‘Cancer’ - The word that everyone dreads. Let’s learn about histology and cytology, and how they help in the fight against this deadly disease….
The human body is a vast maze of cells and tissues, each performing a vital function. In an animal body, there are four basic types of tissues - epithelium, connective tissue, nervous tissue and muscle tissue. While in case of plants, the four basic tissue types are dermal tissue, vascular tissue, ground tissue and meristematic tissue. Cells are broadly classified into two types - prokaryotic and eukaryotic. The study of these tissues and cells is what comes under the scope of histology and cytology, which help in understanding the chemical composition, microscopic structure, & functioning of cells and tissues respectively through advanced medical devices. The histology and cytology market is seeing very positive growth, and we will have a quick look on this sector.
Cytology involves the study of a single cell type, as often found in fluid specimens. The test is mainly used for diagnosing or screening for cancer, while screening can also be done for fetal abnormalities, for pap smears, and for diagnosing infectious organisms. It is the quickest and simplest means for diagnosing diseases through cellular level analysis. Some of the types of cytology tests include fine needle aspiration (FNA); tests on body fluids such as urine, sputum, spinal fluid and pleural fluid; and scrape or brush cytology.
Some Basics About Histology
Histology involves the study of the microscopic anatomy of biological tissues. While histopathology involves the identification and study of a diseased issue, paleohistology concerns the histology of fossil organisms. Before examination, most of the histological samples require proper preparation, and the various aspects include fixation, selection and trimming, embedding (using paraffin wax or any other material), sectioning, staining (using light microscopy, historadiography and immunohistochemistry), specialized techniques, and artifacts. Histopathology reports are also known as biopsy reports.
Simple, Efficient & Cost-effective
Use of histology and cytology together results in rapid and accurate diagnosis. There are three types of slide preparation available, which include conventional method, liquid-based preparation, and cell-block method. However, accuracy of the result may vary according to the selected sample preparation method. Liquid-based preparation allows more accurate results. The introduction of liquid-based cytology testing for cervical cancer screening was one of the crucial achievements in the field of cytology. The method has saved costs dramatically and improved the quality of sample, contributing to the growth of the histology & cytology market.
As compared to histology, collection of cytology samples is often affordable, causes less pain to the patient, as it avoids involvement of any invasive procedure. The turnaround time in diagnostic cytology is also quicker; histology submissions, on the other hand, require at least 4 days for sample preparation. Cytology can also be considered as a point-of-care test for clinicians examining basic lesion samples such as lipoma and septic inflammation. The advantages that biopsy holds over cytology includes providing the pathologist with a very detailed diagnostic information, while tumor grading and prognostication can be performed only on biopsy samples for the diagnosis of various neoplasms.
From The Point Of View Of The Histology & Cytology Market…
Different types of microscopes can be used to study the structure of cells and tissues to determine the cause or nature of a disease. Recent developments in diagnostic testing and healthcare system are expected to improve the pathology landscape across the globe. Furthermore, increasing demand for pathology services due to rising biopsy numbers, growing cancer cases, and need for rapid diagnostic methods are likely to propel the histology and cytology industry in the near future.
Some key aspects of the histology & cytology market include:
Virtual microscopy is one of the key advancements in microscopy and immunohistochemistry, which is expected to boost the demand for histology and cytology examinations. Virtual microscopy enables users to create virtual slides that can be archived on a network server and viewed by different users.
The use of liquid-based cytology has numerous advantages such as better clarity, requirement of less screening time, facilitates uniform smearing, and causes improved handling of hemorrhagic and inflammatory samples.
The growth in digital pathology has become very important for the proper management and interpretation of pathology information, and has boosted the growth of the histology & cytology market. For these scenarios, digital slides are being used by professionals for histology training.
According to the WHO, cancer was the second leading cause of deaths around the globe, with 1 out of 6 people succumbing to the dreaded disease. This makes it imperative to have the proper diagnostic and testing procedures in place, so that it can be detected early. This factor is one of the important drivers of the histology and cytology market.
According to the American Cancer Society, the year 2020 is expected to see 13,800 new cases of invasive cervical cancer in the US, with around 4,290 cases proving fatal. The use of cytology in gathering knowledge about this preventable illness would help in saving many lives.
Key Competitors & Recent Developments
The presence of big market players, entry of new devices, and advancements in technology may help boost the histology & cytology industry. Some of the key players in the market include Trivitron Healthcare; Hologic, Inc.; Sysmex Corporation; Danaher; Abbott; Becton, Dickinson and Company; and F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd.
Some of the recent developments in the histology and cytology sector include:
In March 2020, Roche received US FDA approval for their CINtec PLUS Cytology test, which provides additional information for HPV-positive women who may have cervical pre-cancer. The launch is expected to support the World Health Organization goal to eliminate cervical cancer, as it is completely preventable.
In June 2019, Thermo Fisher announced that it was divesting its anatomical pathology division to a Japanese healthcare firm, PHC Holdings. The agreement was signed for USD 1.1. billion. The acquired division operates as a new stand-alone company called Epredia, which would serve as a global leader of comprehensive solutions for microscope slides, instruments and consumables.
In April 2019, Hologic received CE-IVD mark for the ‘ThinPrep Genesis’, the company’s cytology slide processor. This approval has strengthened Hologic’s market position in Europe. The system features increased automation capabilities, along with ergonomic and chain of custody benefits, as compared to older instruments. The instrument will primarily prepare slides for cytology.
A research team at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology recently established the 3-D cultured tissue that mimics liver fibrosis, which is a major characteristic of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The test was carried out using NASH organoids, which were examined using conventional histology methods such as HE staining and oil red staining, among others.
In-depth report on global histology & cytology market by Grand View Research:
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