Application of Tissue Mesodissection to Molecular Cancer Diagnostics

J Clin Pathol. 2015 Feb;68(2):166-9. doi: 10.1136/jclinpath-2014-202723. Epub 2014 Nov 27.


Aims: To demonstrate clinical application of a mesodissection platform that was developed to combine advantages of laser-based instrumentation with the speed/ease of manual dissection for automated dissection of tissue off standard glass slides.

Methods: Genomic analysis for KRAS gene mutation was performed on formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) cancer patient tissue that was dissected using the mesodissection platform. Selected reaction monitoring proteomic analysis for quantitative Her2 protein expression was performed on FFPE patient tumour tissue dissected by a laser-based instrument and the MilliSect instrument.

Results: Genomic analysis demonstrates highly confident detection of KRAS mutation specifically in lung cancer cells and not the surrounding benign, non-tumour tissue. Proteomic analysis demonstrates Her2 quantitative protein expression in breast cancer cells dissected manually, by laser-based instrumentation and by MilliSect instrumentation (mesodissection).

Conclusions: Slide-mounted tissue dissection is commonly performed using laser-based instruments or manually scraping tissue by scalpel. Here we demonstrate that the mesodissection platform as performed by the MilliSect instrument for tissue dissection is cost-effective; it functions comparably to laser-based dissection and which can be adopted into a clinical diagnostic workflow.


Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Automation, Laboratory
  • Biopsy
  • Breast Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Fixatives
  • Formaldehyde
  • Humans
  • Laser Capture Microdissection / instrumentation
  • Laser Capture Microdissection / methods*
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques*
  • Mutation*
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Proteomics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / analysis*
  • Tissue Fixation
  • Workflow
  • ras Proteins / genetics*


  • Fixatives
  • KRAS protein, human
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Formaldehyde
  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins p21(ras)
  • ras Proteins