formalin substitutes

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From:Mary Ann Miller <>
Date:Thu, 11 Mar 1999 20:24:01 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

Dear Histonet friends,

I was just reading the message encouraging everyone to stop using formalin
fixation. We are the tissue bank for just one of the large SWOG studies and
because of that must do lots of work on approximately 500 different cases
on each of several different protocols which come to us  from all over the
country. We find it extremely difficult to do any kind of standardized
immunochemistry on tissues fixed in so many different ways, especially when
we have no idea as to which fixative was used. It's hard enough not having
any idea how long the tissues have been fixed etc. These technical details
are never included and we are not able to call individual hospitals to find
out. Often we simply have to eliminate a case  because we cannot get it to
stain with any pretreatment whatsoever and I know that is often because one
of the newer fixatives have been used.

I agree that we must all become more aware of safety concerns, but this is
a big problem which worries me for any of us attempting to do
multiinstitutional basic clinical research on diseases which require large
numbers of individual cases in order to get enough numbers on any one
process to have statistical significance.

Any thoughts would be welcome.

Sincerely  Mary Ann

Mary Ann Miller
University of Cincinnati
College of Medicine  ML 529
231 Bethesda Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio  45267
FAX: (513) 558-2289 

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