THE LABORATORY REPORT Spring 2014 Page 2 Tremendous Success of the 2014 Cancer Biomarkers Conference The Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine sponsored the 2014 Cancer Biomarkers conference, held at the Houston Methodist Research Institute on March 22. The conference was organized by co-directors, Drs. Philip Cagle and Randall Olsen, and associate directors, Drs. Bryce Portier and Hidehiro Takei. This conference was inspired by the Cancer Biomarkers Reporting Committee, part of the College of American Pathologists (CAP). “This conference was unique because it focused on the information relevant to general pathologists and oncologists,” explains Dr. Cagle. “Our presenters emphasized information useful from a patient-oriented standpoint, concentrating specifically on practical aspects of patient care.” Dr. Gene Herbek (pictured), CAP President and a pathologist at the Methodist Hospital Pathology Center in Nebraska, stated in his remarks: “We pathologists work with patients, not numbers or diagnoses.” His thoughts were echoed by Dr. Neal Lindeman, director of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at the Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston: “Pathologists need to lead the field of cancer biomarkers to ensure diagnoses and patient safety.” The speakers also underscored an increasing need for the incorporation of novel diagnostic techniques into disease diagnosis and molecular characterization. Dr. Alexander Lazar, director of Sarcoma and Melanoma Molecular Diagnostics and associate professor of Pathology and Dermatology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center, highlighted the efforts of a multi-disciplinary group of researchers in implementing Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) into melanoma patient care. NGS can rapidly identify mutations in common oncogenes in patient tumor specimens, which can guide the development of targeted therapeutics that will ultimately improve patient survival. A complete list of articles related to this conference will be published in a special edition of the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at the end of the year. Dr. Gene Herbek, CAP President The organizing committee noted that this unique national conference attracted participants from throughout Texas and 21 other states. Attendees included not only physicians, but also nurses and other healthcare providers. The tremendous success of the conference emphasizes that its patient-centric focus filled an unmet need. The organizers plan to host similar events in the future. Dr. James M. Musser Presides Over the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Investigative Pathology Dr. James M. Musser, Chair of the Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine, presided over the 2014 annual meeting of the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP), held in San Diego from April 26-30. The meeting was attended by over 300 ASIP members from the United States, Canada, and many other nations. The next annual meeting will be held in Boston, MA, from March 28 to April 1, 2015. Dr. Musser has served as the President of ASIP since 2013.
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