Thyroid cancer:
In a flourish of subtypes, genes, and drivers

Dr. Thomas Giordano, here with research associate Michelle Vinco, co-led the three-part analysis of 496 papillary thyroid carcinomas. Perhaps the time has come, the study says, to revise the classification of thyroid cancer.

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Medical genetics labs shine in
10-year proficiency test data

Ten-year data from the molecular genetics Surveys in the CAP proficiency testing program show that U.S. clinical laboratories are making extremely accurate calls using molecular genetics assays. “Laboratories are doing a good job across the board,” says Dr. Schrijver, director of the molecular pathology laboratory at Stanford University Medical Center and professor of pathology and of pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine.

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Iris Schrijver, MD

Transplant pathology atlas
practical and to the point

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what are 300 solid-organ transplant biopsy slides worth? Don’t bother doing the math. No matter how you calculate it, the new Atlas of Transplant Pathology—which features more than 300 illustrations and is available this month from CAP Press—represents a wealth of concrete, up-to-date information on the pathologic diagnoses seen in heart, kidney, liver, lung, and pancreas transplants.

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Philip T. Cagle, MD

Labs entering risky payment game
in the new year

This year will bring a host of regulatory, coding, billing, and payment changes that are going to challenge pathologists and laboratory administrators to move quickly or else face declining revenue and the grim specter of Medicare recovery audits. That was the somber consensus of three experts gathered for a December webinar hosted by The Dark Report.

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Rina Wolf

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ATHENA trial—an interview with Thomas Lorey, MD

Dr. Lorey

Dr. Lorey

June 2014—The Food and Drug Administration on April 24 approved use of the Roche Cobas HPV test as a primary standalone screen for cervical cancer in women 25 and older. CAP TODAY writer William Check, PhD, asked questions of Thomas S. Lorey, MD, medical director, TPMG Regional Reference Laboratory, Kaiser Permanente Northern California. Read their questions and answers.

For a discussion of the ATHENA data on which the FDA based its decision, see Dr. Check’s June story “Data spark new directions in cervical cancer.”

Archives: HPV primary screening for cervial cancer—an interview with Ritu Nayar, MD.

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MicroRNA process gets simpler, better

Jan. 26, 2015—MicroRNAs, the small noncoding RNA 18-24 nucleotides in length that post-transcriptionally regulate gene regulation, are taking on a larger role in biomarker discovery, diagnostic development, and therapeutic target development. In this Jan. 27 webinar, a senior scientist at life science firm Promega will discuss a novel chemistry the company developed to simplify and improve the process of isolating MicroRNAs. The presentation begins at 11 a.m. CST. Register.

How to achieve optimal use of lab tests

In a health care environment that has little room for waste, it has become imperative that laboratories take a proactive role in making sure that the best tests are ordered, and interpreted properly, to contribute to the goal of better patient care. A white paper from LIS-maker Orchard Software outlines the new paradigm and offers examples of how to monitor and improve test use.

AFB PCR’s utility; evaluating large B-cell lymphomas

Two articles have been released early online this month by The Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. One study (abstract | PDF) concludes that traditional diagnostics such as histopathology, acid-fast bacilli smear, and culture should continue to take precedence over AFB PCR in detecting mycobacteria in clinical specimens.
   The other early release (abstract | PDF) reviews the different immunohistochemical features used for identification, subclassification, prognosis, and sometimes treatment of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma and related lymphomas, based on 2014 literature and the authors’ experience with routine cases.

Stay ahead of 2015 coding, billing changes

An “onslaught” of public and private payer changes to coding, billing, and collections are likely to make life tougher for clinical laboratories next year. Learn more

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