To the ISUP Membership
Having been President of the Society for a brief 5 days, it is with great regret that this letter is my first direct contact with all of you. As many are aware, the past two years have been particularly turbulent for the Society. In the light of requests for USCAP intervention, escalating rhetoric, and the threat of public disruption of ISUP activities, the USCAP leadership has felt compelled to act. Today I received a letter from Drs. Chris Fletcher (USCAP President) and David Kaminsky (USCAP Executive Vice President) informing me that ISUP has been suspended (temporarily) as a companion society of the USCAP. Further, USCAP has cancelled all ISUP related activities at the upcoming Vancouver meeting.
My first reaction to the news goes to those individuals who will be affected in the most immediate and severe way. Drs. Michelle Hirsch and Steven Shen had organized an outstanding Saturday evening session that would have been timely and educational. They, along with the speakers (Drs. So, Evans, Chen, Hansel, Shen and Hirsch) have undoubtedly spent substantial time and effort in preparation of the program. There is little I can offer other than my sincere apologies on behalf of the Society that they have personally been caught up in this unfortunate situation.
As a founding member of ISUP, I have a long history of engagement with the Society and view it as an integral part of my career as a urologic pathologist. The Society provides a forum for socializing with one another and meeting colleagues from every corner of the earth. We learn much from these interactions. The Society has also been a source of knowledge for junior and senior members alike with a history of outstanding educational activities. The last few years have seen a rapid expansion of our online offerings and this will be a focus of continuing effort. ISUP has also led the community in advancing the quality and uniformity of urologic pathology practice. Through consensus and other meetings, and with the input of large numbers of members, the Society has promoted best practices in many areas.
A PubMed search of “ISUP” today yields 279 relevant hits. Of these, the term ISUP or International Society of Urological Pathology is in the title of at least 100 articles. In 2012 at the meeting in Vancouver a series of work groups set the stage for the future WHO Classification and AJCC/TNM staging manual in kidney tumors. This meeting also highlights the inclusiveness of these undertakings of the Society. All 4 publications from this meeting include on the authorship line “ISUP Renal Tumor Panel.” A PubMed search of any of the 134 names listed as members of the panel leads to the 4 articles recognizing the contribution of each individual in a formal and public manner.
When I agreed to take on the ISUP Presidency, I was fully aware of the turbulent waters I was entering. I did not however foresee the severity of the storm brewing just over the horizon. Nonetheless, I am a firm believer in ISUP and can only commit to you that I will use my best efforts to ride out the storm and land safely on shore.
David J Grignon, MD