Because of widely adopted screening programs for early detection of prostate cancers, many patients who undergo radical prostatectomy have tumors that are not grossly evident, and the extent and distribution of the cancer in the gland can only be determined by a microscopic examination of the surgical specimen. Historically, one of the most important predictors of the quality of cancer control following surgical resection of a solid tumor is the absence of cancer at the surgical margins. Although the clinical significance of cancer at the margins of a radical prostatectomy specimen has been a source of controversy in recent years, surgical pathology assessment of radical prostatectomy margins remains an important part of prostate cancer clinical care. However, a comprehensive histopathologic review of every radical prostatectomy specimen is beyond the resources of most hospitals. Tissue print micropeel technologies, combined with appropriate markers, provide a new strategy that combines a relatively simple technique for sampling specimen margins with a method for obtaining molecular information about the cancer that can add to the macroscopic and microscopic anatomical findings. This new tissue printing approach for incorporating molecular markers into the assessment of radical prostatectomy margins is reviewed in this article.
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