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.

Blood test ‘detects cancer relapse’

BBC News 27 August 2015

A blood test may be able to save lives by finding cancers that have started to grow again after treatment, a study suggests.
Scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in London found traces of breast cancer eight months before doctors would normally have noticed.
In the trial, the test found 12 cancers out of the 15 women who relapsed.
Experts said there was still some way to go before there was a test that could be used in hospitals.

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Link to abstract in Science Translational Medicine:

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Treating ‘stage 0’ breast cancer doesn’t always save women’s lives so should we screen for it?

The Conversation Christobel Saunders August 27, 2015

We’re told that “prevention is better than cure”; that finding symptoms of disease early will prevent the more serious consequences of that disease, particularly for cancer.
Women largely understand that a regular screening mammogram may decrease their chance of dying from the disease by allowing earlier detection and therefore less aggressive treatments. This is largely true: for every 1,000 women screened over a 25 year period, nine will not die from breast cancer because of that screening. But it does not give the entire picture.
For a minority of women diagnosed with the “pre-cancerous” lesion ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, treatment doesn’t reduce their chance of getting or dying from breast cancer.
DCIS consists of abnormal cells in the breast ducts that rarely cause any symptom but are detectable on mammogram, often calcium deposits in the breast. This is also known as “stage 0” breast cancer.

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Link to JAMA Oncology article:


One in three girls missing out on protection against cervical cancer

The Courier Mail Sue Dunlevy August 27, 2015

ALMOST thirty per cent of girls aged 15 in 2013 were not fully immunised against cervical cancer, and in some areas only half of all girls have had the vaccine.
A major national report has found regions in NSW including outer western Sydney, the Blue Mountains, South East Tasmania, outback South Australia and the anti-immunisation Tweed area in NSW have the lowest coverage rates.

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Link to NHPA report: HPV immunisation rates for girls in 2013:

Mayo Clinic team finds ‘software’ for turning off cell mutations

The Australian 25 August 2015

Scientists may have found a way to reprogram cancer, after stumbling on the “software” for turning off deadly cell mutations.

Florida researchers have discovered what they say is a surprising link between a biological “microprocessor” — a group of proteins that help activate key molecules called microRNAs — and proteins that help cells stick together.

The team from Mayo Clinic says its findings, outlined this morning in the journal Nature Cell Biology, open the way to “a new strategy for cancer therapy”.

Senior researcher Panos Anastasiadis told The Australian the team was examining the “clinical implications”. “We have focused on the most aggressive form of breast cancer — inflammatory breast cancer — and bladder cancer.”

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Bowel cancer research drastically underfunded compared with other cancers, doctors say

ABC News 21 August 2015

Doctors who treat bowel cancer say the disease is drastically underfunded compared with other cancers.

In a report released by advocacy group Bowel Cancer Australia, five leading cancer specialists argue there is unmet need for new therapies and research.

Finding biomarkers for early lung cancer diagnosis

EurekAlert 18-Aug-2015

Despite decades of warnings about smoking, lung cancer is still the second-most common cancer and the leading cause of death from cancer in the U.S. Patients are often diagnosed only when their disease is already at an advanced stage and hard to treat. Researchers at the West Coast Metabolomics Center at UC Davis are trying to change that, by identifying biomarkers that could be the basis of early tests for lung cancer.
“Early diagnosis is the key to fighting lung cancer,” said Oliver Fiehn, director of the metabolomics center and a professor of molecular and cellular biology at UC Davis.

Read more:–fbf081815.php

Abstract & full-text link in Jnl of Clinical Oncology:



One drink a day increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer: study

Sydney Morning Herald 19 August 2015

One alcoholic drink a day is enough to increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, according to new research that challenges Australia’s current drinking guidelines.

A review of two long term studies tracking more than 100,000 health professionals in the US has found that one drink a day increased a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 13 per cent compared to women who did not drink at all.

The research published in the prestigious British Medical Journal has already prompted some experts to recommend women limit their alcohol intake to one drink a day.