2013 Meeting Highlights

Dina Mody

Dina R. Mody, MD, Chair
Scientific Program Committee

It is the silver anniversary of CLIA’88; we will not ignore the elephant in the room and the Aussies are coming! This summarizes the theme of the 61st Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Cytopathology to be held in Orlando, Florida, Nov 8-12, 2013. Read on….

CLIA’88 has been with us for 25 years. Whether you love it or hate it (or don’t have a clue what it is), CLIA ’88 was a game changer for cytology. It was Pulitzer prize-winning investigative journalist Walt Bogdanich whose expose on ”Lax labs” and “Pap mills” set the stage for the events that culminated in CLIA’88, which was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan. Dr. Diane Davey and her panelists will take us on a journey from the beginning of CLIA’88 to where we are today. This will be followed by Mr. Walt Bogdanich himself, who will address the audience on Saturday, November 9th and take questions. The title of his presentation is “CLIA’88: First Person Account.

The elephant in the room is molecular testing, especially HPV testing, which threatens to replace the Pap test; however, all HPV testing is not the same. With the availability of multiple FDA-approved technologies and laboratory developed testing, the results are not necessarily identical.  Dr. George Birdsong will chair the “Hot Topic” on “HPV Testing in Cervical Cancer Screening: Why? How? Are There Pitfalls?” on Friday evening, November 8th, with an impressive group of panelists who have their opinions about this technology and its future.

Dr. Jane Gibson will speak on the science and methodologies involved in HPV testing.  However, on Monday, November 10th, she will chair the Innovations and Trends in Medicine session entitled “Molecular Diagnostics in Cytology-Current Aspects and Future Considerations.”

Personalized Genomic Medicine and Informatics will be the subject of the Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology Panel Luncheon Seminar on Saturday at noon.

In this era of personalized medicine, pulmonary cancer diagnosis and management are increasingly dependent on cytology interpretation and molecular testing. Dr. Kirsten Atkins and her panel of experts, including Dr. Maureen Zakowski, will present current diagnosis and testing recommendations as part of the State of the Art Symposium session entitled “Guiding the Cells-The Cytologist’s Role in Procurement, Diagnosis, and Molecular Studies of Lung Carcinomas.”

This is the year of the Australians presenting the “Cytopathology Across Borders” panel luncheon seminar on Sunday at noon, moderated by Dr. Syed Ali with Dr. Andrew Fields and Dr. Anabelle Farnsworth of Australia. The Australians are ahead of the game with respect to HPV vaccination, and have a database of community-based HPV testing results. It will be interesting to hear what they have to say. Dr. Brian Knight, also from Australia, will present the New Frontiers Lecture entitled “CSI Meets Cytology” on Monday morning after the Innovations and Trends in Medicine session on molecular testing chaired by Dr. Jane Gibson.

The Koss Lectureship, now in its 4th year, will be given by Dr. James G. Fujimoto of MIT on “Biomedical Imaging Using Optical Coherence Tomography,” a game changing technology routinely used in Opthalmology, which is now being increasingly applied to other fields of medicine.

In addition to the main sessions, the Meeting will have the Challenges in Cytomorphology back in its full-day format (two parts offered separately) on Friday.  Also on Friday, Strategies in Cytopathology Education will be one session in two parts. With the ACGME implementing its new format, this year should be particularly important for Cytopathology Fellowship Program Directors. Additionally on Friday, Strategies in Cytotechnology Education will feature two separate sessions, with presentations of the revised Standards and Guidelines for Cytotechnology Programs and self-assessment and review of GYN cytology.  The Diagnostic Cytology Seminar for the first time will be co-moderated by Dr. Mary Schwartz and Ms. Donna Russell, MS, CT(ASCP).  Additionally, there will be 14 platforms and 194 posters as part of the scientific sessions.

The four and a half-day meeting will also have 27 Video Microscopy Tutorials, 3 Presidents Rounds, 20 Workshops, and 39 Roundtables covering a wide spectrum of topics. By popular demand, the Thyroid Ultrasound Course will be offered in two sessions with a smaller number of participants per session in order to have more “hands on” teaching and individual attention by Dr. Ronald Balassanian and Dr. Britt-Marie Ljung and her team of experts.

So, don’t miss out on this opportunity to collect up to 59.25 CME/CMLE/SAM credits for maintenance of certification or licensure. See you in Orlando in November!