counseling on how to inter- pret their results, PWN offers telehealth sessions with a healthcare professional. Translational Software is building an ecosystem of labo- ratories, health professionals, independent software vendors, and employers to coordinate and deliver comprehensive, personalized care. Translational Software can help employ- ers understand and deliver an evidence-based pharma- cogenomic benefit to their associates through custom programs like this one.


Older biologic age linked to elevated breast cancer risk. Biologic age, a DNA-based estimate of a person’s age, is associated with future develop- ment of breast cancer, accord- ing to scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Biologic age was determined by measuring DNA methyla- tion, a chemical modification to DNA that is part of the nor- mal aging process. The study showed for every five years a woman’s biologic age was older than her chronologic or actual age, known as age acceleration, she had a 15 percent increase in her chance of developing breast cancer. The study was

published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Scientists from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH, speculate that biologic age may be tied to environmen- tal exposures. If so, it may be a useful indicator of disease risk. They used three different measures, called epigenetic clocks, to estimate biologic age. These clocks measure methyla- tion found at specific locations in DNA. Researchers use these clocks to estimate biologic age, which can then be compared to chronologic age. The researchers used DNA

from blood samples provided by women enrolled in the NIEHS-led Sister Study, a group of more than 50,000 women in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The study was specifically designed

to identify environmental and genetic risk factors for breast cancer. The research team mea- sured methylation in a subset of 2,764 women, all of whom were cancer-free at the time of blood collection. Lead author Jacob Kresovich, PhD, suggests that using DNA methylation to measure bio- logic age may help scientists better understand who is at risk for developing cancer and other age-related diseases. This research is an example of epigenetics, a field that stud- ies how biochemical processes turn individual genes on or off, without affecting the DNA sequence.

Assays Grifols receives FDA approval for donor screening assay. Grifols, a producer of plasma- derived medicines and a developer of diagnostic solu- tions, announced that the FDA approved the Procleix Babesia assay, a qualitative assay for the detection of the ribosomal RNA from four Babesia species (B. microti, B. duncani, B. diver- gens, B. venatorum) in individ- ual samples or up to 16 pooled lysed specimens from human donors, including donors of whole blood and blood components for transfusion. The assay runs on the

Procleix Panther system—a fully automated platform utiliz- ing Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) for blood screening. The FDA approval recognizes a success- ful multi-center clinical trial conducted under an Investiga- tional New Drug (IND) study at the American Red Cross, Creative Testing Solutions, and Rhode Island Blood Center (an affiliate of the New York Blood Center, Inc.), in select areas of the U.S.

Babesia is a parasite that can be transmitted to humans by tick bites or through donated blood from Babesia-infected donors.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the highest numbers of Babesia infections occurred in Massachusetts, New York,

Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Maine, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.


Incidents of vocal cord cancer are on the rise in children, teens and young adults under 30. Research has shown vocal cord cancer can be viral (HPV), and results of a brand-new study shows this link between HPV and cancer may growing in chil- dren, teens and young adults under 30 years of age. This research investiga- tion was performed by vocal surgeon, Dr. Steven Zeitels at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Massachusetts Gen- eral Hospital (MGH), with the strategic support of the patient non-profit Voice Health Institute (VHI).

This is the first institutionally- based investigation to dem- onstrate that vocal cord can- cer is undergoing a dramatic epidemiological change showing young patients are now being diagnosed who do not have a history of smoking.

The general public is not

aware of this epidemiologic transformation and remarkably, despite this trend, the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery still cites smoking is the etiology for 95 percent of patients with vocal cord cancer.

According to the study, tobacco-induced vocal cord cancer takes years/decades to develop. However, HPV pres- ence speeds up the develop- ment of vocal cord cancer. The young adults who do smoke haven’t been using tobacco long enough for the disease to develop.

Data from the study includes

(1) Throat cancer was not encountered in patients 30 years or younger between 1990 and 2004; (2) 11 cases were identified between 2004 and 2018; of those eight had never smoked; and three of those 11 had less than a three-year smok- ing history (not long enough for the disease to develop); and (3) 10 of the 11 patients tested positive for HR-HPV.


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