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Department of Pathology and Clinical Laboratories

Atsushi Ochiai, Takeshi Kuwata, Genichiro Ishii, Satoshi Fujii, Motohiro Kojima, Masato Sugano, Chisako Yamauchi, Eiichi Yoshikawa, Shigehisa Yoshida, Masahiro Inoue, Masahiro Karibe, Seiji Iwasaki, Miki Goto, Masaki Takeda, Satoru Sunohara, Hiromi Kimura, Yasuharu Hashimoto, Yukihiro Okano, Akiko Yamada, Mari Hisano, Mika Sasanuma, Aya Koike, Takuya Yamaguchi, Takuya Aiba, Keiko Nakai, Ayumi Setsuta, Mayumi Motohashi, Ayumi Nakanishi, Sayuri Shibayama, Izumi Suzuki, Yasuko Yoshihara, Kazumi Yamaguchi, Rie Taniguchi, Sudo Kumiko, Saki Nakamura, Kazuki Motohashi, Atsushi Watanabe, Eriko Iwamoto, Yasuteru Yamagishi, Kazumi Tamura, Asami Sekine, Nagisa Bouno, Rie Kuroiwa, Masayuki Ito, Michiko Iida, Yuki Soeda, Megumi Michikawa, Tomoko Seto, Emiko Yoshikawa, Yoshiko Ohtake, Miwa Yamada, Megumi Yamaguchi


The Department of Pathology and Clinical Laboratories (DPCL) has two divisions: Pathology Division (PD) and Clinical Laboratory Division (CLD). Both divisions play a fundamental role in routine hospital service and support research activities at the National Cancer Center Hospital East (NCCHE).

DPCL received ISO15189:2007 accreditation in 2012, and successfully transited to the newest version (ISO15189:2012) in 2014, ensuring quality control and quality assurance of testing, including the one for clinical trials, performed in the departments. In 2015, two sections, Physiology and Supporting laboratory testing in clinical studies, received ISO15189:2012, ensuring the quality control and quality assurance of the testing, including the ones for clinical trials, performed in the departments with global standards.

Routine activities

Primarily, the routine activity at the PD is surgical pathology. The Number of samples examined in the department in 2015 is listed in Table 1.

The CLD consists of seven sections: i) general laboratory medicine, ii) hematology, iii) biochemistry/serology, iv) Physiology, v) Bacteriology, vi) Blood transfusion and vii) Supporting laboratory tests in clinical studies. The numbers of tests performed in each division are listed in Table 2 and 3. The total number of tests performed in the DPCL in 2015 increased to 7.5% compared with the previous year; including a 94.4% and a 12.9% increase in the Blood transfusion and Serology sections, respectively.

Research activities

All of the pathologists were involved in research activities at RCIO (Research Center for Innovative Oncology). All the technologists working in the department are also highly motivated to develop advanced diagnostic technologies and various results are presented in several meetings.

Clinical trials

Practically, the CLD participated in all of the clinical trials operated at the NCCHE by providing laboratory data. The section for supporting laboratory testing in clinical studies was transferred to the DPCL in June 2014. The section, coordinating with the pathology and physiology sections, reinforces quality control and quality assurance for clinical tests performed in clinical trials at the NCCHE.


Clinicopathological conferences are held regularly with each clinical department/section. In the PD, conference-style training sessions are open weekly for the residents.

Future prospects

Pathological diagnosis and laboratory tests play a fundamental role not only in routine hospital work but also in medical research. As an ISO15189-certified clinical laboratory, the DPCL will be continuously involved in investigating new diagnostic technologies, developing new drugs and conducting translational/clinical research in the NCCHE.

Table 1. Number of pathology and cytology samples examined in Pathology Division in 2015

Table 2. Number of laboratory tests examined in Clinical Laboratory Division in 2014 and 2015 Table 3. Number of cases and samples prepared in Clinical Laboratory Division for clinical trials in 2015

List of papers published in 2015


  1. Fujii S, Fujihara A, Natori K, Abe A, Kuboki Y, Higuchi Y, Aizawa M, Kuwata T, Kinoshita T, Yasui W, Ochiai A. TEM1 expression in cancer-associated fibroblasts is correlated with a poor prognosis in patients with gastric cancer. Cancer Med, 4:1667-1678, 2015
  2. Shinohara S, Kuroda K, Shimokawa H, Kuwata T, Takenaka M, Chikaishi Y, Oka S, Hirai A, Imanishi N, Uramoto H, Tanaka F. Pleural dissemination of a mixed ground-glass opacity nodule treated as a nontuberculous mycobacterial infection for 6 years without growing remarkably. J Thorac Dis, 7:E370-E373, 2015
  3. Ishikawa T, Takahashi J, Kasai M, Shiina T, Iijima Y, Takemura H, Mizoguchi H, Kuwata T. Support system for pathologists and researchers. J Pathol Inform, 6:34, 2015
  4. Neri S, Ishii G, Hashimoto H, Kuwata T, Nagai K, Date H, Ochiai A. Podoplanin-expressing cancer-associated fibroblasts lead and enhance the local invasion of cancer cells in lung adenocarcinoma. Int J Cancer, 137:784-796, 2015
  5. Nishida Y, Kuwata T, Nitta H, Dennis E, Aizawa M, Kinoshita T, Ohtsu A, Ochiai A. A novel gene-protein assay for evaluating HER2 status in gastric cancer: simultaneous analyses of HER2 protein overexpression and gene amplification reveal intratumoral heterogeneity. Gastric Cancer, 18:458-466, 2015
  6. Nagatsuma AK, Aizawa M, Kuwata T, Doi T, Ohtsu A, Fujii H, Ochiai A. Expression profiles of HER2, EGFR, MET and FGFR2 in a large cohort of patients with gastric adenocarcinoma. Gastric Cancer, 18:227-238, 2015
  7. Sasaki T, Fuse N, Kuwata T, Nomura S, Kaneko K, Doi T, Yoshino T, Asano H, Ochiai A, Komatsu Y, Sakamoto N, Ohtsu A. Serum HER2 levels and HER2 status in tumor cells in advanced gastric cancer patients. Jpn J Clin Oncol, 45:43-48, 2015
  8. Nakamura K, Kuwata T, Shimoda T, Mizusawa J, Katayama H, Kushima R, Taniguchi H, Sano T, Sasako M, Fukuda H. Determination of the optimal cutoff percentage of residual tumors to define the pathological response rate for gastric cancer treated with preoperative therapy (JCOG1004-A). Gastric Cancer, 18:597-604, 2015