ASCO previews cover molecular screening for kids, TMB biomarkers | Liquid biopsy results | New tests for babesiosis

Dear LabPulse Member,

Personalized medicine has been the mantra in healthcare for years, and indications are that we are making progress. A great example comes from a number of research studies to be presented at the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting, to be held May 31 to June 4 in Chicago. However, there is so much work to do.

In a sneak preview of studies to be presented at the meeting, ASCO featured the efforts of researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute to develop a molecular screening program for children with pediatric cancers. The goal of the program is to match children with targeted therapies based on genetic profiles from tumor samples, and indications are that it worked better than expected.

As with last year, ASCO 2019 is sure to host much discussion about tumor mutational burden (TMB). As we reported this past week, Foundation Medicine released data about biomarkers in medicine, but some leading clinicians are skeptical about its prospects.

In other news, the march toward liquid biopsy goes on, and we reported on testing in rectal cancer as well as melanoma in the last week.

As a medical/business journalist, you count yourself lucky if you have a market specialist you can call on. Such is the case with Bruce Carlson, publisher of our sister company Kalorama Information, and master of in-vitro diagnostics markets, who contributed a story about trends in testing for babesiosis, a tick-borne disease.

We'll continue to track all the news that's key for clinical labs as ASCO 2019 approaches. Please let your colleagues know about us, and we're hoping you get involved as a reader and perhaps even a contributor.

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