Standardization and optimization of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for HER-2 assessment in breast cancer: A single center experience
Accurate assessment of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) is crucial in selecting patients for targeted therapy. Commonly used methods for HER-2 testing are immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Here we presented the implementation, optimization and standardization of two FISH protocols using breast cancer samples and assessed the impact of pre-analytical and analytical factors on HER-2 testing. Formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissue samples from 70 breast cancer patients were tested for HER-2 using PathVysion™ HER-2 DNA Probe Kit and two different paraffin pretreatment kits, Vysis/Abbott Paraffin Pretreatment Reagent Kit (40 samples) and DAKO Histology FISH Accessory Kit (30 samples). The concordance between FISH and IHC results was determined. Pre-analytical and analytical factors (i.e., fixation, baking, digestion, and post-hybridization washing) affected the efficiency and quality of hybridization. The overall hybridization success in our study was 98.6% (69/70); the failure rate was 1.4%. The DAKO pretreatment kit was more time-efficient and resulted in more uniform signals that were easier to interpret, compared to the Vysis/Abbott kit. The overall concordance between IHC and FISH was 84.06%, kappa coefficient 0.5976 (p < 0.0001). The greatest discordance (82%) between IHC and FISH was observed in IHC 2+ group. A standardized FISH protocol for HER-2 assessment, with high hybridization efficiency, is necessary due to variability in tissue processing and individual tissue characteristics. Differences in the pre-analytical and analytical steps can affect the hybridization quality and efficiency. The use of DAKO pretreatment kit is time-saving and cost-effective.
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