Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Newer developments in immunohistology
  1. A S-Y Leong1,
  2. T Y-M Leong2
  1. 1Discipline of Anatomical Pathology, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia
  2. 2Department of Anatomical Pathology, St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
    A S-Y Leong
    Hunter Area Pathology Service, Locked Bag 1, HRMC, Newcastle 2310, Australia; aleong{at}


The development of sensitive reagents and detection systems, together with the introduction of heat-induced antigen retrieval, has rapidly entrenched immunohistology as an indispensable adjunct to routine histological examination, contributing to diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. New antibodies continue to be produced and new applications for “old” antibodies are described. The production of antibodies enabling the detection of genetic abnormalities, including mutations, gene amplifications and specific chromosomal translocations associated with novel chimeric proteins, promises to yield further insights into the genesis and behaviour of tumours. The ability to stain for target molecules that regulate tumour growth and proliferation is essential for selecting tumours for treatment with monoclonal antibodies. The mechanism of antigen retrieval remains debated. The absence of optimal controls continues to hinder standardisation of immunostaining and invalidates current attempts at quantification of immunostaining.

  • ALK, anaplastic large-cell lymphoma kinase
  • AMACR, α-methylacyl-CoA racemase
  • CML, chronic myeloid leukaemia
  • COX, cyclo-oxygenase
  • EGFR, epidermal growth factor receptor
  • FISH, fluorescence in situ hybridisation
  • GIST, gastrointestinal stromal tumour
  • HPV, human papillomavirus
  • MALT, mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue
  • MSI, microsatellite instability
  • PDGFR, platelet-derived growth factor receptor
  • PNET, primitive neuroectodermal tumour
  • pRb, retinoblastoma protein
  • RT-PCR, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction
  • SSTR, somatostatin receptor
  • TFE3, transcription factor 3 gene
  • WT-1, Wilms’s tumour 1 gene

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Competing interests: None declared.