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Ann Oncol. 2013 Mar;24(3):725-33. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mds528. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Her2/neu testing in gastric cancer: evaluating the risk of sampling errors.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Christian-Albrechts University, D-24105 Kiel, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We evaluated the risk of sampling errors in specimens of biopsy size, which may be caused by heterogeneous overexpression of Her2/neu in gastric cancer (GC).

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

The study cohort comprised 454 gastrectomy patients with adenocarcinoma of the stomach or esophago-gastric junction. Tissue micro-arrays (TMAs) served as 'biopsy procedure' and were generated from formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue: five tissue cylinders were collected randomly from each tumor, rendering 2230 core cylinders. These were compared with 454 whole tissue sections obtained from the same paraffin blocks. Her2/neu expression and gene amplification were analyzed by immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. The Her2/neu status was determined according to GC scoring system by two independent observers.

RESULTS:

In whole tissue sections, 37 (8.1%; observer 1) and 38 (8.4%; observer 2) of the GCs, and in the corresponding TMAs, 28 (6.3%; observer 1) and 28 (6.3%; observer 2) of the GCs were classified as Her2/neu-positive (kappa value 98.5% and 96.2%; P < 0001). Comparison of whole tissue sections with corresponding TMAs showed a false-negative rate of 24% and a false-positive rate of 3% for TMAs.

CONCLUSION:

Assessment of the Her2/neu status in tissue biopsies carries a significant risk of sampling errors, thereby rendering patients unsuitable for treatment with trastuzumab.

PMID:
23139264
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3574551
Free PMC Article
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