What's Hot In Medicine> 2011

Year: 2011

The Top Ten lists in Medicine feature papers published during the last two years (excluding review articles) that were most cited in current journal articles indexed by Clarivate Analytics during a recent two-month period. Papers are ranked according to the latest bimonthly citation count. The articles below are accompanied by expert discussion and analysis (including comments from the papers’ authors) written by one of four veteran scientist-journalists and longtime ScienceWatch.com contributors.


 

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011

Nasty Microbes Show Persistence in Resistance

by David W. Sharp

An employee displays MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria strain inside a petri dish containing agar jelly for bacterial culture in a microbiological laboratory. MRSA is a drug-resistant "superbug", which can cause deadly infections. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch.Among medicine’s most-cited recent papers are two examinations of drug resistance. One of these discusses the mechanism of the enzyme New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase, which confers drug resistance on certain Gram-negative bacteria. The other study examines the emergence of resistance in Plasmodium falciparum malaria to artemisinin-based combination therapies. Counterfeit drugs and patient non-compliance are just two of the factors complicating this matter.
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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011

Genome Studies Inform Prognosis and Treatment

by David W. Sharp

DNA molecule 1 differs from DNA molecule 2 at a single base-pair location (a C/T polymorphism).Genome-wide association studies continue to inform knowledge and clinical treatment in various medical conditions. Recent studies, for example, have examined variations in hepatitis C and how these variations predict the response to antiviral therapies. Genetic insights have also illuminated treatment for melanoma, by helping to identify mutations in which the anticancer drug vemurafenib acts as an inhibitor. Such successes maintain the progress toward genetically tailored treatments for cancer and other diseases.
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JULY/AUGUST 2011

New Agents Boost Therapy for Glioblastoma and Melanoma

by David W. Sharp

H1N1 testubes.Two anti-cancer agents have shown positive results in two particularly intractable cancers: glioblastoma and metastatic melanoma. In the first instance, evidence suggests that combining the drug temozolomide with radiotherapy improves two-year survival. Meanwhile, in metastatic melanoma, the monoclonal antibody ipilimumab, combined with glycoprotein 100 (gp100), was demonstrated to boost survival, compared to those patients taking gp100 alone.
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MAY/JUNE 2011

Obesity Trends in the U.S.: Are Waistlines Stabilizing?

by David W. Sharp

Feet on scaleA 2010 report in the Journal of the American Medical Association examines trends in obesity among adults in the United States over a recent ten-year period. Evidence indicates that roughly two-thirds of U.S. adults can be classified as overweight, and half of those as obese, with some extrapolations predicting that by the year 2020, 45% of the U.S. population might qualify as obese. The current study, however, suggests that obesity rates might be reaching a plateau.
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MARCH/APRIL 2011

Stress and Depression: Do Genes Factor In?

by David W. Sharp

REUTERSFollowing up on work published nearly a decade ago, researchers have attempted to determine if the role of stress in depression is influenced by variation in the promoter region of a specific serotonin-transporter gene. A recent meta-analysis failed to find evidence that the genotype is involved in the interaction between stress and depression, but a subsequent assessment of multiple studies did interpret a link, so the question, and the optimal means of evaluating it, remains open.
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JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2011

Exploiting DNA-Repair Defects to Inhibit Tumors

by David W. Sharp

DNARecent trials of anti-cancer agents have centered on inhibiting poly (adenosine diphosphate-ribose) polymerases, or PARPs, as a strategy against tumor growth in breast cancer and other malignancies. These agents included olaparib and veliparib, In one trial, anti-tumor activity was observed in patients carrying the BRCA mutation, although recent evidence suggests that the efficacy of PARP inhibitors might not be restricted to patients with the BRCA mutation.
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