HER2 Status in Breast Cancer Determined by IHC and FISH: Comparison of the Results

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1 Pol J Pathol 2004, 55, 4, PL ISSN Anna Mrozkowiak, Wojciech P. Olszewski, Agata Piaścik, Włodzimierz T. Olszewski HER2 Status in Breast Cancer Determined by IHC and FISH: Comparison of the Results Department of Pathology, Institute of Oncology, Warszawa HER2 (hu man epi der mal growth fac tor re cep tor 2) sta tus be came an im por tant prog nos tic and pre - dic tive fac tor in breast car ci noma clin i cal man age - ment. There are two main tech niques of eval u a tion of HER2 sta tus: immunohistochemistry (IHC) for the pro tein ex pres sion and flu o res cence in situ hy - brid iza tion (FISH) for am pli fi ca tion of HER2 gene. The aim of the study was to com pare the re sults ob - tained by IHC and FISH meth ods in de ter mi na tion of HER2 sta tus in breast can cer. Three hun dred and sixty breast can cer spec i mens were ex am ined. Pa - tients were op er ated in the On col ogy Cen tre in War - saw. IHC and FISH were per formed in ev ery case. IHC was per formed with DAKO HercepTest and FISH with Oncor-QBiogene re agents. IHC re sults were classed into 4 groups, ac cord ingly to the four-tier DAKO cri te ria sys tem (0, 1+, 2+, 3+). FISH re sults were di vided into three main cat e go ries: NA no am pli fi ca tion, LA low am pli fi ca tion and HA high am pli fi ca tion. The num ber of cop ies of chro mo - some 17 was also as sessed. Over 90% of cases de - scribed by IHC as 3+ ex hib ited am pli fi ca tion of HER2/neu gene. Re main ing cases were pos i tive with IHC, but pre sented no gene am pli fi ca tion. This might be due to the sub jec tive as sess ment of the mem brane stain ing. An other pos si bil ity is that overexpression of the pro tein was caused by mrna sta bil ity or dis or ders in re cep tor deg ra da tion. The ma jor ity of cases classed by IHC as 2+ were also neg - a tive by FISH (80%). One fifth of IHC 2+ tu mours were found to ex hibit gene am pli fi ca tion. Re main ing cases showed no am pli fi ca tion of HER2/neu gene, com bined with aneuploidy of chro mo some 17. All cases de scribed by IHC as 0/1+ were also HER2-neg - a tive by FISH. Con clu sions: IHC is well-es tab lished method of as sess ing HER2 sta tus in breast can cer. None the less, a group of cases de scribed as 2+ should be ad di tion ally ex am ined us ing FISH. The re sults ob tained by the lat ter method are more re li able. In or der to im prove ac cu racy and gain the high est qual - ity of HER2 sta tus eval u a tion, in 2+ cases both meth - ods should be ap plied. Introduction Ap pear ance and main te nance of ma lig nant phe no type is as so ci ated with the changes in qual ity and quan tity of pro teins pro duced. Gene am pli fi ca tion is one of the com - mon mech a nisms by which can cer cells gain the in creased pro tein syn the sis, which can lead to ma lig nant trans for - ma tion. Self-suf fi ciency or hy per sen si tiv ity to growth sig nals is one of six ac quired ca pa bil i ties of can cer. The oth ers in - clude: insensitivity to anti-growth signals; tis sue in va sion and me tas ta sis; limitless replicative potential; sus tained angiogenesis; evad ing apoptosis [9]. Growth fac tors re cep tors (GFRs) are of ten overex - pressed in many types of can cer. GFR overex pression en - ables the cell re sponse to am bi ent lev els of growth fac tors that would not trig ger pro lif er a tion in nor mal cells. Breast, ovar ian, pul mo nary and other types of can - cer are of ten char ac ter ised by overexpression of HER2 re cep tor [11]. HER2 is 185kDa sur face pro tein serv ing as growth fac tor re cep tor car ry ing pro tein kinase ac tiv ity [3]. HER2 be longs to the fam ily of HER re cep tors, con sist - ing of four mem bers (HER1-HER4) and shar ing sim i lar char ac ter is tics. These mem brane re cep tors trans duce growth sig nals from growth fac tors into the nu cleus in or der to in crease proliferative ac tiv ity of the cell. Over - 165

2 A. Mrozkowiak et al expression of HER2 pro tein on the cell sur face leads to hy per sen si tiv ity of the can cer cell to growth fac tors and im proves ma lig nant phenotype [5, 18]. In over 90% of cases overexpression of HER2 is caused by am pli fi ca tion of HER2 gene [26, 28, 21]. In breast can cer there are sev eral well-es tab lished pre - dic tive and prog nos tic fac tors, such as histological type and grade, tu mour size, lymph node in volve ment, es tro - gen and pro ges ter one re cep tor sta tus [1, 6, 16]. They al - low pre dict ing dis ease-free sur vival, over all sur vival and the pa tient s re ac tion to the treat ment. In 1987 in Na ture a pub li ca tion by Slamon et al. has ap peared re veal ing, that HER2/neu gene am pli fi ca tion pre dicts in de pend ently over all sur vival (OS) and dis ease-free sur vival (DFS) in node-pos i tive pa tients [27]. Since HER2 sta tus has been con sid ered as im por tant pre dic tive and prog nos tic fac tor in breast can cer [14, 15], right as sess ment of HER2 sta tus be came nec e s sary in the man age ment of this dis ease. Ret ro spec tive anal y sis of clin i cal tri als proved this fac tor may be in volved in the pro cess of re sponse to cer tain types of chemo- and hor - monotherapy [19, 20, 23]. There is a number of questions concerning whom to test, which method should be applied and finally how to interpret the results of HER2 status assessment [8, 25]. There are sev eral meth ods, by which pro tein or gene sta - tus can be as sessed. Immunohistochemistry for pro tein ex - pression is commonly used and well-established laboratory tech nique. Gene copy num ber can be de tected by sev eral methods, for example Southern blot analysis or fluorescence in situ hybridization [12]. Two of the meth ods men tioned above have been suc - cess fully ap plied to rou tine di ag nos tic pro ce dures in pa thol - ogy lab o ra to ries: IHC and FISH [21-25]. Both meth ods (IHC and FISH) can be ap plied on ar chi val ma te rial and used with for ma lin-fixed, par a f - fin- em bed ded tis sue. The use of IHC arises sev eral ques tions. The right choice of the an ti body seems to be the main is sue. Com mer cially avail able an ti bod ies dif - fer sig ni f i cant ly with their sen si tiv ity and spec i fic ity [24]. An ti gen- re trieval meth ods and tis sue fix a tion pro cess also in flu ence the qual ity of immunohisto - chemical stains, and there fore the fi nal re sult of HER2 sta tus as sess ment. The lat ter one de pends also on the sub jec tiv ity of stain as sess ment by the pa thol o - gist [26]. The sec ond method ap plied to rou tine di ag nos tics is FISH. Flu o res cence in situ hy brid iza tion of fers the most ac cu rate, re li able and re pro duc ible re sults of HER2 sta tus as sess ment. With FISH, in the ma jor ity of sam ples, it is pos si ble to count gene copy num ber, which is di rectly cor re lated with the quan tity of sur face re cep tor level [27]. There fore, in most cases the re sults are easy to in ter pret and do not de pend on the sub jec tive as sess ment of the pa thol o gist. This method em ploys flu o - res cence mi cro scope which is not com monly avail able in pa thol ogy lab o ra to ries. The aim of the study was to com pare two meth ods: FISH and IHC in as sess ment of HER2 sta tus in breast can cer. Material and Methods Three hun dred and sixty cases of in va sive breast car - ci noma were ex am ined. Pa tients were op er ated in the On - col ogy Cen tre in War saw be cause of in va sive breast car ci noma. HER2 sta tus was ex am ined in each case us ing both IHC (immunohistochemistry) and FISH (flu o res - cence in situ hy brid iza tion). Sam ple prep a ra tion The sur gi cally resected tu mour tis sue was rou tinely fixed in 4% buf fered for ma lin for 48 hours and em bed ded in par af - fin. Tu mour tis sue blocks were cut into 4µm thick sec tions and mounted on pos i tively charged slides. The slides were baked over night (68 o C). In each case stan dard HE stain ing was per formed in or der to con firm the pres ence of in va sive carcinoma cells. FISH anal y sis All chem i cals were pur chased from QBiogene (Oncor, UK). Sec tions were deparaffinised in xylene (2x10 min utes, RT), de hy drated in 99.98% eth a nol (2x5 min utes, RT) and air-dried. Tis sue sec tions were treated with Pre treat ment So lu tion (15 30 min utes, 45oC, wa - ter bath), ac cord ing to the man u fac turer s pro to col (Oncor, UK). Af ter rins ing spec i mens in stan dard sa line ci trate (2xSSC), they were moved to the proteinase K (Oncor, UK) work ing so lu tion (25 45 min utes, 45 C, wa ter bath). Af ter en zy matic di ges tion step the slides were rinsed with 2xSSC and de hy drated in eth a nol (70, 80, 96%, 1 min ute, RT), the di ges tion de gree was ex am - ined by ap ply ing 20µl of propidium io dide (Oncor, UK). Slides were then ex am ined un der flu o res cence mi - cro scope (Olym pus) and di ges tion of in va sive car ci - noma was as sessed. Ap pro pri a tely pre pared tis sue sec - tions were then rinsed in 2xSSC, de hy drated in graded se ries of al co hol (70, 80, 96%, 1 min ute, RT) and airdried. Dual-col our probe cock tail con sist ing of HER2/neu (rhodamine-la belled, red) and chro mo some 17 (FITC- la belled, green) probes was ap p lied (Oncor, 166

3 HER2 in breast cancer UK). The quan tity of probe mix ap plied was de pend ent on the size of the slide (from 10 to 30ml/slide). Spec i - men and probe DNA was de na tured by plac ing the sam - ples on hot-plate (80 C, 2 min utes). Hy brid iza tion was car ried out un der plas tic coverslip in moist cham ber (over night, 37 C). Post-hy brid iza tion wash was per formed in 2xSSC (5 min utes, 65 C) fol lowed by wash in 1xPBD (Oncor, UK) (5 min utes, RT). Tis sue sec tions were then counter stained with DAPI/Antifade (Oncor, UK). Scoring criteria Slides were eval u ated for HER2/neu gene amplification us ing Olym pus BX60 mi cro scope (Olym pus Polska, Po land) equipped with fil ters: rhodamine, FITC, DAPI monofilters and tri ple-bandpass (rhodamine/fitc/dapi) fil ter (Olym pus Polska, Po land). Sam ples were scanned at x200 mag ni fi ca - tion, and HER2/neu and CEN17 sig nals were counted at x1000 magnification. The num ber of HER2/neu gene copy num ber and chro mo some 17 (CEN17) copy num ber were counted in all cases in at least 60 in va sive car ci noma nu clei. Lack of HER2/neu gene am pli fi ca tion (NA no am pli fi ca - tion) was stated in cases, in which no more than 4 HER2/neu cop ies and no more than 4 CEN17 cop ies were de tected (Figs. 1 and 2). Aneuploidy was stated in all cases, in which av er age CEN17 copy num ber in 60 nu clei was higher than 4. Sam ples were as signed to low am pli fi ca tion (LA) group when they ex pressed on av er - age 5 10 HER2/neu gene cop ies and no more than 4 CEN17 cop ies. De tec tion of more than 10 HER2/neu gene cop ies per nu cleus and no more than 4 CEN17 cop - ies meant high am pli fi ca tion (HA) of HER2/neu gene. In some cases the sig nal enu me r a tion was im pos si ble be cause of clus ter(s) con sist ing of many cop ies of the gene. These cases were also considered to be highly am - pli fied and as signed to HA group (Figs. 3 and 4). Fig. 2. Lack of am pli fi ca tion of HER2/neu gene (rhodamine-la belled, red). DAPI. Magn. 600x. Fig. 3. High am pli fi ca tion of HER2/neu gene (rhodamine-la belled, red). DAPI. Magn 1000x. Fig. 1. Lack of am pli fi ca tion of HER2/neu gene (rhodamine-la belled, red). DAPI. Magn. 1000x. Fig. 4. High am pli fi ca tion of HER2/neu gene (rhodamine-la belled, red). DAPI. Magn 1000x. 167

4 A. Mrozkowiak et al Immunohistochemistry (IHC) DAKO HercepTest (Dako, Den mark) was used for immunohistochemical eval u a tion of HER2 sta tus. Sam - ples were fixed and pre pared as de scribed above. Immu - no histochemistry was per formed ac cor d ingly to the ma n u fac turer s in struc tion. The strength of the stain ing was eval u ated by pa thol o gist and the stains were grouped in four cat e go ries (Dako, Danemark): 1. No stain ing is ob served or stain ing is ob served in less than 10% of the tu mour cells (0 neg a tive); 2. A faint/barely per cep ti ble mem brane stain ing is de - tected in more than 10% of the tu mour cells. The cells are stained only in part of their mem brane (1+ ne g a - tive); 3. A weak to mod er ate com plete mem brane stain ing is ob - served in more than 10% of the tu mour cells (2+ weakly pos i tive, Fig. 5); 4. A strong com plete mem brane stain ing is ob served in more than 10% of the tu mour cells (3+ strongly pos i tive, Fig. 6). HercepTest is in ter preted as neg a tive for HER2 pro tein overexpression (0 and 1+), weakly pos i tive (2+ stain ing in - ten sity), and strongly pos i tive (3+ stain ing in - ten sity). Results Three hun dred and sixty ar chi val cases of in va sive breast can cer were ex am ined both by immunohisto - chemistry (IHC) and flu o res cence in situ hy brid iza tion Fig. 5. HER2 2+ immunohistochemical stain. Weak to mod er - ate pos i tive mem brane stain ing is vis i ble. Magn 600x. Fig. 6. HER2 3+ immunohistochemical stain. Strongly pos i tive, com plete mem brane stain ing is vis i ble. Magn 600x. 168

5 HER2 in breast cancer TABLE 1 The results of HER2/neu gene assessment by FISH in IHC 2+ group (FISH). Firstly, the immunohistochemistry was per for - med in each case. The group of spec i mens was se lected to con tain the ma jor ity of cases as signed by IHC to IHC 2+ group (n=315). Only 35 cases of IHC 3+ and 10 of IHC 0 and 1+ were se lected for this study. The cases assigned by IHC to 0/1+ group were all HER2-negative by FISH (n=10). Among the sam ples de scribed immunohistoche - mically as 2+, am pli fi ca tion of HER2/neu gene was dis - cov ered in 20% of cases (n=64). It in cludes cases, in which high and low am pli fi ca tion was stated. The re main - ing cases (n=251) were found to be neg a tive by FISH method (Table 1). In the group of spec i men as sessed by IHC as 3+ HER2/neu gene am pli fi ca tion was dis cov ered in 91% (n=32) of the cases. Lack of gene am pli fi ca tion was de - tected in only 3 cases (9%) (Table 2). In 7.3% (n=23) of cases aneuploidy of chro mo some 17 was found. This re sult re fers only to the IHC 2+ can cers only in this group the ex ces sive cop ies of chro mo some 17 were de tected. Discussion 2+ n % HA HA aneupl LA NA NA aneupl Ap ply ing mo lec u lar bi ol ogy meth ods in med i cal di ag - nos tics al lows for the ac cu rate anal y sis of changes in the phe no type and ge no type, and in con se quence helps in de - ter min ing the com plete di ag no sis. Full di ag no sis of breast can cer con sists of well-es tab lished pre dic tive and prog - nos tic fac tors such as histological type and grade, es tro - gen and pro ges ter one re cep tors and re cently HER2 sta tus. Hav ing this in for ma tion pro vided, not only dis ease-free and over all sur vival, but also the re ac tion to the treat ment can be better predicted. Herceptin monoclonal anti-her2 an ti body was in tro duced to the treat ment of breast can cers overex - pressing HER2 re cep tor [29]. In con se quence the in ter est TABLE 2 The results of HER2/neu gene assessment by FISH in IHC 3+ group 3+ n % HA LA 4 11 NA in meth ods en abling the most ac cu rate screen ing of pa - tients to this treat ment has grown. Only pa tients with HER2 pro tein overexpression and/or HER2/neu gene am pli fi ca tion ben e fit from Herceptin treat ment, as it was dem on strated in a num ber of pub li ca tions [4, 2, 7]. Pre - viously, the group of pa tients, whose tu mours in immuno histochemistry ex pressed HER2 pro tein at 3+ and 2+ le v els were con sid ered as pos i tive and were given the Her ceptin treat ment. The re sults of the stud - ies dem on strated, that the group of IHC 2+ does not ben e fit from Herceptin as much as IHC 3+ pa tients and in com par i son is more het er o ge neous than the 3+ group. Our aim was to ex am ine the IHC 2+ group us ing more ac cu rate and re li able than immunohistochemistry method flu o res cence in situ hy brid iza tion (FISH). Our re sults in di cate that IHC 2+ group is char ac ter ised by high het er o ge ne ity. Nearly eighty per cent of these cases do not have HER2/neu gene am pli fi ca tion. This per cent age cov ers groups with no am pli fi ca tion (NA, 73.0%) and no am pli fi ca tion with chro mo some 17 aneu - ploidy (NA aneupl, 6.7%). Tu mours with the ex ces sive cop ies of chro mo some 17 clin i cally are con sid ered as HER2-ne g a tive, but the re sults of re cent stud ies in di - cate, they can ben e fit from Herceptin ther apy [3]. Most im por tantly, among pa tients char ac ter ised immuno - histo chemically as HER2 2+, over 20% of all cases have the am pli fi ca tion of HER2/neu gene and are po ten tial beneficiates of trastu zumab treat ment. The re sults of FISH tests in IHC 3+ group con firm pub lished data and in di cate that over 90% of them ex hibit am pli fi ca tion of HER2/neu gene. Nine per cent of these tu mours are HER2-neg a tive by FISH. This high rate of neg a tive tu mours might be due to small num ber of cases in cluded in this par tic u lar group (n=35). An o ther ex pla na - tion of this re sult could be the over es ti ma tion of IHC stains, ab nor mal sta bil ity of HER2 re cep tor mes sen ger RNA or de fects in the pro cess of re cep tor se ques tra tion, which lead to en dur ing pres ence of HER2 re cep tor on the cell sur face. 169

6 A. Mrozkowiak et al All cases as sessed immunohistochemically as 0 and 1+ were HER2-neg a tive by FISH it con firms high con cor - dance of these two meth ods in HER2 sta tus de ter mi na tion in these groups. The results demonstrate the necessity of additional test - ing of IHC 2+ group by more ob jec tive and re pro duc ible method. Flu o res cence in situ hy brid iza tion (FISH) has these ad van tages. Con sid er ing rel a tively high cost of FISH tests they should be per formed in ref eree cen tres in prop erly se - lected cases. Proper di ag no sis of breast can cer re quires among well-es tab lished prog nos tic and pre dic tive fac tors also HER2 sta tus eval u a tion. Immunohistochemical de ter mi - na tion of HER2 pro tein should be sup ported by FISH in tu mours ex press ing weak or mod er ate pos i tive mem brane stain ing IHC 2+ group. References 1. Allred DC, Harvey JM, Berardo M: Prognostic and predictive factors in breast cancer by immunohistochemical analysis. Mod Pathol 1998, 11, Baselga J, Tripathy D, Mendesohn J, Baughman S, Benz CC, Dantis L, Sklarin NT, Seidman AD, Hudis CA, Moore J, Rosen PP, Twaddell T, Henderson IC, Norton L: Phase II study of weekly intravenous tras - tuzumab (herceptin) in patients with HER2/neu- overexpressing metastatic breast cancer. Semin Oncol 1999, 26, Baselga J: Phase I and II trials of trastuzumab. Ann Oncol 2001, 12(Suppl 1), Cobleigh MA, Vogel CL, Tripathy D et al: Efficacy and safety of Herceptin (humanized anti-her2 antibody) as a single agent in 222 women with Her2 overexpression who relapsed following chemo - therapy for metastatic breast cancer. Proc Am Soc Clin Oncol 1998, 17, 97(abs). 5. Di Fiore PP, Fleming TP: Overexpression of the human EGF receptor confers an EGF-dependent transformed phenotype to NIH 3T3 cells. Cell 1987, 51, Di Leo A, Cardos F, Dubercq M: Predictive molecular markers in the adjuvant therapy of breast cancer: state of the art in the year Int J Clin Oncol 2002, 7, Gaiser T, Hofmann M, Weng LP, Schmidtgen C, Maass G, Gross C, Henkel T, Ruechoff J: Her2 status determination: significance of chro - mo some 17 polysomy identified using 2-colour FISH. San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium 2003, # Gray JW, Pinkiel D: Molecular cytogenetics in human cancer di ag no - sis. Cancer 1992, 69, Hanahan D, Weinberg RA: Hallmarks of cancer. Cell 2000, 100, Hung M-C, Lau Y-K: Basic science of HER-2/neu: A review. Semin Oncol 1999, 26(Suppl 12), Hynes NE, Stern DF: The biology of erbb-2/neu/her-2 and its role in cancer. Biochem Biophys Acta Rev Cancer 1994, 1198, Jacobs TW, Gown AM, Yaziji H, Barnes MJ, Schnitt SJ: Comparison of fluorescence in situ hybridization and immuno histochemistry for the evaluation of HER-2/neu in breast cancer. J Clin Oncol 1999, 17, Lebeau A, Deimling D, Kaltz C, Sendelhofert A, Iff A, Luthardt B, Untch M, Lohrs U: HER-2/neu anal y sis in ar chi val tis sue sam ples of hu man breast can cer: com par i son of immunohistochemistry and flu o res cence in situ hy brid iza tion. J Clin Oncol 2001, 19, Lipton A, Ali SM, Leitzel K: Elevated serum level predicts decreased response to hormone therapy in metastatic breast cancer. J Clin Oncol 2002, 20, Menard S, Fortis S, Castiglioni F, Agresti R, Balsari A: HER2 as a prognostic factor in breast cancer. Oncology 2001, 61(Suppl 2), Menard S, Valagussa P, Pilotti S: Response to cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and fluorouracil in lymph node-positive breast cancer according to HER2 overexpression and other tumour biological va ri - ables. J Clin Oncol 2001, 19, Mitchell MS, Press MF: The role of immunohistochemistry and flu o - res cence in situ hybridization for HER-2/neu in assessing the prog no - sis of breast cancer. Semin Oncol 1999, 26(Suppl 12), Neve RM, Lane HA, Hynes NE: The role of overexpressed HER2 in transformation. Ann Oncol 2001, 12(Suppl 1), S9-S Paik S, Bryant J, Park C, Fisher B, Tan-Chiu E, Hyams D, Fisher ER, Lippman ME, Wickerham DL, Wolmark N: erbb-2 and response to doxorubicin in patients with axillary lymph node-positive, hormo ne receptor-negative breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst 1998, 90, Paik S, Bryant J, Tan-Chiu E, Yothers G, Park C, Wickerham DL, Wolmark N: HER2 and choice if adjuvant chemotherapy of invasive breast cancer: national surgical adjuvant breast and bowel project protocol B-15. J Natl Cancer Inst 2000, 92, Pauletti G, Dandekar S, Rong H, Ramos L, Peng H, Seshadri R, Slamon DJ: Assessment of methods for tissue-based detection of the HER-2/neu alteration in human breast cancer: a direct com parison of fluorescence in situ hybridization and immunohisto chemistry. J Clin Oncol 2000, 18, Pauletti G, Godolphin W, Press MF et al: Detection and quantita tion of HER-2/neu gene amplification in human breast cancer archival material using fluorescence in situ hybridisation. Onco gene 1996, 13, Press MF, Bernstein L, Thomas PA, Meisner LF, Zhou J, Ma Y, Hung G, Rob in son RA, Har ris C, El-Naggar A, Slamon DJ, Phi - lips RN, Ross JS, Wolman SR, Flom KJ: HER-2/neu gene am pli fi ca - tion char ac ter ised flu o res cence in situ hy brid iza tion: poor prog no sis in node-neg a tive breast car ci no mas. J Clin Oncol 1997, 15, Press MF, Hung G, Godolphin W, Slamon DJ: Sensitivity of HER-2/neu antibodies in archival tissue samples: potential source of error in immunohistochemical studies of oncogene expression. Cancer Res 1994, 54, Ravdin PM: Should HER2 status be routinely measured for all breast cancer patients? Semin Oncol 1999, 26(Suppl 12), Seshadri R, Firgaira AF, Horsfall DJ, McCaul K, Setlur V, Kitchen P: Clinical Significance of HER-2/neu oncogene amplification in pri - mary breast cancer. J Clin Oncol 1993, 11(10), Slamon D, Clark GM, Wong SG, Levin WJ, Ullrich A, McGuire WL: Hu man breast can cer: cor re la tion of re lapse and sur vival with am - pli fi ca tion of the HER-2/neu onco gene. Sci ence 1987, 235, Slamon DJ, Godolphin W, Jones LA et al: Studies of the HER-2/neu proto-oncogene in human breast and ovarian cancer. Science 1989, 244, Smith I: Future directions in the adjuvant treatment of breast cancer: The role of trastuzumab: Ann Oncol 2001,12(Suppl 1),

7 HER2 in breast cancer 30. Thor A: HER2 - a discussion of testing approaches in the USA. Ann Oncol 2001, 12(Suppl 1), Van de Vijver MJ: Assessment of the need and appropriate method for testing for the human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2). Eur J Cancer 2001, 37(Suppl 1), Address for correspondence and reprint requests to: Anna Mrozkowiak M.Sc. De part ment of Pa thol ogy Intitute of On col ogy Roentgena 5, Warszawa 171

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