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Scripps physicians call for change in cancer tissue handling
Date:1/4/2013

a person's cancer, how best to treat it and how likely it is to recur."

Even though complete genetic evaluations of tumors might require higher sample-storage costs and a more invasive biopsy procedure, most patients would likely agree to that option if it translates into a better diagnosis and possible treatment, the authors wrote.

Evidence of such benefit must come from randomized clinical trials that compare detailed genetic evaluation of tumor tissue with the current standard of care for cancer patients, they said.

"Drs. Goetz, Bethel and Topol's editorial acknowledges kindly the critical role pathologists play in patient care," said Dr. Stanley Robboy, president of the College of American Pathologists. "This type of change will require discussion about new operative standards, which will need the cooperation of surgeons, pathologists, ethicists and, of course, appropriate patient consents. It's these types of implications we will need to consider and incorporate as a progressive healthcare agenda is moved forward."

Patients and their advocates have a direct role to play in this transformation and should raise questions about tumor specimen storage and genetic testing with their doctor, said Dr. Topol, who outlines a consumer-led digital health revolution in his book "The Creative Destruction of Medicine."


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Contact: Keith Darce
darce.keith@scrippshealth.org
858-678-7121
Scripps Health
Source:Eurekalert

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