ASCT Viewpoint
Nov. 27, 2013

ASCT Annual Scientific Conference set for April 25-27
American Society for Cytotechnology
Save the date for the ASCT Annual Scientific Conference, scheduled for April 25-27 in Charleston, S.C. The Bob Gay Lecture Series will feature Dr. Richard DeMay of the University of Chicago, author of "The Art & Science of Cytopathology" and "The Pap Test."

For information regarding the conference, contact Michele Smith, Scientific Committee Chair, (608) 262-3524 or email to, Vivian Pjuan Thompson, ASCT President, or Beth Denny, ASCT Executive Director, or visit

ASCT a source for holiday shopping
American Society for Cytotechnology
Still looking for the perfect gift for the cytologists in your life or perhaps a treat for yourself?

Look no further. ASCT offers microscope lapel pins, HPV plushies, mini-notebooks, cytology playing cards, ASCT tote bags, baseball hats, polo shirts and cytology notecards. Check them out at Happy Shopping!More

HPV: Sex, cancer and a virus
When young oncologist Maura Gillison of Johns Hopkins University finally sat down with a doctoral student to analyze data she had compiled on HPV and throat cancer, within an hour, the fruits of those years of labor popped up on the computer screen. People with head and neck cancer were 15 times more likely to be infected with HPV in their mouths or throats than those without1. The association backed up some of Gillison's earlier work, which showed how HPV DNA integrates itself into the nuclei of throat cells and produces cancer-causing proteins. More

Study: HPV vaccine coverage lower in the South
Pharmacy Times
Rates of vaccination against the human papillomavirus in young women are lowest in the South compared with other regions of the United States, a new study finds. These results are of particular concern since the South also has the highest rates of cervical cancer in the country.More

Study: Britain's cancer survival rates 'unacceptable'
The Guardian
Britain's cancer survival rates are lagging behind the rest of Europe and other major economies, with just Poland and Ireland faring worse in some strains of the disease, an international health study has revealed. Experts said 10,000 lives a year could be saved if the United Kingdom managed to simply meet the average rates achieved across Europe.More

Incidence of oropharyngeal cancer on the rise
National Cancer Institute at NIH via The Medical News
NCI scientists report that the incidence of oropharyngeal cancer significantly increased during the period 1983-2002 among people in countries that are economically developed. Oropharyngeal cancer occurs primarily in the middle part of the throat behind the mouth, including the base of the tongue, the side and back walls of the throat, and the tonsils. The results of this study appeared online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.More

Attractants prevent maturing nerve cells from migrating into brain
Bonn University via The Medical News
A vision is to implant nerve precursor cells in the diseased brains of patients with Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, whereby these cells are to assume the function of the cells that have died off. However, the implanted nerve cells frequently do not migrate as hoped, rather they hardly move from the site. Scientists at the Institute for Reconstructive Neurobiology at Bonn University have now discovered an important cause of this: Attractants secreted by the precursor cells prevent the maturing nerve cells from migrating into the brain.More

Cancer prevention is in our control
A surprising amount of cancer, including cervical cancer, is preventable — in fact, a stunning one-half to two-thirds of our risk is in our control, many experts now believe. For example, about a third of all cancer deaths in the United States each year are linked to diet and physical inactivity.More

Childhood cancer survivors face heart risks soon after treatment
Children who survive cancer treatment face increased heart health risk and should take measures soon after life-saving therapy to reduce the risk of serious problems later in life, according to research presented at a major medical meeting. The five-year survival rate from childhood cancer has soared from 58 percent in 1975 to 1977, to 83 percent in the period from 2003 to 2009.More

Using birth control pills may increase women's glaucoma risk
Taking birth control pills may increase a woman's risk of eye disease later in life, a study finds, because they may reduce protective levels of estrogen. Doctors have long known that cells in the eye have estrogen receptors. But in the past few years they've started looking into whether the changes in a woman's estrogen levels as she goes through life could affect her risk of glaucoma.More