Tissue micro-array: a cost and time-effective method for correlative studies by regional and national cancer study groups

Mod Pathol. 2002 Dec;15(12):1366-73. doi: 10.1097/01.MP.0000036345.18944.22.


Tissue micro-arrays have been used for molecular and immunohistochemical studies. We sought to evaluate whether such arrays could substitute for whole sections in correlative studies performed by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group. Four multitumor 150-sample arrays were built using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded, archival prostate, brain, and head/neck tumor blocks from RTOG tissue bank. p53 immunostaining of arrays and whole sections was done. Blind evaluation of each slide was made, and agreement rates between the two techniques were determined in various scenarios. Cost was also evaluated. Results demonstrate excellent agreement for p53 between slides and arrays. Agreement improved when three or four replicate arrays were used. Findings based on one to four arrays agree well with those obtained from analysis of the whole tissue samples. Minimal tissue damage, improved tissue salvage, cost reduction, ease of interpretation, and significant time savings were realized by using the arrays. Tissue micro array technique is a valuable tool for evaluation of patient materials associated with clinical trials.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Histocytological Preparation Techniques / economics
  • Histocytological Preparation Techniques / methods*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / economics
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods*
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / analysis


  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53