Wednesday, November 16, 2011

SNO is coming down in Southern California!!

For the next couple of days, I'll be blogging live from the 16th annual meeting of the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) in Anaheim, California. SNO is the most inter-disciplinary of the neurologic societies, with membership that includes neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, neuropathologists, radiation oncologists, neuroradiologists, pediatricians, laboratory scientists, nurses, and other specialists. According to a report from SNO's membership committee, a full 5% of SNO membership comes from the specialty of pathology. I am among that 5%. SNO's acknowledgement of the pivotal role neuropathology plays in brain tumor research and treatment is exemplified by the fact that this year the society has recognized a neuropathologist -- Kenneth Aldape, MD from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center -- as recipient of the Victor Levin Award in Neuro-Oncology Research. I'll be in attendance on Friday when Dr. Aldape receives the Levin Award and delivers a plenary session on tumor genetics. SNO has further recognized neuropathology by including "pathology" among the nine Young Investigator Round Table career interest luncheons. Finally, in reviewing the abstracts from the meeting, I see that several posters include neuropathologists among the authors. Although most of these authors are placed in other specialty categories in the abstract book, there is actually a distinct section devoted specifically to pathology. The senior author of one of the posters in the pathology section is a neuropathologist whom I have described previously in this blog as a "rising star in the neuropathology firmament": Craig Horbinski, MD, PhD.  Dr. Horbinski's abstract is  entitled Glioblastoma Survival Varies According to Degree of EGFR Amplification.

The outgoing president of SNO, Frederick F. Lang, MD, writes in the latest issue of SNO News that one of the goals of his presidency has been to "extend a cooperative hand to other like-minded organizations in the USA and internationally. The wisdom of SNO is its inclusion of multiple disciplines, and I have always thought that other organizations should benefit from this wisdom."  In the spirit of this multidisciplinary approach, SNO has partnered this year with the Section of Tumors of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS). I would urge the American Association of Neuropathologists (AANP) to consider partnering with SNO to create a joint meeting. A productive cross-pollination would undoubtedly result.

Keep reading this blog over the next couple of days as I report on the interesting educational and research presentations that will occur as SNO comes sunny Southern California!

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