In 2001, the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program established Residual Tissue Repositories (RTR) in the Hawaii, Iowa, and Los Angeles Tumor Registries to collect discarded tissue blocks from pathologic laboratories within their catchment areas. To validate the utility of the RTR for supplementing SEER’s central database, we assessed human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) and estrogen receptor expression (ER) in a demonstration project.
Using a prepared set of tissue microarrays (TMAs) residing in the Hawaii Tumor Registry (HTR), we performed standard immunohistochemistry. Breast cancers in the TMA were diagnosed in 1995, followed through 2006, and linked to SEER’s main database.
The TMA included 354 cases, representing 51% of 687 breast cancers in the HTR (1995). The HTR and TMA cases were similar with respect to patient demographics and tumor characteristics. Seventy-six percent (76%, 268 of 354) of TMA cases were HER2+ and/or ER+, i.e., 28 HER2+ER−, 12 HER2+ER+, and 228 HER2−ER+. There were 67 HER2−ER− cases and 19 were unclassified. Age distributions at diagnosis were bimodal with dominant early-onset modes for HER2+ER−tumors and dominant late-onset modes for HER2−ER+ breast cancers. Epidemiologic patterns for concordant HER2+ER+ (double-positive) and HER2−ER−(double-negative) were intermediate to discordant HER2+ER− and HER2−ER+.
Results showed contrasting incidence patterns for HER2+ (HER2+ER−) and ER+ (HER2−ER+) breast cancers, diagnosed in 1995. Though sample sizes were small, this demonstration project validates the potential utility of the RTR for supplementing the SEER program.