Molecular Pathology Laboratory

The Molecular Pathology Laboratory at RCSI, Beaumont Hospital offers tissue-based clinical diagnostic services. This is done under the direction of pathologists and medical scientists who have a strong background in molecular biology, next-generation sequencing, fluorescent in-situ hybridisation, tissue arrays, histopathology, and haematopathology.

Our laboratory addresses scientific and clinical research needs. It acts as a central hub where researchers can hypothesise and collaborate, utilising novel molecular pathology technologies to translate basic science discoveries to patient-focused applications for cancers and a wide range of human disease. Our mission is to encompass a comprehensive clinical, morphological and molecular service to support clinicians and researchers for the development of novel biomarkers, clinical trials and transition assays to the clinical setting.

We regularly engage with the HSE National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) and wider cancer community in a 'horizon scanning' exercise to develop and validate new diagnostic and predictive assays. For example, the current validation of an assay for DPYD genotyping using mass spectrometry to predict response to chemotherapeutic agents. Since July 2013, our department has held an agreement with the NCCP to fund molecular testing for targeted therapies, making several accredited tests available to patients. Our laboratory offers NGS panel testing in breast cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer and melanoma.

Our lab commenced molecular testing of solid tumours in 2004 and has expanded the testing repertoire to colorectal cancer, lung cancer, and melanoma next-generation sequencing panels – the first lab in Ireland to offer this type of testing – microsatellite instability, targeted mutational screening (BCRA) and immunotherapy specific histochemistry (PD-L1). We receive samples from the entire RCSI hospital group, several private hospitals and other major clinical centres.

Our chief and senior medical scientists have acted as assessors for the UK National External Quality Assessment Schemes (NEQAS) in molecular pathology and immunohistochemistry. We also supply all material for the UK NEQAS Breast HER2 in situ hybridisation module, the only lab in Ireland providing such a service.