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ARTICLES

Chronological index
2013–2018

Community hospitals keep time on tissue handling

February 2016—The great promise of genomics and actionable cancer biomarkers relies on cancer tissues being handled in the right way so they are suitable for study. Reducing cold ischemia time and the total time that biospecimens spend in formalin is key to the process, say guidelines from the CAP and the American Society of Clinical Oncology on HER2 and on estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor testing in breast cancer specimens.

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Non-melanocytic lesions—preventing pitfalls in diagnosis

February 2016—Musician Lauryn Hill has been quoted as saying, “Reality is easy. It’s deception that’s the hard work.” That viewpoint just might resonate with pathologists who sometimes have to diagnose deceiving-looking skin lesions. In a talk at CAP ’15, Deborah L. Cook, MD, professor of pathology and director of dermatopathology at the University of Vermont, shared several case examples that illustrate that investigative effort. All of them involve non-melanocytic malignancies known to mimic benign entities and the converse—“the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing” and “sheep in wolf’s clothing,” as she puts it.

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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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Nanotechnology in the clinical laboratory

January 2016—The CAP has 30 official liaisons to various organizations who attend scientific meetings or designate others to do so. They report to the Standards Committee, which reports to the Council on Scientific Affairs. We periodically publish bits of what the CAP’s outbound liaisons hear and see in their liaison roles.

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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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