Electron Microscopy and Molecular Pathology Department
Description of Services
1.1 Ultrastructural diagnosis
The department operates the only Transmission Electron Microscope available in Cyprus. It offers a centralized ultrastructural diagnostic service in histopathology, that contributes to the correct histopathological diagnosis of many diseases. These include neuromuscular and kidney diseases, ciliary and skin disorders as well as the diagnosis of undifferentiated neoplasms.
1.2 Predisposition to hereditary cancer
The department offers a range of Molecular Genetic tests, that diagnose genetic predisposition to common as well as rare types of hereditary cancers. These include analysis of the following genes:
- RCA1 and BRCA2 genes that predispose to the hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome.
- Mismatch repair genes (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6 and PMS2) that predispose to Lynch syndrome
- APC and MUTYH genes that predispose to Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) and MYH-associated polyposis.
- TP53 gene that predisposes to the Li-Fraumeni syndrome.
In addition to the molecular genetic tests for diagnosing patients with Lynch syndrome, Microsatellite Instability (MSI) as well as the immunohistochemical expression of the above MMR genes is evaluated in colorectal tumours.
In order to execute the above diagnostic services, the department has a long standing collaboration with the Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre and the Nicosia and Limassol General Hospitals, which are the two main centres that diagnose and manage cancer patients in Cyprus.
1.3 Pharmacogenetics and personalized medicine
In addition to the application of molecular genetics to diagnose familial predisposition to cancer, the department also investigates the presence of mutations in certain types of cancer like lung, colorectal cancer and melanoma. In these cases DNA extracted from tumour tissue is analysed to detect mutations in genes like EGFR and BRAF which are actionable targets for personalized treatment. The results help the treating physicians to select the most appropriate treatment for each cancer patient.
1.4 Cancer Genetics Clinic
An integral part of delivering the services outlined in section 1.2 above, is the Cancer Genetics Clinic which has been established at CING in collaboration with the Head of the Clinical Genetics Department. The Clinic offers Genetic Counseling to individuals and families, affected with cancer predisposition genes.