December 19, 2011 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

Expanded genetic testing for cancer patients in the United Kingdom is one goal of a new effort by the Stratified Medicine Programme at Cancer Research UK. Officials want to ensure that the right genetic tests are available to support use of new therapeutic drugs for different types of cancer. The project will start in Wales where researchers hope to recruit as many as 9,000 patients to participate by agreeing to allow DNA analysis of their tumor tissue. The effort is being coordinated at the Cancer Research UK’s Cardiff Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC). Six specific tumor types will form the first stage of study. They are: breast, bowel, lung, prostate, ovary and melanoma skin cancer.


Here is an unexpected use for DNA testing! It’s called “PooPrint.” When residents of an apartment complex do not clean up after their dog, a lab will test the DNA in that dog poop sample to identify the owner. JJS Property Management of St. Cloud, Minnesota, manages 25 properties and now uses the PooPrint program at three dog-friendly properties. A cheek swab from each dog in the complex creates the DNA database. “We are serious about it; we do send it [the dog poo] in,” stated Jennifer Ulmer, Property Supervisor. “We’ve sent in maybe 20 samples, and we haven’t had a second offense. Messes are almost obsolete now. It’s a huge deterrent.”


  • On December 31, Thomas Tiffany, Ph.D., is scheduled to retire as the CEO of Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories, Inc. (PAML), based in Spokane, Washington. Tiffany joined PAML in 1987. A successor CEO had not been named as of press time.
  • Retiring on December 31, at Health Line Clinical Laboratories in Allentown, Pennsylvania, is President and General Manager David G. Beckwith, M.S., Ph.D., a position he has held for the past 14 years. He worked at the parent Lehigh Valley Health Network for 24 years.
  • Retired earlier this fall is Cheryl Vance, who was CEO of Alverno Clinical Laboratories, LLC, in Gary, Indiana. Vance had held administrative positions at other Chicago-area labs during her career. These included Consolidated Medical Laboratories (CML), Advocate Healthcare, and Aurora Clinical Laboratories.

Dark Daily Update

dark_daily_logoHave you caught the latest e-briefings from DARK Daily? If so, then you’d know about…

…how the world’s first bedside genetic test was used in a recent clinical trial. The genetic point-of-care assay was administered by nurses and produced results in less than 60 minutes.

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