Prostate specific antigen (PSA): A comparative study of the specificity and sensitivity of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies in routine processed tissue immunohistochemistry.
Robinson, Martyn David
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Introduction - Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) is a 34kD glycoprotein produced almost exclusively by the epithelial cells of the prostate. Antibodies directed towards PSA are used in routine immunohistochemistry to demonstrate the prostatic origin of metastatic neoplasm's that have no obvious primary tumour site. It is suggested that the high tissue specificity associated with monoclonal anti-PSA may result in a reduction in technique sensitivity. This study seeks to assess the sensitivity and specificity a monoclonal and its analogous polyclonal anti-PSA. Method - Paraffin embedded tissue blocks of trans urethral resections of prostate that have been previously diagnosed with prostatic adenocarcinoma were retrieved from the archive of the Royal Gwent Hospital. Tissue sections were cut and stained on a Bond Max immunostainer with monoclonal and polyclonal anti – PSA antibodies. The slides were then scored for the sensitivity and specificity of the staining produced. Results - 28 Tissue sections were positively stained for the presence of PSA. The results were assessed by performing a Wilcoxon signed rank test for paired data drawn from a single sample. Monoclonal anti - PSA attained rank median scores of 0.5 and 2.5 for the amount of background and percentage of cells staining respectively, in comparison polyclonal anti- PSA scored 2 and 3. The intensity of staining produced by each antibody attained an equal median score of 2. Discussion - Monoclonal anti - PSA resulted in significantly less background staining but had achieved this at the cost of a slight reduction in the sensitivity of the technique. Polyclonal anti – PSA produced high levels of non specific background staining but achieved a slightly higher percentage of tumour cells stained. lt has been shown that the monoclonal anti - PSA will produce highly specific staining that lacks slightly in sensitivity. The polyclonal anti - PSA will produce staining that is greatly reduced in specificity but slightly increased in sensitivity.
BSc(Hons) Applied Biomedical Science
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