August 14, 2006 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Here’s some useful information for pathologists and practice administrators trying to gauge the interest that urologists, gastroenterologists, and dermatologists have in capturing the anatomic pathology revenues generated by their patient referrals (the TC/PC trend). Pathology Service Associates of Florence, South Carolina recently conducted a Web survey on this topic. 32% of the respondents said that local referring clinician specialists had approached their group asking for help to establish their own pathology laboratory (55 of 172 respondents). 28% said that local clinician specialists had asked for help to establish in-office pathology services (49 of 172 respondents).


This is anecdotal evidence that a substantial proportion of specialist physicians are actively seeking ways to profit from their anatomic pathology referrals. Pathologists interested in contributing to the survey can visit rvey1.aspx?SurveyID=06118 16589&SGID=24&PNo=1.


It’s another step forward in the march toward personalized medicine. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, have developed a molecular test to predict which early-stage lung cancer patients are at risk for a recurrence. “Using the unique genomic signatures from each tumor, our new test predicted, with up to 90% accuracy, which early- stage lung cancer patients would suffer a recurrence of their cancer and which patients would not,” said Anil Potti, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine and a leader in the research project. “We now have a tool that can be used to move these high-risk patients from the ‘no chemotherapy’ group into the aggressive treatment group.”

ADD TO: Cancer Test

The test is the “Lung Metagene Predictor.” Researchers identified gene-expression profiles that predicted who, in a group of 89 patients with early stage NSCLC, had a higher risk of recurrence. Researchers then validated the test by looking at a group of 134 lung cancer patients. Next step in the development of this test will be a clinical study that enrolls up to 1,000 people from sites in the United States and Canada.


•Effective today, Rick Panning assumes his duties as the new CEO of the American Red Cross Blood Bank– North Central Blood Services Region, based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Panning was formerly President, Laboratory services at Fairview Health Services, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While at Fairview, Panning was one of the first three lab- oratory administrators in the nation to formally introduce Lean and Six Sigma management systems into the high-volume core laboratories of several hospitals at Fairview Health.
•On Friday, August 4, Marie Cato retired from her duties at
ACL Laboratories in West Allis, Wisconsin. Cato had been Director of Operations at the laboratory, which is jointly owned and operated by Aurora Health Care, Inc. and Advocate Health and Hospitals Corporation.


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