Association for Molecular Pathology


October 2010, Volume 16, Number 3


Clinical Practice Committee Report

Iris Schrijver, MD

By Iris Schrijver, MD
Chair, Clinical Practice Committee


The Clinical Practice Committee (CPC) is working on a variety of projects that are focused on providing guidelines and educational practice materials to the AMP membership and on advancing our practice of molecular pathology. Here are some highlights of the past few months, either completed or ongoing:

Genetics Subdivision Representatives Christine Curtis and Narasimhan Nagan, together with past CPC member Kasinathan Muralidharan and several additional co-authors, have completed an AMP Position Statement on population carrier screening for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is currently in press at The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics (JMD).

Christine, Narasimhan and others have created Laboratory Guidelines for detection, interpretation and reporting of maternal cell contamination (MCC) in prenatal analyses. These guidelines are also in press in JMD.

In an ongoing effort, CPC Representatives for the Hematopathology Subdivision Jane Gibson and Joseph Pulliam are evaluating exclusive license concerns around testing for hematopathology disorders.

Infectious Diseases Subdivision Representative Donna Wolk is working together with other AMP members of the Respiratory Pathogen Working Group to develop guidelines for infectious disease panel grouping. A manuscript is in preparation. In addition, Donna is the CPC liaison to the Economic Affairs Committee, and provides input on recommendations for respiratory virus test practices and billing spreadsheet. Jeffrey Wisotzkey, together with other AMP members and AMP's government relations consultant, is advocating for standard reference materials for molecular diagnostic tests.

Solid Tumor Subdivision Representative Federico Monzon has formed a CPC working group to develop testing recommendations for KRAS analysis, while Neal Lindeman is participating in an inter-organization working group to explore practice guidelines for somatic mutation detection in lung cancer. Neal is also leading a CPC working group to pilot a "road map" to inform potential AMP responses to requests received from payers regarding clinical utility of various molecular tests. The example assay used by this working group is MGMT. Ad Hoc CPC member Bill Funkhouser is working with other AMP members to create a colon cancer manuscript on mismatch repair defects beyond Lynch Syndrome, and with Federico Monzon and others on practice guideline for tissue fixation.

Ad Hoc member Ira Lubin has recently submitted a manuscript on synoptic reporting. Ad Hoc member Patrik Vitazka is leading an international working group that will assess molecular pathology needs in regions outside the U.S. and explore how AMP can engage international members and organizations. Ad hoc member Fernanda Sabato, with input from Michelle Dolan and other CPC members, is close to completing a Mutation Nomenclature Database (with both standard nomenclature and the common names for easy reference).

In a new and exciting development, AMP has formed a working group on Whole Genome Analysis, which is chaired by Jane Gibson, and is composed, largely, of members from the CPC and the Professional Relations Committee (PRC). This group meets by conference call and is currently defining purpose and working on its first most pressing topics.

In addition, we welcome Laura Tafe, who is the CPC liaison for the Web Editorial Board. She will ensure that our web pages remain current and receive timely updates.

As outgoing Chair of the CPC, this will be my last Newsletter for AMP in this capacity. It has been a great privilege to serve AMP in this role and to work with so many talented, dedicated, and tireless members towards such a variety of goals and projects. Although this article just provides a synopsis of our efforts in the past few months, we have accomplished a lot in the past two years. Stay tuned for a summary at our AMP meeting in San Jose!

As always, I would like to encourage all AMP members to alert the CPC when laboratory guidelines or recommendations are opened for public comment and to actively contribute to calls for information from the CPC. Thanks for all your help!