Once we all agree to fix our tissues for EXACTLY the same amount of time in the same fixative (supplied by the same vendor of course), what do we do with all of the other factors involved to reach this pipe dream of national standardization?
The next step must be a requirement for all of us to work in the same hermetically sealed, mass produced "pre-fab" labs that can all provide identical water sources, temperatures, humidity, elevation/pressure, etc... We must all agree to use identical antigen retrieval methods, kits/detections, chromagens, etc... provided by the same "super vendor" with the same lot numbers. This may be feasable with all the buyouts in our industry but remains highly unlikely.
Lastly, we must all agree to invite in only the same gremlins since they seem to thrive in so many laboratory environments.
My point is, the new CAP HER2 guidlines are a fruitless attempt to standardize a procedure that has too many factors involved to achieve true, nation-wide standardization. The current discussion on the fixation aspect needs to be tempered by the fact that it is still only one factor in many.
Does anyone else get that sick feeling that this is just the tip of the iceburg and calls for pre-fab kits and national standardization for many other tests are just around the corner?
Things that make you go HMMMMMM,
Glen Dawson BS, HT & QIHC (ASCP)
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