March 20, 2006 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

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On March 13, 2006, American Esoteric Laboratories, Inc. (AEL) of Brentwood, Tennessee announced the acquisition of Physicians Medical Laboratory (PML). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Located in Morristown, Tennessee, PML gives AEL a presence in east Tennessee. AEL has owned and operated Memphis Pathology Laboratory in west Tennessee since 2004.

VIRUS DISCOVERED IN SOME PATIENTS WITH PROSTATE CANCER

Using the same microarray technology that a scientist at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) used to rapidly identify an unknown SARS virus back in 2003, researchers have discovered a virus in certain prostate cancer patients. Eric Klein, M.D., a researcher at the Cleveland Clinic, had sent specimens from 86 cancerous prostates he had removed to Joseph DeRisi, M.D. at USCF. DiRisi’s microarray contains 20,000 snippets of DNA from every known virus in the world. These prostate tissue specimens were tested on DeRisi’s microarray. Eight specimens, from 20 patients known to have a mutated gene, matched the DNA of a virus previously found only in mice. In contrast, only one specimen from the remaining 66 prostate cancer patients contained the virus.

ADD To: Virus in Prostate

This finding suggests that at least one form of prostate cancer could be caused by an infectious disease. That’s because the mutated gene being studied is essential to the immune system since it codes for an enzyme that helps kill viruses that attack the body. Prostate patients with the mutated gene produce less of this enzyme than men with normal versions of this gene. Klein and his colleagues are developing a diagnostic test and will conduct further research.

Transitions

• Fredrick L. Kiechle, M.D., Ph.D. will be Director for Clinical Laboratories with Laboratory Consultants of South Broward, a pathology group affiliated with the Memorial Hospital System in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

•At the start of the new year, Jim Fantus became CEO of Clinical Laboratory Partners, a laboratory company owned by the parent of Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut. Fantus was formerly CEO of SED Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The CEO position opened up when Theophil (Ted) A. Begansky, Jr., M.D. retired after years of service with Clinical Lab Partners.

•Next week, Earl Buck joins Chi Solutions, Inc., which is a successor company to Chi Laboratory Services, Inc., the consulting firm he left in 1995. Until recently, Buck was part of the executive team at Duke University Health System Laboratory in Durham, North Carolina.

Specialty Laboratories, Inc. reunited a long-running executive collaboration when it recently hired Robert Kisabeth, M.D. Kisabeth, formerly Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at Mayo Medical Laboratories in Rochester, Minnesota, will again be working with Keith Laughman, another Mayo Medical Laboratory alumnus who is now President of Specialty Laboratories.

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