The 45th Annual conference of KCIAPM was conducted on 6th and 7th October 2018, with a pre-conference CME on 5th October 2018. This was organized by Anand Diagnostic Laboratory – A Neuberg Associate. The core team comprised Dr Jayaram N as organizing chairperson, Dr Sujay Prasad as organizing co-chairperson, Dr Ananthvikas J as organizing secretary and Dr Pradeep Kumar V as the co-organizing secretary.

Pre-conference workshops: 15 parallel workshops were conducted in 8 institutes across Bangalore on 4th October 2018, including
1. KIDWAI Cancer institute – Cytology – “Do more with less”
2. Manipal hospital, Airport Road
a. The CBC and newer parameters
b. Renal biopsy interpretation with immunofluorescence
3. Strand Reference Laboratory – HCG Cancer Hospital, Bangalore – Immunohistochemistry – Basics and interpretation guidelines

4. St. John’s Medical College, Bangalore
a. Rapid Tissue Diagnosis
b. Molecular workshop on BCR-ABL – RQPCR and Data analysis
c. Applications of F.I.S.H in Genetic DisordeR

5. NIMHANS, Bangalore – Autopsy Techniques in Neuropathology – “Dead men do tell tales – If only we listen”

6. R V Metropolis – Liquid Based cytology in Cervical Cytology
7. Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwantpur – Bone marrow aspirate and biopsy interpretation

8. Anand Diagnostic Laboratory
a. Laboratory diagnosis of Autoimmune diseases and Allergy
b. Abnormal hemoglobin detection and Hemoglobin variant analysis
c. Flow Cytometry
d. Diagnostic and Prognostic relevance of FISH in Hematological Malignancies
e. Interpretation of bladder and prostate biopsies with respect to ISUP 2014 consensus/WHO 2016

Close to 240 delegates attended these workshops, and the overall feedback has been very positive.

Pre-Conference CME – 5th October 2018
Two parallel CME sessions were conducted at NIMHANS Convention Centre, Bangalore on 5th October 2018. The Sessions started at 9AM, and included talks on
Non neoplastic GI Pathology in Hall A and
Non-neoplastic Haematology in Hall B.

Dr Siddhartha Datta Gupta, Dr Ranganathan K and Dr Usha Kini were the invited faculty for CME on Non neoplastic GI Pathology. The topics discussed included esophageal disorders, odontogenic lesions, chronic gastritis, Inflammatory bowel diseases, chronic diarrhea and pediatric/developmental GI Pathology.

Dr Gayathri K, Dr Debdatta Basu, Dr Sumeet Gujral, Dr Preethi Chari, Dr Nikhil Phadke and Dr Renu Ethirajan discussed topics that included Bone marrow and peripheral smear examination, Basics of Flow Cytometry and its application in non neoplastic diseases, Approach to hemolytic anemias, Genomics in non-neoplastic hematology, and the application of artificial intelligence in haematology.

Close to 380 delegates attended these parallel sessions on 5th October 2018. The sessions went as per schedule.

A formal inauguration of KAPCON 2018 was conducted at 4 PM, with Dr S Kumar, Chancellor of Sri Devaraj Urs University, Kolar as the chief guest. In his address, he highlighted the need to improve the quality of post graduate education in the state, and called for a change in the way we look at “training” during the post graduate period. The Inaugural ceremony was concluded with a vote of thanks by the organizing secretary, KAPCON 2018.

Day 1 of Conference, 6th October 2018
The first day of KAPCON 2018 started off at 9AM with two parallel sessions, including a session on primer to molecular techniques in hall A, and a panel discussion on Ethical issues in publication.

The session on Primer to molecular techniques included Dr Rekha Pai, Dr Nikhil Patkar and Dr Nikhil Phadke as faculty. Basics of PCR, Current status of sequencing technologies in diagnostics and an introduction to genomic medicine were discussed, with healthy participation from the audience.

The panel discussion on ethical issues in publication was moderated by Dr Sunita Patil, and comprised Dr Sitalakshmi S, Dr Sharada Rai and Dr Gayathri S as the panelists. Various issues pertaining to publications were discussed over 90 minutes, with healthy interaction from the members of the audience.

The M R Parthsarathy and A V Ramaprasad Oration, 2018 was delivered by Dr Ramani Malleboyina, former Director of Medical Education, Telangana state. In her address, she discussed the current state of post graduate education in India, the issues being faced, and highlighted possible solutions that may improve the system. Her talk was very well appreciated by both postgraduate students as well as teachers in the audience. Dr Jayaram and Dr Shashikala P, Hon. President, KCIAPM, conferred upon Dr Ramani the oration award following her talk.

This was followed by two parallel scientific sessions in Hall A (Transplant pathology) and Hall B (Theranostics)
Dr Ankit Mathur discussed the HLA system, and emphasized its role in the pre-transplant workup and in transplant rejection. Dr Vidya then discussed regarding interpretation of Endomyocardial biopsies in the setting of Cardiac Transplants. The session concluded with a talk on Liver biopsies in the pre- and post-transplant setting by Dr Sanjay A Pai.
The session on Theranostics began with Dr Kumar Kallur, a nuclear medicine physician, delivering a lecture on his perspective of theranostics as a clinician. Dr Nikhil Patkar spoke on how available technologies including Next Generation Sequencing are being used to identify targetable mutations in hematologic malignancies, and the impact that is being seen in patient care. This session concluded with a talk by Dr Geetashree Mukherjee who discussed the role of PDL-1 and other markers in the theranostics of solid tumours.

The general body meeting of KCIAPM was conducted post lunch between 1.40 PM and 2.30 PM on 6th October.
Parallel paper sessions were conducted in 4 halls, where 71 papers were presented. The top 7 papers were then selected for presentation on 7th October.
All posters were presented in an E-poster format on large screen displays. The move to go away from printed posters was appreciated by many. The organizers acknowledge that the screens were placed close to each other, and hence caused some cross-talk. This was a learning experience.

Day 2 of Conference, 7th October 2018
The day started early with two parallel sessions at 8.45 AM.
The session on Primary immunodeficiency disorders was conducted by Dr Sagar Bhattad, Dr Amit Rawat and Dr Preethi Chari, who discussed regarding the clinicians perspective in PID, the various laboratory tests available and concluded with a potpourri of interesting cases.
The practicing pathologists’ session saw a packed hall with few seats to spare. Dr Shanthi Naidu gave her account of Thyroid function tests, the variations seen and interpretative difficulties. Dr Sujay Prasad provided a whole new spin on the liver function test, giving his experience on using data science to identifiy “patterns” in the LFT parameters. This gave the audience a lot of food for thought, and invited a lot of discussion. The session concluded with a talk on Semen analysis by Dr Rohit Rangaiah, who gave his perspective as an andrologist on what he expects from a semen analysis report.

The top 7 papers form day 1 of the conference were presented in the award paper session. There was a healthy discussion from both the judges as well as members of the audience, and each of the presenters performed exceptionally. Dr Ankur Kumar from Sri B M Patil Medical College, Bijapur won the first place for this session, and was awarded a binocular microscope sponsored by Mr Amit from Lab Systems Bangalore. Dr Ranjana Ranade from SDM Medical College won a cash prize for Second place, sponsored by Trivitron.

KAPCON Quiz 2018 was conducted in the run-up to the conference. 31 cases were uploaded online over 4 weeks, and close to 80 pathologists participated. The consultants formed a majority, accounting for almost 80% of participation. The answers to the quiz were discussed on 7th October 2018 by Dr N Jayaram. In the consultant category, Dr Chetana Mannem and Dr S R Niveditha, from KIMS Bengaluru, bagged the first and second prizes respectively. In the post graduate category, Dr Betsy Jose from St Johns Medical College bagged the first prize, and Dr Yashica Gowda from KIMS Bengaluru bagged the second prize. These cash prizes were sponsored by Pathnsitu Biotechnologies.

The valedictory program of KAPCON 2018 saw Dr Ravikumar H N taking over as president, KCIAPM from Dr Shashikala P. Dr Usha Kini accepted the position of president elect, KCIAPM. The best presenter in each of the 13 parallel E-poster sessions was awarded a cash prize, sponsored by Trivitron.

For the first time, we had invited paper presentations from undergraduate students who have conducted research in the field of pathology or diagnostic medicine. 19 abstracts were received, which were reviewed by an independent reviewer with a vast experience in teaching undergraduates. The top 5 abstracts were then selected for presentation at the conference venue. The finalists included
1. Ms Nikita Sunny and Ms Anupa Thomas – St Johns Medical College, Bangalore
2. Ms Eshita Adhikary – St Johns Medical College, Bangalore
3. Ms Divyasri Narravula – Sri B M Patil Medical college, Bijapur
4. Ms Shivangi Singh – SDM Medical College, Dharwad
5. Mr Sriram S Prasad – Sri Devaraj Urs Medical College, Kolar
All these students made wonderful presentations, and defended their work with remarkable clarity. The judges expressed the near impossibility in picking two winners out of these, and stated that each one is a winner in their own right. However, Two papers were ultimately awarded the prizes – Ms Nikita Sunny and Ms Anupa Thomas bagged the first prize for their paper titled “Modified improvised pre-embedding method of core biopsies in clinical practice: A clinicopathologic study.”, and Ms Shivangi Singh bagged the second prize for her paper titled “Clinico-Pathological study of Diabetic Nephropathy and their implications in Renal Outcome. Study from a tertiary care centre at North Karnataka”.

One of the biggest highlights of the conference was the advent of social media. These innovations were spearheaded by the team of Dr Vijay Shakar, Dr Aditya Agnihotri, Dr Thejaswi K and Dr Suraksha Rao. Their tireless efforts saw this team of tweeters increase to many more, and by the end of the conference, #KAPCON2018 had seen upward of 3 million impressions on Twitter!! They truly took KAPCON beyond physical confines of the venue, with reaching extending all the way to the USA.
Livestreaming of all the talks on youtube was also made possible by the innovative ideas of Dr Aditya and Dr Vijay Shankar, and this enabled close to a 100 more doctors to be a part of KAPCON 2018 virtually. They deserve all the praise and appreciation for their efforts in making this a reality!

Some of the other highlights of the conference were the green initiatives that were taken during the conduct. Some of these include
1. Using only 150 brochures to communicate the details of a conference that saw 500 delegates attened
2. Avoiding printing of posters on paper/flex by adopting an E-poster format
3. Delegate badges were made using recycled paper and printed with organic ink
4. Each delegate was provided with one water bottle at the start of the conference. Water dispensers were provided at the venue to refill these. We have saved on a lot of paper/plastic cups in this process
5. The pens provided in the delegate kit contain a seed, which when planted into the soil would grow into a plant
6. Cloth vegetable bags were provided in each delegate kit, in light of the recent ban on plastics. These were sourced from an NGO in Hyderabad.
7. E-feedback form with zero paper usage