HER-2/neu status of the primary breast cancer (PBC) is determined by immunohistochemistry and fluorescent in situ hybridization. Because of a variety of technical factors, however, the PBC may not accurately reflect the metastatic tumor in terms of HER-2/neu status. Recently published guidelines recommend that tumors be defined as HER-2/neu positive if 30% or more of the cells are 3+. Circulating levels of the HER-2 extracellular domain can be measured in serum using a test cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration, and increased serum HER-2/neu levels to above 15 ng/ml can reflect tumor progression. Studies comparing tissue HER-2/neu status of the PBC and HER-2/neu levels above 15 ng/ml in metastatic breast cancer patients are also reviewed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research