Precision Medicine Requires Targeted Cancer Therapies, but Payers Reluctant to Pay for Some Genetic Testing Needed to Match a Patient with Right Drug

Clinical labs and pathology groups know how advances in targeted therapies and genomics far outpace providers’ and patients’ ability to know how best to use and pay for them. One fascinating development on the road to precision medicine is that many new cancer drugs now in clinical trials will require a companion genetic test to identify patients with tumors that will respond to a specific therapeutic drug.

Scientists Encode Malware with Synthesized DNA That Targets DNA Analysis Software Commonly Found in Gene Sequencers Used by Clinical Laboratories

Researchers demonstrated it was feasible to encode digital malware onto a strand of synthesized DNA and infect the gene sequencers and computer networks used by medical laboratories As if anatomic pathology groups and clinical laboratory leaders don’t already have enough to think about, here comes a security vulnerability right out of a sci-fi thriller. Researchers at the University of Washington (UW) have used synthesized DNA to encode digital malware into a physical strand of DNA capable of...

New Fast, Inexpensive, Mobile Device Accurately Identifies Healthcare-Acquired Infections and Communicates Findings to Doctors’ Smartphones and Portable Computers

Use of these new technologies creates opportunities for clinical laboratories and pathologists to add more value when collaborating with physicians to advance patient care Ongoing improvements in point-of-care testing are encouraging one major academic medical center to apply this mode of testing to the diagnosis of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). This development should be of interest to clinical laboratory professionals and pathologists, since it has the potential to create a different...

More Insurers Willing to Cover Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) in a Trend That Creates New Opportunities for Clinical Pathology Laboratories to Add Value

Most insurers still determine coverage on a case-by-case basis, but two major payers now have coverage policies that are helpful to clinical labs that perform WES Whole exome sequencing (WES) is not new for clinical pathologists, but it is becoming more common in a clinical setting as more physicians learn about its uses. This is due to two reasons. First, researchers are identifying new ways to use whole exome sequencing to improve patient care. Second, the cost of whole genome sequencing...

Get the Poop on Organisms Living in Your Gut With a New Consumer Laboratory Test Offered by American Gut and uBiome

American Gut is using test results to create a microbiome database for use by researchers to better understand how microbes impact human health Have you ever wondered what lurks in the dark corridors of your bowels? Now you can find out. Two entrepreneurial organizations—one a not-for-profit and the other a new clinical lab company—are charting new medical laboratory territory with the offer of an inexpensive poop test that reveals the type of microbes residing in your gut. Where to Get Your...