Recent advances in the histopathology and molecular pathology of carcinoma of the endometrium

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Endometrial carcinoma is the commonest malignancy of the female genital tract. The pathogenesis is complex and at least three pathogenetic subtypes exist with different prognostic implications. The molecular events involved remain poorly defined but several genes are involved and mutations of tp53, WAF1/CIP1, PTEN, bcl-2 and c-erbB-2 have been implicated. Although care is needed in interpreting the results, the majority of these mutations can be detected immunohistochemically and therefore have the potential to aid the pathologist and surgeon in assessing the prognosis of a tumour. However, for the time being, no molecular marker is as valuable in determining prognosis as conventional parameters such as tumour type, grade and vascular space involvement.

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