Articles -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

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Personalized medicine: a paradigm shift is gaining momentum


Personalized medicine does not follow a "one-size-fits-all" treatment approach but emphasizes a "tailor-made" paradigm, meaning a treatment is customized to each individual person's case. For patients, this increases the chances of treatment success and means fewer side effects. While the approach originates in the field of oncology, it is now also increasingly applied to other disease patterns.
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Genetic analysis can improve depression therapy


The failure of drugs such as SSRIs, used to treat depression, can be a result of genetic variations in patients. Variations within the gene that encodes the CYP2C19 enzyme results in extreme differences in the levels of escitalopram achieved in patients, according to a new study published in The American Journal of Psychiatry.
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Acute kidney injury: Early detection thanks to biomarker


Major surgeries in the abdominal region often result in kidney injury in patients. Meanwhile, the clinical manifestations don't present until one or two days after the procedure. This causes physicians to lose valuable time to treat patients. The University Hospital Regensburg has researched a new concept for the treatment of kidney injuries for several years.
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Prenatal diagnosis: genetic analysis using droplet PCR


A new analysis method that uses fetal DNA extracted from the mother’s blood is designed to non-invasively reach a prenatal diagnosis of genetic disorders in a child. A task force of the Hahn Schickard Society for Applied Research is an active part of the "ANGELab" project and co-developed this diagnostic procedure.
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Laboratory medicine: confronting infections with speed and foresight


The laboratory is one of the most important and pivotal bastions in patient care. In the laboratory, acute, chronic and genetic diseases are diagnosed, the progression of diseases such as diabetes is regularly checked or specialists look for biomarkers to adapt cancer therapies.
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Diabetes: comprehensive prevention, early "vaccination"?


A diagnosis of diabetes often catches new patients off guard - for instance if they end up in the emergency room suffering from metabolic decompensation. Children are often affected by this. Their immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas early on in their lives, thus causing type 1 diabetes.
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Health Apps: "Mobile Applications for smartphones have strengths and weaknesses"


Medical apps like diabetes or high blood pressure diaries are becoming increasingly popular with smartphone users. There are many available choices out there but they are not always clear. Added to this is the question of how the data collected by the apps can be sensibly incorporated into treatment.
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Pancreatic cancer: diagnosis via signature analysis


Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer because it is difficult to diagnose and only presents with symptoms in the later stages. In the future, a laboratory test developed at the Greifswald University Medicine could make an early detection of this type of cancer and consequently a faster and better treatment possible.
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Theranostics: Complex particles for tomorrow's medicine


It is a portmanteau, a mixture of two words. This way it saves us time and trouble while speaking because the human speech apparatus is lazy. And it describes a mixture of procedures: the combination of two procedures that would normally be separate in medicine. We are talking about theranostics.
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Small companions: How wearables change our lives


They can be seen everywhere: at the wrists, in the ear, clipped to the belt. Wearables are small technical assistants who are built to collect and partially also to analyze data. Some of them collect measurable health data, others "only" count their user’s steps or measure the surrounding UV radiation. The fact is, however, that wearables are en vogue and are used for many different cases.
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Prostate cancer: Agent with theranostic potential


Endoradiotherapy can be very unpleasant for cancer patients, since it does not only harm tumor cells, but also healthy ones. Sometimes, patients even need to stop therapy because of the side effects. Physicians and researchers are thus continuously searching for ways to transport radiopharmaceuticals directly and exclusively to their target.
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Lung cancer: A blood test evaluates the effectiveness of therapy


Can liquid biopsies become the new trend in cancer diagnostics? The medical world has asked this question for quite some time. The first globally approved liquid biopsy-based test for lung cancer shows that this can work. Yet further findings and research are still required to establish this less invasive method in diagnostics.
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Tumor markers: State-of-the-art diagnostics for personalized medicine


When cancer is diagnosed, the terms tumor markers or biomarkers keep popping up. They describe characteristics that are not found in healthy persons. The classic tumor markers can be easily detected in blood samples or other body fluids. Other analysis methods require more effort. Yet they all share one thing in common: biomarkers indicate a potential tumor.
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Cancer Immunotherapy: Individual mutations as new target structures


A tumor is as unique as the person who is affected by it. For a long time, it was assumed this would make treatment more difficult since cancer drugs are not able to be one hundred percent effective in targeting the affected cells. In this interview with, Professor Ugur Sahin explains why it is precisely these individual mutations that make him hopeful for a new type of therapy.
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Tissue storage: "Our top biobanks are internationally leading the charge"


Only projects with a solid foundation are successful in the long run. This is also true for science. Biobanks are the most important component of this foundation when it comes to fundamental biomedical research: Only high quality tissue samples that are stored there make conclusive research possible - for example in search of the causes of tumorigenesis.
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