Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Medical test


The anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene rearrangement is a driver gene of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Positive expression of ALK gene rearrangement has been considered a molecular subtype of NSCLC, that there are special pathological characteristics and clinical prognosis. Furthermore, the tyrosine kinase inhibitor has demonstrated high effective in treating ALK positive NSCLC patients. Thus making molecular diagnostic testing for ALK expression is an important step in the process of pathological diagnosis. Currently, many detecting ALK expression assays are available or in development, clinical pathologists focus on how to choose the best method for routine diagnosis of lung cancer. There are many domestic and international authoritative guidelines recommend ALK detecting assays, technological process and relative standard. In the current review, we summarize the diagnostic tests available and the special sample types that could be used to identify patients with ALK-positive NSCLC.

Concepts: Gene expression, Cancer, Lung cancer, Non-small cell lung carcinoma, Pathology, Prognosis, Medical test, Anaplastic large cell lymphoma


Background Venous thromboembolism may be the earliest sign of cancer. Currently, there is a great diversity in practices regarding screening for occult cancer in a person who has an unprovoked venous thromboembolism. We sought to assess the efficacy of a screening strategy for occult cancer that included comprehensive computed tomography (CT) of the abdomen and pelvis in patients who had a first unprovoked venous thromboembolism. Methods We conducted a multicenter, open-label, randomized, controlled trial in Canada. Patients were randomly assigned to undergo limited occult-cancer screening (basic blood testing, chest radiography, and screening for breast, cervical, and prostate cancer) or limited occult-cancer screening in combination with CT. The primary outcome measure was confirmed cancer that was missed by the screening strategy and detected by the end of the 1-year follow-up period. Results Of the 854 patients who underwent randomization, 33 (3.9%) had a new diagnosis of occult cancer between randomization and the 1-year follow-up: 14 of the 431 patients (3.2%) in the limited-screening group and 19 of the 423 patients (4.5%) in the limited-screening-plus-CT group (P=0.28). In the primary outcome analysis, 4 occult cancers (29%) were missed by the limited screening strategy, whereas 5 (26%) were missed by the strategy of limited screening plus CT (P=1.0). There was no significant difference between the two study groups in the mean time to a cancer diagnosis (4.2 months in the limited-screening group and 4.0 months in the limited-screening-plus-CT group, P=0.88) or in cancer-related mortality (1.4% and 0.9%, P=0.75). Conclusions The prevalence of occult cancer was low among patients with a first unprovoked venous thromboembolism. Routine screening with CT of the abdomen and pelvis did not provide a clinically significant benefit. (Funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada; SOME number, NCT00773448 .).

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Blood, Stroke, Prostate cancer, Screening, Randomness, Medical test


The diagnostic work-up for heparin induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) can take several days. Consequently patients may be speculatively switched onto replacement anticoagulant therapy before a diagnosis is confirmed. On-demand immunoassay diagnostic testing enables timely treatment decisions, based on test results.

Concepts: Medical terms, Diagnosis, Anticoagulant, Heparin, Thrombocytopenia, Immunoassay, Medical test, Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia


Increased early detection and personalized therapy for lung cancer have coincided with greater use of minimally invasive sampling techniques such as endobronchial ultrasound-guided biopsy (EBUS), endoscopic ultrasound-guided biopsy (EUS), and navigational biopsy, as well as thin needle core biopsies. As many lung cancer patients have late stage disease and other comorbidities that make open surgical procedures hazardous, the least invasive biopsy technique with the highest potential specimen yield is now the preferred first diagnostic study. However, use of these less invasive procedures generates significant analytical challenges for the laboratory, such as a requirement for robust detection of low level somatic mutations, particularly when the starting sample is very small or demonstrates few intact tumor cells. In this study, we assessed 179 clinical cases of non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) that had been previously tested for EGFR, KRAS, NRAS, and BRAF mutations using a novel multiplexed analytic approach that reduces wild-type signal and allows for detection of low mutation load approaching 1%, iPLEX® HS panel for the MassARRAY® System (Agena Bioscience, San Diego, CA). This highly sensitive system identified approximately 10% more KRAS, NRAS, EGFR and BRAF mutations than were detected by the original test platform, which had a sensitivity range of 5-10% variant allele frequency (VAF).

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, Lung cancer, Non-small cell lung carcinoma, Cancer staging, Adenocarcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma, Medical test


Major issues in the implementation of screening for lung cancer by means of low-dose computed tomography (CT) are the definition of a positive result and the management of lung nodules detected on the scans. We conducted a population-based prospective study to determine factors predicting the probability that lung nodules detected on the first screening low-dose CT scans are malignant or will be found to be malignant on follow-up.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Lung cancer, Cancer staging, Pneumonia, Tomographic reconstruction, Solitary pulmonary nodule, Medical test


Smoking cessation was examined among a subset of current smokers who were high-risk participants in the UK Lung Cancer Screening (UKLS) pilot trial of low-dose CT screening.

Concepts: Cancer, Metastasis, Lung cancer, Cancer staging, Tobacco smoking, Passive smoking, Smoking cessation, Medical test


The UK Lung Cancer Screening (UKLS) trial is a randomised pilot trial of low-dose CT (LDCT) screening for individuals at high risk of lung cancer. We assessed the long-term psychosocial impact on individuals participating in the UKLS trial.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, Metastasis, Lung cancer, Cancer staging, Randomized controlled trial, Tobacco smoking, Medical test


Lung cancer (LC) is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Early LC diagnosis is crucial to reduce the high case fatality rate of this disease. In this case-control study, we developed an accurate LC diagnosis test using retrospectively collected formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) human lung tissues and prospectively collected exhaled breath condensates (EBCs). Following international guidelines for diagnostic methods with clinical application, reproducible standard operating procedures (SOP) were established for every step comprising our LC diagnosis method. We analyzed the expression of distinct mRNAs expressed from GATA6 and NKX2-1, key regulators of lung development. The Em/Ad expression ratios of GATA6 and NKX2-1 detected in EBCs were combined using linear kernel support vector machines (SVM) into the LC score, which can be used for LC detection. LC score-based diagnosis achieved a high performance in an independent validation cohort. We propose our method as a non-invasive, accurate, and low-price option to complement the success of computed tomography imaging (CT) and chest X-ray (CXR) for LC diagnosis.

Concepts: Gene expression, Epidemiology, Cancer, Lung, Pneumonia, Medical imaging, Support vector machine, Medical test


Dramatic increases have been seen over recent decades in the reported incidence of thyroid cancer, but owing to new modes of screening, hundreds of thousands of cases may be overdiagnoses - diagnosis of tumors that would not, if left alone, result in symptoms or death.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Cancer, Oncology, Medical terms, Prostate cancer, Screening, Overdiagnosis, Medical test


Blood-based liquid biopsies, including tumor-educated blood platelets (TEPs), have emerged as promising biomarker sources for non-invasive detection of cancer. Here we demonstrate that particle-swarm optimization (PSO)-enhanced algorithms enable efficient selection of RNA biomarker panels from platelet RNA-sequencing libraries (n = 779). This resulted in accurate TEP-based detection of early- and late-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (n = 518 late-stage validation cohort, accuracy, 88%; AUC, 0.94; 95% CI, 0.92-0.96; p < 0.001; n = 106 early-stage validation cohort, accuracy, 81%; AUC, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.83-0.95; p < 0.001), independent of age of the individuals, smoking habits, whole-blood storage time, and various inflammatory conditions. PSO enabled selection of gene panels to diagnose cancer from TEPs, suggesting that swarm intelligence may also benefit the optimization of diagnostics readout of other liquid biopsy biosources.

Concepts: Cancer, Blood, Lung cancer, Coagulation, Tobacco smoking, Platelet, Medical test, Particle swarm optimization