Re: Fw: Formalin/Alcohol Question

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From:Phyllis Davie <> (by way of histonet)
To:histonet <>
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  We have done many, many cases fixed in alcoholic formalin with our
"breast battery", and we have no more problems with them than is typical.
 You can never guarantee that you will not get sporadic cases that have
been over- or under-fixed, or that you will never have processing
problems.  But in general, the antibodies we use for breast cases (ER,
PR, p53, Ki-67, and her-2-neu) all work well in that fixative, as long as
the tissue is well-fixed and processed.  If you have any specific
questions, I'd be happy to discuss them with you, either on or off-line.

>Some people in pathology say they have experienced a loss of
>immunoreactivity when tissues are fixed in formol-alcohol.  One lab for
>instance that we have referred out ICC, won't do ICC on any tissue fixed in
>formol-alcohol.  Another lab says they have no trouble whatsover.  Recently
>our pathologists started fixing our breast and colon cases in formol-alcohol
>and since most of these breast cases get a "breast battery" panel done on
>them, such as ER/PR, etc. - a concern has arisen between our pathology group
>about the use of formol-alcohol.
>I'm curious to find out other histonetters opinions, or experiences before
>making a final decision and telling our pathology group that we cannot use
>it any longer.  Thank you.

Phyllis Davie
Clinical Laboratory Supervisor
PhenoPath Laboratories
Seattle, WA
(206)374-9009  phone
(206)374-9009  fax

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