Elizabeth H. Hammond, MD, FCAP, was recently recognized by two awards presented by the College of American Pathologists (CAP): 1) the CAP Pathology Advancement Award, of which she is the first recipient; and 2) the CAP Excellence in Education Award. Dr. Hammond is a consulting pathologist with Intermountain Healthcare and professor of pathology and adjunct professor of internal medicine (cardiology) at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She is also a past member of Intermountain’s Board of Trustees.
The CAP Pathology Advancement Award was presented to Dr. Hammond for her leadership in establishing the CAP Pathology & Laboratory Quality Center, which develops evidence-based clinical practice guidelines aimed at improving patient care. She was recognized with the CAP Excellence in Education Award for the leading role she has played in creating education programs for pathologists, especially in the area of molecular testing of breast cancer. The programs help pathologists and other clinicians test and diagnose with greater precision, leading to more effective medical interventions and improved patient care.
The awards coincide with the publication of new clinical guidelines for HER2 testing of breast cancer (see below). Issued jointly by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the College of American Pathologists, the guidelines were published on October 7 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Hammond is coauthor and principal pathologist of the guidelines.
HER2-positive breast cancer is a breast cancer that tests positive for a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), which promotes the growth of cancer cells. HER2-positive breast cancers tend to be more aggressive than other types of breast cancer, but treatments that specifically target HER2 are highly effective. By using the guidelines to improve the accuracy of HER2 testing and reporting, physicians can treat breast cancers more effectively, potentially saving lives.
“I am deeply honored to be recognized by the College of American Pathologists,” said Dr. Hammond. “Our hope is that patients everywhere will benefit from these new testing guidelines and knowledge acquired by pathologists.”