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1.  Decentral gene expression analysis for ER+/Her2− breast cancer: results of a proficiency testing program for the EndoPredict assay 
Virchows Archiv  2012;460(3):251-259.
Gene expression profiles provide important information about the biology of breast tumors and can be used to develop prognostic tests. However, the implementation of quantitative RNA-based testing in routine molecular pathology has not been accomplished, so far. The EndoPredict assay has recently been described as a quantitative RT-PCR-based multigene expression test to identify a subgroup of hormone–receptor-positive tumors that have an excellent prognosis with endocrine therapy only. To transfer this test from bench to bedside, it is essential to evaluate the test–performance in a multicenter setting in different molecular pathology laboratories. In this study, we have evaluated the EndoPredict (EP) assay in seven different molecular pathology laboratories in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. A set of ten formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumors was tested in the different labs, and the variance and accuracy of the EndoPredict assays were determined using predefined reference values. Extraction of a sufficient amount of RNA and generation of a valid EP score was possible for all 70 study samples (100%). The EP scores measured by the individual participants showed an excellent correlation with the reference values, respectively, as reflected by Pearson correlation coefficients ranging from 0.987 to 0.999. The Pearson correlation coefficient of all values compared to the reference value was 0.994. All laboratories determined EP scores for all samples differing not more than 1.0 score units from the pre-defined references. All samples were assigned to the correct EP risk group, resulting in a sensitivity and specificity of 100%, a concordance of 100%, and a kappa of 1.0. Taken together, the EndoPredict test could be successfully implemented in all seven participating laboratories and is feasible for reliable decentralized assessment of gene expression in luminal breast cancer.
doi:10.1007/s00428-012-1204-4
PMCID: PMC3306560  PMID: 22371223
Breast cancer; Prognosis; mRNA; Quality control
2.  HER2 diagnostics in gastric cancer—guideline validation and development of standardized immunohistochemical testing 
Virchows Archiv  2010;457(3):299-307.
Trastuzumab-based therapy has been shown to confer overall survival benefit in HER2-positive patients with advanced gastric cancer in a large multicentric trial (ToGA study). Subgroup analysis identified adenocarcinomas of the stomach and gastroesophageal (GE) junction with overexpression of HER2 according to immunohistochemistry (IHC) as potential responders. Due to recent approval of trastuzumab for HER2 positive metastatic gastric and GE-junction cancer in Europe (EMEA) HER2 diagnostics is now mandatory with IHC being the primary test followed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in IHC2+ cases. However, in order to not miss patients potentially responding to targeted therapy determination of a HER2-positive status for gastric cancer required modification of scoring as had been proposed in a pre-ToGA study. To validate this new HER2 status testing procedure in terms of inter-laboratory and inter-observer consensus for IHC scoring a series of 547 gastric cancer tissue samples on a tissue microarray (TMA) was used. In the first step, 30 representative cores were used to identify specific IHC HER2 scoring issues among eight French and German laboratories, while in the second step the full set of 547 cores was used to determine IHC HER2 intensity and area score concordance between six German pathologists. Specific issues relating to discordance were identified and recommendations formulated which proved to be effective to reliably determine HER2 status in a prospective test series of 447 diagnostic gastric cancer specimens.
doi:10.1007/s00428-010-0952-2
PMCID: PMC2933810  PMID: 20665045
HER2; Immunohistochemistry (IHC); Gastric carcinoma; Diagnostic test

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