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AACC Annual Meeting Breaking Science Includes New Tests to Detect Life-Threatening Prostate Cancer, New Cystic Fibrosis Tests That Can Be Measured at the Point of Care, and New Ways to Determine the Safety of Drugs Used to Treat Schizophrenia and Bi

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Leaders from the medical diagnostics, laboratory medicine, and health care fields will convene in Houston, Texas, July 28 – August 1 for the world's largest diagnostics conference and expo where experts from research and industry will exchange insights on research and application advancements. More than 17,000 attendees and an exhibit with more than 625 companies are expected. Selected research being presented includes new tests to detect life-threatening prostate cancer, new cystic fibrosis tests that can be measured at the point of care, and new ways to determine the safety of drugs used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

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Doctors and their patients need tests that can detect life-threatening prostate cancer. Knowing how aggressive the cancer is could help personalize decisions about the next steps in the treatment plan. At AACC's 2013 Annual Meeting, Dimitra Georganopoulou, PhD, Ohmx Corporation, will present results of a pilot study to find a new biomarker—a molecule that can be measured in biological samples to indicate a condition or disease—for prostate cancer aggressiveness. Tests for an "aggressiveness biomarker" would provide critical information for making decisions about when clinical treatment should occur or when it could be postponed. The findings from this study could lead to the development of a new tool to use along with existing screening tests to assist doctors and patients in treatment decisions.

Immediately knowing the results of a medical test can be convenient and useful to both patients and physicians. These "point-of-care" tests conducted at or near the site of patient care (home, office, or bedside) can allow the patient and his or her treatment team to more quickly consider what decisions need to be made about managing a health condition. At AACC's 2013 Annual Meeting, Xuan Mu, PhD, Peking Union Medical College, will present test results from cystic fibrosis patients using an exciting new point-of-care method. Microfluidics and color changes within a Band-Aid type of adhesive strip on the skin allow the new device to rapidly, accurately, and quantitatively diagnose cystic fibrosis in a small amount of sweat. The new point-of-care test device conveniently integrates the many separate steps of current sweat chloride tests whose results take several hours to obtain. 

Olanzapine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in adults and children older than 13, and is one of the most widely prescribed of the atypical antipsychotics. On June 18, the FDA issued a drug safety alert on the injectable form of olanzapine. Under investigation are two unexplained deaths of patients who received an intramuscular injection of Zyprexa Relprevv (olanzapine pamoate). The agency said that the patients had very high blood levels of the drug, but that they had received appropriate doses. They died 3–4 days after injection. At this year's AACC Annual Meeting in Houston, AACC member Werner Steimer, MD, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, will present the results of research showing that study patients who carried a specific genetic variation in an antipsychotic-metabolizing enzyme developed significantly higher serum concentrations of the drug olanzapine. This is the first study to demonstrate that this polymorphism influences serum levels of olanzapine.

In addition to this breaking science, 2013's plenary sessions feature expert presentations on the role of insulin in obesity, the function of "junk" DNA in human development, and the controversy over vitamin D intake recommendations.

"Each year advances in the field of laboratory medicine improve the information we are able to deliver for care of patients," said AACC President Robert H. Christenson, PhD. "These exciting research results, along with the headlining plenary sessions, show the breadth and range of the field and how we can use diagnostic tests and therapeutic monitoring to improve patient health worldwide."

Session Information

AACC Annual Meeting registration is free for members of the media. Reporters can register online here:

These abstracts will be presented during the following sessions: 
Personalized and Translational Medicine 
Tuesday, July 30  
2:30–5 p.m. 
George R. Brown Convention Center 
Houston, Texas 

Clinical Implementation of Emerging Technologies 
Wednesday, July 31 
2:30–5 p.m. 
George R. Brown Convention Center 
Houston, Texas 

About AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo

AACC's Annual Meeting offers 5 days packed with opportunities to learn about exciting science. Plenary sessions feature expert presentations on hot topics such as the role of insulin in obesity, the function of "junk" DNA in human development, the controversy over vitamin D intake recommendations, patient-based therapeutics discovery, and the impact of microbial symbionts on human health.

At the 2013 AACC Clinical Lab Expo, more than 625 exhibitors will fill the show floor of the George R. Brown Convention Center with displays of the latest diagnostic technology, including but not limited to automation, information systems, point-of-care, and biotech.

About AACC
Dedicated to achieving better health through laboratory medicine, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) brings together more than 50,000 clinical laboratory professionals, physicians, research scientists, and business leaders from around the world focused on clinical chemistry, molecular diagnostics, mass spectrometry, translational medicine, lab management, and other areas of breaking laboratory science. Since 1948, AACC has worked to advance the common interests of the field, providing programs that advance scientific collaboration, knowledge, expertise, and innovation. For more information, visit

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