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The Immunohistochemistry Laboratory is situated on the ground floor of the Clinical Sciences Building and provides IHC testing for both our ISO accredited histology and cytopathology services.

We currently house two automated Ventana BenchMark Ultra staining machines which we use to carry out our routine clinical work. We currently hold a repertoire of over 90 antibodies, listed on our Antibody Repertoire List and are enrolled in the UKNEQAS ICC quality assurance scheme.

Any clinician wishing to request specific immunohistochemistry antibody markers should discuss this with the reporting pathologist. It is not appropriate to contact the laboratory directly to request IHC.

Specialised testing

The laboratory performs the following specialised tests for patients accessing Wythenshawe hospital Histopathology services as well as referral tests for hospitals within Greater Manchester and wider regions;

  • Breast HER-2 confirmatory testing (DDISH).
  • PD-L1 (triple negative breast cancer)
  • PD-L1 (lung cancer)
  • ALK (lung cancer)

Full scope of practice can be found on the UKAS website.


The laboratory on occasion refers material (paraffin embedded blocks or stained slides) to the Manchester Haematological Cancers Diagnostic Partnership. This is a joint partnership between Manchester Foundation Trust and the Christie Hospital for confirmation and classification of lymphomas and to the Christie Hospital for opinion and / or confirmation of pathology in a small number of cases.

Material may also be referred to St. Marys Genetics department for Genetic / molecular testing which quotes a 10-day turnaround time for results.  This includes EGFR, BRAF and KRAS.

The department regularly receives requests for expert/second opinion from other hospitals.

A very small number of cases are referred to other Specialist Histopathologists for expert second opinion or review and in response to service pressures. The following are the most used:

Type Address
Lymphomas Via the HCD partnership with The Christie.
Reporting/Vacancy cover Source Bioscience, 1 Orchard Place, Business Park,

Nottingham, NG8 6PX

Reporting/Vacancy cover Diagnexia, Science Park Centre, 6 Babbage Way, Exeter Science Park, Clyst Honiton, Exeter, EX5 2FN
Preparation of samples Cellular Pathology Services, Unit 12, Orbital 25 Business Park, Dwight Road, Watford, WD18 9DA
Genetics Manchester Centre for Genetic Medicine

6th Floor, St Mary’s Hospital, Oxford Road, Manchester

M13 9WL

Return of tissues

On occasion, patients request the return of tissues following a surgical procedure.  This may be for various cultural or religious reasons.  Patients have a right to have their tissues returned to them. Any request for the retention of specimens should be referred to a Histopathologist and Deputy Laboratory Manager within Histopathology at Wythenshawe hospital.

  1. If there is no need for the tissue to be examined histologically and the patient wishes to take it away immediately, then it does not need to be sent to the Histopathology department.
  2. In some cases, the tissue needs to be examined histologically. The remaining tissue will then be returned to the patient by the Histopathology department.  Sometimes the patient is hospitalised or is uncertain as to what he wants done with the tissue, in which case it will be stored by the Histopathology department.  In such cases, please speak to the Deputy Laboratory Manager or Lead Biomedical Scientist to ensure that the patient’s wishes are met with regard retention and return of their tissue sample. Please be aware that failure to inform the department that the patient wishes to have their tissue sample retained and returned to them may result in the specimen being disposed of as tissue samples are only kept in the department for 4 weeks following the issue of a histology report. If the specimen is able to be returned to the patient, written advice as to the hazards of the formalin fixative used will be provided.

Disposal of tissues

Specimens are not permitted to be sent to histology for disposal purpose.  We provide a diagnostic service, not a disposal service.  Any specimens received where disposal is indicated will be processed and a report issued. Pregnancy remain (POC) specimens may be disposed of without histological examination if indicated by the patient on the PS1 form. If so, the specimen should be sent directly to the Mortuary for disposal to be arranged as per the patient’s wishes.

Manchester Cancer Research Centre Tissue Bank

The Homepage – Manchester Cancer Research Centre is an initiative to collect and bank tissue samples from cancers to facilitate research.  The project started collecting in April 2008.  To contact the team please ring 0161 446 3659 or click on the hyperlink above.


(Last updated April 2023)