Assessments UK NEQAS

The External Quality Assessment Scheme for Immunocytochemistry was founded in 1985 by Mr Gerry Reynolds at Mount Vernon Hospital, Middlesex. In 1988 the Service was recognised by the UK Department of Health and from that time it became known as the UK National External Quality Assessment Service for Immunocytochemistry (UK NEQAS-ICC and later UKNEQAS ICC & ISH).

UK NEQAS ICC & ISH is hosted by External Quality Assessment Services For Cancer Diagnostics CIC; a Community Interest Company limited by guarantee (No:10585826) and registered in England and Wales.

Currently UKNEQAS ICC & ISH offers assessments in 9 different immunocytochemistry modules at approximately 3-monthly intervals throughout the fiscal year, plus a HER-2 ISH module. The details are as follows;

  • Module 1: General Pathology
  • Module 2: Breast Pathology (Hormonal Receptors)
  • Module 3: Breast Pathology (HER-2/neu)
  • Module 4: Lymphoid Pathology
  • Module 5: Neuropathology
  • Module 6: Cytopathology (Cell Blocks and Cytospins preparations)
  • Module 7A: Alimentary Tract Pathology – GIST (CD117: DOG-1, CD34, S100, Desmin, SMA)
  • Module 7B: Alimentary Tract Pathology – Lynch Syndrome (MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2)
  • Module 8: Gastric HER2 IHC
  • Module 9: NSCLC ALK IHC
  • Module 10: NSCLC PD-L1 IHC (Pilot)

This entails the handling and assessment of over 5,000 slides every quarter and over 20,000 slides per annum.

Details of each module can be found in the Modules section that follow. Participants are encouraged to participate in those modules that are compatible with the range of immunocytochemistry performed in their laboratory.

international labsInternational laboratories

“The service currently attracts members from over fifty different countries”

and welcomes participation from both UK and non-UK based laboratories. In some countries the number of participants is quite substantial and as a consequence there are now a number of overseas assessors.

Educational remit of the service

One of the main aims of the service is to provide useful information on methods and reagents that allow for improved quality of immunocytochemistry.

To this end, the main technical steps employed by participants at assessment are collated onto a database and subsequently tabulated to show the proportion of participants using a particular reagent or automated system, that achieved acceptable staining at assessment.

The results of these analyses appear as best methods and are presented in graph and table forms, along with images, as part of the on-line results that participants receive. The UKNEQAS ICC & ISH Newsletters also contain reviews and colour prints showing optimal demonstration of the antigens assessed, examples of high scoring methods and frequency charts illustrating the distribution of participants scores for each run.