General Approach to Molecular Pathology

  • Gregory L. Blakey
  • Daniel H. Farkas
Part of the Molecular Pathology Library book series (MPLB, volume 2)


Once a highly specialized subdiscipline of laboratory medicine, molecular diagnostics now infiltrates all of anatomic and clinical pathology. The shift from dependence on a few, relatively cumbersome methods to a wider range of technologies has facilitated this expansion. In addition, the completion of the Human Genome Project and the growing amount of sequence data related to infection, cancer, and other disease states have yielded additional applications of molecular biology for the clinical laboratory (Fig. 7.1). As the various phases of testing can be automated in many instances, molecular biological experience is no longer a pre-requisite. In fact, performance of nucleic acid extraction and amplification in a tabletop unit is possible.1,2 Increasingly, miniaturization will further move molecular testing to the point of care.


Molecular Beacon Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism Pattern Sequence Read Length Cancer Genome Atlas Project Molecular Biological Experience 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Hughes SJ, Xi L, Raja S, et al A rapid, fully automated, molecular-based assay accurately analyzes sentinel lymph nodes for the presence of metastatic breast cancer. Ann Surg. 2006;243:389–398.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ulrich MP, Christensen DR, Coyne SR, et al Evaluation of the Cepheid GeneXpert system for detecting Bacillus anthracis. J Appl Microbiol. 2006;100:1011–1016.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Holland CA, Kiechle FL. Point-of-care molecular diagnostic systems: past, present and future. Curr Opin Microbiol. 2005;8:504–509.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Barkham T. BioRobot EZ1 workstation compares well with manual spin kits for extraction of viral RNA from sera and saves substantial staff time. J Clin Microbiol. 2006;44:1598.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Knepp JH, Geahr MA, Forman MS, et al Comparison of automated and manual nucleic acid extraction methods for detection of enterovirus RNA. J Clin Microbiol. 2003;41:3532–3536.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Hatanpaa KJ, Burger PC, Eshleman JR, et al Molecular diagnosis of oligodendroglioma in paraffin sections. Lab Invest. 2003;83:419–428.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Blakey GL, Farkas DH. Understanding Molecular Pathology: Methods and Applications. Denver: Colorado Association for Continuing Medical Laboratory Education; 2006.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Marcus JS, Anderson WF, Quake SR. Parallel picoliter RT-PCR assays using microfluidics. Anal Chem. 2006;78:956–958.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Margulies M, Egholm M, Altman WE, et al Genome sequencing in microfabricated high-density picolitre reactors. Nature (Lond). 2005;437:367–380.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ghazani AA, Arneson NC, Warren K, et al Limited tissue fixation times and whole genomic amplification do not impact array CGH profiles. J Clin Pathol. 2006;59:311–315.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Johnson NA, Hamoudi RA, Ichimura K, et al Application of array CGH on archival formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues including small numbers of microdissected cells. Lab Invest. 2006;86:968–978.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Petricoin EF III, Ardekani AM, Hitt BA, et al Use of proteomic patterns in serum to identify ovarian cancer. Lancet. 2002;359:572–577.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Hood L, Health JR, Phelps ME, et al Systems biology and new technologies enable predictive and preventative medicine. Science. 2004;306:640–643.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory L. Blakey
    • 1
  • Daniel H. Farkas
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of Oklahoma Health Sciences CenterOklahoma CityUSA
  2. 2.Center for Molecular MedicineGrand RapidsUSA

Personalised recommendations