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March 2015


Dear ISUP members,

It is with great anticipation that I start my term as President of the International Society of Urological Pathology and I promise to make my best to serve the Society and its members. I would like to thank Peter Humphrey and his team in the outgoing Council for their great contributions. The past few years have seen several interesting events under his leadership: A consultation meeting on the best use of immunohistochemistry in GU pathology was conducted in 2013 and a consensus meeting on grading of prostate cancer was held in November 2014. Recently, the new WHO classification has been written, a work done largely by ISUP members, which shows what a central role our society plays in pathology. The WHO classification has been profoundly influenced by results of ISUP consensus meetings held over the past decade, notably the 2005 meeting on Gleason grading, the 2009 meeting on staging and reporting of prostate cancer and the 2012 Vancouver classification of renal cell tumors. ISUP has also been actively involved in a number of international meetings such as the IAP meeting in Bangkok where we had an extensive program and also APIAP and ECP meetings. It is my hope that we will be able to continue to offer the members interesting activities that make it worth being a member of our Society

For this term, the nominating committee has made a more extensive renewal of the Council than usual. We have many excellent members and it is of vital importance for the Society that we are inclusive and benefit from their expertise. Being member of the Council is a task that should probably be circulated more often than we have done in the past. The following Council was unanimously elected at the AGM in Boston:

President
Lars Egevad

President-Elect
Cristina Magi-Galluzzi

Secretary
Hemamali Samaratunga

Treasurer
Ming Zhou

Special Councillor Archives
Brett Delahunt

Special Councillor Liaison and Outreach
John Srigley

 

International Councillors

North America
Andrew Evans

South America
Katia Leite

Europe
Glen Kristiansen

Asia
Chin-Chen Pan

Australia and Oceania
James Kench

 

This term started at this year’s USCAP meeting in Boston with an expert consultation meeting on testicular and penile tumors. Although this was an expert driven meeting in a field where most of us have limited experience, the input from members was of great value. Similar to previous consensus conferences, this meeting was open for members only.

Over the past decade we have covered most parts of GU pathology with consensus or consultation meetings. The only major exception is bladder pathology which has not had a consensus meeting since 1998. However, as we have just finished the work with the new edition of the WHO classification which is scheduled to be published early in 2016, it would be unfortunate to immediately have a bladder consensus meeting which overturns some of the decisions that were taken by the WHO group. Thus, no consensus meetings are planned in the short term. Yet, it is important that members get good value for their membership and that regular activities are offered. Our proposal is to set up a novel form of interactive meeting with the aim to standardize different aspects of pathology. These plans are still embryonal and we will come back with details later.

There is obviously a need to further standardize pathology, especially grading and staging. A constructive way to achieve this is to set up image archives that define the agreed standard. For this a reference image database is now under construction. The work has been done by a web bureau in Stockholm and is almost finished; we will send web address and instructions later this year. The working name of the database is Pathology Imagebase. The idea is to have panels of experts in each field of GU pathology. These experts will upload images that are then reviewed independently by the other experts. Once a certain level of consensus has been reached the images will automatically be moved over to a database that is accessible for all ISUP members. There will also be a few cases open for non-members both to showcase the mechanism and in order to recruit new ISUP members. My intention is that this database will be used for grading, staging and tumor classification, such as collection of images of rare entities.

The case of week function has been down 4 years now. There was an attempt to set it up with digitized slides but this has obviously been too complex and we will now re-launch this function with a similar format as before but now with an international panel of contributors. A committee consisting of Mahul Amin, Cristina Magi-Galluzzi and myself will chair the effort. We will also add a catalogue function where earlier cases can be searched for. This will hopefully also become a useful resource open for members only.

The ISUP website has been a great asset but needs to be revamped. Its format has become somewhat obsolete and we will also need to set up a better member directory including an automatic function for dues reminders. I want to make it possible for members to login and edit their addresses or to check when their membership expires. Emails to the membership should be sent through the website. All of this is currently manual work which is not sustainable. Our aim is to make more regular updates with society news. We will have one or two computer savvy pathologists who can help to maintain the websites of the Society.

Since almost 10 years we have run a highly successful communication network for uropathology in Europe called ENUP. Membership is free of charge and the purpose is to have a communication platform so we can reach out to those who are not willing to pay a full membership of a society such as ISUP, e.g. general pathologists in smaller hospitals. We have used ENUP for dissemination of information about upcoming meetings and for surveys on how pathology is practiced. It has also been a channel for recruiting new members to ISUP. Similar networks have recently been set up for other geographic regions (India, South America, Canada, Asia). This is a function that will be developed further in the next few years and hopefully the collaboration between the networks and ISUP will develop.

International datasets (ICCR) for minimal requirements for pathology reporting are now being set up based on national guidelines. This work is led by John Srigley. Work has already been published on radical prostatectomy specimens and we have just started working on prostate needle biopsies. This will help to set an international minimum level for reporting.

A committee will be appointed that oversees the constitution and by-laws. The last time our constitution was revised was in 2010 and this should be done regularly. The committee will include members from both the executive committee and outside the council.

As you understand we will have a couple of busy years ahead of us. For financing these activities we need the support by our members and we do encourage you to pay your member fees.

In summary I look forward to two very interesting years. We welcome suggestions and contributions from members.

 

Lars Egevad

President of ISUP