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For the second consecutive year, representatives from SpeciCare attended the Association for Molecular Pathology Annual Meeting and Expo in Salt Lake City, Utah. The premier gathering of molecular professionals from around the world is focused on how cutting-edge technology and developments in molecular testing continue to have a significant and direct impact on patient care. The 2023 meeting attracted over 2,900 attendees and featured more than 200 exhibiting companies, 60 educational sessions, and nearly 400 poster presentations.

During the event which took place November 14 – 18, 2023, the SpeciCare team and its Principal Scientific Advisor, Jared Barrott, Ph.D., met with companies across genomics, clinical reporting, and molecular pathology, as well as the leadership of the biorepository of Huntsman Cancer Institute at its facility, to discuss the best principles of biospecimen management.

The event presents an important platform for the SpeciCare team to continue its advocacy promoting the critical importance of tumor tissue management to get the most valid results from tissue testing. Research has proven that injured tissue can give false results, and molecular tests cannot correct for errors created by injury, shredding, and chemical alteration of the tumor tissue.

Further validating its position, Dr. Barrott presented a poster during the meeting on the two main metrics of DNA extraction, Formalin-Fixed Paraffin-Embedded (FFPE) compared to cryopreserved tumor tissues. The results were clear, the quality of the DNA was 4.4 out of 10 for FFPE and 9.8 out of 10 for cryopreserved. In addition, the amount of DNA per unit was over four times more from cryopreserved than from FFPE.

The abstract speaks to a universally known truth to researchers but is not known, or lesser known, to most pathologists in academic and non-academic practices. The data presented shows the clear superiority of cryopreserved tumor tissue over FFPE tumor tissue in the amount and quality of the DNA that can be extracted from tumor tissue. 

“It was another great year at AMP’s annual meeting,” shared Dr. Ken Dixon, founder of SpeciCare. “It was a remarkable gathering of professionals in the field of molecular pathology, fostering knowledge exchange and collaboration. The meeting has grown tremendously in the past five years as the importance of testing the actual molecular underpinnings of cancer is increasingly being recognized.”

To improve cancer rates universally, it is clear that molecular analysis of tumor tissue will continue to increase in importance moving forward. The patient’s cancer diagnosis and care will be significantly enhanced by optimal tumor tissue management. Given SpeciCare’s position as the leader in Live Tissue Science™, the company is well-positioned to facilitate these changes that will be a direct contributor to saving the lives of cancer patients.

“The feedback we receive from attendees was overwhelmingly positive,” added Dr. Dixon. “Everyone from the academic pathologists to the companies representing their products in the Exhibition Hall agreed that fresh, frozen, or cryopreserved tissue is superior to formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissues. In fact, the Chief Science Officer for a California-based biotech company looked at the poster and said, “Well, I certainly agree. FFPE is the enemy.”

For too long, researchers and academics have accepted FFPE tissue as it is more commonly available due to being more accessible and easier to store, and work to minimize the errors that occur by the formalin fixation process. SpeciCare will continue to educate the industry on the importance of using live, frozen or cryopreserved tissue to deliver the most accurate results, increasing treatment options and improving outcomes for cancer patients.

To learn more about SpeciCare’s Live Tissue Science, visit specicare.com/genomics.