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April 2016 Issue of The Pathologist

Welcome to the April issue. In our Upfront topics, you’ll find bacterial biomarkers, direct-to-consumer lab tests, and single-gene sources of disease. Our Feature asks whether the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition is necessary for metastasis – and if not, what it does instead. In Practice explores the potential of next generation tissue microarrays. Superbugs and similarities in protein complexes fill our NextGen section, and Profession profiles the growth of Eastern Europe’s largest private pathology lab. We Sit Down With Suzy Lishman, President of the Royal College of Pathologists and a consultant cellular pathologist at Peterborough City Hospital.

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Articles featured in this issue

Inside the Lab Biochemistry and molecular biology

A Question of Value

| Fedra Pavlou

Molecular testing is changing the face of healthcare. But how far should it go?

Inside the Lab Oncology

Under the Skin

| Michael Schubert

A blood test for circulating tumor DNA can reveal what’s going on below the surface of malignant melanoma

Inside the Lab Laboratory management

Power to the People

| Michael Schubert

Direct-to-consumer lab tests offer low cost and convenience, but can the results they return be relied upon?

Outside the Lab Microbiology and immunology

Bacterial Biomarker Hope for Infants

| Michael Schubert

Changes in the gut microbiome of infants who develop necrotizing enterocolitis may allow us to predict, and perhaps even treat, the disease

Inside the Lab Screening and monitoring

Small Mutations, Big Impact

| Michael Schubert

A new study reveals that screening for mutations in patients with advanced lung cancer can focus their treatment options and improve success rates

Inside the Lab Screening and monitoring


| Michael Schubert

The cost of prostate cancer screening can outweigh its benefits – but the right strategy can maximize the return on investment

Outside the Lab Clinical care

Respiration Inspiration

| Michael Schubert

Can a new aerodynamics-inspired “sneezometer” that measures airflow with high speed and sensitivity offer a new tool for respiratory disease diagnostics?

Diagnostics Microbiology and immunology

Tracing T Cells

| Michael Schubert

New software can reconstruct T cell receptor sequences from RNA sequencing data

Inside the Lab Genetics and epigenetics

An On/Off Switch for Heart Attacks

| Michael Schubert

ANGPTL4 mutations can reduce patients’ risk of heart attack by up to 50 percent – so could neutralizing the gene offer a new route to prevention?

Subspecialties Genetics and epigenetics

Single-Gene Source for Schizophrenia?

| Michael Schubert

Mutations in the SETD1A gene are rare, but significantly increase patients’ risk of schizophrenia and neurodevelopmental disorders

Diagnostics Microscopy and imaging

Image of the Month

The variability in color and texture of these solid crystalline deposits arises from differences in the stones’ primary compounds.

Inside the Lab Profession

Empowering Pathologists

| Ralf Huss

Digital pathology and tissue image analysis tools are essential to developing companion diagnostics and enabling pathologists to support clinical decisions, but there is still work to be done…

Outside the Lab Technology and innovation

On the Spot Diagnosis

| Laura Lechuga

Mobile devices promise a new future of point-of-care diagnostics for all

Subspecialties Histology

Undervalued and Underused

| Susan Rollins

Ultrasound guided fine needle aspiration biopsy cytology streamlines and improves cancer diagnosis

Diagnostics Oncology

Cells on the (Invasion) Front Lines

| Michael Schubert

Long thought to be a key component of the metastatic process, researchers are now questioning long-held beliefs of the role of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition

Diagnostics Oncology

Proceed With Caution

| Shyamala Maheswaran

Two recent studies on EMT may revise the field’s understanding of the process – but it’s important to keep in mind both the breakthroughs and the limitations of the work

Diagnostics Oncology

Tracking the Transition

| Dingcheng Gao

A triple-transgenic mouse model allows researchers to trace the lineage of EMT tumor cells, and reveals the transition’s surprising lack of significance in metastasis

Diagnostics Oncology

The PDAC Key

| Michael Schubert

Pancreatic cancer cells don’t seem to rely on EMT for metastasis – but it plays a key role in their ability to resist our best chemotherapy options

Diagnostics Oncology

Research Timeline

An overview of epithelio-mesenchymal transition

Subspecialties Technology and innovation

The Core of the Problem

| Inti Zlobec

Next generation tissue microarrays overcome punching inaccuracies and bring the technique into the era of precision medicine

Inside the Lab Microbiology and immunology

A Kryptonite for Pathogens

| Timothy Wencewicz

Could antibiotics that target virulence factors be the key to defeating multi-drug resistant “bugs of steel?”

Diagnostics Histology

Listen to your Gut

| Jianchao Li, Scott Crawley

Recent studies reveal that the organizational protein complexes in gut microvilli closely resemble those of ear stereocilia – so what does this mean for genetic disorders of either?

Outside the Lab Technology and innovation

Pilsen’s Second-Biggest Export: Pathology

| Ivan Damjanov

From plastic beer case furniture to the largest pathology laboratory in Eastern Europe

Outside the Lab Profession

No Regrets

Sitting Down With… Suzy Lishman, President of the Royal College of Pathologists (RCPath) and a consultant cellular pathologist at Peterborough City Hospital, UK.

Other issues of 2016