Purpose: HER2-low breast cancer (BC) is a novel entity with relevant therapeutic implications, especially in hormone receptor (HR) positive BC. This study examines whether HER2 mRNA through the 21-gene assay, Oncotype DX (ODX), can refine the diagnosis of HER2-low and HER2-zero, obtained by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Methods: Between Jan 2021 and Jan 2023, 229 consecutive HR-positive HER2-negative early BC (T1-3 N0-1) have been characterised by IHC and ODX. HER2 status by IHC was either zero (IHC-0) or low (IHC-1 + and IHC-2 + /ISH-negative) while HER2-zero was further divided into HER2-null (IHC-0) and HER2-ultralow (IHC-1-10%). HER2 gene expression by ODX was negative if lower 10.7. Results: The distribution of HER2 IHC was as follows: 53.3% HER2-0, 29.25% HER2-1 + , and 17.5% HER2-2 + . The clinicopathological characteristics were similar in the three groups, with higher PgR-negative rate in HER2-zero (13.9% vs 3% vs 5%). The distribution of RS was homogeneous in the three groups with the median HER2 gene expression of 9.20 [IQR: 8.70-9.60]. HER2 gene expression gradually increased as the IHC score, with substantial overlap. After adjusting for confounders, HER2-1 + and HER2 2 + had a significant positive correlation between HER2 gene expression and IHC [OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.68, p < 0.001; OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.61 to 2.37, p < 0.001] compared to the HER2-zero group. HER2 gene expression did not differ between HER2-null and HER2-ultralow subgroups. Conclusion: Due to the substantial overlap, the HER2 gene expression is unable to properly distinguish HER2-low and HER2-zero IHC whose accurate identification is critical in the context of HER2-negative BC.

Unveiling the HER2-low phenomenon: exploring immunohistochemistry and gene expression to characterise HR-positive HER2-negative early breast cancer

De Sanctis, R;Santoro, A;Zambelli, A
2024-01-01

Abstract

Purpose: HER2-low breast cancer (BC) is a novel entity with relevant therapeutic implications, especially in hormone receptor (HR) positive BC. This study examines whether HER2 mRNA through the 21-gene assay, Oncotype DX (ODX), can refine the diagnosis of HER2-low and HER2-zero, obtained by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Methods: Between Jan 2021 and Jan 2023, 229 consecutive HR-positive HER2-negative early BC (T1-3 N0-1) have been characterised by IHC and ODX. HER2 status by IHC was either zero (IHC-0) or low (IHC-1 + and IHC-2 + /ISH-negative) while HER2-zero was further divided into HER2-null (IHC-0) and HER2-ultralow (IHC-1-10%). HER2 gene expression by ODX was negative if lower 10.7. Results: The distribution of HER2 IHC was as follows: 53.3% HER2-0, 29.25% HER2-1 + , and 17.5% HER2-2 + . The clinicopathological characteristics were similar in the three groups, with higher PgR-negative rate in HER2-zero (13.9% vs 3% vs 5%). The distribution of RS was homogeneous in the three groups with the median HER2 gene expression of 9.20 [IQR: 8.70-9.60]. HER2 gene expression gradually increased as the IHC score, with substantial overlap. After adjusting for confounders, HER2-1 + and HER2 2 + had a significant positive correlation between HER2 gene expression and IHC [OR 1.42, 95% CI 1.21 to 1.68, p < 0.001; OR 1.96, 95% CI 1.61 to 2.37, p < 0.001] compared to the HER2-zero group. HER2 gene expression did not differ between HER2-null and HER2-ultralow subgroups. Conclusion: Due to the substantial overlap, the HER2 gene expression is unable to properly distinguish HER2-low and HER2-zero IHC whose accurate identification is critical in the context of HER2-negative BC.
2024
Early breast cancer
HER2 gene expression
HER2-low
HER2-ultralow
HER2-zero
Hormone receptor-positive breast cancer
Trastuzumab deruxtecan
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11699/85963
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact