In many tissues the preinvasive stage of neoplastic progression can be identified histologically as dysplasia or in situ disease. There is much interest in defining the molecular events associated with the early stages of neoplasia. Retrieval of histologically recognisable preinvasive neoplastic tissue uncontaminated by inflammatory or stromal cells is important for genetic studies using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. A novel method for microdissection is described in which 10 microns sections are dewaxed, stained with haematoxylin and eosin, dried, covered with Sellotape, and the tissue cut out using a scalpel blade under direct visual control. The method is quick, eliminates problems of operator tremor, preserves the architecture of the micro-dissected tissue (for photographic documentation) and requires no special equipment. The presence of Sellotape and adhesive in the reaction mixture has no detrimental effect on the ability to extract DNA or to perform PCR.
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