Basel Seminars in Pathology and Genetics: Head and Neck Pathology (22-23 June 2018)
The medieval city of Basel, Switzerland, is set on the river Rhine, and is known for its numerous museums as well as being home to several large pharmaceutical companies. The Basel seminars in pathology run every year at the Institute of pathology, University Hospital. Each year has a different theme and this year’s seminar was based around Head and Neck Pathology.
Renowned speakers were invited from across the globe including; Professor Daniel Baumhoer (Switzerland), Professor Justin Bishop (USA), Professor Pieter Slootweg (Netherlands), Professor Paul Speight (UK), Professor Goran Stenman (Sweden) and Professor Lester Thompson (USA).
The first day was intensely packed with back to back lectures. Professor Slootweg started the day by giving us insight into the complex and lengthy process of editing the new WHO classification for head and neck tumours. Professor Paul Speight followed this with a talk on odontogenic cysts, which recently made it back into the blue book. Professor Lester Thompson then gave two energetic lectures on sinonasal entities and introduced us to his mnemonic the memorable ‘MR SLEEP’. In the afternoon we heard again from Professor Speight, this time discussing epithelial dysplasia, as well as talks from Professor Bishop on HPV-related cancer and Professor Slootweg on Odontogenic tumours. The first day was brought to a finale by Professor Goran Stenman with a very comprehensive lecture on the molecular pathology and genetics of head and neck tumours.
The second day started with a double lecture from Professor Justin Bishop. This covered all the newly defined salivary gland tumours which entered the 2017 WHO blue book, as well as more recently refined entities, in particular tumours with known molecular alterations. After a short break, Lester Thompson took to the lectern once more to update us on the controversial thyroid entity of NIFTP. The meeting was drawn to a close by Professor Daniel Baumhoer, who educated us about common pitfalls in consultation cases related to his work with the Bone Tumour Reference Center, Basel.
Overall, this was a superb meeting in a beautiful city. The organisation was excellent and the world class speakers made it a highlight of the year. The 2019 meeting will be based on ‘molecular pathology and genetics’ and I would highly recommend anyone considering attending these meetings to do so.