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Curated Journal Articles on Mesothelioma

Common Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization Applications in Cytology

Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine 2016 August 4 [Epub ahead of print] [Link]

Savic S, Bubendorf L

Abstract

CONTEXT:
-Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is a well-established method for detection of genomic aberrations in diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive marker testing.
OBJECTIVE:
-To review common applications of FISH in cytology.
DATA SOURCES:
-The published literature was reviewed.
CONCLUSIONS:
-Cytology is particularly well suited for all kinds of FISH applications, which is highlighted in respiratory tract cytology with an increasing demand for predictive FISH testing in lung cancer. Fluorescence in situ hybridization is the gold standard for detection of predictive anaplastic lymphoma kinase gene (ALK) rearrangements, and the same evaluation criteria as in histology apply to cytology. Several other gene rearrangements, including ROS proto-oncogene 1 receptor tyrosine kinase (ROS1), are becoming clinically important and share the same underlining cytogenetic mechanisms with ALK. MET amplification is one of the most common mechanisms of acquired resistance to epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors and can be targeted by crizotinib. As genomic aberrations are a hallmark of malignant cells, FISH is a valuable objective ancillary diagnostic tool. In urinary tract cytology, atypical urothelial cells equivocal for malignancy are a common diagnostic dilemma and multitarget FISH can help clarify such cells. Diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma remains one of the most challenging fields in effusion cytology, and ancillary FISH is useful in establishing the diagnosis. Fluorescence in situ hybridization is a morphology-based technique, and the prerequisite for reliable FISH results is a targeted evaluation of the cells in question (eg, cancer or atypical cells). Cytopathologists and cytotechnicians should therefore be involved in molecular testing in order to select the best material and to provide their morphologic expertise.

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