Evaluation of Her2/neu status in carcinomas with amplified chromosome 17 centromere locus

Megan L. Troxell, Charles D. Bangs, Helen J. Lawce, Ilana B. Galperin, Daniel Baiyee, Robert B. West, Susan B. Olson, Athena M. Cherry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Accurate assessment of Her-2/neu (erb-b2) status in breast carcinoma is essential for therapy planning. Clinical assays are targeted at protein overexpression (immunohistochemical analysis) or gene amplification (fluorescence in situ hybridization [FISH]). Cases with aberrant FISH signal patterns are problematic and may lead to underreporting of Her-2/neu amplification. We performed FISH with additional chromosome 17 probes, SMS (Smith-Magenis syndrome critical region) and RARA (retinoic acid receptor), on 7 cases with unusual Her-2/CEP17 (chromosome 17 centromere control probe) results to assess whether different measurements of chromosome 17 copy number might clarify the Her-2/neu amplicon status. Although the Her-2/CEP17 ratio scores were within normal range (<2.0), the Her-2/SMS or Her-2/RARA ratio revealed amplification of Her-2/neu in 5 of 7 cases. Immunohistochemical analysis demonstrated Her-2/neu protein overexpression in the same 5 cases only. We describe novel application of SMS/RARA FISH probes for assessing cases with complex Her-2/CEP17 FISH patterns. Such additional data, correlated with immunohistochemical analysis, may help guide therapy in patients with breast carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-716
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican journal of clinical pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Breast carcinoma
  • CEP17
  • FISH
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization
  • Her-2/neu
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • RARA
  • Retinoic acid receptor
  • Smith-Magenis syndrome
  • erb-b2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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