Category Archives: Clinical pathology

Includes news relating to lab diagnosis of medical conditions.
Discipline groups are Microbiology, Immunology, Anatomical Pathology including cytopathology (cancers etc), Chemical pathology, Haematology and Laboratory management.
EXCLUDES imaging technologies.

Australia’s rejection of costly new treatment sofosbuvir a ‘death sentence for Hepatitis C sufferers’

ABC News Deborah Cornwall 24 October 2014

Liver experts at a conference on the Gold Coast have been warned Australia is on the verge of a catastrophic death spiral from Hepatitis C.
Dr Miriam Levy, the director of gastroenterology at Sydney’s Liverpool Hospital, told the conference on Thursday that the recent decision by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) to refuse subsidies for a breakthrough treatment for Hepatitis C had effectively delivered a death sentence to up to 50,000 Australians who would die from the disease in the next few years.

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Quality of biopsy directly linked to survival in bladder cancer patients

EurekAlert 22 October 2014

UCLA researchers have shown for the first time that the quality of diagnostic staging using biopsy in patients with bladder cancer is directly linked with survival, meaning those that don’t get optimal biopsies are more likely to die from their disease.

The two-year study found that about half of bladder cancer patients who were biopsied had insufficient material – meaning there was no bladder wall muscle retrieved – to accurately stage the cancer. Additionally, the UCLA research team found that a suboptimal biopsy and incorrect tumor staging was associated with a significant increase in deaths from bladder cancer, said study first author Dr. Karim Chamie, an assistant professor of urology and surgical director of the bladder cancer program at UCLA.

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Skin patch could replace the syringe for disease diagnosis

EurekAlert 22 October 2014

Drawing blood and testing it is standard practice for many medical diagnostics. As a less painful alternative, scientists are developing skin patches that could one day replace the syringe. In the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry, one team reports they have designed and successfully tested, for the first time, a small skin patch that detected malaria proteins in live mice. It could someday be adapted for use in humans to diagnose other diseases, too.

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Y chromosome linked to cancer and death risk in men

BBC News 22 October 2014

The male Y chromosome may have a role in prolonging men’s lives and fighting cancer, scientists have said.

Research into 1,153 elderly men at the University of Sweden found those who had lost part of their Y chromosome died on average 5.5 years earlier than those who had not.

Women live on average 7.5 years longer than men in Europe and the reasons behind this are not fully known.

Cancer Research said the study was “intriguing”.

Scientists assessed how many blood cells had age-related loss of the Y chromosome (LOY) through blood tests in the men, aged between 70 and 84.

Ebola crisis: Australia’s chief medical officers to discuss safety of health workers after US upgrades protective guidelines

ABC News October 21, 2014 Sophie Scott

Australia’s chief medical officers will meet in Sydney on Thursday to discuss the safety of the nation’s health workers after authorities in the United States upgraded the initial guidelines for workers exposed to Ebola.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new recommendations for American health workers overnight.  Continue reading…

Related article

Ebola health workers must be covered head to toe, say new US guidelines

New research software automates DNA analysis

EurekAlert 20 October 2014

Ottawa, CANADA – October 20, 2014 – At the core of medical research is problem-solving, which is exactly what two PhD scientists did when they set out to eliminate a common, time-consuming task performed in research laboratories around the world.

Bruno Fonseca, PhD scientist at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute and Riu Liu, PhD scientist at the University of Southampton (United Kingdom) collaborated over the past four years to develop a software tool that automates the design of primers for site-directed mutagenesis. Their new software program is called PrimerGenesis.

“We’ve automated a Nobel-prize winning research technique,” says Bruno Fonseca, co-creator of the software. “Genome sequencing yields vast amounts of data on disease-causing mutations in DNA. Investigating each mutation by a common practice called site-directed mutagenesis is a laborious and time-consuming task. There’s an appetite for automating this task in the field of molecular biology research, so it’s been rewarding to develop this software.”

Generating mutations in a gene typically requires a researcher to manually design a small strip of DNA called “primer”. Instead of counting individual nucleotides within a strip of DNA, this time-consuming task can be completed computationally in a matter of seconds by using this new software program.

“We’ve aimed to make it as user-friendly as possible,” said Rui Liu, co-creator of PrimerGenesis. “The software is extremely versatile and can be widely applied; yes, it can be used to generate mutations but it can also be used to introduce specific tags upstream or downstream of a gene.”

PrimerGenesis is free and available globally without registration or download requirements at: or

Cancer care inequality contributes to mortality gap

ABC News Kerrin Thomas 20 October 2014

Cancer patients in non-metropolitan areas are dying at a higher rate than those in the city, according to research published today in the Medical Journal of Australia.

A medical oncologist from Orange, in regional New South Wales, says poor treatment options for more complex cancers are contributing to the seven percent gap in cancer mortality rates between city and country people.

Dr Peter Fox said mortality rates are worse for complex cancers, such as melanoma and oesophageal cancer.