Author(s): Rschoff J, Dietel M, Baretton G, Arbogast S, Walch A,
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Abstract 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.
This article was published in Virchows Arch
and referenced in Journal of Gastrointestinal & Digestive System