New test profiles patients’ cancer genes

By: Marilynn Marchione

U.S. regulators have approved a first-of-a-kind test that looks for mutations in hundreds of cancer genes at once, giving a more complete picture of what’s driving a patient’s tumor and aiding efforts to match treatments to those flaws. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Foundation Medicine’s test for patients with advanced or widely spread cancers, and the Centers for... READ MORE

Mini-organs can help find best treatments

By: Maria Cheng

Els van der Heijden, who has cystic fibrosis, was finding it ever harder to breathe as her lungs filled with thick, sticky mucus. Despite taking more than a dozen pills and inhalers a day, the 53-year-old had to stop working and scale back doing the thing she loved best, horseback riding. Doctors saw no sense in trying an expensive new drug because it hasn’t been proven to work in... READ MORE

Massive study seeks 1 million volunteers

By: Lauran Neergaard

In a quest to end cookie-cutter healthcare, U.S. researchers are getting ready to recruit more than 1 million people for an unprecedented study to learn how our genes, environments and lifestyles interact — and to finally customize ways to prevent and treat disease. Why does one sibling get sick but not another? Why does a drug cure one patient but only cause nasty side effects in the... READ MORE

Foster parents give and find love

By: Carol Sorgen

The nationwide heroin epidemic has not left Baltimore unscathed. Drug-addicted parents who can no longer care for their children have led to an increasing number of kids who need a secure, stable and loving home environment — a home provided by foster moms like Janis Oglesby. Oglesby, who lives in Baltimore County and is “past 65,” has been a treatment foster care parent with the... READ MORE

NIH offers tool to locate alcoholism help

By: Lauran Neergaard

The phone calls come — from fellow scientists and desperate strangers — with a single question for the alcohol chief at the National Institutes of Health: Where can my loved one find good care to get sober? The government recently released a novel online tool to help — the Alcohol Treatment Navigator — which provides access to directories of alcohol treatment providers and a list ... READ MORE

Couriers transport gift of life

By: Barbara Ruben

The snowflakes fell fast and furious, blanketing roads, shuttering runways and canceling Jim Frison’s flight. But what might be merely an inconvenience for some was a matter of life and death in this case. Frison was gripping a bright blue cooler containing recently donated bone marrow on its way to a cancer patient, and it was Frison’s job to get it there. With just 48 hours to... READ MORE