Aim: To assess whether immunohistochemically stained tissue microarrays (TMA) of 2 mm cores from paraffin embedded tumour tissue may replace whole sections in semi-quantitative evaluation of selected potential markers for endocrine treatment.
Methods: Whole sections and 2 mm cores on TMA were used for immunohistochemical staining of potential markers for endocrine treatment. The Allred scoring system was used for the markers with nuclear localisation: the oestrogen receptor, the progesterone receptor, p27 and the oestrogen receptor co-regulator amplified in breast cancer 1 (AIB1). The Allred scoring system was also used for the non-nuclear markers Bcl-2, pS2 and cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2); the membrane receptors HER-2, insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGF-IR) and epidermal growth factor receptor were quantified according to the guidelines for the Herceptest.
Results: The data and statistical analyses showed that the semi-quantitative evaluation of oestrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, AIB1, COX-2, HER-2 and IGF-IR on TMA blocks was comparable with analysis on whole sections.
Conclusions: This study shows that semi-quantitative scoring of 2 mm cores on TMA is feasible for several potential markers for endocrine therapy. Considering the small size of many breast tumours, the speed and cost-effectiveness of immunohistochemistry on TMA compared with whole sections, and the importance of the expression level of the proteins, semi-quantitative scoring on TMA has great potential in both retrospective and prospective studies aiming at improving the prediction of response to endocrine treatment.
- AIB1, oestrogen receptor co-regulator amplified in breast cancer 1
- COX-2, cyclooxygenase 2
- EGFR, epidermal growth factor receptor
- IHC, immunohistochemistry
- IGF-IR, insulin-like growth factor I receptor
- TMA, tissue microarray
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Published Online First: 14 June 2006
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: The local science ethics committees for Copenhagen and Frederiksberg counties and the Danish Data Protection Agency have approved the research protocol.