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Her2 amplification distinguishes a subset of non-muscle-invasive bladder cancers with a high risk of progression

Abstract

Background Several studies have employed immunohistochemistry to detect Her2/neu overexpression in urothelial carcinomas, yielding a tremendous range of positive expression rates. Few studies have examined Her2 status in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) using fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH).

Aim To evaluate Her2 amplification in NMIBC (Ta/T1), to correlate the findings with recurrence and progression, and compare the Her2 status between primary and progressive tumours.

Methods FISH and immunohistochemistry for Her2/neu were performed on tissue arrays consisting of 36 papillary urothelial neoplasms of low malignant potential (PUNLMPs), 190 low grade urothelial carcinomas (LG-UCs) and 178 high grade urothelial carcinomas (HG-UCs). 32 cases with specimens of both primary and progressive tumours (from Ta/T1 to T2–4) were included for comparative analyses.

Results 16 HG-UCs (9.0%) showed Her2 gene amplification while none of the PUNLMPs and LG-UCs showed this aberration. There was 100% concordance in the status of Her2 amplification between primary and progressive lesions. Immunohistochemistry and FISH results were in closest agreement when overexpression was defined as 50% of tumour cells showing immunoreactivity. The cumulative incidences of recurrence and progression in Her2-amplified HG-UC were significantly higher than in those without amplification.

Conclusions A subset of high-grade NMIBCs contain Her2 amplification and are associated with markedly aggressive behaviour. Her2 diagnostics are valuable for distinguishing patients who require diligent surveillance and would potentially benefit from anti-Her2 therapies.

  • Histopathology
  • Tumour Markers
  • Urinary Tract Tumours

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