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Steroid Receptor Laboratory


This lab offers estrogen and progesterone receptor assays, Her-2-neu and MIB-1 studies by immunohistochemistry, and flow cytometry on primary and metastatic carcinomas. These results are used for predicting prognosis and for predicting response to treatments. Our primary interest is breast cancer but we also perform these studies on other types of cancer.

These studies require formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues and are performed Monday through Friday. We can also do these studies on fresh frozen tissues. Turnaround time is generally one or two days.

We currently perform these assays for North Carolina Baptist Hospital and other hospitals in the area. In addition, we serve as a reference laboratory for analysis of HER-2 expression for those patients who want to be placed on national protocols for herceptin treatments.

NOTE: Her-2 by fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) is performed in the FISH Lab, Medical Genetics, Department of Pediatrics, and Room G02. Questions regarding specimen requirements and specimen submission should be directed to the FISH lab at -2064.

Investigationers using the Steroid Receptor Laboratory are also interested in developing other prognostic markers and attempting to determine why cells become resistant to herceptin treatment. Images from immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry, and DNA studies in the Steroid Receptor Lab are shown below.  "Prognostic Markers in Cancer 2004"* is available online as a file. This is a one-page list of definitions and references for Steroid Receptor Laboratory Reports.

*You'll need a copy of the free to open this printer-friendly document.

Immunohistochemistry of Breast Cancer Tissue

The images below are examples of immunohistochemistry, done on the Ventana instrument.


Figures 1a and 1b:


Left Panel: H&E of tumor. Right Panel: Immunohisto-chemistry assay with no primary added (background staining)


1a: H&E Patient 1


1b: Background IMH

Figures 2a and 2b:


Positive control for estrogen receptor (left) and estrogen receptor assay (right) done on the patient’s sample. Note: Both sections are on the same slide and staining is in the nucleus of the cell. Analysis is quantified by percent of cancer cells staining.


2a: IMH ER positive control

2b: IMH ER of Patient 1

Figures 3a and 3b:


Same as above except this assay is looking for progesterone receptors.


3a: IMH PR positive control

3b: IMH PR of Patient 1

Figures 4a and 4b:


Same as above except here we are looking for HER-2 expression and the staining is on the cytoplasmic membrane. The analysis for HER-2 expression is based on the DAKO protocol.


4a: IMH HER-2 positive control

4b: IMH HER-2 of Patient 1

Figures 5a and 5b:


Same as above except one is looking for MIB-1 expression which is an indicator for proliferative activity. The positive control at left is tonsil material. The staining is nuclear in location and the analysis is defined by the percentage of cancer cells staining.


5a: IMH-Mib-1 positive control

5b: IMH Mib-1 of Patient 1

Figures 6a and 6b:


Same as 4a and 4b above, except there are fewer cells present and there is more heterogeneity in the staining.


6a: H&E of Patient 2


6b: IMH Her2 of Patient 2


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Last Updated: 08-15-2016

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