2020-2021 Series

Donna K. Russell, Chair
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY

Mitigation efforts related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) have required everyone to work within rapidly changing, complex circumstances which create a variety of unique situations. Many cytopathology professionals are now working remotely and are finding time for completing continuing education requirements.

Education is about to be revamped and working remotely is the new norm due to the virus.  It is online learning’s big moment. The pandemic is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the education skills needed in this unpredictable time such as informed decision making, creative problem solving, and perhaps above all adaptability.

We all should take advantage of this time when specimens are at a lower volume and enroll in the American Society of Cytopathology (ASC) Cyto-econference series.

The 2020-2021 Webinars promise to deliver outstanding educational sessions!

Our series began with past president of the ASC, Dr. Barbara A. Crothers from the Joint Pathology Center in Silver Spring, Maryland presenting the International System (TIS) for reporting Serous Fluid Cytology in April 2020. This was a first look at the proposed terminology of body fluids.  This webinar addressed some of the diagnostic and reporting challenges and how to resolve them.

In May 2020 Dr. Christopher J. VandenBussche from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland presented challenging cases in urinary tract specimens.  He will also discuss the best way to interpret and implement The Paris System for Reporting Urinary Cytology.

The June 2020 webinar involves another past president of the ASC, Dr. Michael Henry from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota who looked at the current state of HPV testing, including testing modalities, epidemiology and uses for testing in cervical disease.  Use of HPV testing in QA will also be explored.

Dr. Daniel N. Johnson from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois will provide a detailed review on salivary gland cytology and how far to go on fine needle aspiration in July 2020.  He will use The Milan System for Reporting Salivary Gland Cytopathology for guiding effective reporting and he will advise attempts to grade malignancies as low or high grade to provide a specific diagnosis when possible.

Dr. Ritu Nayar, past president of the ASC and Vice Chair at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Illinois and Dr. Teresa Darragh from the University of California – San Francisco, California will present the new 2020 Risk-Based Management Consensus Guidelines in August 2020. The guidelines have several important differences from the 2012 Guidelines and are electronic in format.  The new guidelines will allow updates and new technology to be incorporated at a faster rate than the preceding guidelines.

In September 2020 Dr. Ashish Chandra, one of our international members from London, England will present the five-tiered International System for Reporting Serous Fluid Cytopathology.  Diagnostic criteria and risk of malignancy for each of the five groups will be discussed based on existing evidence.

In October 2020, another international member will discuss the role of the cytopathologist in the frontline of the genomics laboratory. Pre-analytical factors that affect the quality of molecular tests will be reviewed. Management of the sample from FNA to molecular testing in the context of morphology will be addressed in a multidisciplinary approach by Dr. Fernando Schmitt from Porto Portugal.

One of the ASC Executive Board Cytotechnologist Members Michele Smith, MS, SCT(ASCP) from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin will provide a cornucopia of cytology cases while analyzing morphology, coding and billing.  This webinar promises to create a new twist on a dry topic of billing and coding, but one that we all need to be familiar with for compliance.  Please join us in November 2020 for this webinar.

To complete 2020, in December we will be updated on Immunohistochemistry in Cytopathology and Validation before Frustration by a past ASC Executive Board Member Lynnette Savaloja Pineault, MPA, SCT(ASCP) from Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota  As new immunohistochemical stains are available in the laboratory validations must be performed.  This webinar will provide an overview of IHC validation regulations and guidelines.

As we approach the New Year, 2021 we should celebrate the ending of 2020, reflect on the past and acknowledge the experiences and challenges we faced.  We also should look forward to the New Year with anticipation and excitement.  A positive outlook and determined spirit offers a fresh new beginning. As 2021 begins focus on your goals and let your attitude be happy, positive, and encouraging to others.

“I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” —Thomas Jefferson

Our first speaker in January 2021 will be Dr. Jennifer Brainard from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio.  She will be discussing Interesting Cases in the Lung and Mediastinum and recognizing things are often not as they seem.  It is important to be prepared for the unexpected in the pulmonary suite and she will demonstrate how on-site adequacy assessment provides an opportunity to ensure a diagnostic sample and triage specimens in real time.

Dr. Bonnie Choy from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois will present on kidney FNA and recognizing the common and not so common entities in February 2021.  This is a case-based webinar will allow participants to explore common and unexpected entities in cytopathology kidney masses and how current ancillary studies will assist in the diagnosis.

The cyto-econference series will end in March of 2021 with Dr. Christine Booth, an ASC Executive Board Member from the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio discussing Optimizing Rapid On-Site Evaluations in the Bronchoscopy Suite.  This webinar will provide participants an opportunity to understand issues surrounding specimen triage and highlight some of the pitfalls on EBUS rapid on-site evaluations with a particular focus to optimizing patient care.