The Association for Molecular Pathology held its annual meeting last month, adopting a new name: the AMP 2012 Annual Meeting on Genomic Medicine. The name change more accurately reflects the evolving nature of molecular diagnostics into the realms of disease prognosis and management, not just diagnostics, says Daniel Farkas, PhD, HCLD, FACB, AMP, program chair. Farkas told me it was crystal clear JudyORourkethat attendees shared great excitement over next-generation sequencing (NGS), and every plenary session and workshop devoted to the subject was standing-room only. Sessions covering advances in testing for genetic and infectious disease as well as solid and blood-based tumors were also packed. “Every molecular pathologist at the meeting was not only interested in learning from those practicing with this newest platform, but also determined to stay up to date with a technology that seems to be evolving almost quarterly,” he said, adding that molecular diagnostics remains at the cutting edge of lab medicine and the association’s growth reflects that. The event broke attendance records—with more than 3,000 attendees.
     Our e-newsletter CLPrime recently noted the BGI@CHOP Joint Genome Center will offer clinical NGS services at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) through the hospital’s Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine in a CAP/CLIA-compliant environment. The facility plans to expand into clinical NGS tests for diagnosis of specific disease such as heritable disorders and pediatric cancer. It will be interesting to see if this spurs a greater embrace of genomics in other places.
     Heartfelt thanks to the many intrepid souls on the histology listserv who generously shared insightful, knowing, and sometimes exasperated comments following our September article “Changing Dynamics in Histotechnology.” The thoughts and feedback from these industry professionals will help us chart the direction of future coverage of this evolving topic.
     In concert with the November 2012 cover story titled “Diabetes Epidemic: Increasing Threat to Our Health Care System,” we’re sharing presentations from the recent Diabetes Innovation 2012 conference and provided by the Joslin Diabetes Center, a teaching and research affiliate of Harvard Medical School, Boston. Click on the link in the digital edition Web box for this story.
     We’re told that people with diabetes incur more than two times the health care costs per capita than those who do not have the disease. Realizing cost savings in health care may someday hinge on reconfiguring the approach to treating the patient, with a targeted health care team effort. The patient would be part of a team dedicated to helping prevent the onset of diabetes and when that’s not possible, making every effort to head off lifelong complications.
     The National Institutes of Health recently put an early halt to a diet and exercise intervention program after determining that, while participants (overweight and obese adults with type 2 diabetes) did lose weight and experienced some health benefits, the regimen failed to provide cardiovascular benefits for participants. Click here for more information.
     Did you catch the piece in the June 2 edition of The New York Times titled “A Geneticist’s Research Turns Personal”? A geneticist goes under his own microscope, initially learns that he’s at high risk for type 2 diabetes, and then, months later, that he’s developed the disease. A virtual page turner.

Judy O’Rourke
Editor, CLP
[email protected], 619-659-1065