A Personalized Drug for One Patient (Abstract Science, Oct. 6 - 12)
Also: STDs rise in the US for the five year in a row, and hope for schizophrenia patients
(Jacqueline Howard, CNN, 10/8/19)
For the fifth year in a row gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis cases have risen in the US. The increase varies by state and may be due to increased reporting and decreased condom use. One CDC epidemiologist stated that STDs are a cost burden to the health care system and can directly affect quality of life. One of the most concerning findings was a rise in congenital syphilis.
(Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News, 10/10/19)
Researchers have demonstrated effective treatment in mice to one of the most common, and so far untreatable, schizophrenia symptoms: loss of working memory. Although the research is only in mice, it disproves the idea that memory cannot be restored once the cells have been damaged. Other schizophrenia symptoms, like hallucinations and paranoia, can be effectively treated with drugs.
(Gina Kolata, New York Times, 10/9/19)
A new drug created for just one patient has pushed the boundaries of personalized medicine and raised unexplored regulatory and ethical questions, scientists reported Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. The authors of the study, which included Charles River scientists, described the first “custom” treatment for a genetic disease. It is called milasen, named after the only patient who will ever take it: Mila Makovec.
—Stories compiled by Senior Scientific Writer Mary Parker