The World (of IHC) Is Not Enough
As a qualitative assay, immunohistochemistry does the job. But when it comes to accurate quantitation, don’t we need something more?
Dean Troyer |
Immunohistochemistry (IHC) detects PD-L1 as a companion diagnostic for pembrolizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody used in cancer immunotherapy. The assay provides a semiquantitative score pathologists can use to determine the likelihood of treatment success using PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors.
Recall that the original test for estrogen receptors in breast cancer was a quantitative radioimmunoassay (RIA). It required relatively large amounts of fresh or cryopreserved tissue. IHC replaced the RIA method largely because it fits into the existing histology workflow for formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue, making its convenience obvious. Histopathology became the go-to approach for personalizing breast cancer treatment, and soon, the HER2 assay also became part of the tissue pathology toolkit.
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