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September 2016

Network taps Myriad for hereditary cancer testing

Oct. 7, 2016—The US Oncology Network has selected Myriad Genetic Laboratories as its preferred provider laboratory for hereditary cancer testing. The US Oncology Network is one of the nation’s largest networks of integrated, community-based, and independent physician practices, with more than 1,000 affiliated physicians in 19 states. As part of the collaboration, Myriad and the US Oncology Network will work ...

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Beauty fad’s ugly downside: test interference

September 2016—It’s the kind of health promotion advice one might pick up casually over lunch with friends, in a quick Google search, or during a visit to the hairdresser. Take megadoses of an over-the-counter vitamin called biotin—a common supplement in multivitamin compounds—and watch your skin improve and your hair and nails thicken and gleam. In recent years, online social networks and health-related websites have begun to teem with ads claiming that people have seen a transformation since they jumped on the biotin bandwagon.

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From the President’s Desk: In the eye of the brainstorm, 9/16

September 2016—Radiolab is a radio show and podcast about (mostly) scientific curiosities co-hosted by a perpetually interested guy who majored in music. You might describe it as a talk show for science geeks. These are people who know how to ask the right questions and put the answers in context. A recent installment (“Colors”) questions whether color is a concrete characteristic of the physical world or simply a mental overlay we apply to our perception. Early on, you learn that a young Isaac Newton pursued the mechanism of color perception by piercing his own eye with a knife. I was hooked.

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Mass spec up front for pain management testing: Interest growing in oral fluid testing as alternative to urine testing

September 2016—This fall, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, is taking the mass spec leap. A plucky PR person might be tempted to refer to it as MassSpec LEAP!™ but Stacy Melanson, MD, PhD, doesn’t have time for such nonsense. As the associate director of clinical laboratories and co-director of chemistry, Dr. Melanson has more important matters to attend to. She and her colleagues are shifting from using a screening immunoassay for pain management drug testing to up-front definitive testing by LC tandem mass spectrometry.

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Laboratory accreditation program 2016 checklists: Less legwork, more clarity seen in personnel changes

September 2016—For the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program, inspection checklist requirements covering personnel are a perennial concern. They are the leading source of disparities between the findings of the program’s inspectors and inspection audits done by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Personnel is also high on the list of questions asked of Laboratory Accreditation Program staff. “Personnel is a hot topic for the College,” says CAP Checklists Committee chair William W. West, MD.

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New from CAP Press: Inspired by pathology, connected through art

September 2016—When Ray Paul was diagnosed with sarcoma in 2011, he wanted to understand his disease. His neighbor was a resident in the radiation department at Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Fla., where Paul was being treated, and that neighbor was happy to introduce him to the pathologist on Paul’s case. An artist and biologist, Paul told the pathologist: “‘I want to see what my tumor looks like. I want to stare my devil in the eye,’” recalls Marilyn M. Bui, MD, PhD, a senior member of the Departments of Anatomic Pathology and Sarcoma, section head of bone and soft tissue pathology, and scientific director of the analytic microscopy core, Moffitt Cancer Center, and a professor and cytopathology fellowship director, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine.

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Anatomic Pathology Abstracts, 9/16

September 2016—Digital image analysis versus manual biomarker assessment in breast cancer; Clinical and cost impact of EGFR and ALK testing in early stage NSCLC; Switch/sucrose nonfermenting complex protein expression in an aggressive endometrial cancer; Immune microenvironment of breast ductal carcinoma in situ; Adverse histological features in malignant colorectal polyps; Use of ancillary molecular analysis for diagnosis of soft tissue tumors

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Molecular Pathology Selected Abstracts, 9/16

September 2016—Mutations causing acquired resistance to PD-1 blockade in melanoma: Immunotherapy in metastatic cancer has achieved durable responses in a wide variety of cancer types. Antibodies that block programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) are particularly effective in metastatic melanoma, but a recent study showed that approximately 25 percent of patients that achieved a durable response ultimately had disease progression at a median follow-up of 21 months.

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