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Microarrays 2014, 3(1), 72-88; doi:10.3390/microarrays3010072
Article

Can Archival Tissue Reveal Answers to Modern Research Questions?: Computer-Aided Histological Assessment of Neuroblastoma Tumours Collected over 60 Years

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1 Tumour Bank, The Children's Cancer Research Unit, Kid's Research Institute, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia 2 Histopathology Department, The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia 3 Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, The University of Technology Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2007, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 January 2014 / Revised: 13 February 2014 / Accepted: 24 February 2014 / Published: 28 February 2014
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Abstract

Despite neuroblastoma being the most common extracranial solid cancer in childhood, it is still a rare disease. Consequently, the unavailability of tissue for research limits the statistical power of studies. Pathology archives are possible sources of rare tissue, which, if proven to remain consistent over time, could prove useful to research of rare disease types. We applied immunohistochemistry to investigate whether long term storage caused any changes to antigens used diagnostically for neuroblastoma. We constructed and quantitatively assessed a tissue microarray containing neuroblastoma archival material dating between 1950 and 2007. A total of 119 neuroblastoma tissue cores were included spanning 6 decades. Fourteen antibodies were screened across the tissue microarray (TMA). These included seven positive neuroblastoma diagnosis markers (NB84, Chromogranin A, NSE, Ki-67, INI1, Neurofilament Protein, Synaptophysin), two anticipated to be negative (S100A, CD99), and five research antibodies (IL-7, IL-7R, JAK1, JAK3, STAT5). The staining of these antibodies was evaluated using Aperio ImageScope software along with novel pattern recognition and quantification algorithms. This analysis demonstrated that marker signal intensity did not decrease over time and that storage for 60 years had little effect on antigenicity. The construction and assessment of this neuroblastoma TMA has demonstrated the feasibility of using archival samples for research.
Keywords: tissue microarray; archival tissue; neuroblastoma; immunohistochemistry; image analysis tissue microarray; archival tissue; neuroblastoma; immunohistochemistry; image analysis
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Chetcuti, A.; Mackie, N.; Tafavogh, S.; Graf, N.; Henwood, T.; Charlton, A.; Catchpoole, D. Can Archival Tissue Reveal Answers to Modern Research Questions?: Computer-Aided Histological Assessment of Neuroblastoma Tumours Collected over 60 Years. Microarrays 2014, 3, 72-88.

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