Tree Top Hospital introduces Immunohistochemistry (IHC) testing for the first time in the Maldives on March 08, 2020. IHC is a special laboratory test used by pathologists to detect specific molecules on cells. IHC has found numerous applications in medicine, especially in cancer diagnosis. These tests were previously carried out by sending samples overseas or by the patient traveling overseas for testing purposes.
Immunohistochemistry testing is so advanced that several hundred types and subtypes of lymphomas, including many other types of cancers can be detected. The test also aids in distinguishing whether the tumors detected are non-cancerous or cancerous. In the past, this method was initially applied only to diagnose of lymph node diseases and lymphomas.
Tumors of various cellular origins and organs may look identical by standard testing methods. In contrast, the IHC testing method is unique as it enables these tumors to be classified according to type, subtype and further deduces the best treatment possible according to this classification. For instance, as a treatment method of breast cancer, sensitivity to hormone therapy can be determined. This is a significant difference because, in the case of a hormone-dependent tumor, hormone therapy treatment is proven to be far more effective than strong chemotherapy.
“Benefits from IHC are used in the treatment of all malignant (cancerous) tumors and have enabled personalized or individualized therapy that combines patient characteristics with the characteristics of the tumor, degree of tumor malignancy and stage of the disease. These personalized treatment therapies for cancer patients deem far more effective than previous therapies that were only based on the characteristics of the patient and stage of the tumor” Dr. Miroslav Strbac, Consultant Pathologist from Tree Top Hospital, stated in his recent interview.
Considering the importance of IHC tests, Tree Top hospital ensures that these tests can only be performed by highly-skilled technicians and tests can be interpreted by experienced histopathologists. Methods of performing these tests and criteria for interpretation are highly standardized and controlled by quality control. Tree Top Hospital has been gaining advancements in the field of healthcare and its Pathology department has recently begun high-quality testing methods such as Frozen Section pathology.