What is Molecular Pathology?
Molecular pathology is a sub-branch in the biomedical field which involves analyzing diseases in the molecular level. It involves studying the development and evolution of diseases, for practical application in the medical field and more specifically for improving treatment options for disease stricken patients.
Molecular pathology studies the sub-microscopic aspects of diseases through samples obtained in specimens such as tissue samples or bodily fluids. After the samples have been analyzed, biomarkers are then identified which can determine how the disease progresses and how it might react to certain treatments. Different patients can have different biomarkers, which means that while some diseases can be similar, the battery of treatments for every patient suffering from the same disease will not necessarily be the same. For instance, molecular pathology is used in determining whether a breast cancer will be estrogen sensitive or not, and the course of treatment will be dependent on the result of this analysis.
Molecular pathology also concerns itself on genetics and studying the environmental factors that affect different individuals’ susceptibility to certain types of diseases and cancers. Armed with the results from a molecular pathologist, an oncologist can make a more informed and tailor-fit round of treatment for cancer patients.
Because of their similarity in nature, molecular pathology usually crosses over with other medical disciplines such as clinical pathology, biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics, among others.