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New Book Combines Morphology with Molecular Diagnostics for All Pathologists

Monday, November 12, 2012

Five years ago, molecular diagnosis took place mostly in academic centers. Today, even a community hospital pathologist needs to know about molecular diagnostic principles and techniques.

“Molecular testing is increasingly done on patients in community hospitals,” said Kirk Heriot, MD, FASCP, author of the new book, Practical Surgical Pathology: Integrating Molecular Pathology into Your Morphologic Practice, published by ASCP Press. “Even if the test is performed at a reference laboratory, the pathologist must interpret the results and help clinicians order the correct test.”

“The book grew out of my practice as a general pathologist who is called upon to interpret both the morphology and the molecular testing of every tissue in the human body.”
—Kirk Heriot, MD, FASCP

Each of the majority of the book’s chapters discusses one organ or system and integrates morphology and molecular diagnostics, so as to provide a complete discussion of each disease or entity. The later chapters are devoted solely to molecular diagnostics, to provide a complete guide to this new and burgeoning area.

The suggestion to integrate molecular diagnostics and morphology in all diagnostic chapters came from ASCP Director of Product Development Joshua Weikersheimer, PhD, the book’s editor. It allows these chapters to be completely integrated and freestanding, while the later chapters can serve as a stand-alone introduction to molecular pathology.

“The book grew out of my practice as a general pathologist who is called upon to interpret both the morphology and the molecular testing of every tissue in the human body,” said Dr. Heriot, Pathologist and Laboratory Medical Director for Thompson Health, in Canandaigua, N.Y.

While the book is solidly oriented towards clinical practice, it contains three basic science chapters—immunology, genetics, and molecular biology—to facilitate the discussions of molecular genetic diagnosis throughout the text. Drs. Heriot and Weikersheimer created 150 new illustrations to support and enliven the three foundational chapters and to complement the book’s 1,700 photomicrographs.

The goal was to come up with a single volume that covers the surgical pathology that people really need, focusing on diagnostic problems that give them trouble every day, and to couple that mainstream pathology with practice-ready molecular diagnostics, according to Dr. Weikersheimer.

“I hope my colleagues will find this book complete, well written, and more accessible than the encyclopedic major texts, which often have little coverage of molecular diagnosis,” Dr. Heriot said.

He opted to work with the Society because “ASCP is the leading publisher of pathology books. The best books I use in my practice have come from ASCP,” he said. “It is the preeminent organization of our profession and the only organization that covers all of the problems and issues that every pathologist faces.”

To order the book, click here. ASCP members save $60 off the book’s list price.