News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel

News, Analysis, Trends, Management Innovations for
Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups

Hosted by Robert Michel
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Researcher at Imperial College London Develops Smart Knife that Allows Surgeons to Detect Cancer In Situ and Without Pathologist Review

Pathologists take note: In one clinical study, diagnostic results produced by a prototype “smart knife” matched postoperative histological diagnosis in 100% of cases

Will a smart knife used in cancer surgery eventually replace the need for a skilled pathologist to diagnose tissue collected during such surgeries?

That’s a question that may be asked in the future if an invention developed at Imperial College London makes it through clinical trials and is accepted for use in patient care. Researchers at Imperial College developed a surgical knife that allows doctors to discern cancer in real-time during surgery—and without consulting with a pathologist.

This invention, dubbed an intelligent knife or iKnife, could be a significant development for clinical laboratory professionals and pathologists if primary research is validated in planned clinical trials.

Pathologists know that when a patient is suspected of having cancer, the current protocols for frozen specimens call for tissue specimens to be sent from the surgical suite to the medical laboratory for analysis. This step may take 20 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, the study points out, the patient remains in surgery and under anesthesia. The surgeon waits to learn from the pathologist whether more tissue may need to be removed to ensure that no malignant cells remain in the patient. (more…)

Major Biobanking Center Planned for Kannapolis, North Carolina, in Tandem with a Multi-Decade Study of the Role of Genetics in Chronic Disease

Pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists may see this research initiative—dubbed the MURDOCK Study—produce knowledge that results in new diagnostic medical lab tests

Can molecular biomarkers do for a North Carolina town what silicon chips did for California’s Silicon Valley? At least one city in the Tar Heel State hopes that it can develop into a major hub for research, development, and the commercialization of molecular science and next-generation gene sequencing.

The unlikely contender pursuing this goal is the city of Kannapolis. With a population of 43,000 and located about 25 miles northwest of Charlotte, the city fathers of Kannopolis appear to be positioning the community as an up-and-coming global center for biobanking. (more…)

University of Texas Researchers Reveal a Portable Cancer Detection Device with the Potential to Significantly Reduce the Number of Skin Biopsies Sent to Dermatopathologists

Team of bioengineers succeeds in putting three different imaging technologies into a handheld probe that could be used by physicians to assess skin lesions in their offices

Dermatopathologists and pathology practice administrators will be keenly interested in a new, hand-held diagnostic device that is designed to reduce the need for skin biopsies. Because of high volume of skin biopsies referred to pathologists, any significant reduction in the number of such case referrals would have negative revenue impact on medical laboratories  that process and diagnose these specimens.

This innovative work was done at the University of Texas at Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering. The research team developed a probe that uses three different light modalities to detect melanoma and other skin cancer lesions in real-time, according to a news release.

Professor of Pathology Shares 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Nobel laureates’ work could lead to more effective medicines with fewer side effects

For the second time in a decade, a professor of pathology has been awarded a Nobel Prize. This time the recipient is Robert J. Lefkowitz, M.D., of Duke University Medical Center, who shares the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The prize committee based their decision on the potential of this laureate’s seminal discoveries, which could be used to develop more effective medicines. This work may also contribute to the development of companion diagnostic tests that could be offered by clinical laboratories. (more…)

Duke University Researchers Demonstrate that Non-invasive Optical Biopsy Detects Cancer

New technology could reduce or even eliminate the need for clinical pathology laboratories to utilize tissue biopsies in the diagnosis of certain cancers

“Cancer flashlight” is the nickname some have given to a system that uses novel spectroscopic techniques to detect pre-cancerous cells in the colon. Developed by bioengineers at Duke University, the device may offer an alternative to current biopsy methods for detecting cancer and pre-cancer by anatomic pathologists.

The new technology may be a way to detect abnormal, dysplastic cells in the epithelium of various tissues in a non-invasive way, wrote The Atlantic in a story it recently published. The Atlantic thinks this technology breakthrough may be significant because approximately 85% of all cancers begin within the layers of the epithelium in various parts of the body.