Cancer pathology

Published on November 30, 2020   26 min

A selection of talks on Cancer

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Hello, my name is Nilay Sethi. I'm a medical oncologist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and I'm going to give you a talk on cancer pathology.
I will start the talk by describing the language used in histology practice, which is the study of normal tissue. I will then introduce some of the guidelines pathologists use to make a cancer diagnosis and distinguish normal from diseased tissue. Then I will go through individual cancers, highlighting some of the pathological features of these malignancies, but also putting that in the context of some of the clinical attributes and molecular features that we are now appreciating for these cancers.
Histology is the study of normal tissue, which can be broken down into three components. Gross anatomy or organology is the study of how tissues comprise an organ. Broadly, there are two components to an organ; parenchyma, which is a functional tissue, and stroma which is a supporting tissue. If we move one step deeper, we get to microscopic anatomy or histology, which is the study of how cells and acellular components are organized into specific tissues. We can use a light microscope to study the structure, and hopefully its corresponding function, using histology analysis. Pathology is the study of diseased or abnormal tissue. If we move one step further, we come to the practice of cytology, which is studying individual cells and their subcellular components. Typically, we use an electron microscope to study the ultrastructure of cells and their organelles. Beyond the practice of histology, comes molecular diagnostics. This is appreciating DNA, RNA, and protein level information from cells.