Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month and PBPath Society Updates

Dear colleagues,

November is Pancreas Cancer Awareness Month, and today (Thursday, November 18) is World Pancreatic Cancer Day, when “loved ones, communities and organizations around the world unite to shine a light on pancreatic cancer” (World Pancreatic Cancer Day) specifically to raise awareness of the disease and its presenting symptoms, in hopes for earlier detection and a greater possibility of survival.  Please take this opportunity to reflect on our PBPS’s efforts to enhance collaboration, stimulate research, and disseminate knowledge about pancreatic and biliary diseases – wear purple! And tell your colleagues, friends, and associates about what we are doing to help combat pancreatic cancer.  PBPS members have an understanding of these diseases (plural intended) that provides a vital context for clinical and basic researchers, so engagement of pathologists in the study of pancreatic neoplasia is a key to success.  I know I am preaching to the choir here, but we need to actively (aggressively) engage with other researchers to ensure our impact is contributed!

There are many updates from the leadership of our Society.  We have enhanced our website with additional content, including the ongoing “Case of the Quarter” feature, led by Dr. Elizabeth Thompson and our new “Challenging Case” content, which will allow the posting of whole slide images of truly challenging or controversial cases to enable members to contribute their comments about the findings.  This feature is led by Dr. Rondell Graham and will establish an interesting dialog about these diagnostic conundrums.

In other news, the Grossing Working Group, led by Dr. Grace Kim and Dr. Daniela Allende, published a paper in Am J Surg Pathol recently detailing their recommendations for grossing pancreatic specimens, entitled Towards a More Standardized Approach to Pathologic Reporting of Pancreatoduodenectomy Specimens for Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma: Cross-continental and Cross-specialty Survey from the Pancreatobiliary Pathology Society Grossing Working Group (PMID 33899890;  This paper will hopefully help standardize our approach to these challenging specimens, and I congratulate the members of this working group.

Members of the PBPS are also participating in a number of courses.  Drs. Olca Basturk and Michelle Reid presented a session at the CAP annual meeting on September 28 entitled EUS-Guided and “SpyBite” Biopsies of Pancreatic and Biliary Tract Lesions (FNA versus Biospy), which explored the relative utility of different diagnostic approaches to pancreatic lesions.  Soon there will also be a PathCast course organized with the PBPS, which will be a FREE 2 day online course, aired on January 29-30, 2022.  Details on the content and how to attend will be sent soon!

Finally, we are eagerly anticipating the next USCAP meeting, which is scheduled to be an in-person event, happily.  In addition to the PBPS Companion Meeting, there promises to be multiple presentations and courses on pancreatobiliary pathology, and details will be provided in another missive early in the new year.  For now, please remind your trainees about the PBPS abstract prize for USCAP submissions on pancreatobiliary topics.  The prize is for trainees only and comes with a $500 cash award and the opportunity to be honored at the Companion Society meeting and photographed with me (booster stool will be provided).  The deadline to submit abstracts for consideration is February 1, 2022, and they should be emailed to Dr. Michell Reid, Chair of the Education Committee (

I will write again with more updates soon.  Thank you for your participation in the PBPS; with your help we are succeeding in bringing these important topics to center stage in the pathology community, and the response and impact has already been tremendous!  

Best wishes for the holiday season.

David Klimstra