Comparative performance of breast cancer human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 fluorescence in situ hybridization and brightfield in situ hybridization on college of American pathologists proficiency tests

Katherine B. Geiersbach, Julia A. Bridge, Michelle Dolan, Lawrence J. Jennings, Diane L. Persons, Rhona J. Souers, Karen D. Tsuchiya, Patricia H. Vasalos, Joel T. Moncur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Context. - Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and brightfield in situ hybridization (ISH) are 2 clinically approved laboratory methods for detecting ERBB2 (HER2) amplification in breast cancer. Objective. - To compare the performance of FISH and brightfield ISH on proficiency testing administered by the College of American Pathologists Laboratory Accreditation Program. Design. - Retrospective review was performed on 70 tissue core samples in 7 separate proficiency testing surveys conducted between 2009 and 2013. Results. - The samples included 13 consensus-amplified tissue cores, 53 consensus-nonamplified cores, and 4 cores that did not reach consensus for FISH and/or brightfield ISH. There were 2552 individual responses for FISH and 1871 individual responses for brightfield ISH. Consensus response rates were comparable for FISH (2474 of 2524; 98.0%) and brightfield ISH (2135 of 2189; 97.5%). The FISH analysis yielded an average HER2 copy number per cell that was significantly higher (by 2.86; P=.02) compared with brightfield ISH for amplified cores. For nonamplified cores, FISH yielded slightly, but not significantly, higher (by 0.17; P = .10) HER2 copy numbers per cell. There was no significant difference in the average HER2 to control ratio for either consensusamplified or consensus-nonamplified cores. Participants reported "unable to analyze" more frequently for brightfield ISH (244 of 2453; 9.9%) than they did for FISH (160 of 2684; 6.0%). Conclusions. - Our study indicates a high concordance rate in proficiency testing surveys, with some significant differences noted in the technical performance of these assays. In borderline cases, updated American Society of Clinical Oncology/College of American Pathologists cutoff thresholds that place greater emphasis on HER2 copy number per cell could accentuate those differences between FISH and brightfield ISH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1254-1259
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
Volume142
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 College of American Pathologists. All rights reserved.

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