ESMO blood test news | How to spot diabetes complications early | A visit with CAP's new president, Dr. Patrick Godbey

Dear LabPulse Member,

The eventful European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress comes to a close today in Barcelona, Spain.

Meeting news highlights included a report on the prospective International Duration Evaluation of Adjuvant Chemotherapy - France (IDEA-France) study. In the trial, the presence and level of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in blood tests of stage III colon cancer patients after resection and prior to treatment with chemotherapy were associated with survival rates. Researchers concluded that ctDNA is a major prognostic factor for this tumor type and may help stratify patients and guide treatment.

Also at the meeting, Roche shared results for the first study cohort in the phase II/III Blood First Assay Screening Trial (BFAST) of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Researchers reported experience in screening patients for ALK mutations using the FoundationOne Liquid test and directing them to the company's targeted drug alectinib (Alecensa). So far, so good in the study, which also includes Roche's atezolizumab (Tecentriq), a programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor, and entrectinib (Rozlytrek), which is used in ROS1-positive NSCLC and NTRK fusion-positive solid tumors.

In other recent clinical news, researchers affiliated with Northwestern University and the University of Chicago reported results today in the journal Clinical Chemistry from a study of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) biomarkers for the early identification of vascular complications associated with type 2 diabetes. An estimated two-thirds of deaths in diabetic patients are caused by vascular complications, and the group reported that a prototype test outperformed conventional risk markers in the study, which was conducted in Chinese patients.

I'd also like to highlight coverage from the College of American Pathologists (CAP) annual meeting, held September 21-25 in a resort near Orlando, FL. The organization's new president, Dr. Patrick Godbey, shared his vision of pathology services at the heart of medicine and weighed in on top advocacy priorities in an interview with at the meeting. Dr. Godbey will serve a two-year term.

We also covered a CAP session on workforce issues for the specialty of pathology. There were optimistic signs about employment in a member survey, despite gloomy reports on the job front. The organization is looking into ways to boost participation in workforce surveys to help improve the quality of information on employment in the future, CAP leaders said.

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