Intratumoral heterogeneity of HKR-2/neu in invasive mammary carcinomas using fluorescence in-situ hybridization and tissue microarray
Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast
In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
Fluorescence in-situ hybridization is increasingly being used to determine HER-2/neu status in patients with breast carcinoma. The possibility that intratumoral heterogeneity of HER-2/neu gene amplification may potentially contribute to inaccurate assessment of HER-2/neu status was investigated in routine cases of invasive mammary carcinomas. From 169 representative formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded blocks of invasive duct mammary carcinomas with grade 3 architecture, 48 cases were analyzed by fluorescence in-situ hybridization and 59 analyses were performed. Intratumoral heterogeneity for HER-2/neu gene amplification was demonstrated in only 5 (16%) of 31 cases where morphologically similar areas of a single tumor were analyzed. We conclude from this study that intratumoral heterogeneity of HER-2/neu gene amplification is a demonstrable but relatively uncommon occurrence. For invasive mammary carcinomas, the accurate assessment of HER-2/neu status by fluorescence in-situ hybridization analysis is not significantly confounded by intratumoral heterogeneity of HER-2/neu gene amplification in individual tumors.