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Techniques & Tools Clinical, Mass Spectrometry, Liquid Chromatography

The World (of IHC) Is Not Enough

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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About the Author

Dean Troyer

Dean Troyer is Professor at the Departments of Microbiology, Molecular Cell Biology and Pathology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, USA.

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