NEW DATE: Wednesday 9th December 2020 
6pm-9pm AEDST 
8pm-11pm NZDSTpathology image500

 The webinar has been rescheduled to the 9th December due to previous technical difficulties. Registration has been re-opened and will close Tuesday 8th December at 5.00pm AEDST.

ASBD is developing online training courses to provide alternate multidisciplinary educational opportunities with CME accreditation during the pandemic. The first of these, Pathology Fundamentals, will be presented by Assoc Prof Nirmala Pathmanathan and Dr Gavin Harris.

Target Audience


ASBD members: Free


Non-members: $100*

*Join ASBD prior to registering for free registration. Join at



A series of presentations to provide professionals working with breast cancer patients a comprehensive understanding and overview of standard pathological assessment and emerging new technologies in the assessment of the breast pathology specimens.

Target Audience

The course is aimed at clinical professionals who interact with breast cancer patients and their families and who may be required to interpret pathology reports and advise on testing available nationally.


1)  To enhance understanding of pathology processes, concepts and terminology applied to breast cancer patient’s specimens once received in the laboratory.

2)  To provide an understanding of the potential pitfalls in pathology processes and the need for quality and accuracy in the handling of breast cancer patient’s specimens.

3)  To provide an update of emerging laboratory tests relevant for breast cancer patients and their implementation in Australasia.

4)  To enhance interpretation and understanding of the breast pathology report that will in turn assist with multidisciplinary treatment decisions 


Associate Professor Nirmala Pathmanathan, BSc (Med), MB, BS, FRCPA, MIAC

NirmalaAssociate Professor Nirmala Pathmanathan is an anatomical pathologist with expertise in breast diseases. She is the Service Director of the Westmead Breast Cancer Institute in Sydney, a comprehensive multidisciplinary breast cancer program covering Western Sydney. A/Prof Pathmanathan has worked from 2002 to 2016 as a Senior Staff Specialist in the Department of Tissue Pathology and Diagnostic Oncology, Pathology West. She is also the Designated/Lead Pathologist for BreastScreen, Sydney West, and the Director for BreastScreen Program for Sydney West, a Clinical Associate Professor with the University of Sydney and Conjoint Associate Professor with the University of Western Sydney.

A/Professor Pathmanathan is the recipient and chief or principal investigator on a number of grant-funded projects and is an executive committee member of the Australian Breast Cancer Tumour Bank. She is a Member of NBOCC Sentinel Node Biopsy Subgroup and was involved in the development of recommendations for use of Sentinel Node Biopsy in Breast Cancer. Recently, A/Professor Pathmanathan has been a steering committee member in the development and presentation of breast cancer workshops, aimed at improving the quality of breast cancer pathology and HER2 testing in several countries across the Asia Pacific Region. She sits on the Executive Committee for the Australasian Society for Breast Diseases and is a National Clinical Advisory Board Member for BreastScreen Australia. Her primary research interests are in HER2 testing, prognostic markers in ER positive breast cancer and borderline/atypical lesions of the breast. A/Professor Pathmanathan joined Douglass Hanly Moir in November 2016.

 Dr Gavin Harris, B Sc(Med), BMBS, FRCPath 

GavinGavin is an Anatomical Pathologist with specialist interest in breast pathology.  He trained in Nottingham, UK with a period of subspecialist breast pathology training under Professors Chris Elston and Ian Ellis who developed the international grading system in use today, together with Professor Sarah Pinder.  He emigrated to Christchurch, New Zealand in 2003 to lead the development of a specialist breast pathology service, which he continues to lead today, working closely with the Cancer Society Tissue Bank and Breast Cancer Foundation National Register, for which he Chairs the Clinical Advisory Group and is a member of the Board of Trustees.  He is passionate about how optimising pathology assessment can improve diagnosis and more accurately predict prognosis for breast cancer patients, reflected in his interest in the molecular and computational aspects of breast cancer pathology.  He is currently enrolled as a part-time MD student at the University of Auckland.



Learning Objectives

Specimen handling and grossing issues for the surgeon

1. principles of fixation                            

2. Inking and grossing

Understanding grading and proliferation

1. Nottingham grading                             

2. Issues of subjectivity                            

3. Ki67 assessment and reproducibility

Subtypes and molecular surrogates

1. Special subtypes and significance                            

2. Molecular surrogates

Surgical margin interpretation

1. Challenges and significance for invasive +/- DCIS and pure DCIS

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy: assessment of treatment response

1. Localisation issues                                

2. Assessment of treatment response   

3. Subtype and response                         

4. Surgical margin assessment                

5. Assessment of lymph nodes

AJCC 8th Edition update

1. Changes in new edition                        

2. Nodal disease                                                   

3. Anatomic and Pathologic prognosis  

4. Post NACT issues 

Receptor testing

1. What is positive                                    

2. Incon HER2 tests and significance                                                  

3. HER 2 heterogeneity                             

4. Significance of PR

Prognostic gene panels

1. How do they work                                

2. Comparison of available tests                                                             

3. Is grade still relevant?