Day two of the STS/AATS Tech-Con began with a standing room-only session focused on hybrid cardiac programs. It's been interesting to see the tone change on hybrid programs from the STS audience, focused on surgeons, versus the interventional audience at TCT. At STS, sessions on percutaneous valves and hybrid programs have really been a call to action, signaling from STS leadership a need to progress the future of the specialty.
In the various talks regarding the clinical and operational considerations of hybrid programs, one common theme rang throughout them all--the absolute need for collaboration between cardiac surgeons and interventional cardiologists. This was evident at this conference--which is normally attended by surgeons alone--when several interventional cardiologists were invited to deliver and moderate discussions about hybrid programs. Both hybrid procedures and hybrid rooms could bring these specialists together or be the cause of a further chasm between them. STS leadership is definitely presenting the case to work together with interventional cardiologists, especially in light of the fact that so few cardiac surgeons have endovascular experience.
STS/AATS Tech-Con 2010: Going Hybrid
Greeting from sunny Florida! I'm currently in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) and The American Association for Thoracic Surgery (AATS) 2010 conference. We're currently at the STS/AATS Tech-Con, which is full of innovative sessions on the latest advancements in minimally invasive techniques and new technologies.
The Tech-Con began by covering the changing dynamic of the cardiothoracic specialty and how training programs must adapt to develop new cardiothoracic surgeons. The moderator of the session, Dr. Irving Kron from the University of Virginia, finished his introductory remarks with the theme of the session, it is a "Time of Change." With the advent of more cardiac-specific percutaneous therapies on the horizon and the continued dwindling of both CT surgery volumes and resident applicants, the leadership of STS continues to push its membership to move towards a new paradigm of cardiothoracic surgery.
STS/AATS Tech-Con 2010 - Evolving Current and Future Surgeons Towards New Paradigm of Cardiac Surgery
My colleague Allison Shimooka just listed a great posting on the topic of recent developments in the regulation of genetic testing. With the increasingly important, yet somewhat ill-defined, role of genetic testing in cancer care, this is a particularly interesting commentary:
ASCO recently released updated guidelines for genetic testing. The original recommendations were published in 2003 (you can access them here. These new recommendations reflect new developments over the past seven years.
The updated recommendations focus on determining the role of genetic testing in cancer; more specifically, whether the tests are "professionally mediated and have clinical utility." Over the past several years, there has been a surge of interest in genetic testing, particularly amongst the general population driven in large part by direct-to-consumer advertising and numerous news reports on the topic. In fact, many would argue that interest far surpasses the technology, presenting cancer providers with some tricky situations. Namely, many patients are asking for the service, whether they are candidates or not, and there are a limited number of clinicians with the skills and infrastructure to provide the service. Cancer programs have responded quickly, hiring genetic counselors and setting up high risk clinics.
ASCO Releases Guidelines for Genetic Testing