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Table 2 Examples of external quality assurance schemes for routine biomarkers employed in breast cancer pathologya

From: Revisiting the technical validation of tumour biomarker assays: how to open a Pandora's box

QA scheme Scope Website
ASCO/CAP To improve the accuracy of test results and ensure that
patients receive appropriate care
UK NEQAS To promote optimal patient care by facilitating the
availability of reliable laboratory investigations,
through provision of objective information on
participant performance and professional advice
and assistance where appropriate
NordiQC To promote the quality of IHC by arranging schemes
for pathology laboratories, assessing tissue stains,
giving recommendations for improvement and
providing good protocols
external quality
To systematically monitor and improve the proficiency
of IHC testing laboratories and those involved with IHC
testing nationwide
To provide external proficiency testing for
histopathology laboratories in the areas of diagnostic
and technical expertise
  1. a Names, scope and websites of the main external quality assurance schemes for breast cancer biomarkers based on immunohistochemical and in situ hybridisation assays.
  2. QA: quality assurance; ASCO: American Society of Clinical Oncology; CAP: College of American Pathologists; UK NEQAS: United Kingdom
  3. External Quality Assessment Service; IHC: immunohistochemistry; NordiQC: Nordic Immunohistochemical Quality Control; RCPA: Royal College
  4. of Pathologists of Australasia.