Cancer-Spotting Yogurt May Offer a Cheap, Simple Test

A spoonful of yogurt could soon offer a cheap and simple way to screen for colorectal cancer.

Sangeeta Bhatia, a professor at MIT, is working to replace costly and uncomfortable colonoscopies and MRIs with a helping of yogurt followed by a urine test—a cheap method that could improve the early diagnosis of colorectal cancer.

via Cancer-Spotting Yogurt May Offer a Cheap, Simple Test | MIT Technology Review.

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Patients need to go on a diet – an applications diet!

We are experiencing a mobile applications epidemic. Every PC applications vendor is now urgently creating their own mobile applications. Why? Because we are in the early phases of totally mobile world and they know it. Both Millennials and Gen Z have grown up on mobile devices.


As of January 2014:

  • 90% of American adults have a cell phone

  • 58% of American adults have a smartphone

  • 32% of American adults own an e-reader

  • 42% of American adults own a tablet computer

<source: Pew Research Center>


According to Becker’s Hospital Review, by 2016, a majority of consumers expect mHealth — the use of mobile devices to manage health information and data —  to significantly change their healthcare experience. For example:

  • 59% said mHealth will change how information on health issues is found

  • 51% said mHealth will change how providers or services send general healthcare information

  • 49% said mHealth will change their overall health management

  • 48% said mHealth would change how they manage chronic conditions

  • 48% said mHealth would change how they communicate with providers

  • 52% said mHealth would make healthcare more convenient

  • 48% said mHealth will improve healthcare quality

  • 46% said mHealth will substantially reduce healthcare costs

Let’s consider a typical patient, perhaps one with cancer. He or she goes to iTunes to find an app to learn more about their disease. A simple search using the keyword “cancer” displays over 1300 results.

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In addition to just getting baseline information about their disease, patients need to capture and monitor daily statistics such as blood pressure, temperature, appetite, etc. They also want to talk to other patients with similar diagnoses and interact with doctors and caregivers. Patients also have to complete annual surveys and have ongoing access their medical records. If they wear tracking devices, they need to check those apps and review the data collected. The list of needs goes on and on.

Is it feasible or realistic for a patient to access multiple mobile applications on a daily basis to manage their disease?

The answer is NO!

We need to move from a mobile application epidemic to a mobile applications diet!



A new generation of mobile health platforms such as Open Health Network provide 100% configurable and customizable plug & play modules. OHN acts as an umbrella app that connects and integrates a variety of patient-facing apps under one roof– without any coding and within a week! There’s no longer a need for healthcare organizations to hire an army of mobile developers to  develop and maintain a multitude of apps. And for patients, OHN provides easy access to everything they need  in a single mobile application.

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Clearly a win-win situation.This is the future!


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Glowing Poop May Be the Best Line of Defense Against #ColonCancer

Researchers are working on a noninvasive test for colorectal cancer that will make your shit glow if the disease is present. Beats a colonoscopy

via Glowing Poop May Be the Best Line of Defense Against Colon Cancer.

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Healthcare – what’s your core?

In 1992, I was working as a programmer at Fujitsu, developing a custom ERP system. We were almost finished when the executive management team discovered SAP and what it could offer our business. Custom development was halted and we opted to deploy the ERP module of SAP instead. It just made sense.

SAP, Oracle, Salesforce and other packaged solutions forced companies to look at their core  —  what their business is about —  and to stop doing things that were not core and were not giving them a competitive advantage or padding their bottom line. This includes in-house software development for common business processes that are already covered by existing B2B software options.

These days, few companies even question whether they need to develop their own software for managing business functions such as Sales and Distribution, Procurement and Human Resources. There are a wealth of options in the marketplace and to devote resources to duplicating them would be both wasteful and foolish.

Currently, we’re living in mobile era – people are using their mobile devices not only to communicate with their friends and family, but also to manage their health, purchase products and services, book travel, access their business systems and a host of other functions. Organizations know that if they want to reach their target audience, they better be able to do it on a mobile platform or their competitors will.

Aware of the need for mobile engagement, healthcare organizations are rushing to develop their own mobile applications to engage with patients, to collect data, to provide tools for patients to manage their treatment, etc. They’re spending millions of dollars and many months to create these applications and then just as much to promote and maintain them.

Why? What has changed since the early SAP days? Why aren’t healthcare organizations deploying highly configurable, customizable solutions for mobile as they did for their other business processes? Imagine the time and money saved.

Systems like Open Health Network will enable any organization in the healthcare ecosystem — major healthcare providers, pharma companies, non- profit patient advocacy groups and others — to have their mobile and web solutions up and running within a week, without any coding. With plug and play modules and customizable features, Open Health Network can not only provide organizations with applications for clinical trials, patient engagement, data collection  and information sharing in a very short time frame, but will also save significant initial development and long-term maintenance dollars.

What we have done before in the ERP and CRM spaces can and should be done today with mobile applications. Those healthcare organizations that are tempted to travel back in time and consider transforming into software companies would be wise to remember that the wheel doesn’t need reinventing. Stick to your core mandate and leave the SaaS and the PaaS to the pros.

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Bio-engineered pump could carry cancer drug directly to tumors

Researchers have invented a microscopic pump that has the potential to transport cancer drugs from the blood into the heart of tumors, according to a new study.

The pump is created from an engineered antibody that attaches to a protein found in microscopic pouches lining the walls of blood vessels in mouse, rat and human tumors. Substances attached to this antibody are transported from the blood through the vessel wall into the tumor’s interior.

The study provides a proof of concept that the pump works in lung, mammary and prostate tumors. Next, more animal studies must be performed testing that the technology is therapeutically useful in animals — and eventually in people, said lead researcher Jan Schnitzer of the Proteogenomics Research Institute for Systems Medicine in San Diego.

The study was published Aug. 17 in the journal Nature Medicine. The first author is Phil Oh.

If the technology works, it would solve one of the biggest problems in cancer drug therapy: how to get a drug into the tumor at a high enough dose without harming normal cells.

via Bio-engineered pump could carry cancer drug directly to tumors |

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Eat well to prevent colon cancer

You are in control of some of the best tools for preventing colon cancer: what you eat and how much you exercise.

Here’s some of the best current thinking about what a person should — and shouldn’t — eat to decrease risk of colon cancer.

  • Limit fat, red and processed meats, and alcohol. Studies link colon cancer to high-fat diets, particularly those with a high percentage of red and processed meats. Research indicates that consuming large quantities of red and processed meats can cause genetic damage to colon cells. Research also links alcohol consumption with an increased risk of the disease. If you choose to drink, limit your intake to two drinks a day — if you are a man — and one for a woman.
  • Chow down on fruits and vegetables. A diet that includes generous servings of fruits and vegetables and fiber will help you look and feel better while reducing your risk of cancer.

via Eat well to prevent colon cancer.

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Curcumin blocks the metastasis of colon cancer by a novel mechanism

Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric and has been scientifically studied in many types of cancer. It has been shown to have a chemopreventative effect – the ability to reverse, suppress or prevent the development of cancer.”What’s novel about our research is that our study identified one of the mechanisms by which curcumin can prevent cancer cell metastasis in colon cancer,” Ghishan said.

via Curcumin blocks the metastasis of colon cancer by a novel mechanism.

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Researchers identify breast cancer biomarker that could predict outcomes

According to researchers, the ability to predict cancer prognosis can be critical to management of treatment. For those with a good prognosis, they can be spared aggressive treatment and its side effects. For those with an aggressive tumor, failure to apply aggressive treatment can lead to death.

via Researchers identify breast cancer biomarker that could predict outcomes | Fox News.

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Mayo offers at-home #coloncancer test; stool sample goes in the mail

Mayo Clinic is taking another step toward making detection of colorectal cancer as convenient as possible, announcing Monday an at-home kit that arrives and is sent back in the mail, stool sample included.

via Mayo offers at-home colon cancer test; stool sample goes in the mail | Star Tribune.

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Statins may protect against colon cancer

Statins, the widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs, may also boost colorectal cancer survival, according to a new U.K. study.

Early research has found that, overall, colon cancer patients who took statins such as Lipitor and Zocor had a 29 percent lower risk of dying from the cancer compared to non-users. Taking the drugs longer than a year reduced the risk even more, said Chris Cardwell, of Queen’s University Belfast, who conducted the study.

via Statins may protect against colon cancer – CBS News.

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