Essay about Molecular Pathology And The Medical Science Branch Of Pathology

Essay about Molecular Pathology And The Medical Science Branch Of Pathology

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Histopathology and molecular pathology both fall within the medical science branch of pathology where the primary concern is the examination of tissues, body fluids, and organs to aid in the diagnosis of diseases.
Histopathology favours biopsies ‘fixed’ on glass slides for examination whereas molecular pathology concentrates its efforts at a molecular and genetic level to aid in diagnosis.


Sharing certain aspects of practice with other disciplines of pathology like clinical pathology, anatomic pathology, biochemistry, and molecular biology, molecular pathology seeks to understand and diagnose, at a molecular level, the mechanisms and origins of diseases (Harris and McCormick 2010). Through patient samples tests are carried out to measure the levels of macromolecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins to see how they differ from levels in an undiseased state (MRC 2014).When a diagnosis is built on morphologic changes in tissues using traditional anatomic pathology and molecular pathology together, a more accurate diagnosis is possible (Cai et al. 2014).
Because molecular pathology focuses on the development, evolution and progress of diseases at a molecular level it can be applied to patients as well as being used in biomedical research (Saikia et al. 2008).
To improve the prognosis for cancer patients an increased understanding of molecular and cell biology has to occur. Over the last few years there has been a notable increase in the knowledge of cancer molecular genetics and already a point has been reached where this can be transferred into clinical applications.
Many diseases are caused by genetic mutations inherited from one or both parents’ i.e. lysosomal storage diseases, muscular dystrophy, or cystic fibrosis. Other gene...

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...ny genetic alterations so would be absent from any molecular pathology tests. In histopathology these alterations can be seen and diagnosed as in the cases of inflammation, dysplasia and metaplasia.


There is still a place for conventional histopathology in pathology and there will continue to for a while yet. Histopathology is still the gold standard, but as with everything histopathology will need to change and adapt as new tests become cheaper, more reliable and available. Already the likes of PCR are common place in labs and molecular pathology will expant over the next decade. Next generation sequencing cannot be ignored due to its potential to redesign healthcare and give personalised medicine to everyone who needs it. Histopathologists will have to learn and adapt as these new applications are introduced (Hunt J. 2008; Wall and Tonellato. 2012))

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