College of American Pathologists

  New CAP Accreditation Guidelines
  for ER/PgR Performance


Posted October 25, 2010

Attention CAP Accredited Anatomic Pathology Laboratories:

The College of American Pathologists (CAP) announces a new requirement for participation in its Laboratory Accreditation Program (LAP). This requirement is based on a new Guideline for estrogen and progesterone receptor (ER/PgR) performance developed through a cooperative effort between the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the CAP. The guideline aligns with the CAP philosophy to remain at the forefront of quality of laboratory medicine improvement to achieve and maintain excellence in patient care. To access a copy of this guideline and other valuable resources, please visit the “Reference Resources and Publications” tab on the CAP website.

As a result of the new guideline, the CAP recently approved a requirement for laboratories performing ER/PgR by immunohistochemistry on primary breast cancers. All elements of ER/PgR testing required for CAP accreditation are explicitly listed in the accreditation checklists. Laboratories must enroll and participate in CAP-accepted proficiency testing (PT) beginning in 2011. This action helps assure the quality of ER/PgR testing performed by CAP accredited laboratories, and incorporates the recently published guideline into the LAP. Monitoring ER/PgR proficiency testing performance will begin in 2012. To emphasize its importance, please note that enrollment in the PT is mandatory for all CAP-accredited laboratories that perform ER/PgR on patients. To assist you, the PM2 Survey fulfills the PT requirement for ER/PgR.

To indicate that your laboratory is in compliance with the new requirement, please verify that your laboratory’s CAP Activity Menu accurately reflects the testing performed in your laboratory. If you are performing patient testing for ER/PgR by immunohistochemistry on primary breast cancers, one of the following activities must be on your laboratory’s activity menu:

  • 3880 ER and/or PgR, IHC path interp (off-site staining)
  • 3881 ER and/or PgR, IHC staining and path interp on-site

To update your Activity Menu, submit a Test Menu Change Form, or you can update the information online through e-LAB Solutions™ on the CAP website.

Thank you for your continued support of the CAP Laboratory Accreditation Program. Additional information on ER/PgR and related policies can be found on the CAP website.

We appreciate your cooperation in implementing this important new quality program for estrogen and progesterone receptors. If you have any questions regarding this new requirement, please contact a PT Compliance representative at 1-800-323-4040 ext. 6052 or 1-847-832-7000 ext. 6052. For information on ordering the PM2 Survey, please call a Customer Contact Center representative at 1-800-323-4040, Option 1.