Validation of tissue microarray technology in squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus

Judith Boone, Richard Van Hillegersberg, Paul J. Van Diest, G. Johan A. Offerhaus, Inne H.M. Borel Rinkes, Fiebo J.W. Ten Kate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Tissue microarray (TMA) technology has been developed to facilitate high-throughput immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization analysis of tissues by inserting small tissue biopsy cores into a single paraffin block. Several studies have revealed novel prognostic biomarkers in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) by means of TMA technology, although this technique has not yet been validated for these tumors. Because representativeness of the donor tissue cores may be a disadvantage compared to full sections, the aim of this study was to assess if TMA technology provides representative immunohistochemical results in ESCC. A TMA was constructed containing triplicate cores of 108 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded squamous cell carcinomas of the esophagus. The agreement in the differentiation grade and immunohistochemical staining scores of CK5/6, CK14, E-cadherin, Ki-67, and p53 between TMA cores and a subset of 64 randomly selected donor paraffin blocks was determined using kappa statistics. The concurrence between TMA cores and donor blocks was moderate for Ki-67 (κ=0.42) and E-cadherin (κ=0.47), substantial for differentiation grade (κ=0.65) and CK14 (κ=0.71), and almost perfect for p53 (κ=0.86) and CK5/6 (κ=0.93). TMA technology appears to be a valid method for immunohistochemical analysis of molecular markers in ESCC provided that the staining pattern in the tumor is homogeneous.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-514
Number of pages8
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Biological markers
  • Esophageal neoplasms
  • Protein microarray analysis
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Validation studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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