ASCLS eNewsBytes
Sep. 15, 2015

Researchers reawaken sleeping HIV in patient cells to eliminate the virus
Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute via Infection Control Today
A consortium of investigators led by scientists at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute have found that a new class of drugs may be used to purge pockets of dormant HIV from a patient's body, eliminating the virus once and for all. Since these agents are already being explored in clinical trials for treating cancer, the route to approval for treating HIV may be significantly shorter than usual.More

2nd death reported in nationwide salmonella outbreak
HealthDay News
A second death has been reported in a salmonella outbreak that has been linked to contaminated cucumbers and caused 341 illnesses in 30 states, U.S. health officials said. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Mexico-grown cucumbers were distributed in Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Utah.More

Pancreatic cancer stem cells could be 'suffocated' by an anti-diabetic drug
Queen Mary, University of London via ScienceDaily
Pancreatic cancer stem cells are virtually addicted to oxygen-based metabolism, and could be "suffocated" with a drug already used to treat diabetes, new research suggests. More

Blood test could replace biopsy for cancer diagnosis
Medical News Today
A simple blood test could be on the way to replacing the biopsy as the gold standard for detecting cancer, saving lives and money, according to researchers in the U.K. Findings on the revolutionary new treatment were presented at the annual World Conference on Lung Cancer in Colorado by Eric Lim, consultant thoracic surgeon at Royal Brompton & Harefield National Health Service Foundation Trust. More

As ICD-10 implementation approaches Oct. 1 deadline, clinical pathology laboratories wonder if providers and payers will make a smooth transition
DARK Daily
The much-delayed shift from ICD-9 to ICD-10 diagnosis codes will take place on Thursday, Oct. 1. This will be a delicate time for clinical laboratories and anatomic pathology groups, since labs must rely on physicians to provide accurate ICD codes that labs must submit on test claims in order to be reimbursed by payers. More

Universal genetic testing for breast cancer may not be good policy
Cancer Therapy Advisor
It has been suggested that a broad genetic testing program for breast cancer be considered in the United States. However, a new analysis by California researchers has found that the costs may be entirely too high, and there may be smarter ways of using a limited number of resources to prevent breast cancer.More

Despite growth in testing, providers still lukewarm to lab systems
Labs are more complex and contain more patient data than ever before, according to a report from Peer60 on laboratory information and digital pathology systems. The global laboratory information systems market is predicted to reach $1.1 billion by 2019, and the global digital pathology market is set to reach $5.6 billion by 2020, it says, citing other research.More

Evidence for person-to-person transmission of Alzheimer's pathology
Scientific American
Prions are the misshapen proteins that replicate by inducing normal proteins to misfold and aggregate in the brain, leading to rare diseases such as mad cow and kuru. In recent years, scientists have discovered that similar processes of protein misfolding are at work in many neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's disease. More

Experts: Human genome editing research is essential
Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics via Lab Manager
Research involving editing the human genome, including research with human embryos, is essential to gain basic understanding of biology and germ cells and should be permitted, according to one of the first global meetings to debate the controversial new techniques. The statement was published Thursday, Sept. 10, by the Hinxton Group, a global network of stem cell researchers, bioethicists and experts on policy and scientific publishing, who met in Manchester, England, Sept. 3-4.More

More controls urged for stem cell clinics
The Associated Press via The Boston Globe
Federal officials need to do more to prevent for-profit stem cell clinics from exploiting and potentially injuring patients, an article in a leading medical journal says. The New England Journal of Medicine commentary follows a May article by The Associated Press that identified 170 U.S. clinics that charge between $5,000 and $50,000 for stem cell procedures that purport to treat dozens of diseases and conditions, including Alzheimer's, arthritis, erectile dysfunction and hair loss.More