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Blake Gilks

The role of immunohistochemistry in surgical pathology of the ovary, tube and peritoneum

Handout (pdf 112 p)

Handout (pdf 37 p)


The ovary is the primary site of an extraordinary range of primary neoplasms. Over the past decades the use of immunostaining has helped refine diagnostic criteria, and the current WHO classification of ovarian tumors is based not just on routine histopathological features, but on molecular abnormalities, most of which can be assessed by immunohistochemistry. Within the category of epithelial neoplasms of ovary/fallopian tube, there is now recognition of the importance of accurate histotype diagnosis in patient care (choice of treatment and testing for hereditary cancer syndromes). The appropriate immunomarkers for accurate tubo-ovarian carcinoma histotype assignment will be reviewed. The category of sex cord-stromal tumors has also been refined through use of molecular markers and accurate diagnosis of adult and juvenile granulosa cell tumor, and the recently described entity of microcystic stromal tumor will be discussed. Appropriate use of immunomarkers in diagnosis of germ cell tumors will be presented, as will recent data on use of immunostains for accurate diagnosis of small cell carcinoma of hypercalcemic type. Interpretation of p53 and ki67 immunostaining in diagnosis of serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma of the fallopian tube is a controversial area, and will be reviewed. Finally, the performance of different immunomarkers in the differential diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma versus gynecological malignancies will be discussed.

Scope of an international society for IHC


Diagnostic immunohistochemistry has emerged as a central technique in surgical pathology. With the recent progress in molecular subclassification of human malignancies, most tumours are subjected to immunostaining, for diagnosis, to assess biomarker targets, or to screen for hereditary cancer syndromes. Despite these recent advances, there has not been a scholarly society dedicated to the practice of diagnostic immunohistochemistry (as there is, for example, for the pathology of different organ systems). We believe that the absence of such a society has been to the detriment of the practice of diagnostic immunohistochemistry, and on behalf of IHC external quality assurance organizations from around the world we propose to form such an organization, that will meet regularly as part of the large pathology conferences, and have an official society journal. Our proposal will be presented publicly for the first time at this conference and we look forward to your feedback!



Dr. Blake Gilks is a Professor in the Dept of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver Canada, and does clinical service work in the Division of Anatomic Pathology at Vancouver General Hospital, the site of the largest gynecological oncology program in the province of British Columbia, where he is director of the Division of Anatomical Pathology. He also currently serves as Interim Medical Director of Laboratories for the Vancouver Coastal Health region. He graduated from Dalhousie University medical school in 1982 and did a residency in anatomical pathology at the University of British Columbia, followed by fellowships in gynecological pathology and molecular pathology at Massachusett's General Hospital and Fox Chase Cancer Center, respectively. Dr. Gilks leads a research program focused on gynecological cancers and is co-founder of the Genetic Pathology Evaluation Centre, a laboratory that uses tissue microarrays of human tumor samples for cancer research, and OvCaRe, a multidisciplinary team studying ovarian cancer. He is also co-founder and co-director of the Canadian Immunohistochemistry Quality Control program, which provides proficiency testing for Canadian diagnostic immunohistochemistry laboratories.

Complete CV

Exhibitors & Sponsors