The value of archival tissue blocks in understanding breast cancer biology

J Clin Pathol. 2014 Mar;67(3):272-5. doi: 10.1136/jclinpath-2013-201854. Epub 2013 Oct 29.


Pathological reporting of breast cancer has evolved alongside scientific advances. Such advances have led to recognition of different molecular classes of breast cancer resulting in improved disease management. The aim of this study was to establish whether these advances could be applied to archival breast cancer cases dating from the 1940s to assess historical trends. Important observations included the marked differences in pathological reporting, size of tumour and in ERα expression throughout the decades.


Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / analysis
  • Biopsy
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Breast Neoplasms / history
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha / analysis
  • Female
  • Histocytological Preparation Techniques* / history
  • Histocytological Preparation Techniques* / trends
  • History, 20th Century
  • Humans
  • Medical Records
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Pathology / history
  • Pathology / methods*
  • Pathology / trends
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Fixation
  • Tumor Burden


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • estrogen receptor alpha, human