We compare HER2 receptor amplification analysis by immunohistochemistry (IHC), fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and real-time polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR) DNA copy-number assay following laser capture microdissection (LCM) in formalin-fixed paraffin embedded tissue from 40 women with verified ovarian cancer. We speculate that LCM should result in a more accurate assessment of HER2 amplification in our real-time PCR assay compared with IHC and FISH. HER2 overexpression measured by IHC, FISH, or real-time PCR was found in 5.0%, 5.0%, and 22.5%, respectively. HER2 negative results measured by IHC, FISH, or real-time PCR were found in 95%, 92.5%, and 60.0%, respectively. Analysis failed for IHC, FISH, or real-time PCR in 0%, 2.5%, or 17.5% of cases. Concordance between IHC and FISH, IHC and real-time PCR, or FISH and real-time PCR were 89.7%, 72.7%, or 78.1%, respectively. Only few ovarian cancer patients were HER2 overexpressed measured by IHC or FISH and thus could be eligible for antibody-based therapy with trastuzumab (Herceptin). Interestingly, we find an increased number of HER2 positive patients by real-time PCR analysis on microdissected cancer cells, suggesting a number of HER2 positive patients not detected by current methods. Thus, the concept of quantitative measurement of HER2 on microdissected cancer cells should be explored further.
Apmis : Acta Pathologica, Microbiologica, Et Immunologica Scandinavica, 2012, Vol 120, Issue 12, p. 1000-7