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ASCP Stands Strong Against Cancer

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

On World Cancer Day, ASCP highlights the members of our community that have been directly affected by the disease. We also want to highlight the important work that many of our members do every day to create better treatments, promote specialized care, and increase patient outcomes.

The Patient Perspective

In 1994, Peggy Devine, MT(ASCP), was diagnosed with breast cancer. After her diagnosis, she learned about the world of breast cancer research as an assistant administrator for the University of California, San Francisco’s breast oncology program. Merging that experience with her 25 year long career as a medical technologist, Ms. Devine went on to form the Cancer Information and Suppport Network (CISN). CISN conducts in-person training for patients and advocates, and provides information on clinical trials, personalized medicine, and Cancer 101. You can learn more about this breast cancer survivor and patient advocate in her article published in the October 2013 issue of Critical Values.

Teaching Genomic Medicine to Pathology Professionals

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Take Charge in the Fight Against Cancer  

Is your laboratory doing something innovative to help detect cancer? Let us know about it and continue the conversation on ONELab, the new online community for ASCP members.

Genomic testing is now part of patient care, however, a 2013 survey administered through the Program Directors Section (PRODS) of the Association of Pathology Chairs (APC) showed that only 30 percent of residency programs currently teach genomics-related concepts. This leaves pathologists unprepared for this new era of medicine.

In response to this educational need the Training Residents in Genomics (TRIG) Working Group was formed through PRODS in 2010. This group is made up of residency directors, molecular pathologists, genetic counselors, with ASCP providing administrative support. Recently, the chair of the TRIG Group received an R25 grant from the National Institutes of Health to further develop genomics curriculum for pathology residents.

With the assistance of the TRIG Working Group, genomics-related questions are now included on the pathology Resident In-Service Exam (RISE). Using this exam, the TRIG Working Group will be able to track progress related to integrating genomic pathology into resident education.

Dr. Haspel

You can read more about teaching genomic medicine to future pathology professionals in the January 2013 Critical Values article written by Richard L. Haspel, MD, PhD, FASCP.  See page 19 to learn more about TRIG.

Grants Promote Innovating Testing and Best Practices

A year after successfully launching a program in the United States to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with the deadly non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), ASCP is sharing the knowledge it gained with its medical counterparts in Europe.The GAIN curriculum is designed to improve the knowledge, competence, and performance of an interdisciplinary team comprising pulmonologists, pathologists, oncologists, and thoracic surgeons. The newest endeavor, EnGAging an Interdisciplinary Team for NSCLC Diagnosis, Personalized Assessment and Treatment (GAIN): A European Initiative, is a collaboration between the American College of Chest Physicians, the France Foundation, and ASCP, which is a subcontractor. Over the two years of the grant, ASCP will provide educational design, measurement, and evaluation services.  The European GAIN initiative is the third in a series of grants from the Pfizer Foundation pertaining to NSCLC.

At ASCP 2013 Chicago, the “HER2 Breast Cancer Quality Testing Subtrack,” funded by an educational grant from Genentech, was a three-part series identifying the core competency needsto obtain a high quality biopsy specimen, best practices for obtaining the specimen, and solutions.

The series ended with an illuminating two-hour session, “Existing, Evolving and Emerging Prognostics and Predictive Factors in Breast Carcinoma,” that tied it all together led by pathologist Syed Hoda, MD, FASCP, and oncologist Anne Moore, MD. The three-part series was recorded, so that it can be disseminated as online enduring materials to a wider audience. ASCP members receive access to these enduring courses with their re.member MOC membership.

Share Your Stories

ASCP is able to take a stand against cancer thanks to the involvement and investment of our members, partners, and collaborating societies. We invite you to find out more about ways to expand your involvement in the fight through ASCP programs and to continue the conversation on ONELab, the new online community for ASCP members.