November, 2007

Dear Society members,

We've had a busy summer and fall and are looking forward to seeing each other again at the upcoming USCAP meeting in Denver. Beverly Nelson has completed her term on the ASCP Companion Meeting Committee (see below) and will be succeeded by Carlos Bueso-Ramos at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Thanks to Beverly and others who have been working for the Society in the past months and congratulations to Carlos.

In addition to your hard work, we also need your continued financial support; dues notices are included in this mailing and prompt payment will be gratefully appreciated. Updates of Society activities and announcements of upcoming events are summarized below.

SH Symposium at the USCAP Meeting in Denver, March 2, 2008
Entitled "New Approaches to Diagnosing and Classifying Aggressive B-cell Lymphomas" and organized by Dan Jones and Eric Hsi, the symposium will link new developments in the genomics, microarray classification and immunohistochemical markers of large B-cell lymphoma and Burkitt lymphoma with increased recognition of histogenetic subtypes and morphological variants.

During the session, Professor David Mason (John Radcliffe Hospital and Oxford University) will discuss using tissue arrays in the search for novel immunophenotypic markers in aggressive B-cell lymphoma. Izidore Lossos (University of Miami School of Medicine) will discuss the transition from biomarker discovery to new therapies in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, including use of gene expression profiling out of paraffin blocks. Professor Elias Campo (University of Barcelona) will discuss insights from genomic and expression array studies, and the limitations of these studies. Finally, Dr. Ahmet Dogan (Mayo Clinic) will discuss both tumor and pharmacogenetic host genetic factors in risk stratification in aggressive B-cell lymphomas.

The talks will be followed by an interactive panel discussion on the best path forward for discovering new biomarkers and improving diagnosis and therapy response prediction in aggressive B-cell lymphoma.

Pathologist-in-Training Award at next USCAP Meeting in Denver
The Society for Hematopathology Pathologist-in Training Award is given each year to a fellow, resident or medical student who presents an outstanding paper (poster or platform) related to hematopathology at the annual USCAP meeting. Previous winners are not eligible. Papers are judged by a committee comprised of members of the SH Executive Committee and scored for scientific approach, significance and presentation. To be eligible for the award, all nominees with posters must be at their posters during the official poster sessions so that they can discuss their work with judges. Each winner receives a $500 prize. Trainees with posters accepted for the Stowell-Orbison competition in the Hematopathology category are automatically nominated and do not need to submit an application. To nominate other trainees, please visit the website (socforheme.org) to check the eligibility requirements and complete the nomination form. The application form should be FAXed to the SH office at 706-733-8033 no later than Friday, February 1, 2008.

Education Committee and Director's Breakfast Meeting at the next USCAP Meeting in Denver
The education committee has been working on two major projects this past year. The first project has been the timing of fellowship interviews and the offering of positions to trainees. Last year, a short survey was given to all fellowship directors, and the results discussed at the 2007 USCAP directors meeting. The following guidelines were then proposed 1) applications received no later than December 15, 2) interviews begin on January 15, 3) positions may be offered anytime after January 15 although directors are encouraged to let applicants complete all of their interviews first. We will send another short survey in late January/early February 2008 to assess how well these guidelines worked and/or were adhered to. We will share the results at the upcoming USCAP meeting (March 2, 2008). Additionally, any related issues such as whether to consider using a "Match" system to maximize fairness will be open for discussion.

The second project has been working on developing a bank of questions that can be used by fellowship directors to test fellows during or at the completion of training as an objective measurement of knowledge (as mandated by ACGME). Several examples were illustrated at last year's meeting and emphasized not just medical knowledge (one of the 6 competencies) but also practice-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice (2 other competencies). There was discussion of whether using virtual microscopy would be an option for such questions. In addition, another testing option became available through ASCP: a fellow in service hematopathology board-like examination (FISHE). We will send a short survey to the fellowship program directors this year asking about their experience and report the results at the March 2, 2008 breakfast meeting.

The hematopathology fellowship director's breakfast meeting will be held in conjunction with the March USCAP meeting and will take place on Sunday morning, March 2, from 7:45-8:30 with a light buffet breakfast to be served from 7:30-7:45. The proposed schedule for the meeting is as follows:

7:30-7:45am: Breakfast

7:45-8:00am: Report on fellowship recruitment (Reichard/Perkins)

  1. Results of survey

  2. Any recruitment issues

  3. Listing on SH website of available fellowship positions

  4. Optional listing of fellows and their selected fellowships
8:00-8:20am: Report on fellow testing per ACGME competencies
  1. Feasibility of virtual microscopy for SH question bank (Craig/Arildsen)

  2. Examples of competency testing (Arildsen)

  3. ASCP FISHE survey results and discussion (Alobeid)
8:20-8:30: General discussion and comments

XIV. Meeting of European Association for Haematopathology (EAHP), Bordeaux, Sept 20-25, 2008
The main topics of the lymphoma symposium will be microenvironment and lymphomagenesis, grey zones around diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, and recent advances in hematopathology. The topic of the subsequent slide workshop will be grey zones around diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. In addition, there will be a one-day bone marrow symposium, an educational session on the updated WHO classification, satellite symposia and a conference on clinical and biological aspects of thymic epithelial tumors. The beautiful historical city of Bordeaux has recently been added to UNESCO's world heritage list and an attractive social program will complement the scientific sessions. Check the website for updated meeting information and deadlines (early March for workshop cases and mid May for scientific abstracts).

SH/EAHP Workshop Proposals for 2009
Members are encouraged to submit proposals for the 2009 workshop. Workshop guidelines are provided on our website and applications are due Jan. 15. A final decision will be made following the next USCAP meeting. Proposals that are received in advance of the deadline will be greatly appreciated. In an effort to suggest topics and potential members for consultation, I have assembled a list of previous sites and topics which is included in my June newsletter on our website.

Case of the Quarter
Cherie Dunphy is actively recruiting cases for the online publication of the Society's Case of the Quarter. If you have an interesting case, please contact her by email or telephone (cdunphy@unch.unc.edu or telephone: 919-843-0718). She will be happy to advise you if your case would be of interest in light of topics that have recently been addressed (or not), as well as provide you with the guidelines for submission.

SH/ASCP Companion Meeting, New Orleans, October 17, 2007
Over 50 registrants attended the 2007 SH ASCP Companion meeting held in New Orleans. The afternoon session moderated by Drs. Beverly Nelson and Patricia Auon featured practical updates in lymphoplasmacytic lymphomas, acute myeloid leukemias, myelodysplastic syndromes, as well as chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The presenters were Drs. Nadine Aguilera, Carlos E. Bueso-Ramos, and Beverly Nelson. The new committee, composed of Drs. Patricia Auon, Jim Cook, and Carlos Bueso-Ramos has now turned its attention to the 2008 ASCP Companion meeting to be held in Maryland.

SH/EAHP Workshop, Indianapolis, IN, November 1-3, 2007
The workshop provided a forum for discussing challenging and interesting cases of myeloid neoplasms and mastocytosis, and addressed critical issues relevant to the diagnosis of these disorders. The meeting featured case discussions, introductory lectures and a scientific symposium. The organizers would like to thank the faculty of the workshop for the outstanding quality of their presentations and in-depth discussions, and the participants for submitting a large number of interesting cases.

More than 170 cases were submitted for review, of which 52 were selected for platform presentations. There were 250 attendees with approximately 20 participants coming from abroad. Social events included a tour of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its museum, and a formal dinner at Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art.

Workshop materials including lectures, case abstracts with images and case presentations are available online at: http://www.iupui.edu/~pathol/HematopathologyWorkshop/ This website can also be accessed through the link at the Society for Hematopathology website and will remain a permanent educational feature of the Society website accessible to the public.

Changes to the Constitution and By-laws proposed by Jim Vardiman and Karen Chang to allow a change in the Society's tax status
The Executive Committee of the Society for Hematopathology has determined that it is in the interest of the Society to seek a change in its tax-exempt status with the IRS from a 501(c)(6) (business association) organization to a 501(c)(3) (charitable, educational) organization for the following reasons: (1) the change in status potentially could allow the Society to diversify its income stream by seeking project funding from foundations that make grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, (2) being a 501(c)(3) organization would allow the Society to apply for sales tax exemptions in the states in which the Society purchases goods or services that could generate savings on workshop costs, (3) changing the Society's tax-exempt status might also allow the use of conference facilities that can be used by 501(c)(3) organizations but not other kinds of nonprofit organizations, potentially providing lower-cost facilities and offering more flexibility in the scheduling of our workshops.

The following changes are proposed and will be voted on at the next General Business Meeting that follows our Scientific Symposium at the Denver meeting (the current constitution and by-laws with the inclusion of these proposed changes will be posted on our website).

By-laws

Article I - Purpose
The Society for Hematopathology (the "Society") shall at all times be operated exclusively as a tax-exempt charitable, educational, and scientific organization (as those terms are defined in Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended) and, in a manner consistent therewith, shall perform the following and other related functions:
(1) promote expertise, effective teaching and productive research in the practice of hematopathology;
(2) assist and promote the development and recognition of resident/fellow training programs in hematopathology and, through the American Board of Pathology, maintain a means by which pathologists may be certified as having special competency in hematopathology;
(3) sponsor and promote the education of physicians and others in health care related to hematopathology; and
(4) establish and maintain appropriate relationships with other societies and groups of physicians, and other scientists, who share professional interests with the Society.

Article X. Dissolution of the Society for Hematopathology
In order to dissolve the Society, the Executive Committee must adopt a resolution recommending that the Society be dissolved and directing that the question of dissolution be submitted to the vote of the Society members. Such resolution must be approved by the voting Members in accordance with the provisions of the District of Columbia (the code governing the dissolution of Nonprofit Corporations). Upon receiving the required Member vote, the Society assets shall be applied and distributed in satisfaction of its liabilities and other obligations as required under the Code, and the Council shall adopt a plan of dissolution for any remaining assets, which plan shall be submitted to the voting Members in accordance with the Code. Such plan shall provide that no such remaining assets shall be distributed to Members or officers of the Society or any private individual, but rather such assets shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or to a state or local government, for a public purpose.

Information from editor-in-chief Han van Krieken (Secretary-Treasurer of EAHP) on the Journal of Hematopathology, a new open access journal
January 1, 2008, the Journal of Hematopathology will be launched. This new, open access journal aims at providing the important developments in Hematopathology for practising hematopathologists, general pathologists with an interest in in hematopathology, hematologists and scientists working in the field of hematopathology. The journal will cover the entire field of hematopathology, including lymphomas, reactive processes, bone marrow diseases, and techniques including flow cytometry, molecular techniques and immunohistochemistry. The first two years the journal will be available on-line without subscription and submission of papers will be at no cost. A printed version will be available at request. I invite you all to submit papers that are of interest for the described audience. The Journal will have a fast reviewing process, and accepted manuscripts will be processed within a very short time and be available on-line. The website (www.springer.com/journal/12308/) is available already and provides additional information; submission will be possible from December 1 on.

Thanks to all of the members who serve the Society in so many different ways. Since I have recently finalized all of my committee appointments, if any of you are interested in serving on one of the committees of the Society, express your interest to president elect Carl Kjeldsberg ckbike@comcast.net (or me rwarnke@stanford.edu).

Regards,

Roger