Presented at Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Grand Rounds
BIO: Dr. Fletcher is currently Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School, Vice Chair for Anatomic Pathology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts and Chief of Onco-Pathology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston. His main areas of interest include the clinicopathologic and molecular genetic analyses of soft tissue tumors. He is Chairman of the WHO Working Group on the classification of soft tissue tumors. He has more than 600 publications, including more than 400 original papers on soft tissue neoplasms, and several books, among which are the two-volume Diagnostic Histopathology of Tumors, the 4th edition of which was published in 2013, and the 3rd series AFIP Fascicle on Soft Tissue Tumors. He has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards (including recently Honorary Fellowships in the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia) and is on the editorial board of 17 international journals.
Surgical Pathology currently provides more detailed diagnostic and prognostic information than ever before and continues to be the ‘gold standard’ in determining treatment for many diseases, especially cancers. Subspecialty expertise has become the norm and clinicians are extremely dependent on the guidance which surgical pathologists provide. At the same time, there are rapidly evolving/advancing new technologies, mainly in the area of molecular genomics, which can potentially supplement the value of a pathologic diagnosis, although cost benefits are unclear as yet. There are increasing pressures both from clinicians and patients to adopt these new technologies, which may provide “new hope” for disease cures, while at the same time attracting patients to those medical centers which provide such testing at a time of increasing competition in the ‘business’ of medicine. Societal shifts such as this pose potentially significant challenges and opportunities regarding the manner in which anatomic pathology is practiced. This lecture seeks to explore these issues and aims to empower pathologists to hold this future in our own hands.
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