J Clin Pathol 57:1140-1144 doi:10.1136/jcp.2003.014910
  • Original article

Use of tissue microarray for interlaboratory validation of HER2 immunocytochemical and FISH testing

  1. E Kay1,
  2. A O’Grady1,
  3. J M Morgan2,
  4. S Wozniak2,
  5. B Jasani2
  1. 1Department of Pathology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland
  2. 2Department of Histopathology, University Hospital of Wales and College of Medicine, Cardiff CF4 4XN, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor E Kay
 Department of Pathology, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin 9, Ireland;
  • Accepted 11 May 2004


Aims: To evaluate the use of tissue microarray (TMA) technology as a validation tool for HER2 testing by both immunocytochemistry (ICC) and fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) in the diagnostic setting.

Methods: TMA constructs from 57 cases of breast cancer were evaluated for HER2 (by ICC and FISH) by two centres. The results were compared.

Results: There was a high level of concordance for both ICC and FISH. In five “discrepant” cases only three would have had a potential impact on patient management.

Conclusions: Validation of HER2 analysis in the clinical setting by ICC and FISH is essential. The use of TMAs provides for an economy of scale and would be practical in the setting of interlaboratory and intralaboratory validation. It is suggested that routine HER2 ICC and FISH should continue to be performed in laboratories on whole sections. Following this, TMAs would be constructed for all cases of breast cancer. ICC and FISH would be performed on these to validate the results. The TMAs would be available for circulation to other centres for validation purposes. The standardisation of testing between centres, the potential difficulty of minimum case numbers, and the workload issues surrounding validation would all be facilitated by this approach.