Despite all modern techniques in other clinical specialities of science and medicine, from molecular biology to radiology, the examination of organs and tissues by a pathologist still remains the diagnostic method with the highest level of certainty. This is especially the case in cancer diagnosis.
Intimately associated with this foundation principle of structural-functional correlation is the father of pathology, Rudolf Virchow (1821-1902), who was the first to recognize that structural alterations in cells reflect the functional changes occurring during disease processes.
Along this line the major task and priority of the Institute of Pathology Celle is the exact diagnosis of a patient´s disease. Several thousand histological and cytological examinations are done in our laboratories every year (laboratory staff).
These laboratories provide the entire spectrum of cell- and tissue-based diagnosis in cyto- and histopathology, including frozen-section diagnosis and immunohistochemistry, DNA Cytometry and molecular pathology. Our Institute serves not only regional hospitals but specialist practices nationwide. As most diseases depend on exact histopathological diagnosis, classification and grading, this service has absolute priority in the Institute. Precise classification of all diagnosed tumors is essential for the tumor registry (Krebsregister) and epidemiological questions, also.
For pretherapeutic diagnosis, a physician usually takes a small tissue sample (biopsies, brush cytology, fine needle biopsies) from a specific organ. Using modern techniques, it is now possible to take tissue samples from nearly all regions of the body. (Further details please see Clinic of Gastroenterology and Pulmonology, AKH Celle). After an extensive technical processing, a pathologist examines these tissue samples with light microscopy and determines the diagnosis.
Posttherapeutic diagnosis is performed after surgical removal of an organ or a part of an organ and plays an important role especially when a patient suffers from a tumor (oncology). Pathological examination reveals whether the tumor was resected completely, which prognostic factors exist and whether the patient’s disease requires additional therapy, like chemotherapy or ionizing radiation. These decisions are made by the interdisciplinary tumor-board which meets weekly.
Postoperative histological examination of all tissue specimen is in general good medical practice even when surgery is not an oncologic resection (appendicitis, cholecystitis, tonsillitis). Pathological examination provides exact diagnosis and can rule out a malignant tumor.
For specific questions histological examination is performed during an operation by frozen section. Within 15-30min after arrival of the specimen in our Institute the pathologist calls the surgeon with a diagnosis while the patients is still in the OR.
Thus, pathological diagnosis is of paramount importance for a patient. The specialization of the consulted pathologist and the fact that tumor diagnosis can be confirmed by two pathologists contributes to the high quality standard of our institution.
Research, teaching and consulting/second opinion (Zweitmeinung)
Research is still conducted mostly in cooperation with university partners (MHH, University Würzburg, Vanderbilt University, Nashville). More than 100 journal articles, were published in the last 10 years by the directors of the Institute.
Main research focus is either pathogenesis of hepatic tumors, Non-Hodgkin lymphomas, prostate carcinoma and development of novel diagnostic tools in pathology.
Consequently second opinions are provided usually to referring physicians and patients mainly in the fields of hepato/gastropathology and uropathology (prostate lesions) (Documents). Reports are provided bilingual (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org and +49 (0) 5141 721650)