PAPER REVIEW: “Microfluidics for rapid cytokeratin immunohistochemical staining in frozen sections” Laboratory Investigation, Nature.
What are frozen sections and why are they important?
When dealing with cancer patients, surgeons might perform biopsies where tissue masses are extracted. The surgeon may require pathology consultations regarding different aspects of the tissue, such as the assessment of the tumor margins for further removal, or determination of the cancer development status. For this purpose, frozen sections of tumor samples are prepared and analyzed by a pathologist to obtain information on the case. Making these intraoperative assessments decreases the rate at which patients need to be re-operated.
What are the current methods for intraoperative assessment?
Current methods include visual examination of the tissue sample or staining of frozen sections with hematoxylin & eosin (H&E). The latter technique is used to highlight details of the morphology, but does not give any cancer-specific information to the pathologist.
A solution to the lack of marker-specific information is immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining on frozen sections. However, the turnaround time of these tests when performed with the existing automated machines is too long to be performed during surgery and alternative rapid methods lack automation.
What does our new data show?
On this publication, the speed of Lunaphore’s technology is discussed: The data shows that IHC stainings can be performed in less than 12 minutes on frozen sections using Lunaphore’s microfluidic technology. Automated stainings have been performed with cytokeratin marker on tissues from ureter, pancreas, prostate, breast carcinoma, pancreas adenocarcinoma and lung adenocarcinoma (NSCLC), demonstrating the use of this tool for a wide range of applications.
What is the impact of it?
These results suggest the potential to gather tissue and cancer-specific information in a short period of time and in an automated way, intraoperatively. This may provide pathologists and surgeons with additional information to increase their confidence in diagnoses and decision-making, and can further impact patients re-operation rates.
In addition, Lunaphore automation tool opens the door to test the system with a whole new set of applications using different samples and markers in a rapid and reliable manner.