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The manufacture and assessment of tissue microarrays: suggestions and criteria for analysis, with breast cancer as an example
  1. Sarah E Pinder1,
  2. John P Brown1,
  3. Cheryl Gillett1,
  4. Colin A Purdie2,
  5. Valerie Speirs3,
  6. Alastair M Thompson4,
  7. Abeer M Shaaban5,
  8. on behalf of the Translational Subgroup of the NCRI Breast Clinical Studies Group
  1. 1Research Oncology, Division of Cancer Studies, King's College London, Guy's Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Pathology, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee, UK
  3. 3Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK
  4. 4Department of Surgery, Ninewells Hospital & Medical School, Dundee, UK
  5. 5Department of Histopathology and Molecular Pathology, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Sarah E Pinder, Breast Research Pathology, Research Oncology, Division of Cancer Studies, Kings College London, 3rd Floor, Bermondsey Wing, Guy's Hospital, Great Maze Pond, London, UK; sarah.pinder{at}kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

Tissue microarray (TMA) is an established and valuable tool, particularly in translational research and clinical trials, allowing resource-efficient use, and high-throughput profiling, of large numbers of tumours. Despite this, there is little evidence, or guidance, on the optimum manufacture, use and assessment of TMAs. Here we review some of the literature, using breast cancer as an example, to highlight good practice and pitfalls in the design and manufacture of TMAs. Issues, such as the size, number, spacing and layout of cores, as well as the assessment and reporting of studies using TMAs are addressed. We make some suggestions regarding these challenges, and propose a checklist of features that should be considered in order to stimulate debate and improve the quality of data produced by TMA analysis.

  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Breast Cancer
  • In Situ Hybridisation

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