Molecular Pathology is a fast-growing field with new advances in diagnostics and technologies.  This textbook provides an avenue to cover all areas of clinical molecular pathology.  As the editor states in the preface, the purpose of this textbook is to provide a comprehensive reference and resource for practicing molecular pathologists as well as pathologists in any area of practice.  This textbook is not designed as a procedure manual for clinical molecular tests due to the increasing advances in molecular testing and technologies.  Instead, the emphasis is placed on the clinical usefulness of molecular testing as well as the molecular variants being detected for clinical purposes.

Chapters one and two deal with the basics and methods of molecular pathology as the foundation for the rest of the book.  From here, the book divides into eight sections ranging from topics such as genetics, inherited cancers, solid tumors to laboratory management.  Each section has a different editor who compiles various chapters related to the section topic.  Each chapter is then written by a different author.  As this is the second edition, there are twelve new chapters with updated revisions to the existing chapters.

Each chapter has a similar design to include an abstract for the overall content of the chapter and an introduction providing the purpose.  From there, it dives into the main subject of the chapter.  Many chapters also include a section on interpretation of laboratory results and laboratory issues.  Each chapter also contains topics that are unique to the subject matter.  Take the chapter on lung cancer in section 8 on Solid Tumors.  After the introduction, there are sections on the molecular basis of lung cancer, the clinical utility of testing, the available assays and the interpretation of test results.

There are numerous figures and tables, which illustrate the didactic section of each section.  The tables and figures provide a quick reference guide.  For example, there is a table that covers eight pages in the chapter on Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  This table provides the gene symbol/chromosome location, gene name, overall mutation frequency, mutation frequency in CN-AML, mutation frequency in other cytogenetic subsets, associations of mutations with clinical and molecular characteristics and finally the clinical significance of the presence of mutations.

The wealth of information in the textbook is overwhelming.  The initial impression was daunting due to the thickness of the book and the amount of didactic information, but delving into each chapter with the similar structure and accompanying figures and tables revealed an extremely useful resource in applying molecular testing in the clinical setting.

Leigh Ann Cahill, CT(ASCP), The ASC Bulletin Editorial Board
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, Virginia