Sarcoidosis is a worldwide disease
Twenty-five years ago, WASOG was founded in Milan. However, meetings around the world regarding sarcoidosis had been organized by Dr. Geraint James since the 1960s. From the beginning, it was recognized that sarcoidosis came in many forms and affected people in different ways. However, there have been two common features that define the disease: the granuloma and the multi-organ nature of the disease. WASOG is a unique organization. It is not tied down by geographical considerations, such as the European Respiratory Society, Japanese Thoracic Society, or the American Thoracic Society. It is not limited to just pulmonary physicians, but includes dermatologists, neurologists, infectious disease specialists, hepatologists, geneticists, and hematologists. There is a merger of clinical interest and basic science. Since there is still no perfect animal model for sarcoidosis, researchers often have to test their hypothesis in human studies. Despite these limitations, there have been major advances in sarcoidosis since WASOG was founded. These include genetic, environmental, and therapeutic studies. Many of these have been published in our journal, Sarcoidosis, Vasculitis, and Diffuse Lung Disease. Given the enthusiasm of the members of WASOG, I expect more good things to come out of WASOG.