Pathology. 2011 Feb;43(2):128-132 [Link]

Kao SC, Lee K, Armstrong NJ, Clarke S, Vardy J, van Zandwijk N, Reid G, Burn J, McCaughan BC, Henderson DW, Klebe S.

*Asbestos Diseases Research Institute, Bernie Banton Centre, Concord, Australia †Department of Medical Oncology, Sydney Cancer Centre, Concord, Australia ‡The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia §Department of Anatomical Pathology, Concord Repatriation General Hospital, Concord, Australia ||Cancer Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Darlinghurst, Australia ¶Davies Campbell de Lambert Pathology, Sydney, Australia **Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia ††Department of Anatomical Pathology, Flinders Medical Centre and SA Pathology, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.


Aims: Tissue microarray (TMA) technology has been utilised for assessment of cancers including malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Given the intralesional heterogeneity of MPM, it is questionable if TMAs can adequately represent MPMs. We here investigate the validity of TMAs for MPM.

Methods: TMAs were constructed from at least five cores for each of 80 archival tumours processed by two centres between 1994 and 2009. The percentage of cases correctly subtyped on TMAs compared with whole sections, in relation to the number of cores analysed, was calculated. Immunohistochemical labelling for calretinin and D2-40 was performed on TMAs and whole sections. To evaluate the validity of quantitative immunohistochemistry, percentages of positive cells were recorded and two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) performed.

Results: Five cores were assessable for 91% of patients. Four cores were sufficient to reach concordance with the whole-section result in 98% of cases for calretinin and 99% for D2-40. The correlation of the quantitative scores between the whole section and TMA cores was statistically significant (D2-40, rho = 0.84, p < 2.2e-16; calretinin, rho = 0.65, p = 7.9e-11). Neither the origin nor age of the blocks affected the results.

Conclusion: If a minimum of four cores is used, TMA is an appropriate method for immunohistochemistry in MPM.