Vanderbilt University Researchers Combine Genetic Data and EHR Records to Identify Undiagnosed Disease in Patients

Multi-university research group discovers that heart arrhythmia genes may be more common than previously thought For years, big data has been heralded as the key to unlocking the promise of personalized medicine. Now, researchers at Vanderbilt University are bringing that goal a step closer to reality by combining genetic testing data with data stored in electronic health record (EHR) systems to reveal undiagnosed disease in individual patients. Should their research result in new ways to...

Does Precision Oncology Offer Patients Superior Treatment Therapies? Anatomic Pathologists Will Be Interested to Learn Why Oncology Experts Disagree

Number of patients eligible for genome-driven oncology therapy is increasing, but the percentage who reportedly benefit from the therapy remains at less than 5% Advances in precision medicine in oncology (precision oncology) are fueling the need for clinical laboratory companion diagnostic tests that help physicians choose the best treatment protocols. In fact, this is a fast-growing area of clinical diagnostics for the nation’s anatomic pathologists. However, some experts in the field of...

Johns Hopkins University Study Finds Laboratory-Developed Liquid Biopsy Tests Can Give Different Results; Call for ‘Improved Certification’ of Medical Laboratories That Develop These LDTs

Liquid biopsy tests hold much promise. But inconsistencies in their findings provoke scrutiny and calls from researchers for further development before they can be considered reliable enough for diagnostic use Many commercial developers of liquid biopsy tests tout the accuracy and benefits of their diagnostic technology. However, there are an equal number of medical laboratory experts who believe that this technology is not yet reliable enough for clinical use. Critics also point out that...

Health Insurers Balk at Paying for Multigene Panels While Clinical Pathology Laboratories and Physicians Pursue Evidence of Clinical Utility

News reports state that Anthem and Cigna have denied payment for some multigene panel tests, saying that the tests are unproven. Other insurers, such as UnitedHealthcare and Priority Health, pay for such tests but only for certain patients A conflict is building between patients and health insurers over the reluctance among health plans to pay for new, expensive molecular diagnostic assays and genetic tests that clinical laboratory companies offer. This conflict has caught the attention of the...
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