Fall 2002

From the Editor's Desk
President's Message
Committee Reports
Comings and Goings
Welcome New Member
Other Announcements
Call for Nominations
Upcoming Meetings
Positions Available
Photos from the Dallas Meeting

Deadline for Winter Newsletter - January 2, 2003
Please direct submissions to the Newsletter to Art Weinberg, Editor

This 2002 Spring Newsletter is also available in a printable PDF format.




From the Editor's Desk
Art Weinberg

¡Buenos días, amigos! Fair weather prevailed at the fall SPP meeting in Dallas, Tejas, and a wonderful time was had by all. One hundred and thirty five people attended the meeting and brought along 14 guests, which represents a great turn out for an interim meeting and may even be a record. The quality of the scientific presentations was excellent and was complemented by sage and practical comments and questions from an attentive room-filling audience. To paraphrase an opinion expressed by Harvey Rosenberg, an attendee of particularly sharp wit and intellect: “I actually came away with some practical information that I can use” -- a compliment indeed. Although we did not chase heifers in an outdoor coral (Dallas, 1986), we did chase down margaritas with Dos Equis while we watched armadillo races and danced the night away (see photos below). Bob Bolande (Cellular Aspects of Developmental Pathology) flew in from North Carolina to be the guest of honor. Thanks to all of you who traveled from near and far to make this a most successful meeting. We are all looking forward to the riverboats in Cincinnati next October.




President's Message
Henry F. Krous

Challenges - Changing But Never Ending

Our Society faces critical challenges. They include not only expansion of efforts inspired by Ron Jaffe to extend expertise and resources to our colleagues in less advantaged countries and to enhance opportunities for pediatric pathologists in forensic pathology, the theme of my presidency, but also to increase the number of pediatric pathologists and to establish standards of practice. The Long Term Planning Committee will focus on these issues and will bring suggestions for implementation to appropriate committees. There has not been a period in my memory when there were more unfilled fellowship and faculty positions in pediatric pathology. And the need to fill these open positions is more important than ever given the ever-increasing knowledge and expertise required to practice competent pediatric pathology. We will likely face in the short term the filling of some of these positions by general pathologists rather than by individuals who have completed a pediatric pathology fellowship. The difficulty is compounded by the fact that the percentage of graduating medical school students entering pathology has declined over the past decades. I urge each of you to increase your recruiting efforts in your own medical schools and hospitals. Work with your Deans and Department Chairpersons to ensure that the excitement and importance of pediatric pathology is brought before our students and residents; that pediatric pathologists teach pediatric pathology. Clerkships are another opportunity to share the fulfillment of a career in pediatric pathology with students on an individual basis. And, remember that our greatest allies in the promotion of the role and importance of pediatric pathologists are our clinical colleagues practicing in all areas of pediatric care.

Establishing standards of practice is a potentially thorny but important issue. Development and implementation of clinical practice pathways by physicians in individual hospitals has undoubtedly improved outcomes and decreased costs. This has been a considerable achievement given the inherently contradictory nature of these goals, particularly in these times of economic recession and managed health care. On the other hand, it is clear that no individual or agency is better qualified to establish and to advocate standards of practice in pediatric pathology than pediatric pathologists themselves. Honest differences of opinion regarding standards of practice and potential medicolegal issues will complicate achievement of this goal. But I have no doubt that we will succeed if we keep focused on our most important mission - doing what is best to restore, maintain and enhance the health and potential of children.

Fall Interim Meeting

Beverly Rogers and her colleagues at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas deserve rich praise and congratulations for conducting a very successful and informative Fall 2002 Interim Meeting. The papers were superb, the facilities were outstanding, and the celebration of the Republic of Texas culture was great fun. It was my honor to present a plaque of appreciation to Art Weinberg for his many contributions to the Society, including serving as President, Councilor, Chair of the Education and Finance Committees, Editor of the Newsletter and designer of the Society logo.

Also, our standing committees continued to fulfill their responsibilities in conducting the Society’s affairs, and their chairs provided cogent reports to council for consideration and action. The generosity and commitment of the chairs and committee members ensures that the Society will remain a dynamic organization through which pediatric pathologists are able to address many of their service, educational, and research needs. Deb Perry again deserves particular praise and thanks for her countless hours of diligent service as Secretary-Treasurer, surely the most demanding officer position in the Society.

Remembering

Before closing, I urge remembrance of three of our most distinguished members, Drs. Larry Becker, Kurt Aterman and Robert Kirschner, each of whom contributed greatly to our Society and to pediatric pathology. Each inspired, mentored and guided members of our Society to higher levels of commitment and contribution to the goals and ideals of pediatric pathology. Our deepest condolences go to each of their families.




Committee Reports

PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE
Steve Qualman, Chair

Art Weinberg will step down as editor of the SPP Newsletter after the spring meeting, having completed his three-year tenure. The Publications Committee thanks him for all of his contributions. Margaret Collins was approved unanimously by the Publications Committee and Council to become the new editor beginning in 2003.

Future volumes of Perspectives in Pediatric Pathology will be offered for purchase directly to SPP members. Volume 24, Molecular Mechanisms in Development and Pediatric Pathology, was offered for $50 at the last SPP meeting. Should revenues exceed costs of production, excess proceeds will go to the SPP treasury to fund future Perspectives volumes.

Volume number 25 is edited by Margaret Collins, assisted by David Witte, and will include a series of updates and new articles on pediatric gastrointestinal pathology. Volume number 26 in the “Perspectives” series will be devoted to diseases of the central nervous system, edited by Hannah Kinney based on the symposium that she led at the SPP Meeting in March, 2002. The volume will be dedicated to Dr. Larry Becker as affirmed by the Publications Committee.

Hal Pinar noted that “on-line” abstract submission has yet to be achieved by the SPP. A firm plan and associated budget to achieve such will be circulated before the spring 2003 Meeting of the SPP in Washington, DC.

Hal Pinar noted that the most frequently used part of the SPP website is the membership database. He plans to create a more user-friendly interface that will allow updates to be made directly by members via password entry similar to the USCAP database. He also plans to conduct a membership survey regarding suggested improvements to the website and to redesign the website for easier upkeep. Finally, he hopes to allow for digital image archives in the future (e.g. upload pictures into the membership database).

RESEARCH COMMITTEE
Raj Kapur, Chair

A highlight of the Dallas meeting was the inauguration of the SPP Resident Case Presentation Award. The RCPA was created this past year to foster the interests of pathology residents in the subspecialty of pediatric pathology. The recipients of the award were selected from a competitive field of 22 applicants (details about the application process are available at the SPP website). The response to this award initiative was so well received that the Society has decided to offer the award again next year.

Three outstanding young pathology residents shared this year’s award at the Dallas meeting. The award funded their meeting expenses and offered them the opportunity to interact with our collegial group in a fantastic setting. Each recipient presented a poster at the meeting and gave a brief oral presentation of their case. They also attended "Lunch with the Legends", a unique dining experience with three of the luminary figures in our group.

The recipients of the RCPA this year and the subjects of their presentations are as follows:

  • Amy Heerema (UCSF / Stanford): Lymphomatoid granulomatosis
  • Brigitte Nixon (University of Washington): Heterotaxy syndrome
  • Dinesh Rakheja (University of Texas Southwestern): Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome

EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Jeffrey Goldstein, Chair

The Education Committee responsibilities, as outlined in the Society bylaws, include a broad range of duties. The committee’s four subcommittees each focus on one or more of these duties. A summary of the Committee’s recent activities, including actions taken at the fall meeting, follows.

CME subcommittee:

The Society’s eligibility to grant CME credit rests on maintaining its accreditation with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). We were granted full accreditation following our survey in the fall of 2001, but are required to submit a progress report this November addressing areas of non-compliance. Lisa Teot, our CME Coordinator, indicates that the report is being drafted, and she believes we have rectified the areas of concern. The progress report will include activities from the recent meeting in Dallas. We would like to thank Sarah Johnson-Welch, Linda Margraf, and Charles Timmons for their assistance in complying with all of the CME requirements, and also thank the meeting monitors, David Witte and Rebecca Baergen, for preparing the evaluation reports.

The committee’s former chair, Kathleen Patterson and Lisa have done a tremendous job in organizing the SPP’s CME program in a way that will make ACCME compliance easier in the future. The Education Committee Manual, which Kathy revised and updated one more time after completing her tenure, is now nearly 100 pages long! The manual is an invaluable resource for our procedures and an ongoing record of the SPP’s educational programs. As soon as a few further minor revisions are made, the new version will be distributed to committee members and posted in the members’ section of spponline.org. The Society owes a great debt to both Lisa and Kathy for their efforts, and I would like to personally thank them for helping to make my transition into the chair a smooth one.

The CME Subcommittee also works closely with the host sponsors of the Interim fall meetings. Plans are already underway for the next three years.

Cincinnati 2003: The meeting will be held October 17 and 18, 2003 to correspond with the Tall Stacks Riverboat celebration. The symposium organized by David Witte is Lysosomal Storage Diseases: At the Forefront of Biotherapeutics. The tentative speakers and topics are:

  • Robert J. Dresnick, Ph.D., M.D. - Fabry disease and its enzyme therapy
  • Emil Kakkis, M.D., Ph.D. - Phenotypic spectrum of mucopolysaccharidosis I variants and effects of enzyme therapy
  • Y.T. Chen, M.D., Ph.D. - Inroads into enzyme therapy of Pompe disease (GSDII)
  • Gregory A Grabowski, M.D. - Gaucher disease and its therapies

2003 Perinatal Section Symposium: October 19, 2003. The symposium, organized by Dr. Ray Redline, is on Pre-eclampsia.

Little Rock 2004: October 28 to 30, 2004. David Parham is coordinating this meeting which will feature the symposium, Modern Pediatric Forensic Pathology.

Paris 2005: Liliane Boccon-Gibod is coordinating our first transatlantic meeting in many years, which will be held jointly with the Paediatric Pathology Society (PPS). The meeting will be Thursday, September 1, 2005 to Saturday, September 3, 2005; and will be followed by the European Congress of Pathology meeting. The actual venue will probably be outside of Paris, possibly in Dijon, because accommodations will be more affordable and promote interaction with our European colleagues.

A reminder for SPP members who are involved in the preparation of program materials for CME activities. Please submit all program announcements, registration materials, brochures and program booklets to the CME Coordinator prior to printing to ensure that they contain the most up to date versions of the accreditation and disclosure statements and otherwise conform to ACCME requirements.

Abstract subcommittee:

The abstract subcommittee includes 3 full committee members and 3 additional ad hoc members for abstract review. We would like to thank the ad hoc reviewers for this year: Ajit Alles, Kevin Bove, and Deb Schofield.

Laura Finn, the subcommittee chair, reports that for the fall meeting 43 abstracts were submitted with 30 accepted (67%). This is a greater number of abstracts than has ever been submitted for a fall meeting. Numbers of general anatomic pathology and perinatal/placental abstracts were roughly equal with a small number of clinical pathology and laboratory medicine abstracts. All of the latter were accepted.

Online abstract submission services are still being investigated, as it appears too expensive to use the same vendor USCAP currently uses. We hope to have this in place for the spring 2004 meeting. Online submission will ensure uniform formatting and font size, which will aid the review process and publication. While it is likely that the Society will have to charge between $20 and $30 for abstract submission to offset the cost of this process, many authors would save the cost of the air express services they currently use for submission. If anyone has concerns about the impact of this anticipated change and the corresponding expense, please contact Laura or myself. The current abstract submission form is available for download from spponline.org.

Digital projection of abstracts was discussed in Dallas. All abstracts for the 2003 spring meeting will continue to be in transparency format, but all abstracts for the Cincinnati fall meeting will require digital projection format. The USCAP may convert to digital projection as early as 2004; the committee agreed to have the spring meeting format change coincide with that of the USCAP.

Workshop/Symposium subcommittee:

David Witte, the subcommittee chair, has put together an excellent educational program for this coming spring’s meeting, which he also will be moderating. The symposia are intended to focus on new advances in scientific knowledge of interest to the pediatric pathology community. The title for Saturday's symposium will be Mitochondrial Disorders in Children and Adolescents. Participants include:

  • Bruce H. Cohen, M.D., Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Clinical overview of mitochondrial disorders in Children.
  • Charles L. Hoppel, M.D., Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Mitochondria and recognition of abnormal function.
  • James V. Leonard, Institute of Child Healthy, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, Understanding the molecular genetics of mitochondrial disorders.
  • Harvey B. Sarnat, M.D., UCLA School of Medicine, Pathology of mitochondrial cytopathies. .

This symposium is intended for pediatric pathologists, pathologists, fellows, residents and other medical practitioners who provide diagnostic examinations of pathological specimens or care for patients who suffer from a wide range of disorders in children and adolescents as a result of mitochondrial dysfunction.

Two new workshops will be offered beginning in 2003; these workshops address frequent requests gleaned from prior meeting evaluations and should provide valuable practice-related updates for pediatric and surgical pathologists.

  • Vascular Tumors and Anomalies in Children, Harry Kozakewich, M.D., Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Boston MA and Paula North, M.D., Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Little Rock AK.
  • Pediatric Dermatopathology: A Practical Approach to Diagnosis, Vijaya B. Reddy, M.D. and Aliya N. Husain, M.D., Chicago, IL.

Four continuing workshops will be offered at the spring 2003 meeting.

  1. Update on Problems and Controversies in Placental Pathology, Rebecca Baergen, MD, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY and Ona Faye-Petersen, University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL (second year offered).
  2. Pediatric Soft Tissue Pathology: Diagnostic Principles, Challenges, and New Concepts, Cheryl Coffin, MD, Primary Children’s Hospital, Salt Lake City, UT (second year offered).
  3. Morphology of Complex Congenital Heart Disease, William A. Devine, B.S., Children’s Hospital, Pittsburgh, PA and Carole A. Vogler, M.D., St. Louis University Health Sciences Center, St. Louis, MO (third and final year offered).
  4. Selected Diagnostic Problems and Controversies in Pediatric GI Pathology, Pierre Russo, M.D. and Eduardo D. Ruchelli, M.D., Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA (third and final year offered).

A new workshop proposal for 2004 was accepted from Dr. Deborah Heller, University Hospital of New Jersey. Her workshop will be Pediatric Gynecologic Pathology with Clinical Correlations. The committee also identified a need to address practical issues of liver biopsy handling and diagnosis. A workshop on this topic was last offered in 1992-1994. The Symposium and Workshop subcommittee was asked to identify potential presenters and solicit a proposal on this topic for a workshop beginning in 2004.

Presenters of new workshop proposals will be required to develop digital presentations. The new workshops for 2003 will be encouraged to develop digital presentations, and ongoing workshop presenters will be given the option to convert to digital presentation if they desire. Digital presentation will also be available for the 2003 symposium. The transition to digital workshop presentations should facilitate the posting of workshops on the SPP website at the completion of their term, where they will hopefully have an “afterlife” for our members and other pathologists. The committee also approved requiring presenters of new workshops beginning in 2004 to provide images in CD-ROM format, rather than transparency, for distribution to attendees. Presenters of the new workshops for 2003 are encouraged to provide CD-ROM images, and continuing workshop presenters may provide digital images if they like.

Extramural subcommittee:

The extramural subcommittee’s role is to focus attention on the SPP’s educational interactions with other scientific groups and societies. Two major activities are proceeding under this subcommittee.

  1. COG Update - We identified a need to provide the Children’s Oncology Group with a venue to present updated information on protocol requirements, biology studies and trial results that would reach a larger audience of affiliated institutional pathologists than the COG meetings, which are generally attended by only disease chairs and reviewers. We hope the COG update will become a standing item on the interim meeting program, probably in a breakfast setting format. The committee approved inclusion of a COG Update at the 2003 and 2004 interim meetings.
  2. Free standing perinatal-placental course proposal - At the spring 2002 Council meeting, Council authorized further investigation of a freestanding perinatal course under SPP sponsorship. Ona Faye-Petersen has volunteered to be “Course Director in-planning”. With the assistance of Mr. Crimmons and the USCAP staff, she will be developing a more detailed feasibility plan and financial projections to be presented at the spring 2003 meeting. Assuming an affirmative outcome from these studies, we hope to be able to offer the course in late 2004 or early 2005. The course will be primarily for general pathologists and trainees to assist them in the evaluation of perinatal and placental specimens. . Dr. Faye-Petersen would like to receive suggestions for the course from the membership regarding venue, meeting length, target audience physicians, and potential topics for inclusion.

PRACTICE COMMITTEE
Ted Pysher, Chair

The SPP Practice Committee met on Thursday, September 26, prior to the fall meeting in Dallas. Drs. Davis, Hicks, Johnson-Welch, Kim, Kohut, Montefiore, Novak, Pysher, and Rabah attended. Drs. Jaffe, deSa, and Jockin were guests.

Final revisions to the SPP Position Paper on Perinatal and Pediatric Postmortem Examination were approved. The SPP Council also approved this document, which has been posted on the SPP Website (SPP Members need to logon the Members Only area to see the paper), together with links to pages on the websites of the College of American Pathologists and Royal College of Pathologists dealing with the autopsy. Comments on the paper, or recommendations for additional links should be sent to Dr. Pysher at pctpyshe@ihc.com.

The Case Study Survey Subcommittee chaired by Dr. Gloria Kohut is finalizing the cases for the 2003 cycle and registration forms for the Survey will be included in the annual dues statement. Only a few perinatal and placental cases were submitted for the Survey. Any SPP members may submit cases, and those wanting to do so should contact Dr. Kohut at Gloria.Kohut@spectrum-health.org. In addition to the 15 glass slide cases, we will be piloting a projection slide format for a small biopsy case, and look forward to the comments of subscribers. Dr. Bob Novak, who has served as Coordinator of the Survey for many years, will be posting a few older cases on the SPP Website, and the committee also looks forward to member comments about this use of the material.

SPP members will also be receiving a practice patterns questionnaire in the annual dues mailing. Please complete and return this form, as the data will be used to gauge workforce needs and plan future activities of the SPP. An electronic copy of the form can be downloaded from the SPP Website (click to open the Word document), completed, and then e-mailed as an attachment to Dr. Mary Davis at mdavis2@iupui.edu. Alternatively, you can chose a PDF version, and mail the completed form to Dr. Davis.

FELLOWSHIP COMMITTEE
Alba Greco, Chair

A fellowship program survey recently completed by the fellowship committee is now posted in detail on the SPP website. The survey showed the following:

Programs with filled positions for 2002-2003 = 10

Programs with filled positions for 2003-2004 = 10

The fellowship program list on the website has also been updated. Program Directors should send notice to Alba Greco or Hal Pinar of any revisions to this information so that the list can be kept current. New programs will be added to the list as soon as complete information is received.

The committee is gathering information to prepare guidelines that should help program directors deal with the “evaluation and competency” of pediatric pathology fellows during their training. The committee would appreciate any input relating to these topics. Please share your thoughts with Alba Greco.

NOMINATING COMMITTEE
Derek deSa, Chair

The nominating committee approved the following slate of officers:

President: Denis Benjamin

Secretary-Treasurer: Hal Pinar

Councilor at-large: Kathleen Patterson

Councilor at-large: David Witte

Two new committee chairs were appointed to replace long-serving chairmen of the Research and Practice Committees (Raj Kapur and Ted Pysher, respectively) after their terms are completed in March. Gail Deutsch (Research) and Gareth Jevon (Practice) will assume the chairs of these committees. The Society owes each of the retiring committee chairs a great debt of gratitude for the service they have given us.

Deb Perry steps down as Secretary/Treasurer next spring after 5 years of outstanding work. I need hardly remind the members that without her work, and that of her predecessors, this Society could not function. From me, personally , and on the behalf of all members; "Thanks Deb! We would be in a mess without your contribution.”

LONG TERM PLANNING COMMITTEE
Cheryl Coffin, Chair

Minutes of Long Term Planning Committee Meeting
September 28, 2002
2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Dallas, TX

I. Charge to the Committee (SPP Bylaws, Article VI, Section 6.b).

  1. This committee shall study topics of general and special interest and concern to pediatric pathologists, particularly those relating to the present and future long-term goals and policies of the Society.
  2. It shall deliberate and recommend means and explore avenues whereby these goals and aims could be implemented and broadened.
  3. It will also be within the scope of this committee to overview the relationship of the Society to other scientific bodies, and to suggest changes in overall direction of the Society.
  4. The committee will be responsible for the development of long-range plans (five and ten years) for the Society, and for periodic review of those plans.
  5. The committee shall report to the Council.

II. Past activities of the Long Term Planning Committee

  1. The Fall, 2001, Long Term Planning Report was reviewed by Dr. Charles Timmons and minutes from this meeting were circulated.
  2. Review of committee activities from the more distant past was discussed by the group.
  3. Action Item: Cheryl Coffin will draft a report of accomplishments from previous Long Term Planning Committee activities and will circulate it to the committee for editing.

III. Current and new priorities for the Long Term Planning Committee

  1. A group discussion by committee members and guests revealed the following list of priorities and opportunities for improvement, listed below in order of frequency.
  1. Manpower and recruitment into pediatric pathology
  2. Scholarship, research, and academic development
  3. Practice standards and clinical excellence
  4. Value of pediatric pathology as a specialty from the clinical perspective
  5. Outreach
  6. Medical, legal, forensic, and ethical issues
  7. Medical student and resident education in pediatric pathology
  8. Continuing medical education in pediatric pathology
  9. Other priorities less frequently mentioned: subspecialty expertise, workload of pediatric pathologists, Society for Pediatric Pathology diploma, patient safety, evidence-based medicine, telepathology, data repository on value of the pediatric autopsy, and collaborations between the USCAP and the SPP.
  1. Action Item: A draft of a preliminary strategic plan will be prepared by Cheryl Coffin and other committee members based on the results of this discussion and past committee activities. The preliminary strategic plan will be an agenda item for the Fall, 2003, Long Term Planning Committee meeting.

IV. Outreach

  1. A. Denis Benjamin, Derek deSa, Hector Monforte, and Henry Krous discussed ideas for international outreach and specific projects, with further discussion from committee members.
  2. B. Action Item: Denis, Derek, Hector, and Henry will prepare a specific set of recommendations for outreach by the Society for Pediatric Pathology and its members and will present it at a future committee meeting.

V. Future activities

  1. When a strategic plan has been developed, it will be presented to the SPP Council, and suggestions will be made for involvement of appropriate committees.
  2. A process for annual review of the strategic plan and its accomplishments will be discussed at future meetings of the Long Term Planning Committee and the SPP Council.

DISTINCTION AND AWARDS COMMITTEE
Antonio R. Perez-Atayde, Chair

Lotte Strauss Lecture

The Lotte Strauss Prize, which is awarded annually to the author of the best paper published on a subject germane to pediatric pathology in the preceding year by an individual 40 years of age or younger, was awarded to Dr. Jean-Christophe Fournet during the 2002 spring meeting in Chicago. He received the prize as first author of the paper: Unbalanced Expression of 11p15 Imprinted Genes in Focal Forms of Congenital Hyperinsulinism. Association with a Reduction to Homozygosity of a Mutation in ABCC8 or KCNJ11, published in the American Journal of Pathology, 2001;158:2177. During the recent fall meeting in Dallas he presented the Lotte Strauss Lecture entitled Congenital Hyperinsulinism: When Molecular Biology Meets Morphology. His lecture was superb, very well received, and generated many questions and lively discussion. Dr. Fournet, formerly at Necker-Enfants Malades in Paris, is currently an Invited Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montreal and staff Pediatric Pathologist at Hopital Sainte-Justine, Montreal, Quebec.

Awards for scientific presentations at the Dallas meeting

At the SPP’s September meeting in Dallas, TX, two individuals were recognized for meritorious scientific efforts.

The Vawter Pathologist in Training Award was presented to Dr. Payal Kapur, M.D. Children’s Medical Center, Dallas, TX for her paper: MIB-1 labeling index predicts progression free survival in a large group of pediatric pilocytic astrocytomas. (see abstract below)

The Neustein "Novel Technology" Award was presented to Dr. Philip J Katzman, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY for his paper Cardiac registry screening for DiGeorge critical region deletion using loss of heterozygosity (LOH) analysis. (see abstract below)

Vawter Award Abstract:

MIB-1 LABELING INDEX PREDICTS PROGRESSION FREE SURVIVAL IN A LARGE GROUP OF PEDIATRIC PILOCYTIC ASTROCYTOMAS.

P. Kapur, MD; D. Bowers, MD; L. Gargan, PhD; J. Reisch, PhD; L. Margraf, MD, Children's Medical Center and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX.

Pilocytic astrocytoma (PA), a common and often indolent tumor, may show more aggressive behavior in a subset of cases. Tumor histology is a poor predictor of clinical outcome and previous studies of the MIB-1 labeling index (LI) have been inconclusive in predicting progression free survival (PFS). We evaluated the MIB-1 LI as a predictor of PFS in PA. We reviewed the clinical data of 141 children with PA, treated at our institution between 1982 and 2000. The mean age at diagnosis was 7.5 years (range: 0.4-18.6). The mean follow up period was 4.5 years (range: 0.1 to 16.4). 54 (38%) children underwent complete surgical resection. The PFS and overall survival were 62% and 94%, respectively. Immunostaining for MIB-1 (Ki-67, Dako) was performed on paraffin sections, and MIB-1 LI was determined in 118 patients. The MIB-1 LI ranged from 0.1 to 9.1 (mean =1.6 +/-1.6). By log rank analysis, the PFS was significantly higher for children with a tumor MIB-1 LI of <2.0 (p=0.02). There was no statistically significant correlation between MIB-1 LI and patient’s sex, age at diagnosis, time for tumor progression, or location of tumor. Tumor progression resulted in a higher MIB-1 LI in 8 out of the 11 cases (73%) that underwent further surgery. We propose that routine use of MIB-1 staining may help in prognostication of PA.

Neustein Award Abstract:

CARDIAC REGISTRY SCREENING FOR DIGEORGE CRITICAL REGION DELETION USING LOSS OF HETEROZYGOSITY (LOH) ANALYSIS.

PJ Katzman, MD; G Cox, MD; L Smoot, MD, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA and University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY.

Background: DiGeorge(DGS), velocardiofacial(VCFS), and conotruncal anomaly face(CTAFS) syndromes represent a phenotypic spectrum with a submicroscopic 22q11.2 deletion in common. These syndromes variably express complex congenital heart disease; cellular immunity deficits; hypocalcemia; facial anomalies; and learning disabilities. A retrospective study of patients with well-characterized cardiac anomalies is presented that correlates the presence of deletion with autopsy and clinical findings.

Methods: DNA was extracted from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded cardiac tissue sampled from 191 patients with conotruncal anomalies in the Cardiac Registry of Boston Children's Hospital. PCR was performed using 4 fluorescent-labeled oligonucleotide primer pairs in the DiGeorge critical region. PCR products were multiplex sequenced and the allelic sizes were analyzed. A deletion was considered probable when 3 or 4 consecutive loci demonstrated LOH.

Results: 20 (10%) of 191 patients demonstrated probable deletions. 6 of the 20 patients were DiGeorge patients with various conotruncal anomalies. Of the remaining 14 patients, 6 had aortic atresia and 3 had tetralogy of Fallot.

Discussion: This study used an alternative to FISH for detecting 22q11.2 deletions in archived tissue samples. The patients with LOH are currently being analyzed using 10 primer pairs to confirm the presence of a deletion.




Comings and Goings

Dr. Dagmar Kalousek retired on September 1 after 30 years of outstanding clinical work and contributions to pediatric pathology. She can be reached at:

joe.kalousek@nrc.ca
Dr. D.K. Kalousek
3168 West 44th Avenue,
Vancouver, B.C.
V6N 3K6




Welcome New Member

Regular:

Dr. Maria S. Correa-Rivas, Assistant Professor, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine




Other Announcements

A reminder from the Abstract Subcommittee:

Each abstract submission to the SPP requires the author’s signature verifying the elements in the disclosure statement. Your attention is being drawn again to item #1 on the form that reads “This abstract is original material not previously published or submitted for publication or presentation at another meeting.” We hope all participants abide by this SPP policy.




Call for Nominations

Lotte Strauss Prize

The Lotte Strauss Prize recognizes meritorious work by an individual 40 years of age or younger in a subject germane to pediatric pathology, published or accepted for publication during the 2002. The winner, who will receive a $1000 cash prize and expenses to attend and present at the fall 2003 meeting of the Society, will be announced at the spring 2003 SPP meeting. Nomination requires submission of five copies of the completed paper, a letter from the nominee, sponsor (if the nominee is not an SPP member), and five copies of the nominee's curriculum vitae. If anyone has any questions please contact or call Dr. Perez-Atayde at the number below.

Antonio R. Perez-Atayde MD
Children's Hospital
Department of Pathology
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
617-355-7431
antonio.perezatayde@TCH.Harvard.edu




Call for Applications

Young Investigator Research Grant

Goals:

  1. To foster research within the SPP by providing funds to young investigators in pediatric pathology.
  2. To fund a pilot project which will lead to long-term research support from other granting agencies.

Use of Funds: The funds are to be used to facilitate basic or applied research by a young investigator in the field of pediatric pathology. Research into any aspect of pediatric disease will be considered, including morphological, biochemical, behavioral, physiological, genetic, and epidemiological studies. Appropriate expenditures include capital equipment, reagents and supplies, research-related travel, salary supplementation, service costs (e.g., electron microscopy, histology), and animal care costs. Indirect costs are not allowed.

Eligibility: Applicants must be

  • a MD, PhD, DDS, DVM, or DO 
     AND
  • either a resident or fellow, full-time, in an accredited pathology training program or a faculty/staff person in pediatric pathology for less than 5 years, or working in the laboratory of a faculty/staff person in pediatric pathology
     AND
  • either a member of the SPP or sponsored by a member of the SPP

Amount of Award: An annual award of $10,000 will be made.

Selection Process: Complete applications must be received by the Research Committee no later than February 1, 2003. They will be reviewed by the Committee and the award will be announced at the SPP meeting in March. Consideration will be given to scientific merit and the background and career goals of the applicant. Award funding will begin July 1, 2003.

Application Instructions: Application Instructions can be downloaded directly from the SPP website. (Click here to download). Completed applications should be sent to Raj P. Kapur, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the Research Committee, Department of Pathology - Box 359300 CH37, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, Washington 98105.




Call for Applications

A. James McAdams Short Term Study Stipend

Background: The Society for Pediatric Pathology and Children’s Hospital Medical Center of Cincinnati established the Short-Term Study Stipend to honor A James McAdams, M.D, by promoting opportunities for pediatric pathologists to learn investigative techniques that are not available at their institution.

Goals:

  1. To honor the memory of A. James McAdams, M.D.
  2. To facilitate training of pediatric pathologists in investigative techniques available at other institutions.

Use of Funds: The funds may be used to offset travel and living expenses incurred by a pediatric pathologist who visits another institution in order to develop new research skills related to either clinical or laboratory investigations.

Eligibility: Applicants must be

  • a MD or DO
     AND
  • either a resident or fellow, full-time, in an accredited pathology training program or a faculty/staff person in pediatric pathology
     AND
  • either a member of the SPP or sponsored by a member of the SPP

Amount of Award: An annual award of up to $2,000 will be made to support travel and living expenses for up to one month.

Selection Process: Complete applications must be received by the Research Committee no later than February 1, 2003. They will be reviewed by the Committee and the award will be announced at the SPP meeting in March. Consideration will be given to scientific merit, the background and career goals of the applicant, the expertise and/or resources available at the remote institution. Award funding will begin July 1, 2003.

Application: An application can be downloaded directly from the SPP website. (Click here to download). Completed applications should be sent to Raj P. Kapur, M.D., Ph.D., Chairman of the Research Committee, Department of Pathology - Box 359300 CH37, Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center, 4800 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle, Washington 98105.




Upcoming Meetings

To see the most current list of  upcoming meetings, please refer to our SPP Meetings page.




Positions Available

Please see our SPP Positions Page. for the most current list of available positions.




Photos from the Dallas Meeting 

 
Art Weinberg dances Claire Langston out of her shoes


"YMCA" (low power 4x, trichrome) at the Saturday dinner


Instructor leads Amy Heerema, Raj Kapur and Brigitte Nixon in "YMCA" chorus line (40x)


Our fearless leader astride his high horse


Armadillos really do race... if you ask them nicely


Raj Kapur introduces Dr. Fournet, winner of the 2002 Lotte Strauss Prize


Guest of honor, Bob Bolande, shares some thoughts with the group 


Prize winners, Dinesh Rakheja, Payal Kapur, and Philip Katzman 


Our leaders after a productive session of Council. The fellow in the red shirt 
(Steve Qualman is his name) thought that Texas was very near Hawaii.


Beverly Rogers addresses the multitude on Saturday morning 


Sue Simonton (with spotted hose, of course), Jeffry Goldstein, Edith Hawkins,
 and Hal Pinar on the patio


Paul Dickman wears his hat from the 1986 Dallas meeting and holds his 2002 shirt 


John Buchino and Kathy Nicol between sessions


Linda Margraf and Joe Rutledge, who apparently has never before seen a camera


Don Singer, Ilana Ariel, and Bev Rogers on the patio


Victor Saldivar, Craig Zuppan, Charles Timmons, Alba Greco, and 
Blair Carpenter relax between sessions


Ona Faye-Petersen, Deb Perry, and Margaret Collins at tea 


Harvey Rosenberg, Heather Prashner and Art Weinberg
in the warm Texas sun (editor's prerogative)








Chief/Director
Pathologist
Fellowship