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Articles tagged with: Cancer (see also Leukemia and Breast cancer/breast health) –

HPV a game changer in head, neck tumors

December 2013—Not that any cancer is ever “easy,” but until relatively recently, the culprit in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas was clear. The vast majority were caused by “smoking, smoking, and smoking,” says William Westra, MD, professor of pathology, oncology, and otolaryngology/head and neck surgery, and associate director, surgical pathology, The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. Call this HNSCC’s antediluvian era.

No worries with new cancer biomarker templates

October 2013—For anyone worried about the new CAP reporting templates for cancer biomarkers, Patrick L. Fitzgibbons, MD, has an important message: Don’t panic. “These are nothing new,” says Dr. Fitzgibbons, a pathologist at St. Jude Medical Center, Fullerton, Calif., and chair of the CAP Cancer Biomarker Reporting Committee. “We’re not adding anything. The templates will look very familiar to users of the CAP cancer protocols. They shouldn’t be considered a significant burden.”

New guideline takes on tough HER2 cases

October 2013—In HER2 testing for breast cancer, the term “equivocal” verges on being a four-letter word. If the patient has a clearly positive test result, therapies targeting HER2 become a treatment option, and a highly successful one at that. If the result is clearly negative, HER2-targeting drugs are off the table; the patient isn’t expected to benefit from the drugs, which are expensive and can be cardiotoxic.

ALK-positive NSCLC—patient’s story opens eyes

September 2013—For good or bad, Matthew Hiznay seems to be an odds beater. First, a minority of lung cancer patients have never smoked. He’s one of them, having been diagnosed with late-stage non-small-cell lung cancer in August 2011. Obviously, that’s the bad. Second, only about five percent of NSCLCs express a rearrangement of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene. Hiznay’s is one of them. That’s the very, very good.

Cytopathology and More | Managing abnormal screening results: highlights of new guidelines

August 2013—The field of cervical cancer screening saw many developments in 2012. In April last year, the American Cancer Society, American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, and American Society for Clinical Pathology published new guidelines for cervical cancer screening, most notably raising the age at which screening should begin, extending the interval between screening tests, and giving preference to simultaneous Pap and human papillomavirus co-testing in women ages 30 to 65. Almost simultaneously, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force published similar screening guidelines.

Molecular clonality testing for lymphoma

May 2013—Most jobs in the kitchen or the home workshop can be done with a basic set of tools. But every once in a while you need something special—a zester, say, or a dremel—and in those situations it’s nice to have that special tool on hand. Even more important, it’s nice to know how to use it.

New guidance on lung cancer testing

April 2013—It was a monumental task: create a molecular testing guideline for lung cancer. Among other tasks, those involved (representing the CAP, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and the Association for Molecular Pathology) reviewed 1,533 abstracts and read, in detail, 521 full-text articles. There was extensive evidence grading; naturally, new literature was published in the interim, which required even more reviews. The payoff was the first international, evidence-based, multidisciplinary guideline for this part of lung cancer care.