BACKGROUND: This is a retrospective cross sectional study aimed to verify whether Multiplex Ligation-dependent Probe Amplification (MLPA), a quantitative molecular assay, may represent a valuable reflex test in breast cancer with equivocal HER2 expression by immunohistochemistry and HER2 gene signals/nucleus (s/n) ranging between 4.0 and 5.9 by in situ hybridization. METHODS: A series of 170 breast carcinomas scored as 2+ for HER2 expression by immunohistochemistry, were selected from our files and analyzed in parallel by silver in situ hybridization and by MLPA. According to ASCO-CAP 2013 guidelines, 54/170 tumors, displaying 4.0-5.9 HER2 gene s/n, were defined as low amplified (ratio >/= 2) or equivocal (ratio 2.0. These data were further confirmed in the external validation set. Interestingly, the 54 low amplified/equivocal breast carcinomas presented a frequency of hormonal receptor positivity significantly higher than that observed in the amplified tumors and similar to the non-amplified one (p = 0.016 for estrogen receptor and p = 0.001 for progesterone receptor). CONCLUSIONS: To avoid to offer patients an ineffective therapy, HER2 status should be studied more thoroughly in low amplified and equivocal cases which can have lower response rates and shorter time to progression to trastuzumab. In this context, our data indicate that MLPA may be a reliable, objective supporting test in selecting HER2 positive breast cancer patients.
|Journal||Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 13 2017|
- Breast Cancer
- In Situ Hybridization