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Identification of the major sources of error in estrogen receptor measurements for individual laboratories using both tissue and cytosol samples


The major sources of error between laboratories performing estrogen receptor measurements in tissue samples were identified for 17 participating laboratories in a trial conducted by the Australasian Quality Assurance programme. Both tissue and cytosol samples were provided, and the In-House assays were compared with the ER-EIA kit (Abbott Laboratories, U.S.A.) as a reference assay. For both the In-House and Abbott assays, tissue samples resulted in a between laboratory CV of about 55% and a within laboratory CV of about 30%. In contrast to tissue samples, the between laboratory CV for cytosol samples was reduced to 41% for the In-House assays and to 33% for the Abbott assay, whereas the within laboratory CV was reduced to 10% for both types of assay. The different methods of tissue homogenization by themselves were not found to be sources of error, and protein extraction efficiency from tissue was strongly correlated with protein measurement (P less than 0.0005). The major sources of error due to protein measurement, cytosol preparation, In-House and Abbott assays were evaluated for individual laboratories. The results indicated absence of any major sources of error for four laboratories, while one, two and three or more sources were indicated for seven, three and three laboratories respectively. The conclusion that about half the participants need to improve their ER assays was confirmed by three independent reviews. Furthermore, the trial demonstrated that tissue samples are essential as quality assurance material for a realistic assessment of ER assays in biopsy specimens.

Type Journal
ISBN 0277-5379 (Print)
Authors Borjesson, B. W.;Cauchi, M. N.;Compton, P. J.;Foo, T. M.;Gramacho, C.;Hahnel, R.;Ho, K. P.;Holdaway, I. M.;Horsfall, D. J.;Lie, T. H.;et al. :
Publisher Name Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol
Published Date 1989-01-01
Published Volume 25
Published Issue 7
Published Pages 1079-86
Status Published in-print
URL link to publisher's version