Intended for healthcare professionals


The clinical promise of molecular pathology

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 10 September 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:624
  1. J Crocker,
  2. D Burnett,
  3. D Lowe,
  4. R Smith

    The explosive growth of knowledge at the molecular level over the past few years has provided us with insights into the causes and consequences of disease processes and enabled the development of new techniques and “molecular probes” that are useful to diagnostic pathologists. Examples include the application of specific antibodies, especially those of monoclonal derivation, which have revolutionised routine pathological practice. Now DNA probes offer the potential to add yet another dimension to pathologists' armoury.

    Discoveries relating to Hodgkin's disease are a case in point. For many years its pattern and incidence have perplexed researchers, as geographical and familial clusters have often been observed. Furthermore, many studies have noted a positive relation with infectious mononucleosis. Infectious mononucleosis is caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, and researchers have suspected that at least some cases of Hodgkin's disease might result from infection with this …

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