Take Charge in the Fight Against Cancer
Tuesday, February 04, 2014
February 4 is World Cancer Day, when organizations and individuals around the world send a message: Ending cancer should be a global health priority.
ASCP and our members share this priority and are dedicated to providing innovative education and advocacy so that pathologists and medical laboratory scientists are prepared to lead the fight against cancer into the future. In an ever-changing healthcare environment, pathologists and medical laboratory scientists need to adapt to survive—and thrive.
ASCP is dedicated to providing innovative education and advocacy so that pathologists and medical laboratory scientists are prepared to lead the fight against cancer into the future.
Genomics testing, in particular, is revolutionizing the fight against cancer. ASCP is involved in the Training Residents in Genomics (TRIG) Working Group, formed in 2010, to provide practical learning so pathologist residents have the knowledge to interpret genomics tests.
The Group, chaired by Richard Haspel, MD, FASCP, Assistant Professor of Pathology at of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, consists of experts in molecular pathology, genetic counseling and medical education. TRIG faculty use case studies focusing on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes associated with breast cancer as teaching tools to help residents learn how to interpret genomics testing results.
The ability to affect patient outcomes is truly a team effort. In several other initiatives to fight cancer, ASCP has emphasized the importance of pathology and laboratory medicine as part of the multidisciplinary medical team.
An education session at the ASCP 2013 Annual Meeting offered a multidisciplinary approach to breast and gastric cancer diagnoses, with a focus on HER2, a receptor that can play a role in the development of breast cancer. The program brought together pathologists, lab directors, and individuals responsible for decision making about testing processes to provide background on the biology of HER2-driven disease and insight on the importance of accurate HER2 testing and its potential impact on patients with breast cancer and gastric cancer.
ASCP’s emphasis on a multidisciplinary medical team seeks to break down silos that often exist in health systems to facilitate communication and improve patient outcomes. The curriculum ASCP developed to improve the diagnosis and treatment of Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS), an often deadly blood cancer, fostered interactive dialogue between the pathologists and other clinicians regarding diagnosis, classification, and clinical care of MDS patients. So have curricula that target the treatment of lung cancer—one of the most common cancers in the U.S. and Europe.
Share your experiences in the fight against cancer on ONELab. For further reading about World Cancer Day, read "ASCP Stands Strong Against Cancer."