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Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 assessment in a case-control study: comparison of fluorescence in situ hybridization and quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction performed by central laboratories.

By Baehner FL, Achacoso N, Maddala T, Shak S, Quesenberry CP Jr, Goldstein LC, Gown AM, Habel LA.
J Clin Oncol. 2010 Oct 1;28(28):4300-6. Epub 2010 Aug 9.

The optimal method to assess human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status remains highly controversial. Before reporting patient HER2 results, American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)/College of American Pathologists (CAP) guidelines mandate that laboratories demonstrate ≥ 95% concordance to another approved laboratory or methodology. Here, we compare central laboratory HER2 assessed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and quantitative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using Oncotype DX in lymph node-negative, chemotherapy-untreated patients from a large Kaiser Permanente case-control study.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Breast cancer specimens from the Kaiser-Genomic Health study were examined. Central FISH assessment of HER2 amplification and polysomy 17 was conducted by PhenoPath Laboratories (ratios > 2.2, 1.8 to 2.2, and < 1.8 define HER2 positive, HER2 equivocal, and HER2 negative, respectively). HER2 expression by RT-PCR was conducted using Oncotype DX by Genomic Health (normalized expression units ≥ 11.5, 10.7 to < 11.5, and < 10.7 define HER2 positive, HER2 equivocal, and HER2 negative, respectively). Concordance analyses followed ASCO/CAP guidelines.

RESULTS: HER2 concordance by central FISH and central RT-PCR was 97% (95% CI, 96% to 99%). Twelve percent (67 of 568 patients) and 11% (60 of 568 patients) of patients were HER2 positive by RT-PCR and FISH, respectively. HER2-positive patients had increased odds of dying from breast cancer compared with HER2-negative patients. Polysomy 17 was demonstrated in 12.5% of all patients and 33% of FISH-positive patients. Nineteen of 20 FISH-positive patients with polysomy 17 were also RT-PCR HER2 positive. Although not statistically significantly different, HER2-positive/polysomy 17 patients tended to have the worst prognosis, followed by HER2-positive/eusomic, HER2-negative/polysomy 17, and HER2-negative/eusomic patients.

CONCLUSION: There is a high degree of concordance between central FISH and quantitative RT-PCR using Oncotype DX for HER2 status, and the assay warrants additional study in a trastuzumab-treated population.

PMID: 20697093 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Source: University of California, San Francisco, 1600 Divisadero St, Rm R200, San Francisco, CA 94063, USA.

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