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March 2018

Lung guideline goals: more tests, treatment

March 2018—Among the many never-ending chores that humans undertake—paying bills, filing taxes, flossing—writing medical guidelines can seem like an especially perpetual task. Just ask the architects of an updated document on molecular testing for lung cancer, issued by the CAP, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer, and the Association for Molecular Pathology.

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Labs take stock of surprising flu season

March 2018—In a severe flu season that started early, laboratories faced unprecedented test volumes, used new testing platforms, and negotiated vendor supply shortages. When laboratory staff at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock began seeing a rising number of requests for respiratory tests, and five positive flu results, in September 2017, they suspected they were in for a record flu season, says Sherry Childress, BSMT(ASCP), technical chief, molecular diagnostics and immunology.

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Inflammatory biomarkers foreshadow CKD, study finds

Baker

March 2018—The central idea of the film Minority Report—that a “precrime” police unit can predict and prevent crimes—still mostly inhabits the realm of science fiction. Luckily, in medicine, researchers studying “predisease” can make headway on prevention by analyzing the laboratory test results from samples collected years earlier, when patients showed no clinical symptoms, that might have been able to predict disorders such as chronic kidney disease (CKD) in those patients.

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Pros and cons of carbapenemase detection tests

March 2018—When it comes to diagnostic tests, everyone wants the same thing Lars Westblade, PhD, wants: A unicorn. “The diagnostic performance of a test is reflected in its sensitivity and specificity,” Dr. Westblade said. “It has to be a very good test. And then we need to think about the speed of the test.” There’s also the cost. When all these factors come together just so, “we get what’s called diagnostic perfection,” he says, or the rare event that Brandi Limbago, PhD, of the CDC calls “a diagnostic unicorn.”

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Clinical Pathology Abstracts, 3/18

March 2018—Web platform vs. genetic counselor for releasing carrier results from exome sequencing: Genomics can be used to generate a large amount of data that may have important implications for clinical care and selection of therapeutics. However, a bottleneck exists in clinical genomics due to the large volume of results and the lack of availability of knowledgeable professionals to return them to patients in person.

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