Emerging Technique for Diagnosing Cancer Takes Centerstage at Conference

Uzma Siddiqui, MD

By Uzma Siddiqui, MD

More than 100 gastroenterologists from around the world will descend on Chicago for the 18th Annual Endoscopic Ultrasonography Live 2013 symposium starting this Friday.

The three-day course, Nov. 8-10, is a collaboration between the Center for Endoscopic Research and Therapeutics (CERT) at the University of Chicago Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Irving Waxman, MD

Irving Waxman, MD

Started by my colleague Irving Waxman, MD, Director of CERT and an iconic figure in the gastroenterology world, this course will highlight the latest developments in endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), an emerging endoscopic technique for diagnosing and staging gastrointestinal malignancies and a specialty of the University of Chicago Medicine.

EUS helps us visualize the various layers of the gastrointestinal tract so we can see precancerous lesions and more accurately stage tumors in the esophagus, stomach and rectum, as well as detect and diagnose tumors in the pancreas and bile duct.

The course consists of a series of lectures, hands on tutorials and live patient demonstrations, where a procedure done in one of the 5th floor endoscopy suites at the Center for Care and Discovery will be transmitted directly into the conference.

Along with one of the co-chairs Dr. Waxman, and program coordinator Vani Konda, MD, Director of Endoscopic Research, the University of Chicago Medicine will be represented on panels and talks by:

Mitchell Posner, MD, Chief, Section of General Surgery and Surgical Oncology and Medical Director, Clinical Cancer Programs;
Mark Ferguson, MD, Head, Thoracic Surgery Service, Director of Residency Program in Cardiothoracic Surgery;
Andres Gelrud, MD, MMSc, Director for the Center for Pancreatic Disorders and Interventional Endoscopy;
Tatjan Antic, MD, Assistant Professor of Pathology.

Many other experts, including another conference co-chair Dr. William Brugge, MD, from Harvard Medical School, will be conducting panels and demonstrations throughout the three-day event. It’s really a who’s who in gastrointestinal research and treatment.

For us, the conference allows us to highlight and share the unique facets of our interventional endoscopy practice, including the Center for Endoscopic Research and Therapeutics (CERT).

At CERT, we are often asked by other gastroenterology specialists to tackle the more difficult problems, and often times these are cancer related.

One of our more common referrals is someone with a pancreatic mass seen on a CAT scan. Their primary care physician or gastroenterologist will refer them to us to do an EUS to identify the lesion, stage it, and perform a biopsy.

With onsite cytopathology in the procedure room to make an immediate diagnosis, we can make arrangements for follow-up care with oncologists and surgeons before the patient leaves the endoscopy unit.

The CERT team is well equipped to provide patients and their referring physicians with excellent medical care. Our goal is to showcase the knowledge, skills and technology needed to use EUS effectively and produce the best possible patient outcomes.

Uzma Siddiqui, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine and Director of Endoscopic Ultrasound and Advanced Endoscopy Training at the University of Chicago Medicine, is a gastroenterologist with expertise in interventional endoscopy. Her training includes fellowships in both gastroenterology and advanced endoscopy. Dr. Siddiqui’s clinical focus is on gastrointestinal oncology and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS).

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