HER2/neu Status in Breast Cancer Specimens: Comparison of Immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Fluorescence in situ Hybridization (FISH) Methods

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Saglican Y., Ince Ü.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MORPHOLOGY, vol.33, no.2, pp.737-742, 2015 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.4067/s0717-95022015000200051
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.737-742
  • Keywords: Breast cancer, HER2, Immunocytochemistry, FISH technique, GENE AMPLIFICATION, CLINICAL-PRACTICE, HER-2 STATUS, GUIDELINES, SYSTEM
  • Acibadem Mehmet Ali Aydinlar University Affiliated: Yes


HER2 amplification or overexpression is considered as disease outcome and a predictive marker of response to treatment in breast cancer. The present study aimed to compare the results of IHC and FISH for determining HER2 and to search the interpretational differences. Samples (n= 169), of which 31 were the paraffin blocks sent from outer centers, that underwent FISH analysis for HER-2 were included. Samples were re-reviewed by IHC in our laboratory. FISH test was negative in 131 (77.5%) and positive in 38 (22.5%). When those with previous IHC 0-1+ were re-reviewed, the results were found again 0-1+ and none of them was FISH positive. Inconsistency between re-reviewed IHC and previous IHC results was 25% for those with 2+ score and 11% for those with 3+ score. Consistency between IHC and FISH was 17% and 67% for previous IHC 2+ and 3+, respectively, whereas it was 23% and %75 for re-reviewed IHC 2+ and 3+, respectively. Whilst 79% of the samples evaluated as 2+ by the inexperienced pathologist were found to be 0-1+ on the re-review, all of them were FISH negative. According to our results, we suggest that samples with IHC 2+ should be re-reviewed by consulting with an experienced pathologist.