Molecular Biology in Cellular Pathology
By John Crocker and Paul G. Murray
The past 20 years have witnessed numerous changes in the practice of histopathology,
with many powerful techniques, such as immunohistochemistry and
image analysis, aiding the accuracy and objectivity of diagnosis and research.
However, perhaps the greater revolution, occurring in the past half decade, of the
application of molecular methods, will be even more fruitful. Molecules related
to, for example, hormones, immunoglobulins, infectious agents or chromosomes
can be identified by means of gene probes. Furthermore, the molecular basis of
cell replication has become more clearly understood, assisting in tumour prognosis.
What, then, are these new methods? As the title of this book implies, the
techniques included in it are those that can be performed on histological material,
although not necessarily involving microscopic examination. The reader
should not be led into the belief that ‘molecular’ must always imply ‘DNA’
and, as we can see in at least two chapters herein, ‘molecular’ should have a
wider, more appropriate meaning.