Early research projects to sequence tumors in clinical settings are helping physicians and pathologists identify mutations that respond to specific therapeutic drugs
Step by step, progress is happening in the use of genome sequencing to advance personalized and precision medicine, with clinical laboratories and pathologists in the forefront of these developments. Much of this effort is focused on cancer and the sequencing of tumors.
One recent example comes from New York City, where the genomes of tumors of patients with unresponsive cancers were sequenced at the Institute for Precision Medicine at Weill Cornell and New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center. The outcomes of this effort demonstrates how the results of such testing can help patients who had not found an effective therapy to control their cancers. (more…)
This secretive start-up medical laboratory testing company has not disclosed how its diagnostic test technology works, nor has it given laboratorians an opportunity to examine the technology
Several internationally-respected clinical laboratory experts are asking serious questions about Theranos and its diagnostic testing technology, and they’ve gotten few answers to date. Though the number of experts is small, their credentials in the clinical laboratory profession are impressive. In addition, some have published their critiques of the start-up medical laboratory company in well-respected medical journals.
One question these clinical pathologists and laboratory directors ask is why Theranos has so far been unwilling to provide more information about the lab testing technology it uses to deliver medical laboratory test results to patients and their referring physicians. Even as the company has declined to speak to the medical laboratory profession, Theranos has mounted a major public relations campaign designed to make a big impression on investors, business partners, and most recently on health insurers.
The clinical laboratory company in Palo Alto, Calif., gets plenty of attention because it claims to have disruptive technology that will allow it to perform medical laboratory tests equivalent to the current standard of care. Theranos says it can do this using a capillary specimen and return results in four hours, while charging a price that is just 50% of Medicare Part B lab test fees. Given these assertions, it is natural that pathologists and laboratory scientists who perform tests for patients, are curious about the scientific basis of Theranos’ proprietary diagnostic technology and what evidence Theranos has developed to support its claims of comparable accuracy and reproducibility. (more…)