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David Rimm

Measurement Reveals Data that is missed by Observation/Reading of Breast Cancer Biomarkers

Handout (pdf 80 p)

Handout (pdf 20 p)


The assessment of immunohistochemistry is most commonly done by expert pathologist interpretation.  This infers pathologist’s using their eyes and their experience to provide an expert, but subjective opinion regarding protein expression.  While this approach has been valuable for binary assessment (positive versus negative), it has been less successful when assessing continuous data.  The lack of careful measurement of protein expression on slides has led to many controversies and inaccuracies, ranging from academic disagreements to large scale failures in patient care.  Here we will illustrate the difference between reading and measurement comparing both chromogenic and fluorescent methods.  Then we will show examples where reading misses biological phenomena that can be interpreted by measurement.  Finally, we will illustrate some methods where accurate measurement reveals biological data that has impact on patient care.


Dr. David Rimm is a Professor in the Departments of Pathology and Medicine (Oncology) at the Yale University School of Medicine.  He is the Director of Yale Pathology Tissue Services and Acting Director of Molecular Diagnostics.  He completed an MD-PhD at Johns Hopkins University Medical School followed by a Pathology Residency at Yale and a Cytopathology Fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia. Dr. Rimm is the Director of Translational Pathology and the Director of Yale Pathology Tissue Services.  His lab group focuses on quantitative pathology using the AQUA® technology invented in his lab with projects related to predicting response to therapy or recurrence or metastasis in breast and lung cancer.  The technology has also been used in a series of efforts related to biospecimen science.  The work is supported by grants from the NIH, BCRF, and sponsored research agreements from biopharma.  He is a member of a number of correlative science committees for multi-institutional breast cancer clinical trials including SWOG, ALLTO, and TEACH.  He also serves on the Molecular Oncology committee for the College of American Pathologists (CAP).  He is an author of over 300 peer-reviewed papers and 8 patents.  He has served on advisory boards for Amgen, Genentech, Novartis, BMS, Perkin Elmer, Dako, ACD, Avida, Biocept, OptraScan and Genoptix.  He was a scientific co-founder of HistoRx, a digital pathology company (sold to Genoptix in 2012) and Metamark Genetics, a prognostic determinant company.

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