Staining Performance of ALK and ROS1 Immunohistochemistry and Influence on Interpretation in Non–Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Cleo Keppens, Jan von der Thüsen, Patrick Pauwels, Ales Ryska, Nils ’t Hart, Ed Schuuring, Keith Miller, Erik Thunnissen, Karen Zwaenepoel, Elisabeth M. C. Dequeker*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Selection of non–small-cell lung cancer patients for treatment relies on the detection of expression of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and ROS proto-oncogene 1 (ROS1) protein by immunohistochemistry (IHC). We evaluated staining performance for different IHC protocols and laboratory characteristics, and their influence on ALK and ROS1 interpretation during external quality assessment schemes between 2015 and 2018. Participants received five formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded cases for staining by their routine protocol, whereafter at least two pathologists scored them simultaneously under a multihead microscope and awarded a graded expert staining score (ESS) from 1 to 5 points based on staining quality. European Conformity in Vitro Diagnostic kits (such as D5F3) revealed a better ALK ESS compared with laboratory-developed tests. ESS was indifferent to the applied antibody dilution or a recent protocol change. Lower ESSs were observed for higher antibody incubation times and temperatures. ESS for various ROS1 protocols were largely similar. Overall, for both markers, ESS improved over time and for repeated external quality assessment participation but was independent of laboratory setting or experience. Except for ROS1, ESS positively correlated with laboratory accreditation. IHC stains with lower ESS correlated with increased error rates in ALK and ROS1 interpretation and analysis failures. Laboratory characteristics differently affected staining quality and interpretation, and laboratories should assess both aspects, and less common protocols need improvement in staining performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1438-1452
Number of pages15
JournalThe Journal of molecular diagnostics
Volume22
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020

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