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Quest acquires PhenoPath
November 2018—Quest Diagnostics has acquired PhenoPath Laboratories, which provides immunophenotyping, hematopathology, and molecular pathology services. The PhenoPath business, in Seattle, will operate as part of AmeriPath, a wholly owned business of Quest. Steve Rusckowski, Quest chairman, president, and CEO, said in a statement: “PhenoPath has a strong record of innovation and provides several capabilities that complement and extend our own, particularly in pathology and molecular oncology. It also deepens our presence in the Pacific Northwest.” PhenoPath founder Allen Gown, MD, tells CAP TODAY that continued consolidation in the laboratory industry and insurance reimbursement challenges have posed significant risks to PhenoPath’s future growth. “In Quest/AmeriPath,” he says, “we found an organization that realized not only the excellence of PhenoPath’s past and present but also the extraordinary future that, with their assistance, we can have.” Dr. Gown founded PhenoPath in 1998.

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Clinical pathology selected abstracts

Preparing for passage of regulatory requirements for laboratory-developed tests: November 2018—The FDA has raised concerns, in recent years, about several high-risk laboratory-developed tests (LDTs), including a concern that patients may undergo unnecessary treatment or delay or forego treatment due to the inaccuracy of such tests. Other agencies have also challenged the validity, accuracy, oversight, and safety of LDTs, a subset of IVDs that are intended for clinical use and designed, manufactured, and used within a single laboratory.

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Anatomic pathology selected abstracts

November 2018—HER2: a pan-cancer event highly enriched in AR-driven breast tumors: Approximately one in five breast cancers is driven by amplification and overexpression of the HER2 receptor kinase, and HER2 enriched is one of four major transcriptional subtypes of breast cancer. The authors conducted a study to understand the genomics of HER2 amplification independent of subtype, as well as the underlying drivers and biology of HER2-enriched (HER2E) tumors.

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Molecular pathology selected abstracts

November 2018—Common genetic variants contribute to risk of rare severe neurodevelopmental disorders: The traditional paradigm broadly classifies genetic diseases into rare disorders caused by a single gene variant and common disorders caused by complex interplay among multiple genes. However, recent research has shown that penetrance and disease phenotype, even in disorders thought to be monogenic, are affected by common genetic variation.

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Put It on the Board

Therascreen EGFR RGQ PCR kit approved as companion diagnostic for Vizimpro October 2018—The FDA has approved a PMA supplement expanding the labeling claim of the Qiagen Therascreen EGFR RGQ PCR kit to allow its use as a companion diagnostic with Pfizer’s Vizimpro (dacomitinib). Vizimpro is for first-line treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer with EGFR exon 19 deletions or an exon 21 L858R mutation. The Therascreen EGFR RGQ PCR kit is now approved as a companion diagnostic to guide the use of three FDA-approved therapies, including also Gilotrif (afatinib) from Boehringer Ingelheim and Iressa (gefitinib) from AstraZeneca. It is registered in more than 40 countries. This was a project governed under an agreement between Qiagen and Pfizer.

Philips introduces computational pathology software for tumor detection Royal Philips announced in September the latest release of TissueMark, which the company says now supports region of interest detection for the majority of molecular testing.

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