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Evaluation of HER2 gene amplification in invasive breast cancer using a dual-color chromogenic in situ hybridization (dual CISH)


Nobuaki Kato, MS, Division of Diagnostic Pathology, Tokai University Hospital, 143 Shimokasuya, Isehara, Kanagawa 259-1193, Japan. Email:


Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay is considered the ‘gold standard’ for evaluation of HER2/neu (HER2) gene status, however, it is difficult to recognize morphologic features of tumors using fluorescence microscopy. Thus, chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) has been proposed as an alternative method to evaluate HER2 gene amplification. Here, we examined the dual color CISH (dual CISH) method which provides information regarding the copy number of the HER2 gene and chromosome 17 centromere from a single slide. We examined 40 cases of invasive ductal carcinomas of the breast that were resected surgically. HER2 gene status was assessed with FISH (Abbott) and dual CISH (Dako). HER2 gene amplification status was classified according to the guidelines of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and College of American Pathologists (ASCO/CAP). Comparison of the cut-off values for HER2/chromosome 17 centromere copy number ratio obtained by dual CISH and FISH showed that there was almost perfect agreement between two methods (Kappa coefficient 0.96). The results of the two commercial products were almost consistent for evaluation of HER2 gene counts on the sections. The current study proved that dual CISH is comparable with FISH for evaluating HER2 gene status.

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