[Histonet] RE: Minimum sample size for breast markers

Cartun, Richard Richard.Cartun <@t> hhchealth.org
Thu Sep 12 08:54:09 CDT 2013

There is no minimum as far as I'm concerned.  I have tested as few as "5" malignant cells; however, I always put a statement in the report indicating "limited tumor present for evaluation".  It is then up to the clinician to determine whether to start (or continue) therapy or to get another sample for testing (if possible).


Richard W. Cartun, MS, PhD
Director, Histology & Immunopathology
Director, Biospecimen Collection Programs
Assistant Director, Anatomic Pathology
Hartford Hospital
80 Seymour Street
Hartford, CT  06102
(860) 545-1596 Office
(860) 545-2204 Fax
richard.cartun <@t> hhchealth.org

From: histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu [histonet-bounces <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu] on behalf of Martha Ward-Pathology [mward <@t> wakehealth.edu]
Sent: Thursday, September 12, 2013 9:06 AM
To: histonet <@t> lists.utsouthwestern.edu
Subject: [Histonet] Minimum sample size for breast markers

Is there a minimum number of cells that should be present when testing for ER, PR and Her2? I have looked on the CAP website but cannot see anything about this.  We are constantly getting these small biopsies or FNAs for testing and I sometimes wonder what the lowest threshold is for testing...20 tumor cells, 50 tumor cells????   Any information would be appreciated.   Thanks in advance for your help.

Martha Ward, MT (ASCP) QIHC

Molecular Diagnostics Lab
Medical Center Boulevard  \  Winston-Salem, NC 27157
p 336.716.2109  \  f 336.716.5890
mward <@t> wakehealth.edu

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