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From the President’s Desk: A shared vision for cancer staging, 1/18

January 2018—For me, friendships formed and lessons learned have more than compensated for the effort invested over the years on CAP committees, but make no mistake: When we meet, what we’re doing is work. The professional engagement is enjoyable, but a person can get tired toward the end of a two-day meeting, not to mention homework in the evenings.

Put It on the Board, 1/18

January 2018—Some safety issues more gray than black and white: Most laboratory safety rules are free from ambiguity. Anyone who handles specimens must wear personal protective equipment, for example. Some issues are less clearly defined, though, and require a deeper dive into the guidelines. That is where Dan Scungio, MT (ASCP), SLS, CQA(ASQ), comes in.

Anatomic Pathology Abstracts, 1/18

January 2018—Analysis of desmoplastic pattern at the tumor front in colorectal cancer subtypes: Although recent findings of cancer biology research indicate that prognostic power arises from genes expressed by stromal cells rather than epithelial cells, desmoplastic reaction has not been completely examined as a prognostic marker for colorectal cancer. The authors conducted a pathologic review of 821 stage II and III patients who underwent R0 resection for colorectal cancer at four independent institutions.

Clinical Pathology Abstracts, 1/18

January 2018—Drone transport of chemistry and hematology samples over long distances: Interest in using unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, to transport laboratory specimens is based on the need to move specimens from satellite facilities to a central hub for testing. Earlier studies of biological specimens transported by drones were performed in ambient or cold temperatures for a maximum flight length of 40 minutes.

Molecular Pathology Abstracts, 1/18

January 2018—Importance of interstitial genes that exist between gene fusion partners in prostate cancer: Prostate cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting men, yet understanding of the disease’s development and progression is limited. One of the most effective ways to stratify treatment and outcomes is based on pathology review of prostate biopsies, though the application of molecular testing to these samples is increasing.

Newsbytes, 1/18

January 2018—Why pathologists shouldn’t ‘pass the baton’ with IT: It may be tempting to stay in your comfort zone and leave the technology decisions to the information technology experts. But pathologists who abdicate oversight of IT projects within their departments are setting up those projects for failure, says John H. Sinard, MD, PhD, professor of pathology and medical director of pathology informatics at Yale University School of Medicine.

Q&A column, 1/18

January 2018—We are in the process of validating the Stago STA Compact Max and Stago STA R Max with cap piercing. The company is stating that the open and closed modes follow the same testing pathway and therefore validation between modes is not necessary. Is this correct? Is PHI (phosphohexose isomerase), also known as GPI (glucose phosphate isomerase), mainly responsible for metastasis and circulating tumor cells?

From the President’s Desk: Family matters, 12/17

December 2017—Most of us look forward to the holidays. We are excited about renewing old connections or making new ones, getting together with family and friends, having special meals, attending comforting services, gathering together to exchange gifts or just talk. We look forward to the comforts of predictability. The corny Dad jokes that must be retold. Family stories, those true and nearly true, are relived together and, for the younger members of the family, may be heard for the first time. Familiar, treasured television shows are seen for the umpteenth time. Beautiful lights, shows, pageants, and parades dazzle all, young and old.

Anatomic Pathology Abstracts, 12/17

December 2017—Gene mutations in HPV-negative penile squamous cell carcinoma: The majority of penile squamous cell carcinomas are caused by transforming human papillomavirus infection. The etiology of HPV-negative cancers is unclear, but TP53 mutations have been implicated. Archival tissue from 108 invasive squamous cell carcinomas from a single pathology institution in a low-incidence area were analyzed for HPV-DNA and p16INK4A overexpression and for TP53 mutations by Ion Torrent next-generation sequencing.

Clinical Pathology Abstracts, 12/17

December 2017—Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy assessment and management of toxicities: In August, the FDA approved the gene therapy Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) for pediatric and young adult patients with a form of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is a breakthrough in the treatment of leukemia and lymphoma, but it is associated with unique acute toxicities, such as cytokine-release syndrome and CAR-T-cell-related encephalopathy syndrome.