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Processing of radical prostatectomy specimens for correlation of data from histopathological, molecular biological, and radiological studies: a new whole organ technique
  1. S G Jhavar1,
  2. C Fisher3,
  3. A Jackson4,
  4. S A Reinsberg5,
  5. N Dennis1,
  6. A Falconer2,
  7. D Dearnaley4,
  8. S E Edwards1,
  9. S M Edwards2,
  10. M O Leach5,
  11. C Cummings5,
  12. T Christmas6,
  13. A Thompson6,
  14. C Woodhouse6,
  15. S Sandhu6,
  16. C S Cooper1,
  17. R A Eeles2
  1. 1Section of Molecular Carcinogenesis, Institute of Cancer Research, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5NG, UK
  2. 2Section of Cancer Genetics, Institute of Cancer Research
  3. 3Department of Histopathology, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Fulham Road, London SW3 6JJ, UK
  4. 4Department of Academic Urology, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Institute of Cancer Research
  5. 5Cancer Research UK, Clinical MR Research Group, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Institute of Cancer Research
  6. 6Department of Urology, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, Fulham Road
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr R Eeles
 Institute of Cancer Research, Cotswold Road, Sutton, Surrey SM2 5NG, UK;


Aims: To develop a method of processing non-formalin fixed prostate specimens removed at radical prostatectomy to obtain fresh tissue for research and for correlating diagnostic and molecular results with preoperative imaging.

Methods/Results: The method involves a prostate slicing apparatus comprising a tissue slicer with a series of juxtaposed planar stainless steel blades linked to a support, and a cradle adapted to grip the tissue sample and receive the blades. The fresh prostate gland is held in the cradle and the blades are moved through the cradle slits to produce multiple 4 mm slices of the gland in a plane perpendicular to its posterior surface. One of the resulting slices is preserved in RNAlaterTM. The areas comprising tumour and normal glands within this preserved slice can be identified by matching it to the haematoxylin and eosin stained sections of the adjacent slices that are formalin fixed and paraffin wax embedded. Intact RNA can be extracted from the identified tumour and normal glands within the RNAlater preserved slice. Preoperative imaging studies are acquired with the angulation of axial images chosen to be similar to the slicing axis, such that stained sections from the formalin fixed, paraffin wax embedded slices match their counterparts on imaging.

Conclusions: A novel method of sampling fresh prostate removed at radical prostatectomy that allows tissue samples to be used both for diagnosis and molecular analysis is described. This method also allows the integration of preoperative imaging data with histopathological and molecular data obtained from the prostate tissue slices.

  • H&E, haematoxylin and eosin
  • fresh tissue
  • histopathology
  • imaging
  • processing
  • radical prostatectomy

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