Merkel cell carcinoma: an audit of NHS Fife patients

Merkel cell carcinoma is a neuroendocrine tumour that often follows an aggressive course. Understanding its biology could improve the clinical outcomes for patients who present with this rare malignant disease. Dr Guy Orchard.jpg

Optimising performance to expand pathology services

Providing a high-quality, reliable and cost-effective pathology service is the priority for today’s NHS. Beckman Coulter’s Ibti Rashid explains why the company’s laboratory automation customers excel in these areas.

Breast cancer: on the trail of better treatment

Teams of researchers in Cardiff, Zaragoza in Spain, and Brno in the Czech Republic have focused on the use of TRAIL, a member of the TNF cytokine superfamily, as a more effect treatment for breast cancer. National Cancer Institute.jpg

SmartLAB Innovation Network: promoting developments in laboratory technology

The next phase in the development of innovative laboratory technologies is in progress and will be highlighted next year with the return of SmartLAB to Hanover.

Tips for thriving in the age of diversified laboratory testing

Pathology services have a pivotal role to play in the diversification of point-of-care testing services, but the shift of responsibility outside the laboratory setting is not without its challenges, as Martin Wilkinson explains.

Troponin T testing: heart attack diagnosis now available within one hour

Use of the cardiac troponin high-sensitivity test from Roche means that faster diagnoses can be made in patients who present with chest pain to accident and emergency, resulting in prompt treatment and better use of healthcare resources.

Moving towards service accreditation: an update

Suzanne Callander reports on the move towards accreditation of quality and competence of point-of-care test services to bring them into line with clinical laboratories. Varnent LGBT Free Media Collective CC BY-Sa 3.0

Histopathology: an update on advances in research and techniques

Advances in immunohistochemistry, digital pathology, quantum dot technology and the use of tissue microarrays were subjects covered in an annual EuroSciCon meeting devoted to advances in histopathology. CC By-SA 3.0

Point-of-care testing: why is accreditation of this service needed?

Delia Geary provides a United Kingdom Accreditation Service perspective and insight into the importance of accreditation for point-of-care testing to ensure quality control.

Trichomonas vaginalis infection: testing and treatment from A to E

When a patient suffering from Trichomonas vaginalis proved difficult to cure using standard treatment, the clinician turned to laboratory medicine to provide some answers. Subsequently, an in-house approach proved successful and indicated that sensitivity testing should be more widely available, as Alison Davies and colleagues explain. CDC

Improved productivity and workflow in a busy organ transplant reference laboratory

As laboratories experience expanding molecular diagnostic workloads, many are faced with meeting this increasing demand in cramped working environments. Here, Jordi Vila and Angeles Marcos describe how workflow efficiencies can be achieved in virology. CDC/Sylvia Whitfield

ISO 15189 assessment: a positive experience for immunohistochemistry

Accreditation terminology does not fit comfortably in the cellular pathology lexicon, as many of its reports are subject to interpretation, so how can it satisfy ISO 15189 standards? Julie Terry reports on a positive assessment exercise, and provides some relevant guidance.

External quality assurance: extending the boundaries

An impressive 250 delegates gathered at York Racecourse recently for the UK NEQAS General Haematology 18th Annual Participants’ Meeting, Barry Hill was there to report on the highlights.

Measurement of rivaroxaban (Xarelto) in plasma using an automated analyser

In certain circumstances there may be clinical need to assess the plasma DOACs status of a patient. Here, Aine McCormick, Dervilla Gorman and Gary Moore report on an initial retrospective study of automated and manual assays.

A new tool in the clinical management of sepsis

Sepsis is a common and potentially life-threatening condition triggered by an infection. Now, a rapid and early screen for bloodstream infections offers a number of benefits, as Charlotte Duncan explains.

Antimicrobial resistance: where are we now?

Antimicrobial resistance is regarded as one of the most pressing problems facing 21st-century healthcare, such that it is the focus of The Longitude Prize 2014. Here, Erin Vaughan provides an overview and update.

Anatomical pathology technology: an annual conference report

The 11th Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology annual conference took place in Inverness earlier in the year. This one-day event covered a range of subjects from evisceration and Ebola to DNA fingerprinting and forensic fiction.

Greater confidence in quality control compliance with moving averages

Jonathan Horan looks at how laboratories can move forward to the more comprehensive quality control regime that regulators now demand, and how Beckman Coulter can assist in this process.

Reducing formalin exposure risks in the management of surgical specimens

To combat concerns about the dangers posed by the use and transport of formalin solutions, histopathology staff in Sheffield explored an innovative biospecimen transfer system, as Karen Lester explains.

Next-generation innovation in the measurement of thrombin generation

Thrombin is at the heart of haemostasis, the balance between thrombosis and bleeding. Being able to measure thrombin generation accurately can have a fundamental impact on a patient’s treatment plan and survival, as Laurence Loï explains.