Pathology

At the pathology department, we analyze tissue that has been removed as a biopsy (tissue or liquid, or tissue from an organ). Based on this analysis, a pathologist can reach a diagnosis. The department consists of several laboratories analyzing tissues, cells, colorings, proteins, DNA, and RNA. The department facilitates scientific research at the Netherlands Cancer Institute as well. 

Our team

Our team consists of pathologists and molecular biologists. Pathologists are physicians who followed a five-year long specialization track after their study medicine. The Pathology department closely collaborates with the Molecular Diagnostics department.

What can we do for you?
  • We analyze tissue that was removed during surgery, or as a biopsy. The cells in a liquid biopsy will be smeared on a microscope slide. Pieces of biopsies and surgical preparations are embedded in paraffin (candle wax). This hardens the tissue, allowing us to cut it into thin slices that are placed on the microscope slide and stained with a dye. This helps the pathologist recognize cells under a microscope in order to diagnose you. 
  • Based on the analysis, we can determine whether sufficient tissue has been removed during surgery and whether you need additional treatment, and what kind: surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or a different kind of therapy. 
  • Pathologists make a report of their findings in the tissue with their bare eyes (macroscopic) and using the microscope. Your practicing physician will discuss the results with you.
  • The report, the tissue blocks, and the microscope slides will be stored at our hospital so we can retrieve the information if necessary. You can opt out of this by not granting us permission to store the materials. A summary of the report will be stored in the national database (PALGA). This database is used to find information about patient care and scientific research. You can opt out of this as well by not granting us permission. 
Special focus
  • Special oncological focus areas are tumor pathology in the breast, lungs, gastrointestinal system (especially neuroendocrine tumors, the head and neck area, skin (melanoma), soft tissue (connective tissue, muscle, and fat tissue), the female and male reproductive organs, lymph nodes, and the urinary tract.

What does the department look like?

The department consists of two laboratories where we conduct histological (tissue), cytological (cells), histochemical (colorings), immunochemical (proteins), and molecular diagnostic (DNA and RNA) analyses. Dedicated, specialized analysts work in the department. Secretarial support is essential. Our staff consists of pathologists and molecular biologists. All members of staff have fucus areas within oncology, often related to their research activities. The department facilitates scientific research at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, and one of our facilities coordinates and supports this. In collaboration with team leaders and quality officers, our staff manages the labs. We consider innovative applications a responsible quality policy in our management.

Important information

  • Special oncological focus areas are the pathology of tumors in the breast, lungs, gastrointestinal system (especially neuroendocrine tumors), the head and neck area, skin (melanoma), soft tissue (in the connective tissue, and muscle and fatty tissue), the female and male reproductive organs, lymph nodes, and urinary tracts.
  • Pathologists are physicians who took on a five-year-long specialization after their medicine study. 
  • Pathologists in training can follow an internship in oncological pathology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. 
  • All diagnoses made by the Pathology department are registered in a national database: PALGA (the national pathological archive). A summary of the report will be stored in the database so pathologists know about previous diagnoses. All data can be used in scientific research and registration (the national cancer registration). You can opt out of this by not granting us permission to store your data in the database. You can even differentiate between inclusion in the patient care database and the scientific research database.
  • All cubes containing tissue and all microscope slides will be stored at the Netherlands Cancer Institute, in a carefully curated archive. We use this archive in case we receive questions about your illness at a later time. We may use the archive for scientific research. You can opt out of this as well.