ASCLS eNewsBytes
May. 22, 2012

Study unpicks gene changes behind breast cancer
Reuters via Medscape
Scientists have mapped the complete genetic codes of 21 breast cancers and created a catalog of the mutations that accumulate in breast cells, raising hopes that the disease may be able to be spotted earlier and treated more effectively in future. The research, the first of its kind, untangles the genetic history of how cancer evolves, allowing scientists to identify mutational patterns that fuel the growth of breast tumors and start to work out the processes behind them.More

Are you choosing tests wisely? A challenge from the ABIM Foundation
Medscape Internal Medicine
Choosing Wisely, an initiative of the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation, comprises evidence-based recommendations from nine specialty organizations on questionable tests and procedures. The goal is to use these recommendations as the basis for discussions between clinicians and patients. Medscape interviewed Christine Cassel, M.D., president of ABIM, on the history of this initiative and its importance to health professionals and their patients.More

Many rare mutations may underpin diseases
The New York Times
The task of finding the genetic roots of common disease seems much harder, dimming the promise of personal genomics and the chances of quick medical payoffs from the human genome project, given new data about the human genome in two reports published online in the journal Science. More

NIH-led study finds genetic test results do not trigger increased use of health services
National Human Genome Research Institute
People have increasing opportunities to participate in genetic testing that can indicate their range of risk for developing a disease. Receiving these results does not appreciably drive up or diminish test recipients' demand for potentially costly follow-up health services, according to a study performed by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and colleagues at other institutions.More

Fast growth in real and 'virtual' biobanks may be revenue opportunity for clinical pathology laboratories
DARK Daily
VisionGain estimates that biobanking is now a $7.9 billion industry. That's a revenue number that should interest pathologists and clinical laboratory managers, since their organizations access large volumes of patient specimens every year. As one source of human specimens, both clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups have an opportunity to participate in biobanking activities. At this stage in the market, however, few medical laboratories formally participate in biobanking activities. Experts believe that is likely to change. More

Bacterial identification — Where mass spectrometry meets microbiology
Clinical Laboratory News
A guiding principle of clinical laboratories is to provide patient test results as quickly as possible while maintaining accuracy and quality. Therefore, advancements in analytical technology that not only improve accuracy and quality, but also decrease the length of time from sample collection to results are highly desirable. In the clinical microbiology laboratory where many traditional culture-based methods take days to yield results, providing diagnostic information in a matter of hours using mass spectrometry and molecular techniques holds the potential for vast improvements in patient care. More

Antigen test designed for point-of-care detection
Medscape Medical News
A novel antigen detection test shows efficacy in rapidly identifying a variety of respiratory viruses at the point of care in a pediatric setting, according to research presented at the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases 30th Annual Meeting in Greece. The automated, multianalyte system, called MariPOC (ArcDia, Turku, Finland), is capable of detecting 8 respiratory viruses — respiratory syncytial virus; influenza A and B viruses; adenovirus; parainfluenza type 1, 2, and 3 viruses; and human metapneumovirus — from a single nasopharyngeal swab specimen.More

CDC to baby boomers: Get tested for hepatitis C
The Associated Press via ABC News
For the first time, the government is proposing that all baby boomers get tested for hepatitis C. Anyone born from 1945 to 1965 should get a one-time blood test to see if they have the liver-destroying virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in draft recommendations. More

Military vets and the lab: An ideal match
Advance for Administrators of the Laboratory
For those men and women that fight for our country in the military, there may come a time after serving overseas to reenter the civilian workforce and transition to a different career. For some, a career in the clinical laboratory is an attractive option.More

Blood biomarkers could personalize treatment in rectal cancer
Medscape Medical News
Three blood biomarkers are strong predictors of response to chemoradiation therapy for rectal cancer and could be used with other predictors to tailor treatment.More

Blood test can predict breast cancer risk
LabMedica International
A blood test that spots changes in a specific gene could reveal a woman's risk for breast cancer years before the disease has a chance to develop. Women with the highest level of methylation on one area gene were more likely to develop cancer than those with the lowest level of methylation because high levels of methylation signal high levels of DNA flaws. More

In clinical trials, breath test for lung cancer shows promise
for earlier detection

Dark Daily
Here's a medical laboratory test for diagnosing cancer that has the potential to score two runs with one swing of the bat. First, researchers have completed the first clinical trial of a noninvasive cancer test that utilizes a breath specimen. Second, the subject of this clinical trial was lung cancer — a type of cancer that would benefit from a pathology test that can detect the disease much earlier. This would increase the survival rates for lung cancer, which currently has a five-year mortality rate of 90 percent. More

Technology powered by viruses? Scientists move closer
ABC News
Viruses might eventually be able to power the very phone, computer or tablet you're reading this article on. Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Berkeley Lab have found a way to generate power using human viruses. With a harmless specially engineered M13 virus, the group has been able to power a small display. The viruses can covert mechanical force into electricity.More

Human embryonic stem cells can be used to grow bone tissue grafts
A new study shows human embryonic stem cells can be used to grow bone tissue grafts for use in research and potential therapeutic application. The study is the first example of using bone cell progenitors derived from human embryonic stem cells to grow compact bone tissue in quantities large enough to repair centimeter-sized defects.More