Detection of HER-2/neu Amplification on Fine Needle Aspirates of Breast Cancer Using Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization


The accuracy of diagnostic assays for HER-2/neu in breast cancer is extremely important as HER-2/neu status is essential in tailoring adjuvant and/or neoadjuvant treatment in every patient. FNAC is widely practiced in Egypt in preoperative diagnosis of breast cancer for its low cost and high diagnostic accuracy. Since the determination of HER-2/neu protein expression on cytological preparations was previously found to be unreliable for clinical use, we opted for the assessment of HER-2/neu status in fine needle aspirates using FISH. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the reliability of HER-2/neu status assessment by FISH on fine needle aspirates of breast cancers by comparing the results with IHC and FISH on FFPE tissue sections obtained from corresponding surgically resected specimens. Fine needle aspirates from 40 breast cancer patients with pathologically confirmed breast cancer were included in the study. They were submitted for HER-2/neu evaluation by FISH. After surgery, the corresponding FFPE sections were evaluated for HER-2/neu by FISH and by IHC. FNAs from 11 cases proved to be amplified by FISH, while 29 cases were not amplified. Apart from two cases that showed lack of signals, all specimens evaluated by FISH on the corresponding FFPE sections showed matched results. The Measurement of Agreement between FISH on FNAs and FISH on FFPE sections was 86.7%, while that between FISH on FNAs and IHC was 72.5%. The high concordance rate in the present study between FISH evaluation of HER-2/neu gene amplification on FNAC samples and their corresponding FFPE samples indicate that FISH may be a reliable technique for HER-2/neu assessment on FNAs. Furthermore, FISH on FNAs gave us better hybridization signals than their corresponding FFPE tissue sections. Finally, we also conclude that all score (2+) cases by IHC should be reevaluated by FISH which is crucial for the patient management.

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T. Iman, S. Amani and A. Mona, "Detection of HER-2/neu Amplification on Fine Needle Aspirates of Breast Cancer Using Fluorescence in Situ Hybridization," Journal of Cancer Therapy, Vol. 4 No. 7A, 2013, pp. 41-48. doi: 10.4236/jct.2013.47A007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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