Welcome to the website of the Institute of Pathology and Genetics (IPG), a specialist in Anatomical Pathology, Clinical Genetics and Molecular and Cell Biology medical diagnosis.
The aim of anatomical pathology is to establish a precise diagnosis based on smears and material from cytological punctures, endoscopic biopsies or surgical specimens. Its scope covers the whole human body and includes many types of pathology: infection, inflammation, and benign and malignant tumours (oncopathology).
Samples received are examined conventionally (histopathology), first macroscopically and then, after preparation of histology slides, by optical microscopy. Particular techniques can also be developed to reach a diagnosis. These are based on histochemistry (using special stains to detect certain tissue constituents (collagen, mucins, amyloid substance, …), infectives (bacteria, fungi) or chemicals (iron, copper, calcium, …), immunohistochemistry (detection of different proteins on tissue sections using specific antibodies) or electron microscopy (ultrastructural study of samples).
IPG is one of eight Belgian centres recognised in the field of human genetics. It provides genetic consultations to anyone faced with or worried by the risk of a genetically-based disease (constitutional, prenatal, cancer genetics, metabolic disorders).
The Department of Molecular and Cell Biology is interested in technologies for the cytogenetic and/or molecular diagnosis of different hereditary or acquired human pathologies.
Constitutional: This is the study of hereditary diseases (including hereditary cancers), i.e. those transmitted from generation to generation and for which genetic anomalies (or mutations) are present in all the cells of an individual from conception. Different approaches can be used depending on the type of anomaly under investigation: classic cytogenetics (caryotype), fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH), comparative genome hybridisation (CGH µ array), next-generation sequencing (NGS) or non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).
Onco-haematology: This is the study of diseases of the blood, bone marrow and ganglia, i.e. defects in the production, development or maturation of haematopoietic cells (red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets). Conditions such as leukaemia and lymphoma are the quotidian of the haematology, oncology and internal medicine services. These diseases are characterised by genetic anomalies which are acquired during a person’s lifetime and are only present in diseased somatic cells.
Infectives: Here pathogens are identified using molecular biology methods. These give a higher degree of precision than classic methods.