Immuno problems and alternative fixatives

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From:Neal Goldstein <> (by way of histonet)
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My department is considering switching from formalin to Prefer (or
another non-formalin "fixative") because of an ancient ventilation
system and increased specimen volumes. As the director of the immuno
lab, I am concerned that certain antibodies will not work as well in
non-formalin solutions as in formalin. A specific list of "troublesome"
antibodies is not available, and the vendors state that their solution
is superior to formalin (no surprise). However, antibody kits such as
Herceptin (Dako Co) cannot be performed on these non formalin
"fixatives", and several posts by members mention technical

If members could directly E-mail their difficult and problematical
immunohistochemistry experiences with Prefer, or other non formalin
solutions, I will summarize them and re-post the results. A single large
composite e-mail post documenting problem antibodies, technical
difficulties, and solutions would hopefully be helpful to many members.

Detailed e-mails, soap-box lectures, and diatribes are especially

Neal Goldstein, M.D.
William Beaumont Hospital
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