Melanoma: Success of the International Course
During these two days, some of the most renowned pathologists and physicians specializing in cutaneous and ocular melanoma from around the world lectured on the most difficult diagnostic problems encountered by practicing pathologists. For example, the failure to diagnose melanoma is, first of all, perhaps, the most serious problem for patient care. However, over-diagnosis of melanoma also may have serious consequences for patients. The objectives of the Course were to provide pathologists with the fundamental information to address these critical issues of over and under diagnosis of melanoma but also to cover rather comprehensively the most difficult problems in melanoma pathology. Particular emphasis was placed on the recognition and evaluation of an intermediate category of melanocytic lesions especially difficult and which are often depicted as “uncertain tumors” and which often carry an “uncertain malignant potential”. The Course participants were able to test their diagnostic skills via the examination of digitized microscopic images of difficult or “uncertain” cases made available to them online before coming to the Course.
Organized by Professors Raymond Barnhill, Director of the Course (Institut Curie), Klaus Busam (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA) and Richard Scolyer (Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Melanoma Institute of Australia, Sydney, Australia), the Course covered a wide variety of subjects and diverse techniques applicable to this field, ranging from conventional microscopy to genetic tests, as well as the latest advances in immunotherapy and targeted therapies.
One entire session was dedicated to ocular melanoma with the participation of Professor Nathalie Cassoux (Curie), Professor Raymond Barnhill (Curie), Dr. Sophie Piperno-Neumann (Curie), Dr. Manuel Rodrigues (Curie), and Professor Sarah Coupland (University of Liverpool, UK). As a national reference center for uveal melanoma, the mission of Institut Curie is to establish national standards for the optimal management and therapy of this cancer, to develop innovative clinical trials, to collect data in a dedicated computerized national data base, to promote research on this rare tumor, to educate the public, and, finally, to train health care professionals.
In conclusion, this inaugural Course on the Pathology of Melanoma was a tremendous success, and because of the perceived need for such a Course, it will henceforth become an annual event.