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Chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) to detect HER2 gene amplification in breast and gastric cancer: Comparison with immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH)


Haruhiko Sugimura, MD, PhD, Department of Tumor Pathology, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, 1-20-1 Handayama, Higashi-ward, Hamamatsu, Japan 431-3192. Email:


The chromogenic in situ hybridization (CISH) assay, designed to detect the amplification of the HER2 gene in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) breast cancer (BC) and gastric cancer (GC) tissue specimens, was evaluated in 125 FFPE BC cases and 198 FFPE GC cases for which the HER2 status had been predetermined using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). In the 125 BC cases and the 198 gastric cases, we found a very good concordance (98.4% and 99.0%, respectively) between CISH and FISH. In particular, we evaluated the polysomy cases, as these cases often have ambiguous treatment options in clinical practice. The polysomy of chromosome 17 was defined as the presence of three or more CEP17 signals in at least 10% of the tumor cells. In the 50 BC cases and 54 GC cases displaying chromosome 17 polysomy, the concordance between FISH and CISH was 98.0% and 98.1%, respectively. These results indicate that CISH could provide an accurate and practical alternative to FISH for the clinical diagnosis of HER2 gene amplification in FFPE BC and FFPE GC samples.