Oncology and Pathology

Ophthalmic Pathology and Ocular Oncology are distinct but overlapping disciplines that are represented together in the AUPO Fellowship Compliance Committee.  The curriculum for these programs can be pursued singly or in combination through the AUPO compliant fellowship programs outlined on this website.

Ophthalmic Pathology in the broad sense is the study of eye disease.  This subspecialty has long been associated with some of the greatest contributors to ophthalmic knowledge: Fuchs, Verhoeff, Friedenwald, Cogan, and Zimmerman, to name a few.  In addition to the study of eye disease it has at its heart education, as ophthalmic pathology is an essential element for all ophthalmologists.  Candidates pursuing training in ophthalmic pathology should obtain expertise in the gross and microscopic examination of diverse ocular, eyelid, and orbital tissue.  This training should encompass disease processes including neoplasia, degenerative, congenital, metabolic, infectious, and inflammatory diseases relevant to the discipline of ophthalmology.  

Ocular Oncology is related to ophthalmic pathology as it deals with the diagnosis and treatment of ocular neoplasia, which is often diagnosed by the ophthalmic pathologist.  This discipline includes both intraocular and adnexal neoplasms, and neoplasia in children as well as adults.  The practice of ocular oncology has become increasingly complex, and involves coordinated care of patients with systemic chemotherapy and radiation as well as both medical and surgical therapeutic intervention.  Candidates training in ocular oncology should seek broad exposure to the diagnosis and treatment of ocular surface neoplasms, primary and secondary intraocular tumors (including retinoblastoma, melanoma, and lymphoma), and orbital and ocular adnexal neoplasms.