Top 10 stories for 2019 | Pancreatic cancer mutations | Is genetic testing up to scratch?

Dear LabPulse Member,

As you prepare for the year ahead, there's no time like the present to recap the top stories in lab medicine for 2019. Topping the list for the year was an article on navigating the transition to lab automation, while articles on a new microfluidics assay for Lyme disease and artificial intelligence in pathology labs also scored highly.

More recently, we were pleased to bring you a number of exciting articles about lab medicine toward the end of 2019. For example, in a study published in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, researchers described a direct method for measuring bisphenol A (BPA) that they said is more accurate than the indirect tests used by regulatory authorities. The findings suggest an alarmingly higher level of exposure than what conventional wisdom has indicated.

A huge drug approval with implications for the diagnostics space came at the very end of 2019. The targeted poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor Lynparza was approved for patients with pancreatic cancer who have BRCA mutations. Over the holiday break, I spoke with Dr. Michael Misialek, associate chair of pathology at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, MA, who shared some insights on the approval for pathologists.

There's usually a lot of news about genetic testing, typically on how panel testing misses pathology. However, a new study from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center suggests that the reverse is true -- that whole exome sequencing is not adequate. I talked to Dr. Jason Park, PhD, to help explain the findings.

We are based in San Francisco: Is there an issue you would like us to look into at the upcoming J.P. Morgan/Biotech Showcase meetings? Please get in touch.

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