Purpose: Triple (ER-, PR-, HER2-) negative breast carcinoma lack targeted therapies, making this group of tumors difficult to treat. By definition, the lack of HER2 expression means a case scoring 0 or 1+ after immunophenotypical analysis and makes the patients avoiding therapeutical chances with anti-HER2 inhibitors. We sought to recruit from a group of triple negative breast carcinoma, patients eligible for effective personalized targeted therapy with anti-HER therapies on the basis of their HER2 gene status. Methods: 135 patients diagnosed with IHC triple negative breast carcinoma were studied. Whole tissue sections were used for in situ hybridization analysis. Results: 8/100 (8 %) of ductal-type triple negative breast carcinoma presented Her-2/neu gene amplification versus 2/35 (5.7 %) non-ductal triple negative breast carcinoma. Three cases showed a ratio 2.5. One case showed Her-2/neu heterogeneous gene amplification, ratio 2.3. The other six showed from 7 to 8 absolute Her-2/neu gene copy number. Two cases staged pT1c, and eight cases staged pT2. Eight cases graded G3 and two cases G2. Conclusion: (1) Eight percentage of ductal and 5.7 % non-ductal-type triple negative breast carcinoma present Her-2/neu gene amplification, (2) the standard diagnostic flowchart "do not FISH in 0-1+ (HER2-) breast carcinoma" should be replaced by "do FISH in triple (ER-, PR-, HER2-) negative breast carcinoma," to avoid loss of therapeutical chances in a cohort of such a patients, (3) we demonstrated the identification of a small but significant subset of patients targetable with anti-HER2 inhibitors, giving patients affected by (ex)triple negative breast carcinoma new personalized therapeutical chances.
- Her-2/neu gene amplification
- In situ hybridization
- Triple negative breast carcinoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research