JANUARY 2017

Protein identified by Mass General team may protect tumor-initiating cells in breast cancer

Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have identified a protein that may play an essential role in maintaining a population of tumor-initiating cells (TICs) – treatment-resistant cells responsible for cancer recurrence and metastasis – in breast cancer, as well as a compound that appears to reduce the molecule’s ability to protect TICs from the effects of chemotherapy.  Results of the team’s study are being published online in PNAS.


Many of those insured under the Affordable Care Act miss opportunities for financial assistance

A survey conducted by investigators at the Mongan Institute Health Policy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) found that almost one-third of Californians enrolling in individual insurance plans offered under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014 potentially missed opportunities to receive financial assistance with either premium payments, out-of-pocket costs or both. In their report published in the journal Health Affairs, the researchers note that enrollees who received assistance from certified enrollment counselors were less likely to choose plans that made them ineligible for assistance.


Mass General/Mount Sinai-led study connects stress-associated brain activity with cardiovascular risk

A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai investigators has linked, for the first time in humans, activity in a stress-sensitive structure within the brain to risk of subsequent cardiovascular disease.


Goldilocks drug prevents chronic kidney disease in primates

A Massachusetts General Hospital research team, using the kidney as an example, has developed a way to avoid ischemia/reperfusion injury with a new monoclonal antibody that binds its target in a way that is "just right."


Bacterial communities of the female genital tract impact HIV infection risk

A team of researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard has found that the most common bacterial community in the genital tract of healthy South African women is associated with a more than four-fold increase in the risk of acquiring HIV.


Mass General led team identifies gene mutations behind lack of a nose

Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital led a team that has identified gene mutations associated with a rare congenital condition involving the absence of a nose. Mutations in the same gene have previously been associated with a form of muscular dystrophy.

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