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Indian J Med Res. 2010 Sep;132:287-94.

Assessment of HER-2/neu status in breast cancer using fluorescence in situ hybridization & immunohistochemistry: Experience of a tertiary cancer referral centre in India.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Tata Memorial Hospital, Dr E. Borges Road, Mumbai, India.



Determination of HER2 status in breast cancer has become important to identify potential candidates for anti-HER2 therapy. In this study we compared fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) for the determination of HER2 status in breast cancer patients referred to a tertiary care referral centre.


A total of 200 cases of invasive breast cancer were evaluated for HER2 status using IHC and FISH and results were compared.


The IHC 3+ (93.9%) and IHC negative (85.9%) cases showed good concordance with the corresponding FISH results; while 66.6 per cent of IHC 2+ cases showed gene amplification by FISH. In addition, hormone receptor expression and HER2 gene status showed a statistically significant inverse association (P<0.05).


These findings reaffirm IHC as a prudent first-step to screen tissue samples for HER2 status and to determine suitability for technically demanding FISH test and the dual coloured FISH as a gold standard for determination of HER2/neu status in IHC equivocal cases of breast carcinoma.

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