New hope for liver cancer patients | AI and diabetic retinopathy

Using sound pulses instead of surgery for liver cancer

MILWAUKEE, WI–A clinical trial at the Medical College of Wisconsin may offer new hope to people with liver cancer. The potentially groundbreaking tech, called histotripsy, involves using sound pulses instead of a scalpel to treat tumors and is drawing in patients from around the world. Trial researchers said they hope to present safety data to the FDA for approval in the coming months.

Can AI software diagnose diabetic retinopathy?

CORALVILLE, IA–Diabetic retinopathy is an eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness in people who have diabetes. Healthcare company Digital Diagnostics is helping make blindness prevention more accessible and convenient by making diagnoses possible at primary care facilities without the need for an eyecare specialist. Their autonomous AI software, IDx-DR, uses fundus (inside back surface of the eye) camera images to diagnose diabetic patients with diabetic retinopathy and macular edema at their point-of-care.

University of Cincinnati’s lung cancer research

CINCINNATI, OH–Lung cancer is the second leading cause of cancer in the U.S. as well as the deadliest. Researchers worldwide are working to find better ways of treating it. Researchers at the University of Cincinnati are in the process of studying how a specific gene and fatty acids, called lipids, help fortify lung cancer cells and if targeting the gene and lipids can lead to better outcomes for patients. The study is funded by $1.5 million in grant funding from the National Cancer Institute to continue the lung cancer research.

Pharma granted fast-track designation from the FDA

DURHAM, NC–Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) is a disorder in which skeletal muscle and connective tissue, such as tendons and ligaments, are gradually replaced by bone. BioCryst Pharmaceuticals has been granted Fast Track designation from the U.S. FDA for its drug called BCX9250, which is designed to inhibit the ALK-2 enzyme, which is a part of the normal signaling pathway for bone formation. The purpose of the Fast Track designation is to get important new drugs to patients earlier by facilitating the development, and expediting the review, of drugs to treat serious conditions and fill an unmet medical need.