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June 2017

PROMOTING COMPETENCY AND USE OF MOLECULAR TECHNOLOGIES IN FUTURE CLINICAL PRACTICE AMONG DERMATOPATHOLOGY TRAINEES: ROLE OF EARLY ADOPTER-EDUCATORS.


A recent survey-based study assessed pedagogical strategies in molecular diagnostics, genomics and personalized medicine in US-accredited dermatopathology fellowship programs.


  • All responding program directors agreed that it is important for dermatopathology fellowship programs to incorporate education in this area as a formal part of the training curriculum (n=31; response rate = 58%).


  • Widespread clinical use of nine queried skin-directed molecular technologies was identified among responding dermatopathology fellowship program directors.


  • The most common responses included BRAF gene testing in melanoma (97%), FISH testing of melanocytic tumors (94%), surface receptor gene rearrangement (“clonality”) and/or chromosomal translocation analysis in cutaneous lymphomas (81%), and CGH or single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array testing of melanocytic tumors (71%). The least commonly utilized techniques were next generation sequencing (39%) and human telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) promoter mutation analysis of melanocytic tumors (13%). All responding programs directors reported clinical experience with two or more molecular testing strategies.


  • Dermatopathology fellowship programs are ideally suited for early engagement of trainees in skin-directed molecular technologies.


  • The broad clinical expertise with molecular assays and strong advocacy for relevant training among dermatopathology fellowship directors supports the importance of early adopter-educators in promoting competency and use of molecular technologies in future clinical practice among dermatopathology trainees.


Source: M Murphy. J Cutan Pathol 2017;44:599-600.