ASCLS eNewsBytes
Sept. 20, 2011

HHS and CMS team up to propose new rule to give patients direct access to their clinical pathology laboratory test results
Big changes lie ahead in how clinical laboratories and pathology groups must give patients access to their medical laboratory test results. Federal agencies recently published a draft rule that specifies how patients or their authorized representatives are to be given direct access to their medical laboratory test results. This draft rule was made public on Sept. 12 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the HHS Office for Civil Rights. On Sept. 14, the proposed rule was published in the Federal Register. More

Breast, cervical cancer rates rising around world: Why?
The Associated Press via CBS News
Breast cancer rates are on the rise. Worldwide, the number of new breast cancer cases has increased from about 641,000 in 1980 to 1.6 million cases last year, a new study says. The study also found cervical cancer rates are on the rise, and the two diseases are killing more women than another big mortality risk — childbirth. More

Lab tests online mobile app
Clinical Laboratory News
Lab Tests Online celebrated its 10th year online by launching a mobile app for Apple's iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, and Android phones and tablets on July 24 at the 2011 Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo in Atlanta. LabTestsOnline-M is the mobile version of Lab Tests Online, the award-winning website developed by laboratory professionals that has helped millions of users to better understand the many clinical lab tests that are part of routine health care, diagnosis, and treatment. More

An immune system trained to kill cancer
The New York Times
A year ago, when chemotherapy stopped working against his leukemia, William Ludwig signed up to be the first patient treated in a bold experiment at the University of Pennsylvania. Ludwig, then 65, a retired corrections officer from Bridgeton, N.J., felt his life draining away and thought he had nothing to lose. Doctors removed a billion of his T-cells — a type of white blood cell that fights viruses and tumors — and gave them new genes that would program the cells to attack his cancer. Then the altered cells were dripped back into Ludwig's veins. More

DNA links listeria outbreak to Colorado cantaloupe grower
Lab tests by Colorado health officials confirmed a listeria outbreak that has killed at least two people is linked to cantaloupe grown at a farm in the southeast part of the state, officials said. Jensen Farms Inc of Holly, Colo., which has voluntarily recalled all its melons shipped to 17 states, was named as the source. The farm is about 200 miles southeast of Denver.More

Entering the clinical lab testing business: Better to buy or build?
During the past 15 years, there have been few examples of pathologists and medical laboratory executives willing to start up a new clinical laboratory company from scratch. The popular wisdom says that this is a next-to-impossible task. The same popular wisdom says that buying an existing clinical laboratory company is the best way for entrepreneurs and new investors to enter the clinical lab testing marketplace. However, a small number of clinical laboratory entrepreneurs have shown the popular wisdom to be wrong.More

Lab notes: Fighting fat in the brain
MedPage Today
The war on cancer — especially brain cancer — could gain a new and unexpected weapon: Fat-fighting drugs that block cholesterol uptake. Studies involving cell lines, mouse models, and human tissue specimens of glioblastoma have shown that mutant epidermal growth factor receptor blocks normal cholesterol processing in the brain, allowing cancer cells to absorb large amounts of lipid. More

Islet auto-antibody testing averts ketoacidosis in children
Medscape Medical News
Regular screening for islet auto antibodies in children at high risk for type 1 diabetes can prevent diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and other morbidities associated with the onset of the disease. However, interruptions in screening and followup diminish these benefits, Arleta Rewers, MD, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado in Denver, reported at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes 47th Annual Meeting.More

A squirt of insulin may delay Alzheimer's
The New York Times
A small pilot study has found preliminary evidence that squirting insulin deep into the nose where it travels to the brain might hold early Alzheimer’s disease at bay, researchers said. It comes at a time when there are no effective ways to prevent or delay the progress of Alzheimer's. More

Woolly mammoth's blood may help reduce human body temperature
International Business Times
The blood from woolly mammoths is helping scientists develop new blood products for modern medical procedures that involve reducing patients' body temperature, according to reports. A study that's in American Chemical Society's journal Biochemistry states that woolly mammoth ancestors originally evolved in warm climates that now provides a home for African and Asian elephants. However, they migrated to the cold regions of Eurasia 1.2 million to 2.0 million years ago in the Pleistocene ice age. More

Process 'prints' artificial blood vessels
Artificial blood vessels made with 3-D printing technology may soon be used for transplants of lab-created organs, German researchers say. The technique could overcome a stumbling block in tissue engineering presented by the need to supply artificial tissue with nutrients that have to travel through tiny capillary vessels. More

Gene disorder might explain body odor
Reuters via Medscape Medical News
For some people with troublesome, unexplained body odor, an uncommon genetic disorder once known as "fish-odor syndrome" may be to blame, a new study finds. The condition, known clinically as trimethylaminuria, is caused by excessive amounts of the compound trimethylamine.More

Lab tests for chemotherapy management
ADVANCE for Medical Laboratory Professionals
Laboratory testing is changing the way patients undergoing chemotherapy are being treated and monitored. Gwen McMillin, PhD, medical director of Toxicology, co-director of Pharmacogenomics at ARUP Laboratories; and assistant professor of Pathology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, believes chemotherapeutic drug management requires a multidisciplinary approach-from pharmacogenetic testing to clinical and radiographic assessments.More