Molecular Pathology

Molecular Pathology

Despite slight disbelief that a year has already passed since 2014’s National Pathology Week (where on earth does the time go?!), we at Cambridge University Press are very excited to have another opportunity to join the celebrations of the vital contribution that pathologists make to healthcare in the UK and beyond. Since this year’s National Pathology Week focusses on the increasing role that molecular pathology plays in healthcare, what better time to launch our brand new book ‘Molecular Pathology: A Practical Guide for the Surgical Pathologist and Cytopathology’?

As the editors note in their preface, molecular pathology has now become an integral part of the daily practice of pathologists. This new book contains the essential information practising pathologists will need, starting with an overview of the essential principles of molecular techniques, followed by separate chapters detailing the use of these techniques in particular tissues and organs, and describing recommended treatment plans. Each chapter covers the tests available, their advantages, limitations, and use as diagnostic and prognostic tools, with key learning points at the end of each topic. The book is also packaged with online access to all the text and high-resolution images, hyperlinked references, in-book search and interactive index. With an excellent line-up of international editors (John Bartlett, Canada; Abeer Shaaban, UK; Fernando Schmitt, Luxembourg), we have every confidence that this book will take its place as a state-of-the art handbook on molecular pathology.

What’s more, for National Pathology Week we are very pleased to be able to offer a 20% discount not only on this new Molecular Pathology book, but across our entire portfolio of pathology books at Cambridge University Press using the code NationalPathologyWeek at checkout. We do hope that you will take this chance to check out our range of books and resources for pathologists. If you’re looking for a book on a particular topic and don’t yet see it there, or if you would like to get involved with writing a book yourself, please do get in touch as we’re always looking for new ideas!

-Nisha Doshi, Senior Commissioning Editor, Medicine, Cambridge University Press


International Pathology Day, scratch-off codes, and a new online platform…


This week we celebrate International Pathology Day and the UK’s National Pathology Week, so we thought this would be the perfect time to let you know about the launch of new features and functionality to accompany our pathology books here at Cambridge University Press. Hosted on Cambridge Books Online, and replacing the old book + dvd model, the new online versions of our pathology books offer:

  • access to all text and images from each book – no need to carry heavy books around
  • low-resolution in-text images for ease of browsing and quick loading of pages
  • high-resolution pop-up versions of each image, allowing users to view and examine images in detail
  • expandable tables
  • in-book search, allowing users to find and jump to relevant text and images easily
  • hyperlinked in-book references and interactive index
  • optimised for computers/laptops (all major browsers) and tablets but also compatible with smartphones.

Access to the online content for any particular title will be provided to all purchasers of the print book, by means of a unique scratch-off code inside the book. Simple instructions allow the user to set up an account and activate their code, for quick and easy log-in to their content. Institutional users such as libraries will also be able to purchase access to the online content without needing to purchase the print book, by visiting Cambridge Books Online.

Titles already available or coming soon on this platform include the following –

Atlas of Gross Neuropathology: A Practical Approach

  • Kathreena M. Kurian , Tim H. Moss and Sandra Camelo-Piragua
  • Published in August 2014

Diagnosis of Neoplasia in Endometrial Biopsies: A Pattern-Based and Algorithmic Approach

  • Oluwole Fadare and Vinita Parkash
  • September 2014

Pathology of Bone and Joint Disorders
With Clinical and Radiographic Correlation
2nd Edition

  • Edward F. McCarthy and Frank J. Frassica
  • October 2014

Neuropathology of Neurodegenerative Diseases: A Practical Guide

  • Edited by Gabor G. Kovacs
  • November 2014

Differential Diagnosis in Cytopathology
2nd Edition

  • Edited by Paolo Gattuso , Vijaya B. Reddy , Shahla Masood
  • November 2014

Practical Head and Neck Cytopathology

  • Ketan A. Shah
  • January 2015

Silverberg’s Principles and Practice of Surgical Pathology and Cytopathology
5th Edition

  • Edited by Mark R. Wick , Virginia A. LiVolsi , John D. Pfeifer , Edward B. Stelow and Paul E. Wakely, Jr
  • February 2015

Imagine the brain

Brain statue in New Brunswick, NJ. Photo: Dan Century via CreativeCommons.

Brain statue in New Brunswick, NJ. Photo: Dan Century, used under CreativeCommons.

Imagine the brain, that shiny mound of being, that mouse-gray parliament of cells, that dream factory, that petit tyrant inside a ball of bone, that huddle of neurons calling all the plays, that little everywhere, that fickle pleasuredome, that wrinkled wardrobe of selves stuffed into the skull like too many clothes into a gym bag. – Diane Ackerman (‘An Alchemy of Mind. The Marvel and Mystery of the Brain‘, Simon & Schuster, 2004).

Writing a book where each specimen represents a person’s humanity was a challenge, and being a neuropathologist may not be everyone’s cup of tea. However for me examination of the brain and spinal cord is key to the understanding of disease and each patient has provided a legacy that will benefit future generations.

For example, in the past no one could understand why patients suffering road traffic accidents were in coma, but there was nothing to see on their head scans.

Careful examination of the brain by neuropathologists revealed that the rotational injury suffered in many car accidents actually shears the axons- the main transport system of the nerve cells so stopping their function- (so-called diffuse traumatic axonal injury).

And from this observation and others, a number of clinical measures including cooling the brain to slow metabolism and the secondary effects of traumatic head injury are now routine clinical practice.

Similarly there are cases of infections such as meningitis, which have not been diagnosed during life, which can be seen in the brain- that have implications for living contacts. And variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (so-called mad cow disease) was discovered entirely by examining the brain in the diseased. The variant CJD form is now virtually unheard of in the UK, although sporadic- or by chance cases still occur.

I guess for me, though, although sometimes upsetting, some of the most rewarding cases are infant brains where playing a part in the diagnosis of a developmental or inherited disorder- such as a mitochondrial or metabolic disorder has implications for whole families and can give some kind of comfort to grieving mothers.

Every case is a mystery and a marvel and a privilege I never underestimate.

Atlas of Gross Neuropathology - Kathreena M KurianKathreena M. Kurian is co-author of ‘Atlas of Gross Neuropathology: A Practical Approach‘ (2014).

How important is Cytomorphology in the Current Era of Special Techniques?

Blog Post by Prabodh, K. Gupta, MD, F.I.A.C. and Zubair W. Baloch, MD, PhD.

According to the great pathologist of our century Dr. Rosai “It is my contention that as of today there is no technique in all medicine that provides so much information so quickly and for such little cost as the H&E technique”. We whole heartedly agree with this statement of Dr. Rosai and believe that the same can be applied to the morphology seen in cytologic preparations. The art and practice of basic cytopathology has stood the test of time and is becoming ever so important in the era of cost containment. However, at the same time one is faced with the challenge of making sure that this art of interpreting a pathologic process is based on solid foundations. What we mean by that; we as students of cytology we fully understand and grasp the basic morphologic changes that define and describe normal, reactive, neoplastic and malignant cellular changes.  Read more of this post

Inflicted pediatric head trauma – forensic pathology


Blog Post by Peter M. Cummings, MD is Medical Examiner and Director of Forensic Neuropathology, Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston, MA, USA.

There are few areas within forensic pathology that generate more debate and controversy than the subject of inflicted pediatric head trauma. Often in these cases, the reporting history is scant and typically the baby is stated to have been ‘ just found unresponsive’ or experienced an ‘unwitnessed accident’. In lieu of this lack of information, a set of diagnostic criteria were decided upon to make the diagnosis of inflicted head trauma more straightforward. Traditionally these criteria included: 1) subdural hematoma; 2) cerebral edema; and 3) retinal hemorrhages.

A dogma was established that if a child had all three signs, the child was abused. As time progressed and more scientific studies were published this belief came under fire and it is now accepted that not every subdural hemorrhage is abusive and that not every swollen brain was the result of inflicted trauma. That left retinal hemorrhages, and physicians began to place great importance in the discovery of such lesions. Read more of this post

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