Member, Head & Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Team
Member, Thoracic Oncology Multidisciplinary Team
GRU Cancer Center
Professor, Pathology, Dept of Medicine
Georgia Regents University
1120 15th Street, BA 2580
Augusta, GA 30912
Office: (706) 721-9575
The advent of digital media is taking surgical pathology to a new level. With the aid of specially-designed scanners, high-resolution slides can reveal information of a scope and with greater detail than ever before.
“We are using molecular-based technology to analyze tumors to classify them or to identify aspects that cannot be appreciated by routine microscopy or immunohistochemistry,” says Dr. Paul Biddinger, pathologist for both the Head & Neck and Thoracic Oncology Multidisciplinary teams.
Dr. Biddinger has a role in experimental therapeutics, too. He and his staff ensure that a tumor is well-documented to establish patients’ eligibility to participate in clinical trials. Though protocols vary from trial to trial, most require examination and documentation of the type of tumor, especially if there was some therapy prior to surgery.
Tissue analysis plays a critical role in determining the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan for the patient, he says.
When tissue is obtained from a patient, either as a biopsy or a resection, it goes to pathology. Pathologists process the tissue, then mount it on glass slides. If cancer is confirmed, it must be classified and staged. In staging, pathologists consider the size, the extent of organ involvement and whether or not it has spread to lymph nodes. Specimens are analyzed for biomarkers, such as Her2 and Estrogen or Progesterone Receptors.
Using computers and digital scanners is becoming an important part of state-of-the-art pathology. Without such electronic aids, analyzing such a large volume of information “would be beyond our power as a human,” Dr. Biddinger says.
Dr. Biddinger was awarded a BA from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio in 1975 and four years later an MD from the same institution. He served a residency in anatomic and clinical pathology at North Carolina Memorial Hospital, affiliated with the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
He completed a fellowship in forensic pathology with the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Chapel Hill, N.C. Dr. Biddinger was named co-chief resident, Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at UNC/NC Memorial Hospital. He served a fellowship in surgical pathology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.
He is a diplomata of the National Board of Medical Examiners and American Board of Pathology. Section Chief of anatomic pathology at MCG, he has contributed numerous articles in peer-reviewed professional journals and nine book chapters. He is one of the editors of the textbook Diagnostic Pathology and Molecular Genetics of the Thyroid, A Comprehensive Guide for Practicing Thyroid Pathology, published in 2009 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Professor, Pathology, Medical College of Georgia
Member, United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology
Member, College of American Pathologists
Member, Pulmonary Pathology Society
Member, Endocrine Pathology Society
Member, Group for Research in Pathology Education
Member, Georgia Association of Pathologists