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The Impact of Decalcification on Staining

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Different types of cancers frequently metastase to bone tissue. Treatment planning decisions are often based upon histology and special staining of these distant sites of disease. These decisions may rely on the outcome of immunohistochemistry, in situ techniques or molecular testing. Decalcification of the bone tissue is required to get quality histological slides. There are many decalcification reagents on the market. This presentation discusses the pros and cons of decalcification methods and how the laboratory should handle these specimens to best help the patient.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the common decalcification methods.
  2. Discuss the downstream effects of decalcification methods on staining.
  3. Describe the process of validation and reporting.

Loralee McMahon is the Immunohistochemistry Supervisor in Surgical Pathology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY. She has worked as a histotechnologist for about 18 years. Her previous job was the Histology Supervisor at a Dermatopathology Lab in the DC area. Previous positions in histology included doing general histology and advanced staining for Alzheimer’s disease and Orthopaedics research.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Medical Management. Loralee is ASCP certified as a Histotechnologist and has a New York State license as a Medical Technologist. During the summer she teaches a Histology Techniques course for a Medical Technician program.

She has been a contributory author on articles that have been published most recently in the following journals: The Journal of Histotechnology, Applied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology, International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology, American Journal of Clinical Pathology, and Human Pathology

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