Influence of preanalytical variables on performance of delta-like protein 3 (DLL3) predictive immunohistochemistry

Teodora Radonic*, S. Duin, W. Vos, P. Kortman, Aeilko H. Zwinderman, Erik Thunnissen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


DLL3 might become a predictive immunohistochemical marker in small cell carcinoma of the lung (SCLC). We investigated the influence of pre-analytical handling of samples on the performance of DLL3 immunohistochemistry (IHC) using DLL3 SP347 ready to use assay (Ventana). DLL3 positive cell lines were subjected to different experimental conditions mimicking the pre-analytical variation in daily clinical practice. Formalin fixation of 24 h led to the most optimal results of DLL3 IHC. Longstanding fixation in Cytolyt, methanol-based fixative for cytology samples, but also decalcification using a mix of formic- and hydrochloracid resulted in decreased DLL3 staining. Postponed staining of blanc slides for 3 months also decreased DLL3 IHC. Postponed fixation of the SCLC cell lines did not influence the performance of DLL3 IHC, although this might be different in the tissues than in the cell lines. In conclusion, different pre-analytical variables decrease the performance of DLL3 IHC. These findings are essential for implementing novel predictive immunohistochemical biomarkers in daily pathology practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-300
Number of pages8
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

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