Quality controls: the issue with tissue

Quality controls are required in each laboratory to demonstrate that the assay has worked. The work flow in a lab consists of six steps:

  1. Sample collection
  2. Tissue processing
  3. Embedding
  4. Sectioning
  5. Assay
  6. Interpretation & Analysis

Laboratories work hard to maintain quality but much of the variation occurs with the samples during sample collection and tissue processing. Using standardized material at point 5 means that, regardless of what occurs beforehand, the lab can ensure that their assays are standardized. In turn, point 6 can be performed with confidence knowing the assay has worked effectively.

Quality controls based on tissue and cell lines can be used at point 5 of the work flow. Which control is the best solution for your lab?  Tissue is not a consistent supply as no two tissues are the same. Tissue suffers from heterogeneity and identification of suitable materials with necessary expression is often difficult (HER2 2+ or EML4-ALK). Cell line controls reduce the amount of time spent on managing control material, reduce tissue use and are a solution for the availability of rare biomarkers when there isn’t material.

Cell line controls of HistoCyte Laboratories Ltd are same slide controls and distinctive in their high stability. A standardized and cost efficient solution for each laboratory. It is actually possible to have rare biomarkers such as HER2, PD-L1, EML4-ALK and ROS1 always available. The HistoCyte cells are QC’d with standardized assays and work the same way every time. There is no risk of errors introduced at fixation and it protects against a ‘drifting assay’.

The last question which you should consider while make a decision to use tissue or cell line control material is: how much does control material cost the laboratory? In house tissue is not free. For a fair comparison all costs  of identifying and retrieving material, retesting, signing off by a pathologist, making composite blocks/TMAs and the failure percentage due to heterogeneity should be summarized. Additionally: how many scientists are involved? Work pressure can be lowered due to a standardized solution which involves less hands on time. We are looking forward to discuss the opportunities for your lab. Contact us if you would like to receive more information about the high quality, cost-effective cell line control material range of HistoCyte Laboratories.