3D Imaging of Cancer Cells Could Lead to Improved Ability of Pathologists and Radiologists to Plan Cancer Treatments and Monitor Cell Interactions

New technology from researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center enables the ability to study cancer cells in their native microenvironments

Imaging research is one step closer to giving clinicians a way to do high-resolution scans of malignant cells in order to diagnose cancer and help identify useful therapies. If this technology were to prove successful in clinical studies, it might change how anatomic pathologists and radiologists diagnose and treat cancer.

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center developed a way to create near-isotropic, high-resolution scans of cells within their microenvironments. The process involves utilizing a combination of two-photon Bessel beams and specialized filtering. (more…)

Genome Sequencing of Tumors Are Helping Pathologist and Physicians Identify Useful Therapies for Patients with Unresponsive Cancers

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…)

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…)

Researchers Say It’s Time to Reclassify Cancerous Tumors Based on Their Molecular Makeup; New System Suggested Would Affect Pathologists’

More than 12 cancer types were studied in this project, which is a part of The Cancer Genome Atlas

New molecular and genetic knowledge is making it possible for researchers to propose a new system for classifying tumors. Upon implementation, such a system will give oncologists and pathologists, and clinical laboratory professionals a new tool to improve how they diagnose and treat cancer patients.

Tumor categories—defined by cell types instead of where they are found in the body—may lead to more accurate diagnoses and more effective treatments for one in 10 patients, according to the recent study. It was summarized in a Medline Plus Health News By Date story posted on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website. (more…)