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1.  Which is worse: uterine papillary serous carcinomas or carcinosarcomas? 
It is clear that uterine carcinosarcomas and uterine papillary serous carcinomas (UPSC) have an adverse impact on outcome, but whether carcinosarcomas are worse than UPSC is unclear. The purpose of this study is to compare the pathology, survival, and disease recurrence of patients with carcinosarcomas to patients with UPSC.
The medical records of patients diagnosed with carcinosarcomas and UPSC between 1996 and 2009 at Samsung Medical Center were retrospectively analyzed. Information from pathology reports, site of relapse, time to recurrence, and death was obtained. The survival analysis was performed using the Kaplan-Meier method.
Thirty seven patients with carcinosarcomas and 38 patients with UPSC were identified during the study period. There was no significant difference in clinical characteristics including age, body mass index, proportion with advanced stage disease, rate of optimal debulking, and adjuvant treatment used. In addition, the pathology showed no significant difference in tumor size, myometrial involvement, lymphovascular invasion, peritoneal cytology, cervical invasion, and lymph node involvement. Patients with carcinosarcomas had similar patterns of relapse as the patients with UPSC. There was no difference in the progression-free and overall survival between the carcinosarcomas and UPSC patients (p=0.804 and p=0.651, respectively).
Patients with carcinosarcomas had similar clinicopathological features compared to the patients with UPSC.
PMCID: PMC3152760  PMID: 21860733
Uterine carcinosarcomas; Uterine papillary serous carcinomas; Epithelial endometrial carcinomas
2.  Cytologic Findings of Cervicovaginal Smears in Women with Uterine Papillary Serous Carcinoma 
The goal of this study was to evaluate the cytomorphologic features of histologically confirmed uterine papillary serous carcinomas (UPSC) of the endometrium. We reviewed cervicovaginal smears from 12 patients with UPSC who had done their cervical smears at six months to a year earlier before the time of diagnosis; nine smears (75%) were diagnosed as positive for malignancy and three smears (25%) were diagnosed as negative. The cervical smears of patients with UPSC revealed frequent papillary clusters that were composed of large pleomorphic tumor cells with prominent nucleoli in a background of necrosis. Other findings revealed from the tests were relatively frequent single malignant cells and bare nuclei. Although the Pap smear is not a sensitive screening test for endometrial carcinoma, we could depend on it to reveal the cytologic features of UPSC which are fairly characteristic and reliable for a preoperative diagnosis of UPSC. Preoperative identification of this poor prognostic variant of endometrial carcinoma may influence the surgical management of these cases and the choice of adjuvant therapy.
PMCID: PMC2808585  PMID: 15716611
Endometrial Neoplasms; Carcinoma, Papillary; Vaginal Smears
3.  Uterine papillary serous and clear cell carcinomas predict for poorer survival compared to grade 3 endometrioid corpus cancers 
British Journal of Cancer  2006;94(5):642-646.
To compare the survival of women with uterine papillary serous carcinoma (UPSC) and clear cell carcinoma (CC) to those with grade 3 endometrioid uterine carcinoma (G3EC). Demographic, pathologic, treatment, and survival information were obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program from 1988 to 2001. Data were analysed using Kaplan–Meier and Cox proportional hazards regression methods. Of 4180 women, 1473 had UPSC, 391 had CC, and 2316 had G3EC cancers. Uterine papillary serous carcinoma and CC patients were older (median age: 70 years and 68 vs 66 years, respectively; P<0.0001) and more likely to be black compared to G3EC (15 and 12% vs 7%; P<0.0001). A higher proportion of UPSC and CC patients had stage III–IV disease compared to G3EC patients (52 and 36% vs 29%; P<0.0001). Uterine papillary serous carcinoma, CC and G3EC patients represent 10, 3, and 15% of endometrial cancers but account for 39, 8, and 27% of cancer deaths, respectively. The 5-year disease-specific survivals for women with UPSC, CC and G3EC were 55, 68, and 77%, respectively (P<0.0001). The survival differences between UPSC, CC and G3EC persist after controlling for stage I–II (74, 82, and 86%; P<0.0001) and stage III–IV disease (33, 40, and 54; P<0.0001). On multivariate analysis, more favourable histology (G3EC), younger age, and earlier stage were independent predictors of improved survival. Women with UPSC and CC of the uterus have a significantly poorer prognosis compared to those with G3EC. These findings should be considered in the counselling, treating and designing of future trials for these high-risk patients.
PMCID: PMC2361201  PMID: 16495918
uterine; papillary serous; clear cell; survival
4.  Differential sensitivity to platinum-based chemotherapy in primary uterine serous papillary carcinoma cell lines with high versus low HER-2/neu expression in vitro 
To identify effective chemotherapy regimens against uterine-serous-papillary-carcinoma (USPC).
Study Design
Six UPSC, half of which overexpress HER-2/neu at 3+ level, were evaluated for growth-rate and in-vitro-sensitivity to fourteen single-agent chemotherapies and five combinations by ChemoFx (Precision Therapeutics, Pittsburgh, PA).
Cell lines overexpressing HER-2/neu showed higher proliferation when compared to low HER-2/neu-expressing cell lines and a lower half-maximum inhibitory concentration (IC50) when exposed to the majority of single-agent chemotherapies. High HER-2/neu-expressors were more sensitive to platinum compounds, manifesting a 5.22-fold decrease in carboplatin-IC50 (P=0.005) and a 5.37-fold decrease in cisplatin-IC50 (P=0.02). When all cell lines were analyzed as a group, chemotherapy agents tested demonstrated lower IC50s when used in combination than as individual agents.
USPC overexpressing HER-2/neu display greater in-vitro-sensitivity to platinum-compounds when compared to low HER-2/neu-expressors. Higher proliferative capability rather than increased drug resistance may be responsible for the adverse prognosis associated with HER-2/neu overexpression in USPC.
PMCID: PMC2918912  PMID: 20417484
Endometrial neoplasms; uterine serous tumors; HER2/neu; chemosensitivity; chemoresistance
5.  HER-2/neu Oncogene Amplification by Chromogenic in situ Hybridization in 130 Breast Cancers Using Tissue Microarray and Clinical Follow-up Studies 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2004;19(3):390-396.
Determining of HER-2/neu oncogene amplification has become clinically important for managing breast cancer. Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) are currently regarded as the standard methods. Chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) was investigated as a new modification with an accurate, sensitive technique. From 1998 to 2002, using CISH and IHC, the amplification and protein expression of the HER-2/neu oncogene were examined using paraffin sections in 130 breast carcinomas and to determine the prognostic role of HER-2/neu for outcome after a follow-up of 24-64 months. Amplifications by CISH and overexpression by IHC were observed in 28 (22%) and 27 cases (20.8%), respectively. Of the 104 patients, 20 patients (19.2%) with amplification had a shorter disease-free interval (34.9 months vs. 38.0 months in controls) (p=0.372). 15 patients (14.4%) had a disease recurrence, but there is no significant difference between 3 patients amplifying the oncogene and 12 patients without oncogene (20.6 months vs. 19.6 months) (p=0.862). 6 patients (5.8%) of these died. CISH is a useful alternative, particularly for confirming the IHC results. There is no relationship between the early recurrence and the HER-2/neu positive group, but lymph node status was statistically significant.
PMCID: PMC2816840  PMID: 15201505
Breast Neoplasms; Receptor, erbB-2; In Situ Hybridization; Immunohistochemistry; Pro-tein Array Analysis
6.  The Clinical Relevance of Rising CA-125 Levels Within the Normal Range in Patients With Uterine Papillary Serous Cancer 
Reproductive Sciences  2013;20(4):449-455.
The utility of cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) levels as an adjunct method of monitoring patients with uterine papillary serous carcinoma (UPSC) or endometrial serous carcinoma after surgery and adjuvant treatment has been reported. Our goal was to determine the significance of rising CA-125 levels within the normal range in these patients in the posttreatment surveillance setting. All patients with UPSC who underwent surgical staging and had preoperative CA-125 measurement from 1999 to 2008 were included in this analysis. Information was extracted from records to assess the changes in CA-125 values with clinical and/or radiographic detection of recurrence. Of the 56 evaluable patients, 23 (41%) recurred. Of the 23 patients that recurred, 11 had serial CA-125 levels measured in remission. Elevated CA-125 levels at diagnosis were significantly associated with disease recurrence and advanced stage (P = .01, P = .001, respectively). The rise in CA-125 by 10 U/mL in the normal range and ≥15 U/mL were associated with disease recurrence (P < .001, P < .001, respectively). In multivariate analysis, only CA-125 level ≥15 U/mL was significantly associated with worse progression-free survival. In this small cohort of patients with recurrent UPSC after remission, surveillance of CA-125 levels may have a role in disease surveillance and management.
PMCID: PMC3823394  PMID: 22995987
endometrial cancer; CA-125; uterine papillary serous carcinoma; tumor markers
7.  Her-2 neu (Cerb-B2) expression in fine needle aspiration samples of breast carcinoma: A pilot study comparing FISH, CISH and immunocytochemistry 
Breast cancers with Her-2 neu gene amplification are recognized as important markers for aggressive disease and targets which respond to therapy with trastuzumab. Her-2 neu testing on histological sections is routinely performed to select patients who may benefit from anti- Her-2 neu therapy. Few reports are available which document Her-2 neu status on fine needle aspirates (FNA).
This pilot study is to document expression of Her-2 neu (Cerb-B2) on cytospin smears from FNA of patients with breast carcinoma.
Materials and Methods:
Twenty samples of FNA already collected for diagnostic purposes from patients with primary breast carcinoma were studied for demonstration of Her-2 neu expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC), Fluorescent in-situ hybridization (FISH) and chromogenic in-situ hybridization (CISH) on cytospin smears from FNA. Their expression was compared with tissue sections where possible.
Good correlation was observed between Her-2 neu protein expression and gene amplification in cytospin smears. Three of five (60%) breast carcinomas cases with 2+ and 3+ staining on IHC showed gene amplification by FISH and CISH. Three of 7 (43%) and 5 of 7 (71%) cases negative/1+ staining on IHC did not show gene amplification by FISH and CISH respectively. Tissue sections from 10 cases with 2+ and 3+ staining for Her2neu by IHC showed gene amplification in 8 cases.
Demonstration of Her-2 neu by IHC, FISH or CISH in FNA is possible and may play a role in the management of patients with advanced breast cancer or those cases where surgical resection is not advisable.
PMCID: PMC3111708  PMID: 21713147
Fine needle breast aspirates; FISH; Her-2 neu; Immunohistochemistry
8.  Comparison of Chromogenic In Situ Hybridisation with Fluorescence In Situ Hybridisation and Immunohistochemistry for the Assessment of Her-2/neu Oncogene in Archival Material of Breast Carcinoma 
The successful treatment of breast cancer is dependent upon a number of complex factors. Her-2/neu gene amplification is known to be one of the most common genetic alterations associated with breast cancer and its accurate determination has become necessary for the selection of patients for trastuzumab therapy.
The aim of this study was to prove the consistency of chromogenic in situ hybridisation (CISH) technique after analyzing the overexpression of the Her-2/neu proto-oncogene in 100 invasive breast carcinomas and by comparing CISH results with immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH). Moreover, it was done to evaluate the possible correlation of estrogen (ERs) and progesterone receptors (PRs), the proliferation marker Ki67 and the tumour suppressor gene p53 with HER-2/neu status of these breast carcinomas.
Of the 100 breast carcinomas that were analysed, 22 cases showed HER-2/neu amplification, 66 cases showed no amplification, whereas 12 cases were non-interpretable in both assays (FISH and CISH). Consequently, the overall concordance between FISH and CISH was 100%. Additionally, it was observed that when HER-2/neu gene was overexpressed, there was an association with negative PRs and ERs status, negative p53 protein expression and high Ki67 labelling index.
It is concluded that patients with tumours scoring 2+ with the CBE356 antibody (borderline immunohistochemistry-tested cases) would also benefit from CISH as it is shown to be highly accurate, practical and can be easily integrated into routine testing in any histopathology laboratory. Finally, CISH represents an important addition to the HER2 testing algorithm.
PMCID: PMC2447915  PMID: 18636112
breast cancer; CISH; FISH; HER-2/neu
9.  Her2/neu extracellular domain shedding in uterine serous carcinoma: implications for immunotherapy with trastuzumab 
British Journal of Cancer  2011;105(8):1176-1182.
We evaluated shedding of epidermal growth factor type II receptor (Her2/neu) extracellular domain (ECD) in primary uterine serous carcinoma (USC) cell lines and in the serum of USC patients and its biological effects in experiments of trastuzumab-induced cytotoxicity in vitro.
Her2/neu expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC), real-time PCR and flow cytometry, while c-erbB2 gene amplification was assessed using fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH). Her2/neu ECD levels in the supernatants of USC cell lines and in the serum of 38 USC patients and 19 controls were tested using ELISA. The biologic effect of Her2/neu ECD on trastuzumab-induced antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) was evaluated in 5-h chromium-release assays.
Five out of ten USC cell lines overexpressed Her2/neu by IHC and showed amplification of the c-erbB2 gene. High levels of Her2/neu ECD were found in supernatants of all FISH-positive tumours. In contrast, FISH-negative USC was negative for Her2/neu ECD shedding. Serum Her2/neu ECD levels in patients harbouring 3+Her2/neu tumours were higher than those found in healthy women (P=0.02) or USC patients with 2+ or 1+/negative Her2/neu expression (P=0.02). In cytotoxicity experiments, trastuzumab-mediated ADCC was significantly decreased by the addition of Her2/neu ECD-containing supernatants (P=0.01).
FISH-positive c-erbB2 USC cell lines shed high levels of Her2/neu ECD. High levels of Her2/neu ECD in USC patients may reduce trastuzumab-mediated ADCC in vitro and potentially neutralise its therapeutic effect in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3208497  PMID: 21915118
uterine serous cancer; Her2/neu; Her2/neu extracellular domain (ECD); trastuzumab
10.  Human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 gene amplification in gastric cancer using tissue microarray technology 
AIM: To assess human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2)-status in gastric cancer and matched lymph node metastases by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH).
METHODS: 120 cases of primary gastric carcinomas and 45 matched lymph node metastases from patients with full clinicopathological features were mounted onto multiple-punch and single-punch tissue microarrays, respectively, and examined for HER2 overexpression and gene amplification by IHC and CISH.
RESULTS: Twenty-four tumors (20%) expressed HER2 immunohistochemically. An IHC score of ≥ 2+ was observed in 20 tumors (16.6%). HER2 amplification was detected by CISH in 19 tumors (15.8%) and in their matched lymph node metastases. A high concordance rate was found between HER2 positivity (as detected by IHC) and HER2 gene amplification (as detected by CISH), since 19 of the 20 IHC positive cases were amplified (95%). All amplified cases had 2+ or 3+ IHC results. Amplification was associated with intestinal phenotype (P < 0.05). No association with grading, staging or survival was found.
CONCLUSION: In gastric cancer, HER2 amplification is the main mechanism for HER2 protein overexpression and is preserved in lymph node metastases.
PMCID: PMC3257442  PMID: 22253521
Human epidermal growth factor receptor-2; Immunohistochemistry; Chromogenic in situ hybridization; Gastric cancer
11.  In vitro activity of pertuzumab in combination with trastuzumab in uterine serous papillary adenocarcinoma 
British Journal of Cancer  2009;102(1):134-143.
Uterine serous papillary adenocarcinoma (USPC) is a rare but highly aggressive variant of endometrial cancer. Pertuzumab is a new humanised monoclonal antibody (mAb) targeting the epidermal growth factor type II receptor (HER2/neu). We evaluated pertuzumab activity separately or in combination with trastuzumab against primary USPC cell lines expressing different levels of HER2/neu.
Six USPC cell lines were assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC), flow cytometry, and real-time PCR for HER2/neu expression. c-erbB2 gene amplification was evaluated using fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH). Sensitivity to pertuzumab and trastuzumab-induced antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) was evaluated in 5 h chromium release assays. Pertuzumab cytostatic activity was evaluated using proliferation-based assays.
Three USPC cell lines stained heavily for HER2/neu by IHC and showed amplification of the c-erbB2 gene by FISH. The remaining FISH-negative USPCs expressed HER2/neu at 0/1+ levels. In cytotoxicity experiments against USPC with a high HER2/neu expression, pertuzumab and trastuzumab were similarly effective in inducing strong ADCC. The addition of complement-containing plasma and interleukin-2 increased the cytotoxic effect induced by both mAbs. In low HER2/neu USPC expressors, trastuzumab was more potent than pertuzumab in inducing ADCC. Importantly, in this setting, the combination of pertuzumab with trastuzumab significantly increased the ADCC effect induced by trastuzumab alone (P=0.02). Finally, pertuzumab induced a significant inhibition in the proliferation of all USPC cell lines tested, regardless of their HER-2/neu expression.
Pertuzumab and trastuzumab induce equally strong ADCC and CDC in FISH-positive USPC cell lines. Pertuzumab significantly increases tratuzumab-induced ADCC against USPC with a low HER2/neu expression and may represent a new therapeutic agent in patients harbouring advanced/recurrent and/or refractory USPC.
PMCID: PMC2813756  PMID: 19920829
uterine serous papillary cancer; pertuzumab; trastuzumab; endometrial carcinoma
12.  Chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH): a novel alternative in screening archival breast cancer tissue samples for HER-2/neu status 
Breast Cancer Research  2004;6(5):R593-R600.
Chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) is emerging as a practical, cost-effective, and valid alternative to fluorescent in situ hybridization in testing for gene alteration, especially in centers primarily working with immunohistochemistry (IHC).
We assessed Her-2/neu alteration using CISH on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded primary invasive ductal carcinoma tumors in which IHC (CB11 antibody) had previously been performed, and we compared the results with IHC. The 160 selected cases were equally stratified randomly into the four IHC categories (scores of 0, 1+, 2+, and 3+). We also compared age at diagnosis and tumor histologic grade with IHC and CISH Her-2/neu.
We were able to perform and evaluate CISH successfully on all cases. The agreement between 3+ IHC and CISH-amplified cases as well as between all IHC and CISH Her-2/neu negative cases was 100%, and the concordance on all positive cases was 72.50%, with an overall agreement of 86.25%. All the discordant cases had 2+ IHC scores. Although we noted Her-2/neu positivity more in premenopausal women, the age at diagnosis was not significantly associated with IHC or CISH results. Similarly, although the small group of well-differentiated tumors was apparently Her-2/neu negative in both tests, no significant association was noted between any tumor histologic grade and either IHC or CISH results.
CISH is easily integrated into routine testing in our laboratory. It is a necessary adjunct in determining the subset of non-amplified IHC-positive invasive tumors that will not benefit from trastuzumab therapy. Those cases with 2+ IHC results will be triaged and subjected to CISH. Her-2/neu testing should be done on all breast cancer cases regardless of age at presentation and tumor histologic grade.
PMCID: PMC549176  PMID: 15318940
breast cancer; chromogenic in situ hybridization; fluorescence in situ hybridization; Her-2/neu; immunohistochemistry
13.  Comparison of in situ hybridization methods for the assessment of HER-2/neu gene amplification status in breast cancer using a tissue microarray 
This project compared HER-2/neu gene status in breast cancers, as demonstrated by FISH (fluorescent in situ hybridization) and CISH (chromogenic in situ hybridization) and using a tissue microarray (TMA). The study also aimed to show whether the TMA technique could be used in clinical diagnostics, rather than remain a scientific tool.
Materials and methods
A TMA was constructed using 121 breast cancer specimens, 6 cores from each specimen. Demonstration and assessment of HER-2/neu gene status was by FISH (Vysis Path) and CISH (DAKO Duo CISH).
The 121 breast cancer specimens were divided into 3 groups by HER-2 status, as determined by immunohistochemistry. In the HER-2 negative group no amplification was observed in 36 out of 40 cases. 3 cases showed amplification by both methods and one by CISH alone. The equivocal HER-2 group showed no amplification in 30 out of 41 cases and amplification in 9 cases. One case was FISH negative CISH positive and one was discarded. In the HER-2 positive group, amplification was confirmed in 37 of the 40 cases by both methods. 3 cases were unsuitable for assessment.
This study indicated that CISH is a sensitive alternative to FISH in detecting HER2 gene amplification and may replace FISH in HER2 testing. Good agreement was observed between methods (98.5% – 119 out of 121 cases).
Furthermore, as only 4 out of 121 cases were unsuitable for assessment (no signal or missing TMA cores) – it may be feasible to use TMA in diagnostics.
PMCID: PMC3863297  PMID: 24377000
Breast cancer; CISH (duo-CISH); FISH; HER-2; Tissue microarray
14.  Clinicopathologic significance of HER-2/neu protein expression and gene amplification in gastric carcinoma 
AIM: To study the HER-2/neu protein expression and gene amplification in gastric carcinoma and their relation.
METHODS: One hundred and forty-five formalin-fixed and paraffin- embedded tumor tissue samples from Chinese gastric carcinoma patients were studied with immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) methods. Clinicopathologic data about all patients were collected.
RESULTS: The levels of HER-2 3+, HER-2 2+ and HER2 1+ were measurable in 6.9%, 8.3% and 17.2% of the samples, respectively. No HER-2 was stained in 67.6% of the samples. FISH showed that HER-2 gene was amplified in 18 samples, 10 HER-2 3+ samples, 5 HER-2 2+ samples, and 3 HER-2 1+ samples with IHC staining. HER-2 status was not correlated with the sex and age of patients, and tumor size, location or differentiation, but with the depth of invasion, TNM stage, lymph node and distant metastasis as well as histopathological classification of gastric cancer (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSION: All samples with IHC as HER-2 expression should be analyzed with FISH. Detection of HER-2 gene amplification can assess the malignant biological behaviors and prognosis of gastric cancer.
PMCID: PMC3070026  PMID: 21472111
Gastric carcinoma; HER-2; Clinocopathologic significance; Immunohistochemistry; Fluorescence in situ hybridization
15.  Quantitation of HER2/neu Expression in Primary Gastroesophageal Adenocarcinomas Using Conventional Light Microscopy and Quantitative Image Analysis 
Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu) is overexpressed in a proportion of gastroesophageal (GE) adenocarcinomas, and trastuzumab treatment results in significant improvement in overall survival in patients with HER2/neu-overexpressing GE tumors. Grading of HER2/neu expression in GE tumors and its clinical application is different from that of breast cancer. HER2/neu immunohistochemistry (IHC) image analysis (IA), widely used in breast cancer, has not been studied in GE tumors.
To evaluate the correlation between manual HER2/neu IHC scoring and HER2/neu IHC image analysis in GE adenocarcinomas with characterization of associated clinicopathologic features.
Tumor grade, growth pattern, and stage were evaluated in 116 cases of primary GE adenocarcinoma biopsy and resection specimens. Using anti-HER2/neu antibody and the proposed HER2/neu scoring system for gastric cancer, HER2/neu IHC expression was recorded after manual scoring and automated IA interpretation.
HER2/neu overexpression (IHC 3+) was detected in 19% (10 of 54) of gastric tumors, and overall correlation between manual HER2/neu IHC interpretation and IA interpretation was 78% (42 of 54). HER2/neu overexpression (IHC 3+) was detected in 26% (16 of 62) of GE junction tumors, and the overall correlation between manual HER2/neu IHC interpretation and IA interpretation was 84% (52 of 62).
The HER2/neu IHC scoring system for GE adenocarcinomas differs from that of breast carcinoma. Automated IA, validated for scoring of HER2/neu IHC in breast cancer, has a low correlation between HER2/neu IHC 2+ and IHC 3+ cases scored by conventional light microscopy and cannot be reliably used in the interpretation of HER2/neu IHC expression in GE adenocarcinomas.
PMCID: PMC3806979  PMID: 22646266
16.  Added Value of HER-2 Amplification Testing by Multiplex Ligation-Dependent Probe Amplification in Invasive Breast Cancer 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(12):e82018.
HER-2 is a prognostic and predictive marker, but as yet no technique is perfectly able to identify patients likely to benefit from HER-2 targeted therapies. We aimed to prospectively assess the added value of first-line co-testing by IHC, and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) and chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH).
As local validation, HER-2 MLPA and CISH were compared in 99 breast cancers. Next, we reviewed 937 invasive breast cancers, from 4 Dutch pathology laboratories, that were prospectively assessed for HER-2 by IHC and MLPA (and CISH in selected cases).
The validation study demonstrated 100% concordance between CISH and MLPA, if both methods were assessable and conclusive (81.8% of cases). Significant variation regarding percentages IHC 0/1+ and 2+ cases was observed between the laboratories (p<0.0001). Overall concordance between IHC and MLPA/CISH was 98.1% (575/586) (Kappa = 0.94). Of the IHC 3+ cases, 6.7% failed to reveal gene amplification, whereas 0.8% of the IHC 0/1+ cases demonstrated gene amplification. Results remained discordant after retrospective review in 3/11 discordant cases. In the remaining 8 cases the original IHC score was incorrect or adapted after repeated IHC staining.
MLPA is a low-cost and quantitative high-throughput technique with near perfect concordance with CISH. The use of MLPA in routinely co-testing all breast cancers may reduce HER-2 testing variation between laboratories, may serve as quality control for IHC, will reveal IHC 0/1+ patients with gene amplification, likely responsive to trastuzumab, and identify IHC 3+ cases without gene amplification that may respond less well.
PMCID: PMC3852761  PMID: 24324739
17.  Quantitative real-time RT-PCR and chromogenic in situ hybridization: precise methods to detect HER-2 status in breast carcinoma 
BMC Cancer  2009;9:90.
HER-2 gene testing has become an integral part of breast cancer patient diagnosis. The most commonly used assay in the clinical setting for evaluating HER-2 status is immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). These procedures permit correlation between HER-2 expression and morphological features. However, FISH signals are labile and fade over time, making post-revision of the tumor difficult. CISH (chromogenic in situ hybridization) is an alternative procedure, with certain advantages, although still limited as a diagnostic tool in breast carcinomas.
To elucidate the molecular profile of HER-2 status, mRNA and protein expression in 75 invasive breast carcinomas were analyzed by real time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) and IHC, respectively. Amplifications were evaluated in 43 of these cases by CISH and in 11 by FISH.
The concordance rate between IHC and qRT-PCR results was 78.9%, and 94.6% for qRT-PCR and CISH. Intratumoral heterogeneity of HER-2 status was identified in three cases by CISH. The results of the three procedures were compared and showed a concordance rate of 83.8%; higher discordances were observed in 0 or 1+ immunostaining cases, which showed high-level amplification (15.4%) and HER-2 transcript overexpression (20%). Moreover, 2+ immunostaining cases presented nonamplified status (50%) by CISH and HER-2 downexpression (38.5%) by qRT-PCR. In general, concordance occurred between qRT-PCR and CISH results. A high concordance was observed between CISH/qRT-PCR and FISH. Comparisons with clinicopathological data revealed a significant association between HER-2 downexpression and the involvement of less than four lymph nodes (P = 0.0350).
Based on these findings, qRT-PCR was more precise and reproducible than IHC. Furthermore, CISH was revealed as an alternative and useful procedure for investigating amplifications involving the HER-2 gene.
PMCID: PMC2667535  PMID: 19309522
18.  HER-2/neu expression in germ cell tumours 
Journal of Clinical Pathology  2002;55(9):656-658.
Aims: To determine the rate of HER-2/neu positivity of germ cell tumours by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and by fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH).
Patients/Methods: Ninety six archival, paraffin wax embedded pathology specimens were chosen from four groups of germ cell tumours. IHC for HER-2/neu was performed with the HercepTest kit; FISH analysis was performed with the INFORM assay and confirmed with a centromere 17 probe.
Results: Twenty two of 96 specimens overexpressed the HER-2/neu protein when measured by IHC. Only three specimens showed HER-2/neu gene amplification by FISH. There was no correlation between the results obtained by IHC and FISH.
Conclusions: The lack of concordance between IHC and FISH makes it unlikely that overexpression of the HER-2/neu protein in germ cell tumours is of prognostic or therapeutic relevance. Because of the low rate of HER-2/neu gene amplification in germ cell tumours, a clinical trial of trastuzumab treatment in patients with germ cell tumours is not warranted.
PMCID: PMC1769753  PMID: 12194993
HER-2/neu; germ cell tumours
19.  Higher sensitivity to Patupilone versus Paclitaxel chemotherapy in primary uterine serous papillary carcinoma cell lines with high versus low HER-2/neu expression in vitro 
Gynecologic oncology  2010;119(1):140-145.
To compare the in vitro sensitivity/resistance to patupilone versus paclitaxel in uterine serous papillary carcinoma (USPC) with high versus low HER-2/neu expression.
Six primary USPC cell lines, half of which overexpress HER-2/neu at a 3+ level, were evaluated for growth rate and tested for their in vitro sensitivity/resistance to patupilone versus paclitaxel by MTS assays. Quantitative RT-PCR was used to identify potential mechanisms underlying the differential sensitivity/resistance to patupilone versus paclitaxel in primary USPC cell lines.
Cell lines overexpressing HER-2/neu showed higher proliferation when compared to low HER-2/neu-expressing cell lines. Compared to low-expressing cell lines, high HER-2/neu expressors were significantly more sensitive to patupilone than to paclitaxel (P < 0.0002). In contrast, there was no appreciable difference in sensitivity to patupilone versus paclitaxel in primary USPC cell lines with low HER-2/neu expression. Higher levels of β-tubulin III (TUBB3) and P-glycoprotein (ABCB1) were detected in USPC cell lines with high versus low HER-2/neu expression (P < 0.05).
USPC overexpressing HER-2/neu display greater in vitro sensitivity to patupilone and higher levels of the patupilone molecular target TUBB3 when compared to low HER-2/neu expressors. Due to the adverse prognosis associated with HER-2/neu overexpression in USPC patients, patupilone may represent a promising novel drug to combine to platinum compounds in this subset of aggressive endometrial tumors.
PMCID: PMC2939197  PMID: 20673976
Endometrial neoplasms; uterine serous tumors; HER-2/neu; Patupilone; Paclitaxel
20.  Long-term prognostic significance of HER-2/neu in untreated node-negative breast cancer depends on the method of testing 
Breast Cancer Research  2005;7(2):R256-R266.
The prognostic significance of HER-2/neu in breast cancer is a matter of controversy. We have performed a study in 101 node-negative breast cancer patients with long-term follow-up not treated in the adjuvant setting, and analysed the prognostic significance of immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH), both separately and in combination, in comparison with traditional prognostic factors.
Overexpression was classified semiquantitatively according to a score (0 to 3+) (HER-2_SCO). FISH was used to analyse HER2/neu amplification (HER-2_AMP). Patients classified 2+ by IHC were examined with FISH for amplification (HER-2_ALG). Patients with 3+ overexpression as well as amplification of HER-2/neu were positive for the combined variable HER2_COM. These variables were compared with tumour size, histological grade and hormone receptor status.
HER-2_SCO was 3+ in 20% of all tumours. HER-2_ALG was positive in 22% and amplification (HER-2_AMP) was found in 17% of all tumours. Eleven percent of the tumours showed simultaneous 3+ overexpression and amplification. Only histological grade (relative risk [RR] 3.22, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.73–5.99, P = 0.0002) and HER-2_AMP (RR 2.47, 95% CI 1.12–5.48, P = 0.026) were significant for disease-free survival in multivariate analysis. For overall survival, both histological grade (RR 3.89, 95% CI 1.77–8.55, P = 0.0007) and HER-2_AMP (RR 3.08, 95% CI 1.24–7.66, P = 0.016) retained their independent significance.
The prognostic significance of HER-2/neu in node-negative breast cancer depends on the method of testing: only the amplification of HER-2/neu is an independent prognostic factor for the long-term prognosis of untreated node-negative breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC1064139  PMID: 15743506
breast cancer; FISH; HER-2/neu; node-negative; prognosis
21.  Genomic instability influences the transcriptome and proteome in endometrial cancer subtypes 
Molecular Cancer  2011;10:132.
In addition to clinical characteristics, DNA aneuploidy has been identified as a prognostic factor in epithelial malignancies in general and in endometrial cancers in particular. We mapped ploidy-associated chromosomal aberrations and identified corresponding gene and protein expression changes in endometrial cancers of different prognostic subgroups.
DNA image cytometry classified 25 endometrioid cancers to be either diploid (n = 16) or aneuploid (n = 9), and all uterine papillary serous cancers (UPSC) to be aneuploid (n = 8). All samples were subjected to comparative genomic hybridization and gene expression profiling. Identified genes were subjected to Ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) and were correlated to protein expression changes.
Comparative genomic hybridization revealed ploidy-associated specific, recurrent genomic imbalances. Gene expression analysis identified 54 genes between diploid and aneuploid endometrioid carcinomas, 39 genes between aneuploid endometrioid cancer and UPSC, and 76 genes between diploid endometrioid and aneuploid UPSC to be differentially expressed. Protein profiling identified AKR7A2 and ANXA2 to show translational alterations consistent with the transcriptional changes. The majority of differentially expressed genes and proteins belonged to identical molecular functions, foremost Cancer, Cell Death, and Cellular Assembly and Organization.
We conclude that the grade of genomic instability rather than the histopathological subtype correlates with specific gene and protein expression changes. The identified genes and proteins might be useful as molecular targets for improved diagnostic and therapeutic intervention and merit prospective validation.
PMCID: PMC3261822  PMID: 22040021
aneuploidy; endometrial carcinoma; genomic instability; comparative genomic hybridization; expression arrays; pathway analysis; UPSC
22.  Clinicopathological and prognostic significance of HER-2/neu and VEGF expression in colon carcinomas 
BMC Cancer  2011;11:277.
HER-2/neu and VEGF expression is correlated with disease behaviors in various cancers. However, evidence for their expression in colon cancer is rather contradictory both for the protein expression status and prognostic value. HER-2/neu is found to participate in VEGF regulation, and has known correlation with VEGF expression in some tumors. In this study, we investigated HER-2/neu and VEGF expression in Chinese colon patients and explored whether there was any correlation between their expression patterns.
HER-2/neu and VEGF were investigated immunohistochemically using tumor samples obtained from 317 colon cancer patients with all tumor stages. Correlation of the degree of staining with clinicopathological parameters and survival was investigated.
Positive expression rates of HER-2/neu and VEGF in colon cancer were 15.5% and 55.5% respectively. HER-2/neu expression was significantly correlated with tumor size and distant metastases (P < 0.05), but was not an independent prognostic marker of survival (P > 0.05). Expression of VEGF was significantly correlated with tumor size, tumor stage, lymph node metastases, and distant metastases (P < 0.05). The 5-year survival rate in patients with negative and positive VEGF expression was 70.2% and 61.9% respectively; the difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.146). No correlation between HER-2/neu and VEGF expression was detected (P = 0.151).
HER-2/neu and VEGF are not important prognostic markers of colon cancer. The present results do not support any association between HER2/neu and VEGF expression in this setting.
PMCID: PMC3144457  PMID: 21708009
23.  Simultaneous detection of expression and gene mutations of HER2/neu in Chinese patients with gastric cancer 
Oncology Letters  2010;1(3):559-563.
HER2/neu is one of the few identified oncogenes in tumorigenesis. Attention has been focused on the potential effect of HER2/neu mutations in the tyrosine kinase domain on carcinoma-targeted therapy. However, data concerning HER2/neu mutations in Chinese patients with gastric cancer (GC) are limited. This study aimed to detect the expression and somatic mutations of HER2/neu in Chinese patients with GC. Immunohistochemical staining for HER2/neu was performed on 72 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens of GC (40 intestinal and 32 diffuse type). The correlation between the overexpression of HER2/neu and clinicopathological parameters was statistically analyzed. Somatic mutations in the tyrosine kinase domain of HER2/neu in the 72 patients were detected by direct sequencing. In the GC group, overexpression of HER2/neu was detected in 13 of the 72 GC patients and in 4 of the 72 adjacent tissues in the non-tumorous group (18.1 vs. 5.6%, P<0.05). Furthermore, the intestinal type of GC exhibited a higher rate of HER2/neu overexpression than the diffuse type (29.7 vs. 5.7%, P<0.05). The rate of HER2/neu overexpression in stage III-IV (TNM stage) GC cases was significantly higher than that in stage I-II (28.2 vs. 6.6%, P<0.05). HER2/neu overexpression correlated with a significantly less favorable patient survival (P=0.046). No somatic mutations in the tyrosine kinase domain of HER2/neu were detected in tumor tissues or the corresponding non-tumorous ones in the specimens obtained from the 72 Chinese GC patients. Results suggest that overexpression of HER2/neu is a frequent molecular event strongly associated with a poor patient prognosis, whereas the incidence of somatic mutations of the HER2/neu kinase domain is more likely a low-frequency event in Chinese GC patients.
PMCID: PMC3436403  PMID: 22966343
HER2/neu; gastric cancer; gene mutation; overexpression
24.  Phase II Trial of Adjuvant Pelvic Radiation “Sandwiched” Between Combination Paclitaxel and Carboplatin in Women with Uterine Papillary Serous Carcinoma 
Gynecologic oncology  2011;124(1):21-25.
To evaluate the safety and survival in women treated with adjuvant pelvic radiation “sandwiched” between six cycles of paclitaxel and carboplatin chemotherapy with completely resected UPSC.
Surgically staged women with UPSC (FIGO stage 1-4) and no visible residual disease were enrolled. Treatment involved paclitaxel (175 mg/m2) and carboplatin (AUC=6.0-7.5) every 21 days for 3 doses, followed by radiation therapy (RT), followed by an additional 3 cycles of paclitaxel and carboplatin (AUC=5-6). Survival analysis, using Kaplan-Meier methods, was performed on patients who completed at least 3 cycles of chemotherapy and RT.
A total of 81 patients were enrolled, of which 72 patients completed the first 3 cycles of chemotherapy followed by prescribed RT. Median age was 67 years (range: 43–82 years). 59/72 (82%) had disease confined to the uterus and 13/72 (18%) had completely resected extra-uterine disease (stage 3&4). 65 (83%) completed the protocol. Overall PFS and OS for combined stage 1&2 patients was 65.5±3.6 months and 76.5±4.3 months, respectively. PFS and OS for combined stage 3&4 patients was 25.8±3.0 and 35.9±5.3 months, respectively. Three-year % survival probability for stage 1&2 patients was 84% and for stage 3&4 patients was 50%. Of the 435 chemotherapy cycles administered, there were 11(2.5%) G3/G4 non-hematologic toxicities. 26(6.0%) cycles had dose reductions and 37(8.5%) had dose delays.
Compared to prior studies of single modality adjuvant therapy, RT “sandwiched” between paclitaxel and carboplatin chemotherapy is well-tolerated and highly efficacious in women with completely resected UPSC.
PMCID: PMC3681611  PMID: 22035806
25.  Comparison of Her-2, EGFR and Cyclin D1 in Primary Breast Cancer and Paired Metastatic Lymph Nodes: An Immunohistochemical and Chromogenic In Situ Hybridization Study 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2008;23(6):1053-1061.
The significant advance in the development of molecular-targeting drugs has made an evaluation of Her-2, EGFR, and cyclin D1 an important clinical issue in breast cancer patients. This study compared the Her-2, EGFR, and cyclin D1 status of primary tumors as well as their matching lymph node metastases using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) in 73 breast cancer patients. Her-2, EGFR, and cyclin D1 protein showed a concordance between the primary lesion and the metastatic regional lymph nodes in 82%, 90%, and 63%, respectively. CISH also revealed 92%, 93%, and 85% concordance in the gene amplification status of Her-2, EGFR, and cyclin D1, showing a reasonable agreement between primary tumors and metastatic regional lymph nodes. Although a statistically significant agreement was found in Her-2 expression, a relatively high discordance rate (18%) raises a little concern. Our findings suggest that the Her-2 status can be reliably assessed on primary tumor but a possible difference can be found in Her-2, EGFR, and cyclin D1 status between the primary and the metastatic sites and this possibility should be concerned in patients considering molecular targeted therapy or patients with progress of disease.
PMCID: PMC2610643  PMID: 19119452
CISH; Her-2; EGFR; Cyclin D1; Immunohistochemistry

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