College of American Pathologists
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  HPV-related neoplasia of lower anogenital tract


CAP Today




September 2011
Feature Story

The CAP Center, in conjunction with the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, is working on a project to standardize terminology for HPV-related neoplasia of the lower anogenital tract.

Initial recommendations were presented this month during the CAP ’11 annual meeting. The Internet-based forum in which all can comment on the draft recommendations is now open ( Final recommendations will be put forth for discussion at the annual meeting of the ASCCP, to be held March 13–14, 2012 in San Francisco.

The nomenclature for squamous dysplasias and early cancers of the anogenital tract has been controversial for many years, with different specialists proposing and using multiple competing terminologies. The understanding of HPV-related disease and molecular biologic characterization of these neoplasias has improved significantly, which may be relevant in unifying the terminology used for diagnosing disease processes across lower anogenital tract sites.

Teresa Darragh, MD, of the University of California San Francisco, and David Wilbur, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, are the project’s co-chairs. Five working groups of leading pathologists and clinicians in the field are reviewing the historical aspects of current nomenclature systems, investigating the potential to harmonize nomenclature for preinvasive and minimally invasive neoplasias, studying the use of molecular markers to define these processes further, and considering the implications and implementation of the standardized terminology.

Representatives from more than 40 national and international societies have accepted invitations to participate. The recommendations, once completed, will be published in the Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and the Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease.