Intra- and inter-laboratory reproducibility of estrogen and progesterone receptor enzyme immunoassay in breast cancer cytosol samples--a Swedish multicenter study. Swedish Society of Cancer Study Group
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Estrogen and progesterone receptor analysis results were compared within and between six laboratories in Sweden using frozen breast cancer cytosol samples, and the same technique (enzyme immunoassay, Abbott Laboratories). The concordance in receptor status (positive vs. negative) was excellent (98.4% (571/580)). The discordant results were attributable to values near cut-off (n = 4) or outliers (n = 5), the latter probably being due to analytical errors. One laboratory reported significantly higher ER concentrations than the others; thus caution should be observed when comparing absolute values from different centers. For PgR there were similar differences between the laboratories. However, the intra- and inter-laboratory differences were small compared with the overall variability in ER and PgR content between different samples in a large database. The range of the median intra-laboratory coefficient of variation was 11-23% for ER and 12-19% for PgR, indicating that there is room for improvement in the quality of assay performance.