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Cancer Pathology Services

Anatomic pathology services at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center focus largely on the roles of:

  • Surgical pathology
  • Hematopathology
  • Neuropathology

As well as the routine processing of tumor resections, we've refined molecular diagnostic techniques to detect minimal residual disease and the stages of tumor progression.

We carry out many such complex analyses for hematologic neoplasms and solid tumors. This allows us to offer both diagnostic and treatment input into patient services.

In-Situ Hybridization Laboratory

The In-Situ Hybridization Lab employs molecular diagnostic techniques to study solid tumor expression of:

  • Genes that have the potential to cause cancer (oncogenes)
  • Extracellular matrix antigens
  • Viral pathogens

Fluorescent in-situ hybridization techniques use a fluorescent probe to look at a specific portion of DNA. This helps us find gene mutations and apply antibodies to oncoproteins produced by overexpressed oncogenes.

Types of tumors we study

We use this technique to study cancerous tumors of the:

Molecular Anatomic Pathology Section

The Molecular Anatomic Pathology Section at UPMC Hillman Cancer Center studies solid tumor specimens, both fresh and fixative treated.

We employ advanced techniques to detect and describe these mutations to use for both diagnosis and treatment planning.

This knowledge allows us to separate tumors into different groups based on how they behave and respond to specific chemotherapy regimens. Vital to this effort is tissue microdissection using tools such as laser capture to optimize sample selection for molecular analysis.

This work is among the most advanced in the nation used for both research studies and clinical testing.

About the Division of Anatomic Pathology

The Division of Anatomic Pathology:

  • Places an emphasis on oncogenesis (the stages of tumor progression) in hematologic, pulmonary, soft tissue, and cytologic pathology.
  • Serves as the largest bone marrow/stem cell transplant center and lymphoma/leukemia referral base in western Pennsylvania.
  • Supports the Breast Cancer Treatment Program, including cytologic analysis of fine needle aspirates and collaborative studies of flow cytometry and in-situ hybridization of breast cancers.