Paul Biddinger, MD, Pathologist
Developmental Therapeutics, Head and Neck Cancer Multidisciplinary Taskforce, Thoracic Oncology Research Group, Pathologist
Research interests: Thyroid cancer, thoracic cancer, head and neck cancer
Address: BA 2580
Medical College of Georgia
Georgia Health Sciences University
1120 15th Street
Augusta, GA 30912
Phone: (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.
The Medical College of Georgia Pathology department’s new Aperio ScanScope CS will facilitate examination of tissue micro arrays that can fine-tune a diagnosis or point to a specific type of therapy.
“We are starting to use 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, a pathologist who is also assisting the MCG Tumor Tissue and Serum Repository in developing its collection.
Cancer researchers can also look at digital slides before ordering specimens for their studies. Without this option, the tumor bank would have to cut more tissue or send out its original slides, depleting the collection.
Patholgists have a role in clinical trials. It is important that a tumor be well-documented to establish patients’ eligibility to participate. 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.
By donating tumor tissue or other biotissues to the tumor bank, patients are providing an invaluable resource to basic scientists and other researchers in genetics, immunology and molecular biology.
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