Breast cancer (Tokyo, Japan)

Development of an easy method to test for HER2 in breast cancer using dual-color in situ hybridization.

PMID 24771412


Although human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is a significant clinical biomarker for breast cancer, the HER2 testing involves a complicated evaluation process. We devised an easy method for HER2 gene testing and investigated its utility. HER2 testing was performed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and dual-color in situ hybridization (DISH) on surgical specimens from 50 patients with invasive breast cancer. DISH was evaluated by two methods. One was the DISH count method in which the HER2 and CEP17 signals were counted and the HER2/CEP17 signal ratio was calculated. The other was the DISH-easy method in which pathologists only observed slices without counting the signals. The DISH-easy method was performed by two pathologists. We analyzed the correlations between the DISH-easy method and the DISH count method by each pathologist and calculated the inter-observer concordance rate of the DISH-easy method. The results from two pathologists using the DISH-easy method corresponded to the IHC results (P < 0.01) and the DISH count method results (P < 0.01). All cases determined to be negative using the DISH-easy method were also negative via the DISH count method with a corresponding rate of 100 % for both pathologist A (34/34) and B (32/32). Most of the results for the positive cases also corresponded; the correspondence rate of pathologist A was 100 % (8/8) and 89 % for B (8/9). The inter-observer concordance rate was 81 % (κ = 0.65). The DISH-easy method is simple and useful for HER2 testing regardless of proficiency of the evaluators.