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Immune checkpoint inhibitors, such as the anti-PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab, have become important tools for managing non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Assessing the level of programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expressed by a tumor can help clinicians determine how the patient should be treated. A report in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describes a novel and rapid approach for quantifying PD-L1 expression levels in tumors that requires only small amounts of tissue that can be collected using minimally-invasive bronchoscopy techniques.

A Loyola Medicine study has found that new ultrasound guidelines can reliably identify pediatric patients who should be biopsied for thyroid cancer.

The study by radiologist Jennifer Lim-Dunham, MD, and colleagues was presented May 18 during the Society for Pediatric Radiology's annual meeting in Nashville.

Thyroid cancer is a common cause of cancer in teenagers, and the incidence is increasing for reasons that are unclear. Adolescents have a 10-fold greater incidence than younger children, and the disease is five times more common in girls than boys.

Taking a biopsy of a brain tumor is a complicated and invasive surgical process, but a team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis is developing a way that allows them to detect tumor biomarkers through a simple blood test.

For patients diagnosed with breast cancer, determining whether cancer cells have spread to the axillary lymph nodes of the armpit is important for guiding treatment decisions. It has been debated whether axillary ultrasound imaging is equally sensitive for detecting axillary metastatic lymph nodes in different subtypes of breast cancer.

Taking a biopsy of a brain tumor is a complicated and invasive surgical process, but a team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis is developing a way that allows them to detect tumor biomarkers through a simple blood test.

Image-targeted biopsy of the prostate leads to a substantial increase in the proportion of prostate cores identified as high risk compared with standard transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)-guided biopsy, the results of a UK study indicate.

"This could lead to inflation in risk attribution as a consequence of deliberate oversampling of one part of the prostate - in other words, targeting," say Nicola Robertson (Royal Free Hospital, London) and colleagues. "New risk stratification models may be required for men who have pathology derived from image-directed biopsy strategies."

Alarming number of women undergo open surgery when minimally invasive biopsy has demonstrated equivalent accuracy, less cost and reduced risk of scarring

A special report published in the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons indicates that an alarming 35% of initial diagnostic breast biopsies in the United States are still being done using unnecessary open surgical techniques. This in spite of the fact that it costs as much as three times more than the much less invasive and equally accurate needle biopsy technique.

Inserting biopsy needles through the skin appears to be a safe and reliable alternative to surgery for obtaining diagnostic samples of a suspected solid tumor in children, according to results of a study by investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

The technique, called percutaneous ("through the skin") core-needle biopsy, provides samples of tissue suitable for accurate initial diagnosis of a solid tumor, the researchers say.

A new study indicates that patients with alcohol-related liver cancer often do not live as long as patients with liver cancer that is not associated with alcohol consumption, mainly due to diagnoses at later stages. Published early online inCANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings indicate that efforts should be made to improve both screening for early signs of liver cancer and the management of alcohol abuse.

Early diagnosis in thyroid cancer can improve a patient's likelihood of recovery, but current screening methods use instruments with poor sensitivity and can yield inaccurate results. Consequently, doctors often have to rely on incomplete information to make diagnostic decisions and recommend treatments, and this can lead to patients receiving unnecessary surgeries or experiencing a reduced quality of life.

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