Physicians and patients rely on accurate laboratory test results to guide treatment decisions.
To ensure the accuracy of laboratory tests and reduce variation in laboratory practices, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) has developed the first evidence-based guideline to validate all immunohistochemical (IHC) assays. The guideline, “Principles of Analytic Validation of Immunohistochemical Assays, is now available in the online edition of Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.
The CAP offers two experts who are available to speak to the media.Patrick L. Fitzgibbons, MD, FCAP, lead author of the guideline and a pathologist in private practice at St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton, Calif.
Jeffrey D. Goldsmith, MD, FCAP,is one of the guideline authors and a member of the IHC Validation Guideline Expert Panel. He is the director of surgical pathology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass. Dr. Goldsmith also is an assistant professor of pathology at Harvard Medical School.
“IHC testing is an essential component of the pathologist’s evaluation of a tissue sample. It serves a critical need in patient care as the results from IHC testing often directly guide treatment,” said Dr. Fitzgibbons. “Implementation of the guideline provides pathologists and laboratory professionals a set of standardized procedures to ensure consistency among all laboratories for all specimens.”
The new guideline outlines 14 evidence-based and expert consensus recommendations that help ensure that an IHC test accurately measures the analyte of interest and that validation is appropriate for the test’s intended use. Recommendations are also provided for verifying that an existing validated assay continues to perform as expected when there has been a change in laboratory location, test methods, or equipment.
With the guideline, laboratories can be assured they are following consistent procedures based upon recent scientific evidence and expert consensus opinion. This consistency promotes patient safety by ensuring laboratories achieve the various steps required by regulatory and accreditation agencies before performing testing on a patient specimen.
About the College of American PathologistsAs the leading organization for board-certified pathologists, the College of American Pathologists (CAP) serves patients, pathologists, and the public by fostering and advocating excellence in the practice of pathology and laboratory medicine worldwide. With more than 18,000 physician members, the CAP has led laboratory accreditation for more than 50 years with more than 7,600 CAP-accredited laboratories in 50 countries. Find more information about the CAP at cap.org. Follow CAP on Twitter: @pathologists.