Pathologists and healthcare leaders urged to collaborate to transform cancer diagnostics

Leica Biosystems has launched The Future of Pathology Expert Report, which calls for pathologists and healthcare leaders to collaborate in pursuit of their common goal – to improve cancer diagnostics. Given the uncertain times currently faced by healthcare communities globally, The Future of Pathology Report details how the field of pathology can evolve to meet these challenges.

The Future of Pathology Expert Report, available now at www.thefutureofpathology.com, outlines key areas driving change in pathology worldwide, identifies challenges, and shines a light on the opportunities to transform the profession and improve cancer diagnostics and the delivery of patient care. The report was developed by an international panel of pathologists in consultation with healthcare executives, cancer stakeholders, and pathology leaders.

Cancer cases are predicted to increase by 70% over the next two decades, although the number of pathologists is in decline – by 2030, there will be a deficit equivalent to 5700 pathologists in the USA, and in the UK, a third of all clinical pathologists (32%) are expected to retire within the next five years. As outlined in The Future of Pathology Expert Report, developments that enable pathologists to diagnose cancer quickly and more accurately are increasingly important.

Recommendations in The Future of Pathology Expert Report include:

  • Realising the potential for digital pathology (DP) and artificial intelligence (AI) – embracing new technologies to deliver efficiencies, better quality of care, and greater support for pathologists
  • Unlocking the power of molecular pathology to make a forward leap to personalised medicine and improved cancer treatment and care
  • Engagement with hospital administrators, so pathologists demonstrate the value they provide to hospitals and cancer departments – leading to improved perceptions and resource allocation
  • Pathologist integration in educational programmes, including dedicated outreach to attract and recruit undergraduate medical students, plus greater emphasis on lifelong learning 'on the job' – leading to a stronger, sustainable pathology workforce

The report features chapters on four priority focus areas, written by pathologists Dr Matthew Clarke and Dr Bethany Williams from the UK, and Dr Jerad Gardner and Dr Tiffany Graham from the USA. The subjects are: Pathologist Education; Digital Pathology and AI; Improving Perceptions of Pathology; and Molecular Pathology.

The Future of Pathology Expert Report is part of an initiative to ignite the conversation between pathologists and healthcare leaders about how to transform cancer diagnostics and advance patient care. The initiative is the catalyst for a conversation, bringing together stakeholders from across the care continuum to discuss the common goal of improving cancer diagnostics. It was launched at an event at The Royal College of Pathologists in London, UK, on International Pathology Day 2019, and captured in this short film.