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<br>Dr. Popper

Dr. Popper

European Initiative Fosters Collaborative Approach to Improving Patient Care

Monday, February 17, 2014

ASCP is collaborating with the European Society of Pathology (ESP) to launch a series of educational summits that expand the delivery of personalized medicine around the globe. The summits, which begin this month, will emphasize using a multidisciplinary team approach to treating the often deadly non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

EnGAging an Interdisciplinary Team for NSCLC Diagnosis, Personalized Assessment and Treatment (GAIN): A European Initiative is a partnership between ASCP, the ESP, the American College of Chest Physicians, and the France Foundation. The GAIN curriculum aims to facilitate the communication, knowledge, competence, and performance among the team of pathologists, pulmonologists, oncologists, and thoracic surgeons who diagnose and treat NSCLC.

“In almost all parts of the world, communication between the clinical pathologist and medical team is still not perfect. We need to act more as an interdisciplinary team to decide together on the care of the patient.”
— Helmuth Popper, MD

Each education summit will be led by a team of pathologists and pulmonologists from the United States as well as European medical specialists from the country where the summit is held. Summits are planned for Italy, Spain, Poland, Greece, Austria, France, Hungary, Romania, Denmark, and Ireland.

 “What makes this unique is pathologists in the United States are collaborating with their colleagues in Europe,” says Shiwen Song, MD, PhD, FASCP, ASCP Chief Science Officer. “Participants will work together as interdisciplinary teams to try to solve each case. We use faculty from each area to customize the content depending on the individual country’s needs.”

The GAIN Europe Initiative is funded by an independent education grant from the Pfizer Foundation. Over the two years of the grant, ASCP will provide educational design, measurement, and evaluation services. Engaging a prominent European organization such as ESP offers the possibility of additional partnerships and sharing of scientific knowledge in the future. 

“In almost all parts of the world, communication between the clinical pathologist and medical team is still not perfect,” says Helmuth Popper, MD, Chair of the Education Committee of the ESP and Director of Research in the Institute of Pathology at the Medical University of Graz, Austria. “We need to act more as an interdisciplinary team to decide together on the care of the patient.”

Lung cancer is the most common cancer-related death in the United States and Europe, where more than 375,000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed every year. In Europe, only 15-20 percent of individuals with NSCLC survive longer than two years after diagnosis. Individuals who have NSCLC often don’t exhibit symptoms until the deadly cancer is so advanced that it is difficult to treat.

Dr. Popper praised the medical societies for coming together from different parts of the world to solve challenging medical diagnoses. “Worldwide, medicine faces many of the same issues,” he says. “While there are some specific differences in approach in each country, for patient management there are now boundaries. So, providing activities such as this allow us all to share our experiences and develop a quicker, more appropriate response to patient care.”

For a schedule of the GAIN: Europe Initiative education summits, click here.  


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