Context.—

The authors announce the launch of the Consortium for Analytic Standardization in Immunohistochemistry, funded with a grant from the National Cancer Institute. As with other laboratory testing, analytic standards are important for many different stakeholders: commercial vendors of instruments and reagents, biopharmaceutical firms, pathologists, scientists, clinical laboratories, external quality assurance organizations, and regulatory bodies. Analytic standards are customarily central to assay development, validation, and method transfer into routine assays, and are critical quality assurance tools.

Objective.—

To improve immunohistochemistry (IHC) test accuracy and reproducibility by integrating analytic standards into routine practice. To accomplish this mission, the consortium has 2 mandates: (1) to experimentally determine analytic sensitivity thresholds (lower and upper limits of detection) for selected IHC assays, and (2) to inform IHC stakeholders of what analytic standards are, why they are important, and how and for what purpose they are used. The consortium will then publish the data and offer analytic sensitivity recommendations where appropriate. These mandates will be conducted in collaboration and coordination with clinical laboratories, external quality assurance programs, and pathology organizations.

Data Sources.—

Literature review and published external quality assurance data.

Conclusions.—

Integration of analytic standards is expected to (1) harmonize and standardize IHC assays; (2) improve IHC test accuracy and reproducibility, both within and between laboratories; and (3) dramatically simplify and improve methodology transfer for new IHC protocols from published literature or clinical trials to clinical IHC laboratories.

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Author notes

The Consortium for Analytic Standardization in Immunohistochemistry (CASI) is supported, in part, by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award number R44CA268484-01 (to Bogen).

Bogen is a principal at Boston Cell Standards, which holds patents and has filed patent applications on the technology for creating calibrators. The other authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.