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National Cancer Institute   U.S. National Institutes of
Rapid Response Surveillance Studies
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 Methodologic Issues
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Methodological Issues - Pathology/Biospecimen

This area of research studies the biologic factors associated with the development of cancer as well as the influence of these factors on tumor progression. Learning more about the development and progression of disease will help to speed cancer diagnosis, improve cancer care, and increase cancer survival.

RRSS investigators are conducting studies to:

  • investigate the feasibility of developing a tissue repository to study first degree relative pairs affected with the same cancer;
  • determine whether pathology reports can replace slide reviews in epidemiologic studies of women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) breast cancer;
  • determine discrepancies between original pathology reports of diagnosed DCIS vs. reports reclassified by three pathologists into sub-classifications;
  • investigate methods to obtain archival paraffin tissue blocks for hospital pathology departments;
  • identify new molecular markers that could be used to more precisely classify prostate cancer patients at high risk of disease progression;
  • focus on improving the surveillance of lymphoma subtypes;
  • work to establish a tissue resource from cases in the Prostate Cancer Outcomes Study (PCOS).

Registries Funded to Conduct these Studies

Detroit (Metropolitan)
Los Angeles
New Mexico
Northern California Cancer Center (SF-OAK)
Seattle (Puget Sound)

Key Findings

Researcher found they were able to obtain slides and tissue blocks for patients diagnosed with cancer provided that confidentiality was maintained and the material was properly handled.

A study examining slides and pathology reports found that pathologists had difficulty agreeing on five key DCIS variables from either the pathology report or from slides. These findings underscore the inherent difficulty in assessing and communicating DCIS prognostic factors.

Future Use

Findings from these studies will be applied in establishing tissue repositories.


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