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March 2019 Issue of The Pathologist

In this month’s issue we delve into the controversy surrounding commercially available liquid biopsy tests. Despite the great potential of liquid biopsy, a recent study found high levels of incongruence between two tests that claim to guide treatment decisions for prostate cancer patients by analyzing ctDNA in the blood. We speak to four experts to investigate how issues with accuracy and consistency can be overcome and learn where the field is headed in the future. Also in this issue, read about the diagnostic potential of saliva, the best pieces of career advice shared by pathologists and laboratory professionals, and an interview with Dame Sue Hill, Chief Scientific Officer for England, and Senior Responsible Officer for Genomics in the National Health Service, London, UK.

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Articles featured in this issue

Diagnostics Histology

Case of the Month

Can you determine the hereditary syndrome that this renal tumor is indicative of?

Outside the Lab Profession

The Family and Friends Test

| Michael Schubert

Do changes in family and life circumstances affect how you view your patients? And if so, is that necessarily a bad thing?

Diagnostics Biochemistry and molecular biology

Treat or Surveil

| George Vasmatzis and John Cheville

Newly discovered genetic alterations could indicate whether treatment or active surveillance is the best option for low-risk prostate cancer patients

Diagnostics Genetics and epigenetics

Scrutinizing Breast Cancer

| Michael Schubert

The FLEX breast cancer registry intends to collect complete information on 10,000 patients over the course of 10 years

Subspecialties Genetics and epigenetics

Putting a Bug in Your Ear

| Michael Schubert

Variants in the FUT2 gene may increase susceptibility to otitis media by altering the microbiome of the middle ear

Subspecialties Biochemistry and molecular biology

Jagged Little Pill (for Cancer)

| Luke Turner

A Jagged protein directly linked to cancer metastasis could be targeted to assess the aggressiveness of tumors and prevent their rapid spread

Outside the Lab Profession

Answering the Call

| Michael B. Prystowsky, Jacob Steinberg, Adam Cole, Tiffany M. Hébert

How can market-driven pathology residency optimize training to produce motivated, adaptable pathologists?

Outside the Lab Profession

The Importance of Giving

| E. Blair Holladay

How philanthropy can combat burnout among pathologists and laboratory medicine professionals

Inside the Lab Biochemistry and molecular biology

A Fluid Future

| Luke Turner

Liquid biopsy has shown promise as a rapid, minimally invasive way to profile tumors – but are commercially available tests accurate and consistent?

Inside the Lab Clinical care

Positive Steps to Tackle Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

| Jane Armes

Jane Armes discusses the value of molecular subtyping and targeted therapies in triple-negative breast cancer

Diagnostics Liquid biopsy

A Diagnostic to Drool Over?

| Luke Turner

The use of saliva as a diagnostic fluid seems an attractive option – especially now that research reveals circulating tumor DNA in the fluid

Outside the Lab Profession

Peer-to-Peer, Featuring Jeffrey Myers

| Jeffrey Myers, Ivan Damjanov

Jeffrey Myers shares his career experiences and advice in an interview with professional colleague Ivan Damjanov

Outside the Lab Clinical care

Career Advice – In Brief

| Michael Schubert

Pathologists and laboratory medicine professionals take to social media to share the best career advice they’ve ever received

Other issues of 2019