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February 2015

From the bench, a view of MALDI-TOF mass spec

February 2015—Melissa Jones, MT(ASCP), doesn’t mince words—not when it comes to MALDI-TOF MS. “It’s going to revolutionize the way you do microbiology in your laboratory, and you’re absolutely going to love it,” said Jones, who is a microbiology specialist for clinical microbiology and immunology at McLendon Clinical Laboratories at University of North Carolina Hospitals, Chapel Hill.

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Trials for errors: how one lab fixed reporting flaws

February 2015—Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has all but eliminated errors in laboratory test reporting thanks to a project performed through the Intermediate Improvement Science Series, a nationally accredited course offered by the medical center’s James M. Anderson Center for Health Systems Excellence to leaders from Cincinnati Children’s and other health care systems.

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Anatomic Pathology Selected Abstracts, 2/15

February 2015—Alteration of ARID1A gene, PI3K-Akt pathway, and ZNF217 gene in ovarian clear cell carcinoma: AT-rich interactive domain 1A (ARID1A) is a subunit of switch/sucrose nonfermentable (SWI/SNF) complex. Recently, alterations of the ARID1A gene, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-protein kinase B (PI3K-Akt) pathway, and zinc-finger protein 217 (ZNF217) gene have been identified as frequent molecular genetic changes in ovarian clear cell carcinoma.

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Q&A column, 2/15

February 2015—Can our laboratory use ALK immunohistochemistry in lung adenocarcinoma to select patients for targeted therapy? ALK gene rearrangements (the most common of which results in expression of the EML4-ALK fusion protein) are found in approximately five percent of lung adenocarcinomas, and these ALK-rearranged tumors show marked clinical response to the tyrosine kinase inhibitor crizotinib.

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Interface validation: abort, retry, succeed

February 2015—When you go looking for problems, you’re bound to find them. That truism is especially pertinent in the arena of interface validation, as the team at New York’s North Shore-LIJ Health System discovered recently. The laboratory professionals there were charged with helping to implement the first phase of a joint venture with New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corp. (HHC), in which North Shore-LIJ would serve as the massive public health system’s primary reference lab.

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Newsbytes, 2/15

February 2015—Simplifying the search for units of uncommon blood: For blood banks, obtaining red blood cell units with uncommon blood types can be a time-consuming and daunting task in which delays can hinder patient care. So two blood bank professionals, frustrated by the challenge, set out to change that. The American Rare Donor Program fields requests for rare blood types, which are blood types found in fewer than one in 1,000 donors, but it is “not set up to serve those requesting uncommon units—defined as blood with combinations of antigens that occur in fewer than one in 100 people,” says Connie Westhoff, PhD, director of immunohematology and genomics at New York Blood Center.

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Clinical Pathology Selected Abstracts, 2/15

February 2015—Alcohol consumption relative to type of breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women: Alcohol consumption is a known risk factor for breast cancer, but it is not known which subtypes of breast cancer, if any, are more likely associated with alcohol consumption. The authors conducted a large study using the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial cohort to test for heterogeneity in alcohol-related risk by breast cancer subtypes defined by estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) status and histological type.

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