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January 2016

Put It on the Board, 1/16

January 2016—2016 may be year of action on laboratory-developed tests: During a session at the Association for Molecular Pathology’s annual meeting in November, Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Tex.), said he expects the Food and Drug Administration to issue its long-awaited final guidance on laboratory-developed tests during the first quarter of 2016.

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Rebooting IHC for companion diagnostics

January 2016—Immunotherapy has taken cancer treatment by storm. And given the number of proteins that are targets for immunotherapy and other targeted therapies, immunohistochemistry should theoretically be the ideal method for classifying patients as responders versus non-responders. But there are several reasons why IHC hasn’t reached this status within personalized medicine, says Clive R. Taylor, MD, DPhil, professor of pathology in the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

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In next-gen sequencing, panel versus exome

January 2016—As next-generation sequencing takes its place in clinical laboratory medicine, a difference is developing between its use when there is a defined phenotype, as with hereditary oncology syndromes or hereditary cardiovascular disorders, and its use in diagnosing hereditary developmental disorders. In oncology, targeted panels remain the optimal mode of application.

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For infection control, PCR and culture compared
Plus, an in-house PCR test for HSV in CSF

January 2016—There is a reason why rigorous studies are done to prove even the seemingly apparent benefits of advanced techniques. Sometimes comparisons turn up unexpected findings, as demonstrated by two selected infectious disease abstracts about real-time PCR presented at the Nov. 5–7, 2015 meeting of the Association for Molecular Pathology. Even so, both abstracts show the value of PCR testing.

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From the President’s Desk: Flexibility matters, 1/16

January 2016—Pathology is becoming more vital, complex, variable, integrated, and interactive. Once upon a time, we trained to enter practice. Today, we must train to be continually trained. Our ability to stay current with science and explain its potential is a critical variable in the quality of care our patients receive. As a department chair and laboratory medical director, I encourage each member of our group to embrace a coordinated approach.

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Cytopathology + More | Anal cytology: life-saving potential at low cost

January 2016—Anal cancer incidence is on the rise in North America with rates of both invasive and in situ squamous carcinomas of the anus increasing sharply over the past several decades. While women have the highest overall likelihood of developing anal carcinomas, certain male subpopulations (namely men who have sex with men and those who are HIV positive) are at a dramatically increased risk of developing squamous precursors and carcinomas of the anal canal.

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