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Purpose of review: This review is intended to highlight the clinical application of molecular pathology as a tool for diagnostic accuracy and prognostic and predictive use and finally to discover novel molecular therapeutic targets.

Recent findings: We are living an exciting era in sarcomas' therapy. This is the result of overcoming two crucial obstacles: lack of effective and specific drugs; lack of specific therapeutic regimen for distinct clinical entities. As new specific drugs have become available, it has become clear that an accurate diagnosis is the prerequisite for a specific therapy. This approach has been successfully applied to gastrointestinal stromal tumor and is now also being used in other sarcomas. The more recent findings are hereby reviewed.

Summary: The inclusion of the molecular pathology in the diagnostic surgical pathology is instrumental for the application of molecularly tailored therapy. However, the degree of complexity of this approach requires additional caution in the data interpretation and in the reproducibility of the results. As molecular knowledge is improving and more sophisticated and powerful techniques are going to be routinely used, the success rate in treating sarcomas is expected to significantly increase.

(C) 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.