Second guessing thyroid cancer test | Artificial intelligence on show | Companies gear up for AACC

Dear LabPulse Member,

Artificial intelligence (AI) is starting to make inroads in pathology, though it appears to have a long way to go before the technology is used routinely for clinical applications.

This week, is reporting on a new method that incorporates the analysis of genetic mutations in pancreatic cyst fluid and AI algorithms to help differentiate the many benign cysts from the few aggressive ones. This could hopefully help cut down on the rate of unnecessary surgeries, which are associated with morbidity and loss of quality of life.

Also, pathology AI developer Paige is getting the word out about the use and accuracy of its technology in assessing pathology slides for a variety of tumor types.

Meanwhile, some researchers in the field of thyroid cancer are having second thoughts about the Afirma gene expression classifier test (Veracyte) they had embraced for use in determining whether patients with nodules need to get a biopsy or go on to surgery. A meta-analysis just published found that the negative predictive value may not have been as good as originally thought. The company, however, takes issue with the study's methodology and central conclusions.

In recent days, there have been more reports about labs having to notify patients that their personal information, including credit and debit cards, has been compromised in data security incidents involving the American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA). The latest victims are Austin Pathology Assoc. in Texas and Pathology Solutions in Eatontown, NJ. Both have cut ties with AMCA.

Finally, attention is now turning to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) annual meeting, which is set to be held in Anaheim, CA, from August 4-8. Charleston, SC-based Veravas is among the exhibitors that will be introducing new products. The company just announced that it will feature a portfolio of products to help labs manage interference from biotin, which is commonly used by consumers and can lead to erroneous lab results. Three biotin interference management products will be on show, the company said.

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