SARS-CoV-2 in the body could contribute to long COVID.

Through a Little Spit

Enteric viruses like norovirus may also be transmitted through saliva, not just the fecal-oral route, according to New Scientist.

Nature Papers Present Method to Detect Full Transcriptome, Viruses Infecting Asgard Archaea, More

In Nature this week: VASA-seq approach to detect full transcriptome, analysis of viruses infecting Asgard archaea, and more.