The degradation of archival surgical and biospecimen limits the utility of many biomarkers that may have prognostic or predictive significance in guiding a patient’s therapy. Previous methods at preventing the degradation of RNA and proteins in formalin fixed, paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue blocks & slides have no protective benefit.
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and American Air Liquide have demonstrated that dissolved reactive gasses entrapped in the fixative and solutions used in tissue preparation contribute to this degradation. Removal of these reactive gasses, and replacement with argon, improves biomolecule stability. The primary evaluation was based on measurements of RNA stability, however the investigator’s work demonstrates the relationships between RNA, protein, and DNA quality.