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High-Tech Tools, Tight Teamwork Were Key To Separating Infant Girls Joined At The Head
Over a year and a half after the successful separation of two infant twins joined at the top of their heads, surgical team leaders report on this dramatic case in the Jan. 24 New England Journal of Medicine. The surgeons describe the innovative devices, elaborate planning and precisely orchestrated teamwork needed to perform the complex separation surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
Today Erin and Abby Delaney are thriving two-year-olds, living with their parents Heather and Riley in Mooresville, N.C. In June 2017, their 11-hour separation surgery made them international celebrities at 10 months of age. Among craniopagus conjoined twins (those joined at the head), they were among the youngest ever known to be successfully separated.
“Infants with this condition heal faster and better the younger they are at separation, because of the plasticity and regenerative pow
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Targeted Treatment Shrinks Deadly Pediatric Brain Tumors
Chemotherapy and radiation are effective cancer treatments because they kill rapidly dividing cells, including tumor cells. But for children—whose tiny bodies are still growing—these treatments can cause lifelong damage. This is particularly true for children with brain cancer, and researchers are working hard to find treatments that reduce side effects while remaining effective.
Now, scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) have reported that a targeted therapy that blocks a protein called LSD1 was able to shrink tumors in mice with a form of pediatric brain cancer known as medulloblastoma.
LSD1 inhibitors are currently under evaluation in clinical trials for other cancers, which could speed their potential path to children with medulloblastoma. The study was published in Nature Communications on January 18, 2019.
“Subjecting a developing child to chemo
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Outbreak Of Paralyzing Disease Linked To Non-Polio Enterovirus
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope, has identified a polio-like virus as a potential cause of an outbreak of a disease known as Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), a crippling condition that causes muscle weakness and paralysis usually among children.
At the request of Arizona and Maricopa County health officials, TGen was tasked with trying to identify the microbial cause of the outbreak of AFM among as many as 11 patients at a Phoenix-area hospital in September 2016.
Using multiple genomic sequencing tests, TGen identified a specific non-polio enterovirus -- EV-D68 -- among at least four of the children, according to a study published today in the scientific journal mBio. The finding is significant because AFM cases are continuing to increase and there has been no official recognition that this disease is being caused by EV-D68, which limits
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Heart Disease Risk Begins In The Womb
Heart disease is the greatest killer in the world today, and it is widely accepted that our genes interact with traditional lifestyle risk factors, such as smoking, obesity and/or a sedentary life to promote an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
However, a new study in sheep, publishing January 22 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, by a team from Cambridge University, finds that offspring whose mothers had a complicated pregnancy may be at greater risk of heart disease in later life, suggesting that our cards may be marked even before we are born.
In addition to the effects of adult lifestyle, there is already evidence that the gene-environment interaction before birth may be just as, if not more, important in “programming” future heart health and heart disease. For instance, human studies in siblings show that children born to a mother who was obese during pregnancy are