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Diagnostics Oncology, Profession, Genetics and epigenetics, Omics

On The Road Less Well Traveled

What drew you to GI tract and hepatobiliary (HPB) cancer?

As a resident at Yale, I encountered a rare case of pancreatic acinar cell carcinoma. It was a challenging diagnosis, and required electron microscopy to confirm at that time. My mentor, Juan Rosai, told me that there were no comprehensive studies on this tumor type, and no immunohistochemical markers available to establish the diagnosis. He suggested that I assemble a series of cases, and arranged for me to review the collection of the US Armed Forces Institute of Pathology. After I completed my study, I realized that there were very few American pathologists studying pancreatic neoplasia – and I decided to make this a focus of my research.

Coincidentally, not long after this, I joined Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), where I assisted the pathologist responsible for GI neoplasms, Stephen Sternberg. I was asked to establish GI pathology as my subspecialty, and over the next 25 years, my close collaborations with the clinical and research teams working in HPB/GI cancers at MSKCC cemented my interest in this area of pathology.

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About the Author

David Klimstra

David Klimstra is Chair, Department of Pathology, James Ewing Alumni Chair of Pathology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, USA.

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