Updated recommendations from the Canadian National consensus meeting on HER2/neu testing in breast cancer

Wedad Hanna, Frances P O’Malley, P Barnes, R Berendt, L Gaboury, A Magliocco, N Pettigrew, S Robertson, S Sengupta, B Têtu, T Thomson


The human epidermal growth factor-2 (HER2/neu) gene is amplified in approximately 18 to 20% of breast cancers1-4 and is the primary mechanism for HER2 protein overexpression.5 HER2 overexpression is predictive of response to particular therapies including Herceptin (trastuzumab) treatment in the metastatic and adjuvant settings.1,6-11

Recognizing the importance of accurate HER2/neu status assessment, pathologists from across Canada gathered together to share local testing experiences and insights. The meeting was chaired by Drs. Wedad Hanna and Frances P. O’Malley who facilitated the collaboration to create a Canadian consensus statement for HER2 testing procedures.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the College of American Pathologists (CAP) convened an Expert Panel to develop a guideline to improve the accuracy of HER2 testing in invasive breast cancer. These ASCO/CAP Guidelines were reviewed by the panel of Canadian pathologists. The data from this review and the experience of the panel members were incorporated to create the current update of the Canadian HER2 testing guidelines and algorithm presented below.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.v14i4.165

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)