2016 Annual Meeting

SC27-A Pattern-Based Approach to the Diagnosis of Soft Tissue Tumors

Room CC 602-603, March 18 2016, 8:00am to 11:30am


SC27-A Pattern-Based Approach to the Diagnosis of Soft Tissue Tumors

Session Credits: 3 CME and 3 SAMs

Faculty: Leona A. Doyle, MD, and Jason L. Hornick, MD, PhD; Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

The diagnosis of soft tissue tumors can be a significant challenge, even to the experienced surgical pathologist, due to the broad morphologic spectrum of mesenchymal tumors and histologic overlap among soft tissue tumors and non-mesenchymal neoplasms. Furthermore, shared immunohistochemical features as well as genetic alterations are common. While current classification schemes guide the organization of most soft tissue tumors based on the line of differentiation exhibited by the tumor cells, for many soft tissue tumors, the lineage is not obvious. This course will teach a pattern-based approach to the evaluation of soft tissue tumors, guided by the predominant cytomorphology (i.e., epithelioid, spindle cell, pleomorphic, round cell), with an emphasis on the integration of clinical findings and morphologic features, as well as the judicious application of immunohistochemistry and other ancillary tests, particularly FISH, in differential diagnosis. The goal is to provide a practical approach to the differential diagnosis of the most common and clinically important soft tissue tumors within each morphologic group. Cases will be used to illustrate the specific points addressed above. This course is appropriate for pathologists in training and general surgical pathologists. Pre-registrants will be able to view case histories and virtual slides of the study cases on the USCAP website prior to the meeting. A comprehensive syllabus (PowerPoint presentations and key references) will be provided online prior to the meeting.

Upon completion of the course, participants should be able to

  1. Recognize the predominant cytologic patterns exhibited by commonly encountered soft tissue tumors and formulate an appropriate differential diagnosis
  2. Recognize the significance of clinical context in the interpretation of histologic findings
  3. Incorporate appropriate ancillary diagnostic tests, e.g. immunohistochemistry and FISH, in the evaluation of soft tissue tumors, and recognize their strengths and limitations.


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