23 February 2024 (Friday) - Oncology Central Update

The nice people at Oncology Central sent their update today. All a bit over my head, but stuff I need to be aware of…

Uncovering the link between cancer disparities and climate change


What disparities exist in cancer screening and how does this impact patient outcomes? Listen to our latest podcast episode with Dr Kilan Ashad-Bishop from the American Cancer Society to find out.


Real-world clinical scenarios during introduction of trastuzumab biosimilar for HER2-positive breast cancer in the European Union

Trastuzumab-anns is a biosimilar to trastuzumab, which is approved by the EMA and US FDA for treatment of HER2+ early and metastatic breast cancer. Read about its use in seven clinical oncology practices in the EU.

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BIPOC involvement in oncological research: insights from Future Oncology

In this special edition of editor’s highlights, Michael Bell Managing Editor, looks at three articles published over the last 12 months in Future Oncology, concerning greater engagement and representation for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) people in oncological research.

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P-REALITY X: prolonging metastatic breast cancer survival by adding palbociclib to an aromatase inhibitor

Find out details of a real-world database analysis exploring how adding palbociclib to an aromatase inhibitor could prolong the life of people with metastatic HR+/HER2– breast cancer in routine clinical practice. 

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20 February 2024 (Tuesday) - Westgard QC Update

The nice people at Westgard sent out their update today. All perhaps a tad dull, but this is the sort of thing which is relevant to my daily round. The article on the measurement of uncertainty was rather useful. A shame that not everyone who needs to read it will read it.

19 February 2024 (Monday) - European Hematology Association Update

On the one hand following the European Hematology Association’s Facebook feed is a good move as they send out things like this. On the other hand what with the vagaries of Facebook, there’s very little point in doing a morphology quiz on-line as when the answer comes out, the Facebook algorithms will decide to show me pictured of Lego or dogs instead…

In this instance platelet clumping should warrant performing  blood count on a citrated sample.

15 February 2024 (Thursday) - Horiba update

The nice people at Horiba sent their monthly morphology update today. There were loads of answers to previous quizzes… not that I can remember having seen any previous quizzes. I wonder if I’m missing something here…

14 February 2024 (Wednesday) - Getting the BTLP-TACT Wrong. Again.

Time for another BTLP-TACT exercise… It gave me two cases.
00403 – a fifty-eight year-old woman needing group & save for a hernia repair.
Her blood group was indeterminate as a positive result in the control tube invalidated the entire blood group. Apparently.
Fortunately the antibody screen was negative.
92445 – a seventy-six year old woman needing four units of FFP for reversal of warfarin therapy. Personally I wouldn’t have used FFP for reversal of warfarin therapy, but presumably the nice people at BTLP-TACT had already had that argument.
She grouped as A Rh(D) Negative with antibody panel positive in cell 3. I requested antibody panels. The IAT and enzyme panels were positive in cell 8 corresponding with anti-Kp(a)
I issued two units of A Rh(D) Negative FFP, and two units of A Rh(D) Positive FFP as there was no more A Rh(D) Negative FFP or any AB Rh(D) Negative FFB
I got the thumbs-down. I wasn’t supposed to issue any plasma at all. Well, I know that. But when I said “presumably the nice people at BTLP-TACT had already had that argument”, clearly they hadn’t.
I’m getting fed up trying to second-guess this software…


13 February 2024 (Tuesday) - Eighty Four Point Five Per Cent

I started this quality management course three weeks ago when I said “I’ve always considered “Quality Management” to be a load of blah-blah-blah that gets in the way of doing my job, and for years I’ve been wondering just what I’m missing. I must be missing something.
So far the course has been nothing but blah-blah-blah, and all it is doing is confirming my preconceptions.
I finished the course today and got eighty four point five per cent. I’ve clearly learned something during this time, but it has to be said there was a *lot* of “blah-blah-blah”. It really could have done with a whole lot less general theoretical and a whole lot more specific practical examples.
But eighty four point five per cent is eighty four point five per cent, isn’t it? There’s something tangible I can stick in a CPD audit should the need arise.
The course I’ve just done made it quite clear that a CPD audit of the sort I’m talking about here in no way contributes to workplace quality. And that’s why I’m still cynical.

8 February 2024 (Thursday) - MDS

The nice people at Oncology Central sent their update today. As always, much of it went over my head, but there was one rather interesting article about the diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome.

Back in the day MDS was something of a catch-all labelling of pre-leukaemic conditions. Things are getting a tad more specific these days