Pathology in prostate research: optimizing tissue quality.
ABSTRACT The collection of tissue from the prostate gland for research creates unique challenges in the identification of cancer and in preserving pathological material. VALUE AND USES OF FORMALIN FIXED TISSUE: Formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue is often available in abundance after pathological processing and reporting of specimens but is limited in value for detailed molecular tests. Tissue micro-array if carefully performed is a helpful technique for examining many FFPE specimens with immunohistochemical or fluorescence in situ hybridization tests. VALUE AND USES OF FROZEN TISSUE: The collection of fresh tissue prior to formalin fixation and later validation samples of fresh prostate cancer is difficult as prostate cancer is very difficult to identify macroscopically on cut prostate specimens. Also, the act of manipulation and dissection of the gland while fresh and without compromising surgical margins is challenging. Methods which have been used to dissect the fresh prostate gland and also collect fresh tissue from other prostatic specimens are discussed. The ethical challenges of collecting research tissue without compromising patient care are discussed. CONCLUSIONS: Prostate cancer tissue banks, particularly of frozen tissue are still relatively few in number. Enhanced collection methods which do not prohibit full pathological examination are available but require expertise to maximize their potential.