Category Archives: genetics

What’s the biology of your cancer?

Treatment is moving from ‘one size fits all’ into the modern era of personalization BY AMBER SMITH Among people who receive a cancer diagnosis, up to 8 percent won’t ever find out in which organ their cancer began. Because the … Continue reading

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A life-changing drug: Patients see improvement of cystic fibrosis symptoms

BY AMBER SMITH Brittnee Farmer, 31, is planning her wedding. She worries that the big day will be marred by her nebulizer, the machine she uses to inhale medication in a fine mist. Farmer was a preschooler when she was … Continue reading

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Putting the brakes on lung cancer

Finding clues to the cause of lung adenocarcinoma This is one of a series of articles focusing on lung cancer. BY AMBER SMITH Scientists have long searched for the cause of lung cancer, particularly lung adenocarcinoma, the type that commonly … Continue reading

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The ripple effect: What to know when your prostate cancer is hereditary

Upstate medical oncologist Gloria Morris, MD, PhD, who specializes in cancer risk assessment and genetic testing for hereditary cancers, answers six important questions about prostate cancer: What percentage of prostate cancers are hereditary? “Only a very small percentage of all … Continue reading

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Science Is Art: A genomic view of a disorder

A combination of genes and environmental factors triggers attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to researchers who identified 12 ADHD susceptibility genes. They say genes account for roughly 76% of cases of ADHD. “That does not mean that the environment is … Continue reading

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Tackling a disease: SU offensive lineman keeps rare disorder in check with infusions at Upstate

BY JIM HOWE He’s 6 foot 4, weighs nearly 300 pounds and plays football for Syracuse University. And, about every three weeks, Sam Heckel settles in for 12 to 16 hours of infusion treatment at Upstate to deal with a … Continue reading

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Things to think about before you buy a home genetic test kit

    BY AMBER SMITH If you’re intrigued by offers of direct-to-consumer medical genetic testing, Robert Roger Lebel, MD, director of medical genetics at Upstate, offers something to consider. Let’s say you come from a family with many members who have had … Continue reading

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 Complete and complex: More cancer patients benefit from molecular diagnostics

BY AMBER SMITH We are used to differentiating cancers by where they were discovered: breast cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer. Cancer doctors and scientists today are starting to label cancers based on their genetic makeup — and that’s only the beginning … Continue reading

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Catching it early: Breast cancer high-risk program follows patients at increased risk  

BY AMBER SMITH Both her grandmother and mother had breast cancer, so Jordan Bruna of Skaneateles began breast cancer screening at the age of 30. She joined Upstate’s Breast Cancer High Risk Program and followed a schedule of mammograms, ultrasounds, … Continue reading

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Concept of ‘designer’ babies raises thorny questions, few answers

BY JIM HOWE If parents could create a “better” baby, should they? Would “better” mean a healthier child than the average baby? Cuter? Smarter? Taller? Should scientists and doctors help parents to genetically customize an embryo that would become that better … Continue reading

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