Molecular pathology – the key to delivering personalised medicine
In this chapter, Dr. Matthew Clarke makes the case for improving the provision of molecular pathology testing and how pathologists and hospital administrators might collaborate to achieve this goal. Dr. Clarke explains that without molecular pathology, we are not able to understand cancer sub-types and optimize treatment choices for each patient. Molecular pathology is thus essential to improving patient outcomes. To unlock better cancer care, Dr. Clarke calls for greater emphasis on molecular pathology in pathology education, enhanced systems and networks to ensure efficiency and effectiveness, and improved communication and collaboration between pathologists and hospital administrators.
“Traditional histopathology still provides essential information for cancer diagnosis on cancer type and grade. However, we need to take better advantage of the opportunities that molecular pathology brings by providing a greater level of detail about each patient’s tumour. Molecular pathology is essential to the provision of personalised medicine, now and more so in the future. If we fail to utilise this opportunity to provide accurate, in-depth diagnosis at the very beginning of each patient’s treatment journey, the treatment outcomes for our patients may be significantly impaired, and the reputations of our hospitals and pathology service may suffer. Hospital administrators and pathologists are central to the delivery of an effective and efficient molecular pathology service that is able to grow to accommodate the continuous growth in molecular testing and personalised treatment options. By working together with other stakeholders and creating systems and networks, we can deliver, in a timely manner, personalised medicine based on best outcomes evidence that proves the worth of our healthcare services and improves the lives of all patients with cancer.”