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New molecular road map for CRC

April 2017—Molecular testing for colorectal cancer is not for the faint of heart. While that’s not news to Stan Hamilton, MD—he’s head, Division of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and the Frederick F. Becker distinguished chair in cancer research, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center—he was reminded of this fact recently when a friend looked at the multipage molecular pathology report on his own tumor.

With cloud computing, sorting out pros, cons

April 2017—“No man putteth new wine into old wineskins” reads the biblical aphorism in Luke 5:36–39, which continues by giving the reason: “The new wine would burst the skins and be spilled, and the skins would perish.” Old wineskins, biblical scholars say, would typically be stretched to the limit or become brittle as wine had fermented in them.

Primary aldosteronism: diagnostic team lifts clinical practice

April 2017—For decades, Michael Laposata, MD, PhD, chair of pathology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, has touted the value of diagnostic management teams, and in February he led the first conference dedicated to such teams, referred to as DMTs. There, Alison Woodworth, PhD, told the story of how and why she created a DMT for primary hyperaldosteronism, what it achieved, and where her DMT focus is now.

Hemophilia management: Tips on monitoring modified replacement therapies

March 2017—Some modified recombinant factor VIII and IX products for hemophilia prophylaxis show significant reagent-dependent recovery in the one-stage assay, while recovery in the chromogenic assay appears to be more consistent, especially for modified recombinant factor IX. The variable results can lead to over- or underestimating the factor level, warn Stefan Tiefenbacher, PhD, of Colorado Coagulation, and Rajiv K. Pruthi, MBBS, of Mayo Clinic.

Managing population health takes on a new look

April 2017—Quarantine, antisepsis, sanitation, vaccination. Over more than a century and a half, as these staples of public health have evolved, they have proved that stunning improvements in general health status can result from adopting broad public policies based on data and statistical analysis.

Drug-induced injury: liver pathology’s big imitator

April 2017—In a presentation at CAP16 on common patterns of liver injury, Robert M. Najarian, MD, called drug-induced liver injury the great mimicker in liver pathology. “When in doubt, rule drugs out,” he said, including herbal agents, supplements, and over-the-counter agents.

Assessing LPL software

April 2017—Twenty years ago, CAP TODAY released its first product guide for laboratory-provider links software. The demand for connectivity was growing as laboratories built their outreach business, and the future looked bright for LPL software companies.

Setting the record straight on Maintenance of Certification

April 2017—The American Board of Pathology has been committed to implementing a Maintenance of Certification program for its diplomates that addresses all of the program’s components in a manner that is the least burdensome and most relevant to participating diplomates. This is an iterative process that incorporates feedback from participating diplomates.

New rays on blood safety

March 2017—The language of blood banking experts, as they talk about irradiators, transfers easily to a car dealership. How reliable are the newer models? Are you willing to replace it every 10 years or so? Do you keep running it until it dies? What parts are likely to burn out? What will repairs run? And then the word “terrorism” pops up.

Lower HbA1c seen with sickle trait, but questions remain

March 2017—Perhaps unusually for news about clinical diagnostics research, an article in the Feb. 7 issue of JAMA created a mild stir with findings that HbA1c results in patients with sickle cell trait, the most common hemoglobin variant in the U.S., may systematically underestimate past glycemia (Lacy ME, et al. 317[5]:507–515).