The ATGC are now able to perform whole-exome sequencing on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue samples for clinical reports.

Monday 22nd January, 2018, Brisbane, Australia.

The ATGC has received NATA approval to use formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue samples for whole-exome sequencing (WES). This involved successful completion of the validation study, and NATA approval that was accepted on 9th January 2018.

For cases where insufficient fresh tumour tissue is available for WES testing, the ATGC are now able to request FFPE tissue from Princess Alexandra Hospital’s (PAH) Anatomical Pathology Department from the same sample biopsy as the original WES request. In the majority of cases, this would allow the requested WES testing to be performed.

With certain tumour types, because of inadequate sample size, margins, or storage treatment post-excision, fresh tissue is often not available. Now, the ATGC can process samples that have been preserved in FFPE, as well as fresh frozen samples, to produce clinical reports. That should make it easier for some tumour types, and will also enable the use of microdissection to increase tumourgenicity in samples processed, and also allow the use of samples being processed for histopathology. Because of other histological testing requirements (as with breast tumours), restricted tumour size (like lung tumours and pancreatic tumours), or biopsies taken at initial diagnosis (lymphomas), fresh tissue is not always available when WES testing is requested or required. The ability for the ATGC to conduct WES for clinical purposes on FFPE samples will circumvent much of these problems.

For further details and assistance, please contact the ATGC: or 07 3443 7280.




Left, an ATGC staff member inspects some FFPE tissue samples mounted on microscope slides.