The Role of Pathology in the Era of Personalized (Precision) Medicine: A Brief Review

Semir Vranic, Zoran Gatalica

Abstract


This review provides a brief overview of the state-of-the-art molecular pathology approaches emphasizing the increasingly important pathology role in clinical precision cancer medicine. Recent advances in molecular biology and genetics have tremendously affected the practice of anatomic pathology, gradually transforming it from a morphology-based into a molecular- based discipline. Molecular diagnostics has a long tradition in pathology, especially in clinical pathology. The improvement of methodology for genomic testing in recent years has made it one of the cornerstones of precision cancer medicine. The decisions related to cancer treatments are no longer solely based on the histopathological diagnosis. Various genomic analyses of human cancers are being incorporated into diagnostic and decision-making algorithms.

Conclusion. The pathologists continue to play an essential role in developing and implementing molecular and genomic tests in practice and communicate the results and their relevance with clinicians. Such activities are of utmost importance for successfully translating scientific advancements into a benefit to patients (“next-generation pathologists”).


Keywords


Cancer Therapy; Precision Medicine; Pathology; Diagnostics; Companion Diagnostics

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5644/ama2006-124.325

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