Posted By Bill Couzens, Founder

Cancer patients missed treatment due to pathologist’s errors


May 8, 2008

WINNIPEG — Three cancer patients in Manitoba who had their prostates removed this year were not given follow-up radiation treatment because of errors made by a pathologist, the regional health authority said yesterday.

Brock Wright, chief medical officer of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, said the three patients have been contacted and are meeting with physicians to determine whether radiation treatment is necessary.

“A further review of the biopsy specimen has revealed that the cancer extended in the biopsy a little further or the margins were a little different than what was originally reported and the clinical significance of that is that it raises the question of should these patients have received radiotherapy in addition to their surgery,” Dr. Wright said.

The errors were uncovered as part of a detailed review begun last week into the work of a senior pathologist. In addition to those three cases, 14 of the more than 300 cases examined have been flagged for further investigation.