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Challenges in the Differential Diagnosis between Benign and Malignant Lesions

Call for Papers

Cytopathology is a field gaining increasing popularity worldwide thanks to its speed, accuracy, safety, and cost-effectiveness. With the use of different cytological examinations from various organs, information is gathered to reach a definite diagnosis and drive therapeutic decisions. Cytopathology may also be useful for disease screening, follow-up, and determination of prognostic factors in cancer diagnosis.

Perhaps the most challenging task of cytopathology is the correct classification of benign and malignant lesions. Dating back to the first half of the 20th century, George Papanicolaou made the first steps in Diagnostic Cytopathology by showing that normal and abnormal smears taken from the cervix can be viewed under the microscope and can be accurately interpreted. Unfortunately, it is well documented that there is no single diagnostic characteristic of malignancy; rather, it is the constellation of multiple factors that vary depending on the tissue, the collection technique, the smear preparation method, and the diagnostic criteria implemented. Importantly, over the last years, new techniques for acquiring, processing, and imaging samples have emerged, in both the branches of exfoliative and aspiration cytology. Examples of exfoliative cytology include, among others, body fluid cytology, bronchial washing and bronchoalveolar lavage, urine cytology, and sampling of the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract. Similarly, Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA) is increasingly used in clinical practice. Finally, diagnostic criteria for the differential diagnosis between benign and malignant lesions, as well as regarding the identification of cancer subtypes, are regularly revised, according to the rapidly expanding international literature.

This special issue focuses on the contribution of newer cytopathological techniques and criteria in the differential diagnosis between benign and malignant lesions. Original papers as well as review articles addressing these diagnostic challenges are invited.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Original articles regarding cytopathological criteria for the diagnosis of malignant lesions, in both exfoliative and aspiration cytopathology
  • Review articles addressing current diagnostic criteria used in cancer cytopathology
  • The emerging role of cytopathology in the diagnosis of uncommon cancer types
  • Original articles evaluating the integration of cytopathological criteria with clinical, biochemical, imaging, and molecular findings in the diagnosis of cancer

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at

Submission DeadlineFriday, 25 January 2019
Publication DateJune 2019

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

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