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ASCP Receives $434K Grant for MDS Curriculum

Monday, January 07, 2013

Myelodysplastic Syndromes—known as MDS—is a rare, but potentially deadly cluster of blood and bone marrow disorders that are extremely difficult to diagnose. In about one third of patients with MDS, the disease transforms into acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), usually within months to a few years. Patients who have MDS are frequently misdiagnosed or diagnosed when cancer is already in its late stages.  

“As the world’s largest professional membership organization for pathologists and laboratory professionals, ASCP is the premier organization to educate pathologists on best practices in accurate diagnosis and classification of MDS.”
—Dr. E. Blair Holladay, Executive Vice President of ASCP

The complexity of the diagnosis underscores the need to educate general pathologists and hematopathologists about accurate diagnosis, application of appropriate prognostic tools, and the use of standardized terminology for effective and clear communications with the treating hematologist or oncologist to determine the best therapeutic plan for treatment.

To address these gaps in knowledge, ASCP has been awarded an educational grant of more than $434,000 by Celgene Corporation, based in Summit, N.J., to design, develop, and implement a curriculum titled, “The Diagnosis, Classification, and Clinical Care of MDS (DC3-MDS).”

“As the world’s largest professional membership organization for pathologists and laboratory professionals, ASCP is the premier organization to educate pathologists on best practices in accurate diagnosis and classification of MDS,” says Dr. E. Blair Holladay, Executive Vice President of ASCP.

The curriculum will provide unique interventions designed to assist pathologists, hematologists, oncologists, and other healthcare providers in better diagnosing and managing care of patients with MDS. It will consist of the following components:

  • CheckPath: MDS assessments with robust user, organization, and peer feedback;

  • Multi-Media Online Case Studies: Development of a multimedia, online course in MDS diagnostic best practices;

  • MDS Annual Meeting 2013 Educational Session: A live education session and broadcast held in conjunction with 2013 ASCP Annual Meeting, Sept. 18–21;

  • Enduring Materials: Recording of the 2013 ASCP Annual Meeting education session for continuing educational use; and

  • Performance Support Website: A HemPath MDS online portal with content, images, references, and resource links to current guidelines.

ASCP will work closely with the France Foundation, which is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, in the implementation of this curriculum.

The curriculum will address important gaps in knowledge, according to Shiwen Song, MD, PhD, ASCP Senior Director for Scientific Affairs, who co-authored the grant application with Eric Parks, PhD, ASCP Director of Education Design and Technology.

“Pathologists and laboratory professionals are the best resource for information on the indications for and meaning of laboratory tests, since their training uniquely prepares them for this role,” Dr. Song says. “With health care becoming more complex and laboratory testing more important, not only in diagnosis but in therapy, pathologists and laboratory professionals have never been more critical to patient care.”

Dr. Parks adds, “With this curriculum, we are going to train pathologists how to better classify this disease, so that it can be treated more effectively with a faster diagnosis.”

UPDATE!  For more information, click here.  


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