Geral Hibridação in situ Mama Molecular

HER2 in situ hybridization in breast cancer: clinical implications of polysomy 17 and genetic heterogeneity

Escrito por Carla Brito Lopes

Trastuzumab-containing therapy is a standard of care for patients with HER2+ breast cancer. HER2 status is routinely assigned using in situhybridization to assess HER2 gene amplification, but interpretation of in situ hybridization results may be challenging in tumors with chromosome 17 polysomy or intratumoral genetic heterogeneity. Apparent chromosome 17 polysomy, defined by increased chromosome enumeration probe 17 (CEP17) signal number, is a common genetic aberration in breast cancer and represents an alternative mechanism for increasing HER2 copy number.

Some studies have linked elevated CEP17 count (‘polysomy’) with adverse clinicopathologic features and HER2 overexpression, although there are numerous discrepancies in the literature. There is evidence that elevated CEP17 (‘polysomy’) count might account for trastuzumab response in tumors with normal HER2:CEP17 ratios.

Nonetheless, recent studies establish that apparent ‘polysomy’ (CEP17 increase) is usually related to focal pericentromeric gains rather than true polysomy. Assigning HER2 status may also be complex where multiple cell subclones with distinct HER2 amplification characteristics coexist within the same tumor.

Such genetic heterogeneity affects up to 40% of breast cancers when assessed according to a College of American Pathologists guideline, although other definitions have been proposed. Recent data have associated heterogeneity with unfavorable clinicopathologic variables and poor prognosis. Genetically heterogeneous tumors harboring HER2-amplified subclones have the potential to benefit from trastuzumab, but this has yet to be evaluated in clinical studies.

In this review, we discuss the implications of apparent polysomy 17 and genetic heterogeneity for assigning HER2 status in clinical practice. Among our recommendations, we support the use of mean HER2 copy number rather than HER2:CEP17 ratio to define HER2 positivity in cases where coamplification of the centromere might mask HER2 amplification. We also highlight a need to harmonize in situ hybridization scoring methodology to support accurate HER2 status determination, particularly where there is evidence of heterogeneity.

Article first published online:28 June 2013
DOI: 10.1038/modpathol.2013.103
Mod Pathol. 2014 Jan;27(1):4-18

Pode descarregar o artigo completo aqui:
Citation: [Wedad M Hanna, Josef Ruschoff, Michael Bilous, Renata A Coudry, Mitch Dowsett et al. Mod Pathol. 2014 Jan;27(1):4-18]
Reprinted with permission from “Nature Publishing Group”.

Sobre o autor

Carla Brito Lopes

Carla nasceu em Viana do Castelo em 1977. Licenciada em Anatomia Patológica, Citológica e Tanatológica pela Escola Superior de Tecnologia da Saúde em Lisboa. Concluiu a certificação em Laboratory Management pela ASCP (American Association of Clinical Pathology) em Setembro de 2016. Mestre em Genética Molecular e Biomedicina pela Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Trabalhou no Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Central entre 1998 e 2015, exercendo histopatologia e imunohistoquímica, sendo co-responsável pelo sector. Trabalha no Dr. Joaquim Chaves, Laboratório de Anatomia Patológica desde 2004 onde exerce funções de Coordenação Técnica e da Qualidade.