Virchows Archiv

, Volume 460, Issue 1, pp 3–8

Personalized cancer medicine and the future of pathology


    • Institute of Surgical PathologyUniversity Hospital Zurich
  • P. R. Blank
    • Institute of Social and Preventive MedicineUniversity of Zurich
  • M. Dietel
    • Institute of PathologyUniversity Hospital Charité
  • G. Elmberger
    • Department of PathologyKarolinska University Hospital
  • K. M. Kerr
    • Department of PathologyAberdeen Royal Infirmary & Aberdeen University Medical School
  • J. Palacios
    • Department of PathologyHospital Universitario Virgen del Rocío/Instituto de Investigacions Biomédicas (IBIS) Sevilla
  • F. Penault-Llorca
    • Department of PathologyCentre Jean Perrin et Université d’Auvergne
  • G. Rossi
    • Section of Pathologic AnatomyAzienda Policlinico di Modena
  • T. D. Szucs
    • European Center of Pharmaceutical MedicineUniversity of Basel
Review and Perspectives

DOI: 10.1007/s00428-011-1179-6

Cite this article as:
Moch, H., Blank, P.R., Dietel, M. et al. Virchows Arch (2012) 460: 3. doi:10.1007/s00428-011-1179-6


In February 2011, a group of pathologists from different departments in Europe met in Zurich, Switzerland, to discuss opportunities and challenges for pathology in the era of personalized medicine. The major topics of the meeting were assessment of the role of pathology in personalized medicine, its future profile among other biomedical disciplines with an interest in personalized medicine as well as the evolution of companion diagnostics. The relevance of novel technologies for genome analysis in clinical practice was discussed. The participants recognize that there should be more initiatives taken by the pathology community in companion diagnostics and in the emerging field of next-generation sequencing and whole genome analysis. The common view of the participants was that the pathology community has to be mobilized for stronger engagement in the future of personalized medicine. Pathologists should be aware of the challenges and the analytical opportunities of the new technologies. Challenges of clinical trial design as well as insurance and reimbursement questions were addressed. The pathology community has the responsibility to lead medical colleagues into embracing this new area of genomic medicine. Without this effort, the discipline of pathology risks losing its key position in molecular tissue diagnostics.


Translational researchNext-generation sequencingWhole genome analysisMolecular pathology

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011