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.

Chemotherapy breakthrough: researchers ‘discover immune cells on/off switch’

ABC News Andree Withey 24 April 2014

Queensland researchers say they have discovered how to put key immune cells to sleep during chemotherapy, and wake them when they are needed to fight infection.
The research could dramatically relieve the suffering of millions of chemotherapy patients, and human trials are expected to start next year.

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Breast cancer survival rates could be boosted by gene test developed by Queensland scientist

ABC News Stephanie Small 23 April 2014

A Queensland scientist has developed a new test that could help improve the survival rate for breast cancer patients.

The research has uncovered new gene signatures which will give women a more accurate prognosis.

It is hoped the pathology test will help women get the most effective treatment, particularly for more aggressive forms of the cancer.

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Skin cancer rates ‘surge since 1970s’ [UK]

BBC News 21 April 2014

The incidence of the most serious skin cancer in Great Britain is now five times higher than it was in the 1970s, figures show.

Cancer Research UK statistics show more than 13,000 people develop malignant melanoma each year, compared with around 1,800 in the mid-1970s.

It says the rise is partly due to rising popularity of package holidays to Europe from the late 1960s.

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Discovery by Australian scientists could lead to breast cancer survival test and more effective treatments 22 April 2014

YOUNG women with breast cancer could soon be offered a test to determine if their cancer is aggressive in the hope their treatment can be improved.

Australian scientists have discovered two new breast cancer gene signatures that can give women a more accurate prediction about their survival chances.

They hope to develop a blood test to identify these gene signatures within three years.

The discovery by Dr Fares Al-Ejeh from Queensland’s Medical Research Institute and Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and published in the journal Oncogenesis is particularly helpful for younger women who suffer from aggressive breast cancers.

Not only does it identify the aggressive cancers, it suggests possible treatment targets for aggressive breast cancers that can lead to death within five years.

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Rare Machado-Joseph disease sufferers increasing in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities

ABC News Michael Coggan 22 April 2014

Sufferers of a rare genetic disease are growing in number throughout Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory and advocates are concerned changes to funding will leave them worse off.

It is estimated more than 500 people in the communities around Arnhem Land and Kakadu are at risk of developing Machado-Joseph disease (MJD).

The degenerative brain disease leaves sufferers wheelchair-bound and eventually stops them from being able to swallow food.

Researchers suggest the disease is 100 times more prevalent in affected Aboriginal communities than the rest of the world.

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Researchers use snake venom to speed up patients’ blood tests

ABC News Andree Withey 21 April 2014


Deadly Australian snake venom is being used in an innovative new product to fast-track blood test results for seriously ill patients.

Researchers at the University of Queensland have pioneered a way to use snake venom to speed up the processing of blood tests of patients who have been given anti-coagulants.

Dr Goce Dimeski says tubes infused with snake venom are producing faster and more accurate results.

“From a clinical perspective, results will be available in a shorter time,” he said.

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Home insulation royal commission: Imported batts containing chemicals linked to cancer still on sale, inquiry hears

ABC News Brad Ryan 15 April 2014

Imported home insulation batts containing chemicals linked to cancer but used as part of the Rudd government’s home insulation scheme are still being sold today, an inquiry has heard.

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More insights from tissue samples

(Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research 8 April 2014) A new way of preparing patient tissue for analyses might soon become the new standard. This is what researchers of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research and the Research Center Borstel recommend in their current publication in the Journal of Proteome Research.

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Calls for action on ‘dire’ drug-resistant TB threat

ABC Neews Jemina Garrett 14 April 2014

Medical experts are warning that drug-resistant tuberculosis is now such a problem in the Asia Pacific region that it could overwhelm health systems.  In a recent hard-hitting editorial in the Medical Journal of Australia, four leading Australian TB experts warn that the area is now home to more than half of the world’s drug-resistant tuberculosis, and it is spreading.

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Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young The Courier-Mail push to improve Queensland vaccination rates

Courier Mail Laura Chalmers 14 April 2014

THE State’s top medical officer says parents are being duped into not vaccinating their children by groups working with “unfounded and debunked” material.

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McCaffery family back push for greater vaccination rates across Queensland following the death of precious daughter Dana

Miracle escape for baby Hugo