Re: IHC Control Blocks

From:Victoria Baker


What type of varied control tissue are you looking
for?  Is it for a group of antibodies or specific to
only a few or maybe one?

About two years ago I tried to look for the same sort
of tissue control,  it was called a "sausage control",
commercially available ones are non-existant.  I ended
up contacting a private lab to obtain tissue and paid
$250 for 4 or 5 blocks that I in turn made in to a
sort of sausage type control block.  Going through
this maze of people and people who knew people was the
only way I could do this.  I work in research so it
isn't like I've got cases or an abundance of tissue
available.  The advent of the tissue array may give a
rise for the need of these controls, but I doubt it as
with this technology most labs are able to put these
together themselves to fit their exact needs.

Obtaining tissue controls has become big business and
also a legal issue as to the rights of patient
privacy.  Hence, the high cost and difficulty of
obtaining any type of "control tissue" has come about.

The best thought I have is that, in the clincial field
many health organizations have data bases and tumor
boards.  It may be possible to do searches to obtain
the tissue samples needed and construct your own
sausage block.  I know that the almighty dollar rules
in terms of time to do this (searches, grossing, ab
testing, a pathologist to verify the site, etc) but it
might be the only way to obtain the samples you need. 
Your pathology transcription supervisor would probably
have a lot of good ideas as to how to go about a

As to Cytology controls I've been out of the clinical
loop for several years and I haven't a clue.  Our cell
controls are obtained from our studies and pre tested
to suit our needs.  

Good luck.

Vikki Baker
American Health Foundation
Valhalla New York  

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