--> Course Molecular Biology for Pathology Technicians

Molecular Biology for Pathology Technicians

Molecular biology is a discipline that has been rapidly developing and being implemented in Pathology services in recent years. In the midst of the era of Precision Oncology, the study of genetic biomarkers has a great impact on the clinical management of patients from the diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic point of view. At present, it is of great importance, especially due to the growing incorporation of oncological treatments directed against specific molecular targets, which has led to the implementation of these analyzes in therapeutic guidelines for some of the most prevalent tumors, such as lung cancer or colorectal cancer. In addition, the molecular detection of the human papillomavirus (HPV), currently represents a new approach for the screening and prevention of cervical cancer.


This course covers the main aspects to be known by the Pathology technician for understanding and updating: the characteristics and properties of nucleic acids (DNA - and circulating free DNA or liquid biopsy - and RNA) , the optimization of its obtaining from the different types of usual samples in Pathological Anatomy laboratories, the different types of genetic alterations, the most used techniques for their study in the Molecular Biology laboratory and the application of these for the detection of biomarkers. Thus, this course addresses in a global and updated way, the theoretical and applied aspects that the Anatomical Pathology technician requires to carry out their work in the Molecular Biology laboratory.


Who is it for:

Anatomical Pathology Technicians, Biologists and Resident Physicians of Anatomical Pathology.

*Continuing education credits are not valid for medical residents.

Event valid with the FENIN Code of Ethics


Lecture periods available for enrollment:

3rd edition: from March 1, 2022 to May 29, 2022
4th edition: from June 1, 2022 to August 28, 2022



Topic 1. Introduction to nucleic acids.


1.1 Introduction: from gene to protein.

Exons and introns, process from DNA to protein, genetic code.

Rubén Carrera

1.2 Introduction to nucleic acids: DNA and RNA .

Composition, structure and properties of DNA and RNA. DNA replication as an introduction to PCR.

Miriam Sansó

1.3 Circulating free DNA.

Definition, characteristics and applications.

Dra Beatriz Bellosillo


Topic 2. Extraction of nucleic acids and quality control


2.1 Pre-analytical considerations

Macro / microdissection of paraffin tissue. Characteristics of the different types of sample (paraffin biopsies, cytologies, circulating free DNA and fresh samples) as a source of nucleic acids for molecular study.

Javier Hernández

2.2 Nucleic acid extraction and purification methods.

Manual / automated extraction from different sample types. Conservation of nucleic acids.

Javier Hernández

2.3 Nucleic acid quantification systems.

Spectrophotometry and fluorometry. Fundamentals and assessment of the purity and quality of the nucleic acids obtained.

Leyla Blanco

2.4 Nucleic acid electrophoresis

Gel and automated electrophoresis. Utilities in assessing the quality of DNA and RNA.

Yolanda Ruano


Topic 3. Genetic variants.


3.1 DNA alterations.

Mutations, definition and types. Chromosomal alterations: alteration in copy number, gains and losses.

Emma Borràs

3.2 Alterations in the RNA.

Rearrangements and fusion genes.

Emma Borràs

3.3 Classification and interpretation of variants in cancer.

Somatic and germline variants. Pathogenicity and actionability.

Conchi Fernández


Topic 4. Analysis techniques in the molecular biology laboratory


4.1 Introduction to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Fundamentals, components and stages. PCR from RNA: RT-PCR.

Maria Garrido

4.2 Qualitative PCR.

Fundamentals and applications in pathological anatomy.

Yolanda Ruano

4.3 PCR in real time.

Fundamentals and applications in pathological anatomy.

Michele Biscuola

4.4 digital PCR.

Fundamentals and applications in pathological anatomy.

Miriam Sansó

4.5 Fragment analysis and Sanger sequencing.

Foundations and applications in pathological anatomy. Michele Biscuola

4.6.1 Next Generation Sequencing I.

Introduction, preanalytical considerations and overview of the process.

Pedro Jares

4.6.2 Next Generation Sequencing II.

Technical fundamentals, amplicon enrichment vs capture. Applications in pathological anatomy.

Pedro Jares

4.7 OSNA® system

Fundamentals and applications in pathological anatomy.

Elena Gonzalvo

4.8 nCounter® system

Fundamentals and applications in pathological anatomy.

Cristina Teixidó

4.9 Determination techniques Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Fundamentals and applications in pathological anatomy.

Mercè Muset


Topic 5. Study of molecular biomarkers in cancer


5.1 Introduction to biomarkers molecular.

Biomarker definition. Types and implication in the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cancer.

José Antonio López-Guerrero

5.2 Molecular biomarkers in lung cancer.

What are they, clinical relevance and main detection techniques.

Sergi Clavé


5.1 Molecular biomarkers in colorectal cancer.

What are they, clinical relevance and main detection techniques.

Noelia Tarazona

5.2 Molecular biomarkers in breast and ovarian cancer.

What are they, clinical relevance and main detection techniques.

Sergi Clavé

5.3 Molecular biomarkers in stromal tumors.

What are they, clinical relevance and main detection techniques.

José Antonio López-Guerrero

5.4 Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

Types and clinical relevance.

Belen Lloveras

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Teaching Hours
75 €
Esta actividad docente, con nº de expediente 07-AFOC-01388.1/2021, ha sido acreditada por la Comisión de Formación Continuada de las Profesiones Sanitarias de la Comunidad de Madrid-Sistema Nacional de Salud, con 5,6 créditos de formación continuada para las profesiones: Técnicos de Anatomía Patológica y Citología y biólogos. “Enseñanza no reglada y sin carácter oficial (Decreto 84/2004 de la Consejería de Sanidad y Consumo de la Comunidad de Madrid) “Los créditos de esta actividad formativa no son aplicables a los profesionales, que participen en la misma, y que estén formándose como especialistas en Ciencias de la Salud”, es decir, los internos residentes de las profesiones citadas.
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Dra. Carolina Martínez Ciarpaglini

Dra. Carolina Martínez Ciarpaglini

Médica Patóloga Adjunta al Servicio de Anatomía Patológica
HU de Valencia
Nº Colegiado: 464622652
Colegio de Médicos de Valencia


Dra. Conchi Fernández Rodríguez

Dra. Conchi Fernández Rodríguez

Bióloga Adjunta en el Laboratorio de Diagnóstico Molecular
Servicio de Patología del Hospital del Mar (Barcelona)
Nº Colegiado: 22278-C
Colegio de Biólogos de Cataluña