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Past News Items - Nov 2016

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In the News

Researcher Suggests Kratom May Have Medical Benefit as Opioid Alternative

Study Shows Link between Mitochondrial DNA and Autism

50-Year-Old Bacteria Could Be Alternative Treatment Option for Cancer

High-Nitrate Energy Boost from Amaranth

New Study Shows Running Improves Fitness, Communication for Children with Autism

New Test for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Cleared by FDA

Yoga for Men (YfM) Announces Yoga for Veterans Program and Research Study to Evaluate the Effects of Yoga and Mindfulness on Posttraumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Other Conditions

Higher Vitamin D Levels Associated with Better Outcomes in Breast Cancer Survivors

Heart Disease, Leukemia Linked to Dysfunction in Nucleus

Brad Jacobs, MD, Becomes Chair of the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine

Bastyr University Announces Doctor of Acupuncture Medicine

Released: 11/30/16

Researcher Suggests Kratom May Have Medical Benefit as Opioid Alternative

A delayed U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration ban on kratom would stifle scientific understanding of the herb's active chemical components and documented pharmacologic properties if implemented, according to a special report published today in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

The report cited the pharmacologically active compounds in kratom, including mitragynine, 7-hydroxymitragynine, paynantheine, speciogynine, and 20 other substances, as one basis for further study. It also emphasized the extensive amount of anecdotal evidence and current scientific research that indicates kratom may be safer and less addictive than current treatments for pain and opioid withdrawal.

"There's no question kratom compounds have complex and potential useful pharmacologic activities and they produce chemically different actions from opioids," said author Walter Prozialeck, chairman of the Department of Pharmacology at Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. "Kratom doesn't produce an intense euphoria and, even at very high doses, it doesn't depress respiration, which could make it safer for users."

Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is indigenous to Southeast Asia, where the plant was used for centuries to relieve fatigue, pain, cough and diarrhea and aid in opioid withdrawal. Currently sold in the United States as an herbal supplement, kratom drew DEA scrutiny after poison control centers noted 660 reports of adverse reactions to kratom products between January 2010 and December 2015.

"Many important medications, including the breast cancer treatment tamoxifen, were developed from plant research," said Prozialeck.

"While the DEA and physicians have valid safety concerns, it is not at all clear that kratom is the culprit behind the adverse effects," said Anita Gupta, DO, PharmD, and special advisor to the FDA.

Dr. Gupta, an osteopathic anesthesiologist, pain specialist, and licensed pharmacist, has treated a number of patients who've used kratom. "Many of my patients are seeking non-pharmaceutical remedies to treat pain that lack the side effects, risk, and addiction potential of opioids," she said.

Kratom is currently banned in states including Alabama, Florida, Indiana, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and Tennessee. The DEA is scheduled to decide whether to place kratom on its list of Schedule 1 drugs, a classification for compounds thought to have no known medical benefit. Marijuana, LSD and heroin are Schedule 1 drugs, which prevents the vast majority of U.S.-based researchers from studying those substances.

The full report can be reviewed here.


SOURCE American Osteopathic Association

Released: 11/29/16

Study Shows Link between Mitochondrial DNA and Autism

Cornell University researchers have confirmed a genetic link between mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is passed on from the mother, and some forms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Previous research suggested a link between mitochondrial functional defects and ASD, but those studies included small sample sizes and could not verify whether the cause was genetic or environmental.

The current study, published October 28 in the journal PLOS Genetics, analyzed mtDNA in 903 families, where the researchers compared the mtDNA of an affected child and an unaffected sibling and their mother. They found that in instances when the children had both mutant and normal mtDNA in a single cell, called heteroplasmy, all the children showed similar numbers of mutant mtDNA, but the autistic children had more than twice as many harmful mtDNA mutations compared to their non-autistic siblings.

“When we compared the inheritance between the mother and the children, we confirmed this particular pattern, which is the child with autism inherited more bad mutations than their siblings during the process of passing mitochondrial DNA from mother to children,” said Zhenglong Gu, associate professor of nutritional sciences and the paper’s senior author.

“We show not only that mitochondrial DNA heteroplasmy is associated with autism, but also, among autistic kids, these pathogenic mitochondrial DNA mutations are significantly associated with intellectual disability, and other neurological and developmental defects,” said Yiqin Wang, a graduate student in Gu’s lab and the paper’s first author.

The current findings may lead to better diagnosis and treatment of children with a sub-type of autism caused by pathogenic mtDNA mutations. Analyzing mtDNA could help diagnose some forms of autism in the future. Interventions restoring mitochondrial function might also be useful for treatment, Gu said. These findings also have relevance for other childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, which may be caused by disease-causing mtDNA mutations and is a subject for future work, he said.

Most human cells carry two copies of nuclear DNA, one copy from each parent, and hundreds of copies of mtDNA, which exist in an organelle called the mitochondrion, where most of a cell’s energy is created. Aside from the nuclear genome that resides in the cell’s nucleus, the mitochondrion is the only organelle that contains DNA. Compared to nuclear DNA, mtDNA is known to mutate rapidly, which has prompted Gu to look for age-related diseases and pediatric diseases linked to these mutations.

During egg production, there is a dramatic reduction in the numbers of copies of mtDNA, as a way of eliminating bad mutations passed from mother to child. But some bad mutations still pass to the next generation, and the number of pathogenic mtDNA in children may be affected by the mother’s environment or physiology, Gu said.

“Does the mother have inflammation or diabetes, or is she obese?” Gu said. “These things could make the process of cleaning up mutations less efficient. This could give us some insight into why autism is rising,” and will be a subject for future studies, Gu said.

Future work will also include looking into the effects of environment, diet and the mother’s health on mtDNA in children, Gu said. The group is also developing better tools for efficient and cost-effective mtDNA sequencing, he said.

Martin Picard, an assistant professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University, is a co-author on the paper.

The study was funded by Cornell University, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the ENN Science and Technology Development Company.


SOURCE Cornell University

Released: 11/29/16

50-Year-Old Bacteria Could Be Alternative Treatment Option for Cancer

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 48 million Americans contract foodborne diseases annually, with Salmonella being the leading cause of illness. Salmonella has a unique characteristic that allows the bacteria to penetrate through cell barriers and replicate inside its host. Now, scientists at the Cancer Research Center and the University of Missouri have developed a non-toxic strain of Salmonella to penetrate and target cancer cells. Results from this study could lead to promising new treatments that actively target and control the spread of cancer.

“Salmonella strains have a natural preference for infiltrating and replicating within the cancer cells of a tumor, making the bacteria an ideal candidate for bacteriotherapy,” said Robert Kazmierczak, a senior investigator at the Cancer Research Center and a post-doctoral fellow in the Division of Biological Sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science. “Bacteriotherapy is the use of live bacteria as therapy to treat a medical condition, like cancer.”

Kazmierczak and the team at the Cancer Research Center (CRC) developed CRC2631, a Salmonella strain that has been genetically modified to render the bacteria nontoxic and enhance its natural ability to target and kill cancer cells—without harming normal, healthy cells. The Salmonella strain was administered directly into the circulatory system of mice with prostate cancer.

“We found that the mice tolerated the treatment well and when examined, their prostate tumors decreased by about 20 percent compared to the control group,” Kazmierczak said. “One of the most remarkable aspects of Salmonella is its ability to target, spread and persist inside the tumor. We are taking advantage of this ability by using Salmonella to carry or generate effective chemotherapeutic drugs, concentrating them at and throughout the tumor. The goal of this treatment is to develop a bacterial vector that can destroy the tumor from the inside out and reduce the amount of side effects endured by patients with cancer.”

CRC2631 is derived from a Salmonella sample that was stored in a test tube at room temperature for more than 50 years. The sample originates from the Demerec collection, a collection of mutant strains of Salmonella collected by geneticist Milisav Demerec and curated by Abraham Eisenstark, scientific director at the CRC and professor emeritus of biological sciences at MU. The collection contains over 20,000 different samples of Salmonella, with half of the samples housed at the Cancer Research Center where researchers affiliated with MU focus on three areas of cancer research: early detection, targeted treatment and new, effective chemotherapy.

“The uniqueness of CRC2631 differentiates our Salmonella strains from other universities trying to achieve the same goal; it is one of a kind,” Eisenstark said. “The strain of Salmonella we are using is essential to the success of our study.”

The study, “Salmonella Bacterial Monotherapy Reduces Autochthonous Prostate Tumor Burden in the TRAMP Mouse Model,” was recently published in PLOS ONE and was funded by the Cancer Research Center. Robert Kazmierczak, Bettina Gentry, Tyler Mumm, Heide Schatten, and Abraham Eisenstark authored the study.



SOURCE University of Missouri Health

Released: 11/29/16

High-Nitrate Energy Boost from Amaranth

A new, clinical study confirms that dietary supplementation of nitrate from a natural extract of Amaranthus species nicknamed "red spinach," results in a significant increase in plasma nitrite that ultimately enhances nitric oxide. The related physiological effects of such nitric oxide enhancement include a lower resting blood pressure, better blood circulation and enhanced exercise tolerance, helping boost performance during exercise or other physical activity.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover-designed clinical research was conducted by Jeff Martin, PhD, et alia, at The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Auburn Campus, Alabama, US. It was published last September in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.

Results from the study confirm that dietary supplementation of nitrate with the "red spinach" extract (RSE) can result in a significant increase in plasma nitrite and thus nitric oxide. Nitrates and nitrites relax all types of smooth muscle, for example those of the cardiovascular system, including veins, arteries and capillaries. These compounds help improve energy conversion in human cells, contributing to reduced fatigue during exercise and activity. Other pharmacologic properties include beneficial actions on cardiovascular enzyme systems and bronchial smooth muscle.

To provide the purest form of RSE, Arjuna Natural Extracts Ltd. developed its OxyStorm brand of Amaranthus extract. OxyStorm is the first nitrate supplement extracted from the leafy green, known to hold many health benefits according to Indian medicine tradition. "OxyStorm can take sports nutrition to the next level," explains Benny Antony, PhD, Joint Managing Director for Arjuna. "Athletes and consumers with active lifestyles seek to improve their performance without negative effects and post-workout 'crash' or jitters associated with alkaloid stimulants, such as caffeine. OxyStorm is a highly concentrated source of nitrate at about 9-10 percent. By comparison, the current nitrate source trend, beet extracts and concentrates, typically contain only about 2 percent nitrate."

OxyStorm also is a good source of potassium (about 8 percent), also vital for physical performance. The ingredient is highly water-soluble and has a neutral pH, making it ideal for a range of applications, from energy bars to sports drinks.

As a farm-to-supplement ingredient, OxyStorm's purity can be guaranteed. "Our farmers grow the Amaranthus, harvest the leaves, and deliver them to our state-of-the-art processing facility in Kerala, India," explains Antony. "The active ingredient is carefully extracted and submitted for advanced product testing to ensure ingredient identity and product safety. Arjuna consistently promotes transparency of production with our natural ingredients, keeping them safe and pure."

Arjuna's production processes and products meet market-specific regulations worldwide. A GMP-certified, SAP-driven company, Arjuna has achieved international certifications including ISO22000, Kosher and Halal. Arjuna continues to engage in research and development, with continuing scientific validation of its novel product line through advanced clinical studies.


SOURCE Arjuna Natural Extracts Ltd.

Released: 11/23/16

New Study Shows Running Improves Fitness, Communication for Children with Autism

A new study funded by the Cigna Foundation shows that running improves fitness and communication among children with autism.

On Saturday, November 12 at the Academy of Pediatric Physical Therapy’s Section on Pediatrics Annual Conference (SoPAC), researchers from Achilles International and New York Medical College (NYMC) released results of a collaborative four-month study, measuring the quantitative and qualitative effects of the Achilles Kids running program on restrictive/repetitive behaviors, social interaction, social communication, emotional responses, and cognitive style on 94 students with autism in five schools. This real-world, “natural setting” study is among the largest to have been conducted to-date.

The study showed profound and statistically significant improvements in key areas such as fitness markers and communication behaviors; further validating the team’s hypothesis that a vigorous school-based exercise program has potential to positively impact numerous physical, social, academic, and emotional factors for students facing the highest levels of impairment. Study participants faced additional challenges including socioeconomic situations and little access to outside therapies and adaptive extracurricular programs.

“In a subset of students that were identified as having the most severe autism (based on the Gilliam Autism Rating Scale (GARS)), the study found statistical significant improvements in awareness, cognition, motivation, and restrictive repetitive behaviors, i.e., self-inflicted injuries,” said Susan Ronan, PT, DPT, PCS, assistant professor of clinical physical therapy in the School of Health Sciences and Practice at NYMC. “These findings are encouraging and warrant further exploration in future research.”

Led by Ronan and Janet Dolot, PT, DPT, DrPH, OCS, assistant professor of clinical physical therapy also in the School of Health Sciences and Practice at NYMC, the team collected baseline, midterm, and final data on a variety of factors related to the students’ fitness, communication, social awareness, quality of life, and autism severity.

The Achilles Kids school-based running curriculum helps adaptive physical education teachers—whose students include children with autism—implement a running-based program in their schools. The students are given the goal of running 26.2 miles—the marathon distance—in a school year.

This school-based study is funded by World of Difference grants given to Achilles in 2014 and 2015 by long-time partner Cigna Foundation. Existing literature on this topic often examined small sample sizes or community-based programs, and so the Achilles and NYMC teams sought to quantifying extensive anecdotal evidence observed by Achilles showing physical, social, emotional, and academic improvement in children with autism spectrum disorder who regularly ran with their program as part of their school day.

“It continues to be a major challenge for researchers to be able to study populations of children with autism in real-world settings like schools,” said Ronan. “We’re thrilled to have conducted one of the largest studies of its kind, particularly since many of the students who participated are from historically underrepresented communities.”

The Achilles Kids program currently serves more than 250 schools reaching 10,000 children with disabilities. A large number of participating students are members of minority groups, economically disadvantaged, and non-English speaking.

“The results are extremely encouraging as millions of parents, caregivers, and medical professionals grapple with how to best support children on the autism spectrum,” said Megan Wynne Lombardo, director of development at Achilles.

About New York Medical College

Founded in 1860, NYMC is one of the oldest and largest health sciences colleges in the country with more than 1,400 students, 1,300 residents and clinical fellows, nearly 3,000 faculty members, and 16,000 living alumni. The College, which joined the Touro College and University System in 2011, is located in Westchester County, New York, and offers advanced degrees from the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences, and the School of Health Sciences and Practice. The College manages more than $32.6 million in research and other sponsored programs, notably in the areas of cancer, cardiovascular disease, infectious diseases, kidney disease, the neurosciences, disaster medicine, and vaccine development. With a network of affiliated hospitals that includes large urban medical centers, small suburban clinics and high-tech regional tertiary care facilities, NYMC provides a wide variety of clinical training opportunities throughout the tri-state region for medical students, residents, and other health providers.

About Achilles International

Achilles International is a worldwide organization that encourages people with disabilities to participate in mainstream running.

Released: 11/23/16

New Test for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Cleared by FDA

Inova Diagnostics, a worldwide leader in autoimmune diagnostic reagents and systems for the clinical laboratory, is pleased to announce the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance of QUANTA Lite Calprotectin Extended Range, an assay which aids in the diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and can help differentiate IBD from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). 

The accurate detection of calprotectin levels can provide critical information to physicians determining the appropriate care of millions of patients suffering from gastrointestinal disorders. QUANTA Lite® Calprotectin Extended Range is a quantitative enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) that detects calprotectin levels. Results can aid in the diagnosis of IBD (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) and help differentiate IBD from IBS in conjunction with other clinical and laboratory findings.

QUANTA Lite Calprotectin Extended Range offers a broader analytical measuring range compared with other FDA cleared assays. According to Michael Mahler, PhD, Vice President of Research and Development for Inova Diagnostics, "We are very pleased to launch this high performing assay to meet the increasing demand from laboratories worldwide. Gastrointestinal pain is a common reason for seeking medical attention. Inaccurate diagnosis at the screening level can contribute to unnecessary procedures and increased healthcare costs. QUANTA Lite Calprotectin Extended Range can improve care while helping reduce costs."

KT Park, MD, MS, Chair of Clinical Care and Quality, NASPGHAN and Co-Director, Stanford Children's IBD Center at Stanford University School of Medicine commented, "Fecal calprotectin has revolutionized my clinical practice in two specific areas. First, calprotectin measurements during patients' diagnostic workup, particularly when the diagnosis could be either IBS or IBD, provide direction and important information prior to endoscopic evaluations. Second, calprotectin follow-up testing in IBD patients supports a patient-centered, proactive approach to disease management, allowing accurate detection of indolent and often-missed inflammation. The improvements in quantitative range represented by Inova Diagnostics' new, FDA cleared assay is an update to the clinicians' toolkit for decision-making."

About Inova Diagnostics, Inc.

Inova Diagnostics is a privately held company headquartered in San Diego, California, and is a part of Werfen, a global leader in in vitro diagnostics (IVD) with a long term commitment to providing high quality, innovative solutions for hospitals and clinical laboratories to enhance patient care. Inova Diagnostics manufactures IVD systems and reagents for autoimmune disease that are used around the world, and is a leader in the development and commercialization of novel autoimmune technologies and diagnostic markers.

About QUANTA Lite Calprotectin Extended Range

QUANTA Lite Calprotectin Extended Range is a quantitative ELISA for detecting concentrations of fecal calprotectin to aid in the diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), specifically Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to differentiate IBD from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in conjunction with other laboratory findings.


SOURCE Inova Diagnostics

Released: 11/22/16

Yoga for Men (YfM) Announces Yoga for Veterans Program and Research Study to Evaluate the Effects of Yoga and Mindfulness on Posttraumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Other Conditions

Yoga for Men (YfM), a downtown St. Petersburg, Florida company, is collaborating with the University of South Florida (USF) College of Public Health to conduct a clinical research study. This study will evaluate and report on the effects of yoga and mindfulness on PTS (Posttraumatic Stress), TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), and other conditions that veterans and active duty military personnel struggle with in their daily lives.

Positive Impact

The purpose of the clinical study is to analyze the extent to which veterans and active duty military personnel who participate in the Yoga for Men (YfM) online yoga and meditation classes report changes in symptoms of psychological trauma, depression, anxiety, stress, sleep quality, and pain.

Study participants are encouraged to take two yoga classes and two mindfulness sessions per week through YfM's online platform and are given access to a large library of classes for all ability and experience levels. Study participants communicate with USF researchers through the use of the encrypted, HIPAA-compliant ReadyOp system, developed by YfM partner Collabria LLC.

More than 2.3 million US veterans have returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Over 20 percent of these veterans are suffering from some level of Posttraumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and a published report by the Department of Veteran Affairs says that at least 20 US veterans take their own lives every single day.

While psychotherapy and prescription medications have been the common treatment protocol for our veterans, new approaches are gaining acceptance and momentum, (i.e. yoga and mindfulness practices). A growing number of studies report these practices tend to address and alleviate many of the psychological, physiological, and behavioral symptoms of PTS and TBI.

"Our company started with the intention of helping men get over the barriers that have kept them off the yoga mat. Our mission quickly expanded to one of making yoga and mindfulness accessible to everyone who might benefit, male or female, young or old, and at any level of mobility. We offer classes from adaptive chair yoga all the way through advanced power yoga. The point is to match the practice to the practitioner. And there is a practice for everyone,” said Mike Fecht, Co-President, Yoga for Men LLC

Seeking Sponsorship for Veterans

Over 1,300 Veterans responded to a single advertisement that initially announced the study, and YfM anticipates the interest of thousands more once news of the study begins to spread. There is no limit as to how many veterans may take part. Sending one veteran or active duty service member through the study costs $200, or approximately $1 per class.

YfM has covered all of the costs to develop the online video platform, film, and produce the initial bank of materials, and launch the study. The company is currently looking for partners, sponsors, and donors to cover the cost of additional participants.

Organizations or individuals interested in financially supporting participants or learning more about the YfM Yoga for Veterans program may contact Mike Fecht, Co-President of Yoga for Men. Funds will be used to sponsor participants, as well as to support the University of South Florida College of Public Health in the conduct of the study.

Yoga for Men, LLC (YfM) was formed in 2011 to promote the many known health and wellness benefits of yoga practices. YfM produces therapeutic yoga classes for general health and well-being, as well as condition-specific classes. YfM also produces meditation, mindfulness, fitness, and other related content and runs an on-line yoga retail marketplace selling various brands of yoga gear and clothing, including its own brand of high-performance yoga clothing, Bhujang Style.


SOURCE Yoga for Men, LLC

Released: 11/22/16

Higher Vitamin D Levels Associated with Better Outcomes in Breast Cancer Survivors

Women with higher vitamin D levels in their blood following a breast cancer diagnosis had significantly better long-term outcomes, according to new research from Kaiser Permanente and Roswell Park Cancer Institute. The study was published online in JAMA Oncology.

Vitamin D is a nutrient best known for its role in maintaining healthy bones; conversely, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with the risk for several cancers.

Common sources of vitamin D include sun exposure, fatty fish oils, vitamin supplements, and fortified milks and cereals. While the mechanisms for how vitamin D influences breast cancer outcomes are not well understood, researchers believe it may be related to its role in promoting normal mammary-cell development, and inhibiting the reproduction of and promoting the death of cancer cells.

"We found that women with the highest levels of vitamin D levels had about a 30 percent better likelihood of survival than women with the lowest levels of vitamin D," said Lawrence H. Kushi, ScD, research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research and principal investigator of Kaiser Permanente's Pathways study of breast cancer survivorship. The current study included 1,666 Pathways study members who provided samples between 2006 and 2013.

With funding from the National Cancer Institute, the Pathways study began enrolling Kaiser Permanente members in Northern Californiawho had a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer in 2006. Participants provided blood samples within two months of diagnosis and answered questions about diet, lifestyle, and other risk factors, with follow-ups at six months and at two, four, six, and eight years.

"With the extremely rich data sources from a large sample size, we were able to prospectively analyze three major breast cancer outcomes—recurrence, second primary cancer, and death," said Song Yao, PhD, associate professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the study's lead author. The institute, located in Buffalo, NY, is a partner in the Pathways study.

"We were also able to adjust for multiple possible contributing factors that could influence vitamin D levels," Yao said, "such as age, obesity, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and several tumor characteristics that are known to influence breast cancer outcomes—to ensure that the effects we observed were independent of these factors."

In addition to lower overall mortality among all breast cancer survivors studied, the researchers found even stronger associations among premenopausal women in the highest third of vitamin D levels for breast-cancer-specific (63 percent better), recurrence-free (48 percent better) and invasive-disease-free survival (42 percent better), during a median follow up of seven years.

Although the study did not examine the effects of vitamin D intake from foods versus supplements, Kushi noted that it supports the recommended daily levels of vitamin D (600 IU for those 1 to 70 years old and pregnant or breastfeeding women, and 800 IU for those over 71 years old).

"The more we know about vitamin D, the more we understand that it may play a key role in cancer prevention and prognosis," Kushi said. "This study adds to the evidence that vitamin D is an important nutrient."

The National Cancer Institute recently awarded a five-year, $10 million grant to Kaiser Permanente and Roswell Park Cancer Institute, co-led by Kushi and Christine Ambrosone, PhD, senior vice president for population sciences at Roswell Park and a key collaborator on the vitamin D research. The new funding will allow researchers to continue following Pathways participants, establish a biorepository of tumor specimens, conduct germline genetic assessments, and obtain more information about the characteristics of neighborhoods in which the women reside.

This study is part of Kaiser Permanente's ongoing efforts to understand the complexities associated with breast cancer survival and outcomes. For example, last year Kaiser Permanente researchers found a lower risk of recurrence in patients who breastfed and among those with specific HER2 positive tumors. In addition, in two separate studies published in 2013 researchers found that breast cancer survivors with strong social networks had a lower risk of mortality, while those who consumed high-fat dairy products had a higher mortality risk.

In addition to Kushi, Yao and Ambrosone, co-authors were Marilyn L. Kwan, PhD, Isaac J. Ergas, MPH, Janise M. Roh, MPH, MSW, and Charles P. Quesenberry, Jr., PhD, of the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research; Ting-Yuan (David) Cheng, PhD, Chi-Chen Hong, PhD, Susan E. McCann, PhD, RD, Li Tang, MD, PhD, Warren Davis, PhD, and Song Liu, PhD, of Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Buffalo, NY; and Marion M. Lee, PhD, MPH, of University of California, San Francisco.

For more information, visit or follow @KPDOR.

For more information, visit, call 1-877-ASK-RPCI (1-877-275-7724) or email Follow Roswell Park on Facebook and Twitter.


SOURCE Kaiser Permanente

Released: 11/07/16

Heart Disease, Leukemia Linked to Dysfunction in Nucleus

We put things into a container to keep them organized and safe. In cells, the nucleus has a similar role: keeping DNA protected and intact within an enveloping membrane. But a new study by Salk Institute scientists reveals that this cellular container acts on its contents to influence gene expression, a discovery which could provide insight into diseases that appear to be related to dysfunctional nuclear membrane components, such as leukemia, heart disease, and aging disorders.

"Our research shows that, far from being a passive enclosure as many biologists have thought, the nuclear membrane is an active regulatory structure," says Salk Professor Martin Hetzer. "Not only does it interact with portions of the genome to drive gene expression, but it can also contribute to disease processes when components are faulty." The work was published Genes & Development on November 2, 2016.

Complexes of at least thirty different proteins, called nucleoporins, form gateways (pores) in the membrane, controlling what goes in or out. But as the Hetzer lab's work on nucleoporins shows, these nuclear pore complexes (NPCs), beyond being mere gateways into the nucleus, have surprising regulatory effects on the DNA inside.

Hetzer, first author Arkaitz Ibarra and colleagues used a molecular biology technique to pinpoint where two nucleoporins, Nup153 and Nup93, came into contact with the genome. They discovered that Nup153 and Nup93 interacted with stretches of the genome called super-enhancers, which are known to help determine cell identity. Since every cell in our body has the same DNA, what makes a muscle cell different from a liver cell or a nerve cell is which particular genes are turned on, or expressed, within that cell. In the Salk study, the presence of Nup153 and Nup93 was found to regulate expression of super-enhancer driven genes and experiments that silenced either protein resulted in abnormal gene expression from these regions.

"People have thought the nuclear membrane is just a protective barrier, which is maybe the reason why it evolved in the first place. But there are many more regulatory levels that we don't understand. And it's such an important area because so far, every membrane protein that has been studied and found to be mutated or mis-localized, seems to cause a human disease," says Hetzer.


SOURCE Salk Institute

Released: 11/07/16

Brad Jacobs, MD, Becomes Chair of the Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine

The Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM), the largest organization for integrative health and medicine practitioners, announces Brad Jacobs, MD, MPH, ABIHM, ABOIM, as chair of the board of directors.

Dr. Jacobs is a physician, educator, and CEO and Executive Medical Director of BlueWave Medicine, a community-based group of integrative medical practices with offices at Cavallo Point Lodge in Sausalito, San Francisco, and Palo Alto. He graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine and received post-graduate training in acupuncture, herbal medicine, nutrition, fitness, stress management, yoga, and martial arts. Dr. Jacobs said, “I am proud to be selected to serve as board chair for the Academy as we move into a phase of growth. I am energized by our plans to expand in-person and online educational offerings for practitioners, to further develop our Fellowship program, and to create a networked community.”

Fellow board members, including AIHM President, Mimi Guarneri, MD, expressed admiration for Dr. Jacobs’s combination of business acumen and his thoughtful approach to mindful leadership. “Dr. Jacobs brings compassion, awareness, and profound business experience,” said Guarneri. “His perspectives as a teacher, clinician, and leader are invaluable as we look to the future.”

Daniel Friedland, MD, outgoing board chair, transitioned the role to Jacobs in a ceremony at the AIHM Annual Conference in San Diego. This event, broadly referred to as the integrative health and medicine conference of the year, hosted 1,050 attendees who represent interprofessional practice areas. Participants gathered for continuing medical education, innovative clinical lectures, research, and networking. Dr. Friedland, championed what is ahead when stating, “I have never been more excited for our community. With our membership core and the current leadership, I feel that we are positioned to continue our trajectory of growth to support our vision of a world where healthcare is about health creation. I look forward to supporting Brad in his new role as board chair.”

The Academy is in a phase of active development and growth. The nonprofit organization has established a main office in California, welcomed Tracy Petrillo, EdD, RD, CAE as new CEO, is enrolling its third and fourth Fellowship cohorts, and is celebrating record-breaking success at its annual conference in San Diego.

About AIHM

The Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine (AIHM) educates and trains clinicians in integrative health and medicine to assure exemplary care. AIHM’s training incorporates evidence-based practice, emphasizes person-centered care, and embraces global healing traditions. By combining science and compassion, AIHM is transforming health care. Go to

Released: 11/04/16

Bastyr University Announces Doctor of Acupuncture Medicine

Bridging Eastern and Western healing traditions, Bastyr University now offers an accredited Doctor of Acupuncture Medicine (DAcM) program at its Kenmore campus, located north of Seattle. The doctoral program is designed to train acupuncturists to the higher level of competency that this growing field is demanding.

The DAcM has been approved by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and the program’s curriculum will meet the programmatic accreditation standards of the Accreditation Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). The DAcM is an entry-level program that leads to licensure in 44 states and the District of Columbia and that provides the classroom and clinical training necessary for eligibility for the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncture an Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) board exam and the California Acupuncture Licensing Exam (CALE). In addition, this program meets the regulations of the California Acupuncture Board, which enables acupuncturists in California to be primary care physicians and receive Worker’s Compensation Coverage.

“This newly developed degree program integrates Eastern and Western standards of medicine for the purposes of communicating with other healthcare professionals when consulting, making appropriate medical referrals, and charting and reporting a patient’s condition. The end result is creating excellent practitioners and providing patients with extraordinary care,” said Skye Sturgeon, MS, DAOM. “Our expert acupuncture medicine faculty deliver high-quality instruction in small classes and a progressive clinical experience. Their knowledge and experience with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), along with highly regarded faculty drawn from Bastyr’s supporting departments, deeply enrich student learning.”

Individuals with a bachelor’s degree or at least 135 units completed toward a bachelor’s degree can enter the program. Applications are now being accepted for Fall 2017 and interested individuals can contact Bastyr’s Admission office at or 425.602.3332.

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