It is my great pleasure and honor to have served as the president of the Papanicolaou Society of Cytopathology (PSC) since March of 2019. This organization through its members was founded to join the disciplines of cytopathology and surgical pathology as a unit to develop and teach comprehensive diagnostic guidelines and principles for pathologists and pathologist-trainees worldwide. The PSC has continued to follow its mission of educating its members via national and international meeting and conferences, and has continued to develop evidence-based guidelines in cytopathology and small biopsy histopathology.
In late February, 2020 at the annual meeting of the USCAP in Los Angeles, the PSC continued its educational tradition by offering a wonderful well-received companion scientific session that was entitled “Status of Current HPV Testing and the New ASCCP Guideline for Management and Follow-up Testing Recommendations.” The session was moderated by Lester Layfield, chair of the scientific committee. Ritu Nayer started the session with her presentation entitled “What’s New in the 2019 ASCCP Guideline, Management and Follow-up Recommendations.” This was followed by Marion Seville who presented “HPV Primary Testing: The Australian Experience,” and by Dina Mody who presented Challenges in Cervical Biopsies.” The session concluded with Mark Stoler’s talk entitled “HPV Vaccination: Current Status.”
Several prestigious awards were given to distinguished pathologists within the field of cytology at the PSC companion session at the 2020 USCAP. Edmund Cibas received the PSC Life-Time Achievement Award, Martha Pitman received the L.C. Tao Educator of the Year Award, and Ricardo Bardales received the Yolanda Oertel Interventional Cytopathologist Award. The research committee reviewed many abstracts for the PSC Research Pathologists in Training Awards in the field of cytopathology. First Place was awarded to Amin Heidarian from Massachusetts General Hospital for the work entitled “Cytology Adds Value to Monoclonal Antibody DAS-1 Testing for Detection of High-Risk Pancreatic Cysts.” Second place was awarded to Ami Patel from Well-Cornell Medicine for the work entitled “Next-Generation Sequencing of Cell-Free DNA Extracted from Pleural Effusion Supernatant: Applications and Challenges.”
Although the PSC Companion meeting at the 2020 USCAP was a great success, PSC teaching commitments at subsequently scheduled international venues were cancelled due to the emergence of COVID-19. These included a PSC sponsored FNA Tutorial in Santiago, Chile in August, 2020, and a PSC companion session at the 43rd European Congress of Cytology (ECC) conference in Wroclaw, Poland in October 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has required the PSC to utilize alternative methods of giving presentations at future venues as we adjust to the current limitations on travel and social interaction. The PSC is still committed to its teaching mission and participation with companion societies on the worldwide stage. We are happy to offer a PSC companion session at the upcoming virtual USCAP meeting in March of 2021, entitled “Current Challenges, Recent Developments, and Future Directions for Cytopathology.” The PSC is planning on presenting live or virtually at the American Society of Cytopathology annual meeting in Las Vegas in November 2021, and either virtually or live at the rescheduled ECC conference in Wroclaw in October 2021. The FNA tutorial in Santiago, Chile will also take place live, hopefully in late 2021 or early 2022, whenever it is safe to do so.
This past year during the pandemic has been especially challenging for all of us within our profession. I encourage all members of the PSC to maintain collegial contact with one another, and actively participate in our educational activities, as we maintain our global influence within the fields of cytopathology and surgical pathology.
Matthew A. Zarka, M.D.