Research and Highlights

The View from the Chair

Many thanks to all who helped support and organize Lab Week. I hope you all had a chance to participate in the festivities and appreciations. As you all know, we also underwent our CAP self-inspection and at the time of this writing, the summation is still pending. This is an important (and required) exercise that serves as a self-assessment of our quality systems. It is said that your harshest critic is always going to be yourself. We often know of areas or processes that need improvement better than an external inspector. We are counting on using this in a constructive way to improve our procedures and practices in the service of better quality and a safer laboratory. Thank you to all the laboratory staff, faculty, and residents/fellows who participated.

Dr. Hsi

I recently had the opportunity to attend the North Carolina Society for Pathology annual meeting in Charlotte and to speak at the Pacific Northwest Society for Pathology in Seattle. While these two organizations are on opposite sides of the country, a theme became apparent. Pathologists and clinicians alike are working to provide molecular diagnostic testing in cancer, navigating practical issues such as ordering, tissue requirements, reporting, and billing/reimbursement as well medical and scientific issues including gene panel content, interpretation of results, and the role of measurable residual disease and circulating tumor DNA testing. We are also addressing these issues here at Wake Forest. Our laboratory is implementing high through-put nucleic acid panel sequencing that will allow us to provide timely and actionable in-house testing, in collaboration with our clinician colleagues. We are also working with reference laboratory partners to provide extensive broad scale sequencing that will result in further information on potential therapeutic targets, therapeutic monitoring, and clinical trial eligibility for patients who require such testing. Dr. Insuasti here at AHWFB and Drs. Drendel and Thurston at the Atrium Charlotte core “airport” laboratory have been working in our molecular diagnostic laboratories to validate myeloid malignancy and lung cancer panels, respectively. We will soon be insourcing these tests, improving patient care and substantially decreasing the cost of testing for the Enterprise. Kudos to the faculty and staff in our molecular diagnostic laboratories!

Finally, please join me in welcoming F. Zahra Aly MD, PhD, FRCPath (UK). Dr. Aly joins us this month from the University of Florida as an Associate Professor. Dr. Aly will be our new medical director of Cyto-pathology and has a wealth of experience and expertise in cytopathology and fine needle aspiration. She received her M.B.Ch.B from the University of Leicester, United Kingdom and Ph.D from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Dr. Aly is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pathology in Anatomic Pathology and Cytopathology. Welcome Zahra!