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February 2018

New HPV guideline for head, neck cancers

February 2018—Like a pair of one-size-fits-all jeans, testing all head and neck carcinomas for human papillomavirus may have seemed like a good idea at one time. In many cases, in fact, HPV testing is just what treating clinicians and patients need. On the other hand, not every head and neck case requires it. Now, a newly published CAP guideline should help physicians figure out the right fit in multiple settings.

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Molecular tumor board: a patient with ALK– rearranged lung cancer

February 2018—A case of ALK-rearranged lung cancer was the subject of a multidisciplinary molecular tumor board presented last fall at CAP17 by pathologist Laura J. Tafe, MD, and oncologist Benjamin Levy, MD. Together they offered up insights into the tumor genomics of lung cancer with talk of testing guidelines, targeted therapies, resistance mechanisms, and circulating tumor DNA analysis.

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Smart test ordering—new program provides the tools

February 2018—A new CAP program with a novel approach makes it easier to take on an old problem: misapplied laboratory tests. The CAP Test Ordering Program, available now and complimentary to all members, is different from other laboratory test utilization initiatives, says Richard W. Brown, MD, medical director for system laboratory services at Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston.

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AMP case report: Detection of rare deletion mutation in the alpha-globin gene locus establishes a diagnosis of Hb H disease

February 2018—CAP TODAY and the Association for Molecular Pathology have teamed up to bring molecular case reports to CAP TODAY readers. AMP members write the reports using clinical cases from their own practices that show molecular testing’s important role in diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment. The following report comes from Quest Diagnostics. If you would like to submit a case report, please send an email to the AMP at amp@amp.org. For more information about the AMP and all previously published case reports, visit www.amp.org.

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Procedures up to date? Fighting injury in phlebotomy

February 2018—Requiring strict adherence to the latest industry standard for venipuncture can go a long way to minimizing the risk of phlebotomy-related lawsuits and multimillion-dollar jury awards. “It revolves right back to education,” says Nancy Erickson, PBT(ASCP), an expert witness in more than 30 phlebotomy-related lawsuits. She says lack of education and failure to follow the standard of care cause the two most common patient complaints that lead to phlebotomy-related litigation: nerve damage and syncope.

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AP-LIS vendors talk reports, interfaces, protocols

February 2018—Customer demand, cancer protocols, and consolidation of pathology practices are some of what CAP TODAY asked about when it spoke in January with four anatomic pathology computer system companies. Their AP systems and those of 17 other companies are profiled in the anatomic pathology computer systems interactive product guide. “It’s a really good time for our market right now,” says Joe Nollar of Xifin, “and systems providers need to be creative in helping their clients get the solutions they need to be scalable, competitive, and profitable.” Here is more of what they told writer Anne Ford.

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For precision medicine, next-generation mass spec

February 2018—The modern analytical technologies of mass spectrometry continue to garner prominence and broader utility in clinical diagnostics. This was showcased at the 7th Annual American Association for Clinical Chemistry Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Separation Sciences for Laboratory Medicine, held last fall in Philadelphia. Representatives of academia, industry, and regulatory bodies came together to share information about the technology and best practices, the aim of which is to strengthen clinical diagnostics for the betterment of patient care. In opening remarks, then CAP president Richard Friedberg, MD, PhD, shared his hopes for the future of mass spectrometry in anatomic pathology.

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Clinical Pathology Abstracts, 2/18

February 2018—Restrictive or liberal approach to red blood cell transfusion for cardiac surgery: Among the largest group of recipients of red blood cell transfusions are patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Whether a restrictive approach to intraoperative and postoperative transfusion in cardiac surgery is superior to a more liberal approach with regard to patient outcomes is unclear.

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