RE: [Histonet] No lab is an island

From:"Morken, Tim - Labvision"

Amos brings up some good points about IHC with various fixtative. Another
problem with all these different fixatives and IHC is that antibody vendors
have a hard time getting even formalin-fixed tissue blocks as it is, and
trying to get blocks of tissue treated with many different fixatives would
be almost impossible, or at least extremely expensive. Also, antibody
vendors have invested huge amounst of money to develop antibodies for
formalin-fixed tissue simply because it is the standard. I think it is good
that people try other fixatives, but only publishing superior results will
convince people to change.

Tim Morken
Product Development
Lab Vision / NeoMarkers
47790 Westinghouse Dr
Fremont, CA 94539
PH: 510-991-2840

-----Original Message-----
From: Amos Brooks [] 
Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2003 1:11 PM
Subject: [Histonet] No lab is an island

         I am sure you can get acceptable results using Prefer. The problem 
is that it is not standardized. The manufacturers of antibodies test them 
on formalin fixed tissues or frozen sections.  Those are the choices. If 
you use something else then the results you get from the tests you do is 
limited to your lab only. If you send tissue out, other labs can not 
perform the same tests or more specifically many of the tests not done at 
your facility.
         Perhaps manufacturers should look into testing other fixatives. 
The problem here is that there are so many fixatives on the market right 
now that unless there was some collusion (which would be unethical) between 
the companies they can't pick any one company with out alienating all the 
         If we want to change fixatives from formalin to something else, we 
need as a WHOLE to establish what EVERY lab MUST switch to and start from 
there. (Perhaps some regulatory agency would be of some help there ... 
ouch) Because if we do not then there will be pockets of Prefer and pockets 
and PenFix and pockets of formalin. With out an established standard the 
labs can not communicate. There would need to be countless procedures and 
controls fixed in countless methods. Imagine trying to find an ALK-1 
control fixed 10 different ways. (Good bloody luck, it's hard enough 
finding it in formalin).
         Prefer may indeed be better but currently, for better or for 
worse, we are stuck with formalin since it is the standard.
Amos Brooks

At 01:00 PM 10/29/03, you wrote:
>Message: 11
>Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2003 09:18:38 -0500
>From: "Mary Bryhan" 
>To: , 
>Subject: Re: [Histonet] Prefer formalin-free fixative
>I would like to go on record to dispute the claims of Hadi regarding =
>Prefer fixative.  It is much safer than formalin based fixatives for the =
>health of the workers as well as the environment.  The main reason people =
>have trouble with working up their antibodies using Prefer fixed tissues =
>are, in most cases, they haven't tried to work through the protocols to =
>determine the corrective action to get their signal to light up!  We have =
>had about 8 years or so, experience with using Prefer fixative and have =
>EXCELLENT results!  If anyone out there needs to network with other Prefer
>users, feel free to contact myself or my coworker Ellen Clausen-Simon at =
>Mary Bryhan HT (ASCP)
>Team Leader Anatomic Pathology Department
>Northern Michigan Hospital=20
>Petoskey, MI 49770

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