Sarcomas account for approximately 1-2% of human malignant disease and are relatively uncommon. Histopathological study of these mesenchymal tumours at light microscopic and ultrastructural level may not always provide an unambiguous diagnosis. It has become apparent with the identification of increasing numbers of tumour specific genetic alterations that (cyto) genetic evaluation could become a very helpful adjunct to histopathological assessment in reaching a correct diagnosis. Thus, once the different tumour types can be accurately identified and classified, more meaningful clinical trials can be initiated to evaluate and select optimal methods of management. In addition, an increasing awareness and understanding of the molecular changes associated with, and the genetic variability in, the various tumour groups is beginning to provide important new information about clinical progression and prognosis.
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