Achieving 95% Cross-Methodological Concordance in HER2 Testing Causes and Implications of Discordant Cases

University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
American Journal of Clinical Pathology (Impact Factor: 3.01). 08/2010; 134(2):284-92. DOI: 10.1309/AJCPUQB18XZOHHBJ
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We were interested in determining our concordance between fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and a previously validated immunohistochemical HER2 assay to identify possible reasons for discordance and to determine if all reasons for discordance were addressed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology/College of American Pathologists guidelines. We reviewed 697 cases (2004-2007) in which HER2 immunohistochemical and FISH testing were concurrently done. Overall concordance between nonequivocal immunohistochemical and FISH results was 96%. Of the 19 discordant cases, 13 (68%) were interpreted as positive immunohistochemically but negative by FISH. The primary reason for this discordance was immunohistochemical interpretation. Weak stain intensity, granular staining, and interpretation in areas of crush artifact were identified as the most common issues. Of the 6 cases interpreted as immunohistochemically negative and FISH-positive, 2 were from patients known to be receiving trastuzumab at the time of biopsy, 1 was very close to the FISH equivocal category, and 4 cases had fewer than 1.5 CEP17 signals per cell (1 patient in this group was also receiving trastuzumab). Focusing on issues with HER2 immunohistochemical interpretation can improve concordance rates for immunohistochemically positive cases, but biologic reasons may explain some discordant immunohistochemically negative cases.