May 1, 2002

Screening tests for colon cancer might not be the most pleasant topic for dinner-table conversation, but they are lifesavers. Although colorectal cancer is the second-leading killer among cancers in the United States, early detection seems to be helping bring about improvement in survival rates.

In our continuing education article this month, Dr. Monte Willis and his colleagues at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center take a close look at the screening methods for colon cancer currently recommended by the American Cancer Society fecal occult blood testing, colon X-ray, and colonoscopy as well as new genetic-based tests. One reviewer described this article as interesting, timely, and useful to laboratorians. Another said, Best manuscript youve sent me so far … could save many lives excellent.

I think youll be fascinated by Dr. Carmen Steigmans article, The autopsy as a quality assurance tool: Last rites or resurrection? Dr. Steigman, who runs the Department of Pathology at Garden City Hospital in Michigan, says, Even though the autopsy is an old, low-tech, imperfect procedure, medicine has no newer or more sophisticated standard against which medical diagnosis and practice can be judged. Topics she covers include the uses of the autopsy, its history, reasons for its declining use, economic considerations, the use of autopsy in quality assurance, and the future of the autopsy. Be sure to read the article to find out why this pathologist feels that the prognosis for autopsy is grave.

Turn to Ralph Dadouns case study to learn how pre-analytical automation improved productivity and turnaround time in the lab at St. Marys Hospital, the first core lab in the province of Quebec.

Rudy Mareel, general manager of BD Biosciences Immunocytometry Systems, answers Anne Pontius questions about the future of the clinical lab industry in this months installment of our Lab 2007 series. Note his comments about BDs new affiliation with the Harvard Institute of

Were hard at work here at MLO on the 2002-2003 issue of CLR, which well mail to you along with your June issue. Continuing its tradition of being the clinical labs yellow pages, the new CLR will include listings of product information; the tables youve come to count on, like the cut-off and toxicity levels for drugs-of-abuse testing, carefully reviewed and with some additions and revisions for this year; and our index of tests, equipment, and services, including reference labs for rare tests. Well also bring back some of your favorites from Dan Baers Tips from the clinical experts and Chris Frings Management Q&A.

As always, we love hearing from our readers. Take a few minutes and drop us an e-mail. Let us know what you think about the May issue, and give us some ideas about what youd like to see in MLO in the future.

Best regards,

Celia Stevens

[email protected]

The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are
Oliver Wendell Holmes

© 2002 Nelson Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.