Molecular pathology as the driving force for personalized oncology

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Innovative Tissue-Based DiagnosticsPhiladelphia, PA, USA, 4–5 June 2012This article focuses on the current and emerging molecular diagnostics relevant to clinical practice of oncology discussed in the session of Molecular Pathology as the Driving Force for Personalized Oncology, one of the three main themes of innovative tissue-based diagnostics with the other two being pathology in cancer drug development, and in vivo microscopy and intraoperative imaging. The session brought together seven topics and a keynote presentation in the area of precision cancer diagnosis and treatment: single gene molecular testing as the most popular cancer molecular diagnostics in current time, panel gene mutation analysis as an emerging theme for cancer therapy targeting at multiple signaling pathways, and the next-generation sequencing platform – an ultimate molecular analysis of cancer for future clinical practice. Novel tactics based on existing technology were emphasized including in vitro drug sensitivity testing and exploring immunohistochemistry in combination with histocytological assays for risk assessment of tumor metastasis and layered immunohistochemistry to predict tumor response to target cancer treatment. Clinical molecular assay development, verification and validation were among practical topics in molecular diagnostic operations. The conference was culminated by Marc Ladanyi’s keynote presentation of the current and future strategies for comprehensive routine clinical genotyping of lung cancers for optimal selection of targeted therapies.

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