Streamlining Cancer Care from the Anatomic Pathologist’s Office


Title: Streamlining Cancer Care from the Anatomic Pathologist’s Office

Date: Wednesday, December 2

Time: 1 p.m. ET

Presenters: Brandon Sheffield, MD, FRCPC and Parneet Cheema, HBSC, MD, BIOTECH, FRCPC

In-House NGS Solutions for Bench to Bedside Sequencing

Delays in receiving biomarker test results can have adverse effects on the outcomes for cancer patients. Oftentimes, the biomarker report is delivered back to the oncologist long after the patient begins treatment. It is common for patients to not only miss out on treatment opportunities, but also to be prescribed the wrong treatment if the oncologist does not receive the molecular data in time. With the latest advancements in next-generation sequencing (NGS), it is now possible to get full molecular results as quickly and easily as you get your immunohistochemistry (IHC) results today.

At many hospitals, cancer is diagnosed by an anatomic pathologist and then cancer-related testing is requested by a medical oncologist. Many facilities do not have in-house testing capabilities, so biomarker testing is performed at a separate molecular facility. Sending out samples for testing can incur additional costs for the healthcare system and can take upwards of 39 working days, or 55 calendar days. The consequences of inefficient biomarker testing is apparent in the mortality rate of untreated NSCLC at 4% per week with a median life expectancy for stage IV NSCLC at 16 weeks. Current guidelines for lung cancer advise that if a facility cannot meet a two-week turnaround time, they should look to alternative testing, including bringing testing in house.

Hospitals that adopt in-house testing greatly reduce turnaround times from biopsy to report. In this P.A.C.E.-accredited Fisher Healthcare webinar, you will hear how one facility went from a median turnaround time of 64 days to just 4 days. They also found that when testing was brought in house, 94% of oncologists had biomarker data available at the time of patient consult, compared to only 17% prior. These changes resulted in improved collaboration between the lab and the clinician, which is essential to optimizing outcomes for patients. The hospital administration was also happy with the cost savings realized through fewer oncology visits, reduced pathology assessments for each case, and the elimination of costly steps like extra accessioning, generation of additional reports, and sample shipping.

Learning Objectives

This webinar will help you:

  • Foster an appreciation for the role of ancillary biomarker testing in the treatment of cancer patients​
  • Appreciate how delays in test results can adversely affect cancer care​
  • Identify areas within your own lab or network that impede delivery of biomarker results​
  • Explore how existing and novel techniques can help support oncology practice within your center

Watch on Demand      Download Slides (PDF, 2MB)

This webinar is produced by Whitehat Communications, a provider of continuing education programs in clinical laboratory sciences that has been approved by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.™ Program. One P.A.C.E. credit hour will be provided for this complimentary, basic-level program.



Brandon Sheffield, MD, FRCPC

Dr. Sheffield is an anatomic and molecular pathologist. He is currently serving as the Medical Director of Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Pathology and the Physician Lead of Research for the William Osler Health System in Canada. Dr. Sheffield focuses on the delivery of personalized medicine and precision oncology and making molecular testing available to community cancer patients in Canada.


Parneet Cheema, HBSC, MD, BIOTECH, FRCPC

Dr. Cheema is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto and Head of Medical Oncology/Hematology and Cancer Research at William Osler. She is an internationally known expert in lung cancer and precision cancer care and has conducted numerous clinical trials and published national consensus statements. Her research focuses on lung cancer treatment and immunotherapy and safely and efficiently turning advancements in personalized medicine into day-to-day clinical practice. She founded the William Osler Cancer Immunotherapy Program and has worked closely with her pathology colleagues to develop cancer genomics at William Osler.