A British study found that another PARP inhibitor, called
olaparib, shrank or stabilized tumors in 12 of 19 patients
whose cancers stemmed from mutations in the inherited
BRCA- 1 and - 2 genes—and who had not responded to other
treatments. The data were so astonishing that the results
were published in 2009 by The Ne w England Journal of Medicine, which rarely publishes the results of phase 1 drug trials.
In a study published last year in the medical journal The
Lancet, researchers reported that olaparib shrank tumors in
41 percent of patients with these inherited cancers. Olaparib is also being studied for treating other cancers that spring
from such mutations, including some types of ovarian and
prostate cancers. FDA approval is likely a few years away.
Heart disease blood test
Angiograms may become much rarer, thanks to a new
23-gene blood test that checks for certain blood proteins
linked to heart disease. In a recent trial, the blood test
was 85 percent accurate in detecting potentially harmful
blockages among patients. Added to other heart disease
risk factors such as family history and chest pain, the test
improved doctors’ ability to categorize patients as being
at high or low risk of heart woes in the future. “It’s like
radar in picking up what’s going on in the blood cells,” says
lead researcher Eric Topol, M.D., director of the Scripps
Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, California.
You thought tattoos were just for punk rockers and Harley-Davidson fans? Think again. Heather Clark, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Northeastern
University in Boston, has developed a tattoo that can monitor your blood sugar without constant needle pricks—a huge
advancement for the 26 million Americans with diabetes.
The miniature tattoo—only a few millimeters in size—is
made up of nanosensors: tiny polymer (CONTINUED ON PAGE 80)
66 AARP THE MAGAZINE