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.

Quarter of skin ‘on road to cancer’

BBC News

More than a quarter of a middle-aged person’s skin may have already made the first steps towards cancer, a study suggests.
Analysis of samples from 55- to 73-year-olds found more than 100 DNA mutations linked to cancer in every 1 sq cm (0.1 sq in) of skin.
The team, at the Sanger Institute, near Cambridge, said the results were “surprising”.
Experts said prevention was the best defence against damage from the Sun.
Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers.

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Link to abstract in Science journal

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Family breast cancer ‘as treatable’ as other tumours

BBC News 20 May 2015

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, having a strong family history of the condition does not worsen your prognosis, researchers have discovered.
Experts say the British Journal of Surgery findings offer reassurance to women with this hereditary risk.
Although inherited genes increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer, they do not make the disease harder to treat successfully, the research shows.
The authors looked at the outcomes of nearly 3,000 UK breast cancer patients.
All the women in the study developed cancer before the age of 41. Around two-thirds said they had no family history of the disease while the remaining third said they did.

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Link to full-text article in BJS

 

 

Prostate cancer gene map points way to targeted drugs

BBC News Fergus Walsh 21 May 2015

Scientists have unveiled a comprehensive genetic map of advanced prostate cancer, hailing it as the disease’s “Rosetta Stone”.
The study, published in the journal Cell, shows that nearly nine in 10 men had gene mutations that could be targeted with drugs.
The study was led in the UK by scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) London in collaboration with several teams in the United States.
Researchers analysed the genetic codes of tumours from 150 patients with metastatic – or advanced – prostate cancer, whose disease had spread to other parts of the body.
They found that 89% had genetic aberrations for which there were existing drugs or treatments undergoing clinical trials.
Prof Johann de Bono, of the ICR and Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust told the BBC: “This is truly a game-changer. We are calling this prostate cancer’s Rosetta Stone, because we can now decode the disease for the first time.

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Cell article abstract

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Ice partly to blame for brutal murder of Brodie Smith

Brisbane Times | May 19, 2015

The drug ice has been partly blamed for the brutal stabbing murder of a 21-year-old man outside a Queensland service station.

Sentencing two young men to life imprisonment for the unprovoked killing, a Brisbane judge noted the role played by drugs in the 2012 death of father-of-one Brodie Smith.

Smith, a drug dealer, was stabbed in the head and heart after being lured to a Logan petrol station in the early hours of June 13, 2012.  Continue reading…

New test could identify resistant tuberculosis faster

EurekAlert 13-May-2015

The time needed to genetically sequence the bacteria causing tuberculosis (Mtb) from patient samples has been reduced from weeks to days using a new technique developed by a UCL-led team. This could help health service providers to better treat disease, control transmission of this infection, and monitor outbreaks.
Tuberculosis (TB) disease rates in some parts of London are as high as in Sub-Saharan Africa, and drug-resistant strains are becoming increasingly common. These require specific treatments, and if doctors know that a bug is resistant they can start therapy earlier, often leading to better outcomes.

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Link to JCM abstract & manuscript

MRI — prostate cancer screening for the future?

EurekAlert 13-May-2015

A screening method that combines a traditional PSA test with an MRI detects a significantly greater number of prostate cancer cases and improves diagnostic accuracy. The study was conducted as part of the largest international research project on prostate cancer. The method will now be tried with 40,000 subjects in Gothenburg.
Prostate cancer, which is the third most common malignancy among European men, caused more than 92,000 deaths in 2012 alone.
Sweden and many other countries use the PSA test for diagnostic purposes. The test has been widely criticized for yielding false negatives, as well as false positives that lead to needless assessment and treatment.
As a result, Swedish authorities have not issued a general recommendation for PSA screening.

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Link to thesis

 

Stainless staining provides a new tool for clinicians and researchers

EurekAlert 13-May-2015

Histopathology is a cornerstone of modern biomedical research. Yet, the practice of histopathology has evolved just a few times — non-specific stains in the late 19th century, immunohistochemical staining in the mid-to-late 20th century and digital imaging/computerized analysis at the turn of the 20th century. In all cases, prepared biopsy samples are stained and examined under a light microscope. This study reports a new approach to histology in which a team of engineers, pathologists and surgeon report the development of label-free chemical imaging to provide the same information as molecular stains. Led by Rohit Bhargava at the University of Illinois, the study is based on using infrared spectroscopic imaging for microscopy.
Instead of using stains, the spectra measure the chemical constitution of cells and tissues directly. By using computational techniques, the researchers were able to relate spectral properties to known staining patterns of tissue. The outcome is that that molecular stains can be reproduced without staining the tissue but by using the intrinsic molecular contrast of the tissue and computation.

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