Musculoskeletal Pathology

Cancers of the musculoskeletal system are fairly rare but includes a very large number of tumour types that may be difficult to distinguish from each other. Many of these tumours involve children and young adults and the treatment consequences are often dramatic. Over the last decades, the surgical and oncologic  treatment has been developed and refined and highly individualised for the different tumour types. As a consequence, the survival and quality of life for these patients have dramatically improved. The diagnosis of these tumours is often very difficult and rests primarily on microscopic and sometimes molecular analyses of tissue samples. Our laboratory, which handles more than 3000 cases per year, has a unique expertise in processing and diagnosing preoperative biopsies as well as major surgical resections of such tumours.


The Musculoskeletal Pathology Laboratory that provides a service to University Hospital Birmingham is housed within Birmingham University.  It is one of the two centres in the UK dealing with rare and complex bone tumours.  The laboratory’s main role is to make tissue diagnosis on biopsies of samples taken from patients with suspected bone or soft tissue tumours.  Then, after treatment, a second sample is taken to determine the success of the treatment and what additional treatment may be needed.


The work of the laboratory is world renowned, and doctors all over the world often call upon its experience and expertise.

Laboratory Manual - Specimen Collection and Transport to the Laboratory Opens in new window


The Department of Musculoskeletal Pathology is located in premises rented from the University Of Birmingham and is located on the Northern Edge of the Campus. Click here to view map Opens in new window (Location on map: Blue zone, Building B4)

Department of Musculoskeletal Pathology
Robert Aitken Institute of Clinical Research
The Medical School
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham , B15 2TT

Telephone: +44 (0) 121 414 7641
Fax: +44 (0) 121 414 7640

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