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Dual-colour HER2/chromosome 17 chromogenic in situ hybridisation enables accurate assessment of HER2 genomic status in ovarian tumours
  1. Benedict Yan1,
  2. Shoa Nian Choo1,
  3. Patricia Mulyadi1,
  4. Supriya Srivastava2,
  5. Chee Wee Ong2,
  6. Kol Jia Yong2,
  7. Thomas Putti1,
  8. Manuel Salto-Tellez2,3,
  9. Gkeok Stzuan Diana Lim1
  1. 1Department of Pathology, National University Health System and National University of Singapore, Singapore
  2. 2Cancer Science Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  3. 3Centre for Cancer Research and Cell Biology, Queen's University Belfast, Belfast, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gkeok Stzuan Diana Lim, Department of Pathology, National University Health System and National University of Singapore, 5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119074, Singapore; diana_gz_lim{at}


Background Ovarian cancer is a leading cause of gynaecological cancer-related morbidity and mortality. There has been increasing interest in the potential utility of anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (anti-HER2) agents in the treatment of this disease, with the attendant need to identify suitable predictive biomarkers of response to treatment.

Aims/methods The authors studied the prevalence of HER2 genomic amplification and overexpression in 85 ovarian tumours in the local patient cohort of this study, as well as the concordance rate between immunohistochemistry, fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) and a dual-colour HER2/chromosome 17 centromere chromogenic in situ hybridisation (CISH) assay.

Results The authors identified HER2 genomic amplification and protein overexpression in 35.3% (6/17) and 29.4% (5/17), respectively, of primary ovarian mucinous carcinomas. No other cancer subtypes displayed HER2 amplification or protein overexpression. The authors also found a perfect concordance between FISH and dual-colour CISH analysis (κ coefficient 1.0, p<0.001).

Conclusion The results of this study support existing reports that HER2 genomic amplification and protein overexpression are predominantly found in primary ovarian mucinous carcinomas. Given the perfect concordance between the FISH and dual-colour CISH assays and the advantages of CISH over FISH analysis, future clinical trials investigating the use of anti-HER2 therapeutics in ovarian carcinomas should incorporate dual-colour CISH as part of the HER2 status assessment algorithm.

  • Ovarian carcinoma
  • mucinous
  • HER2
  • fluorescent in situ hybridisation
  • brightfield
  • dual-colour
  • chromogenic in situ hybridisation
  • molecular pathology
  • molecular oncology
  • cancer research
  • cancer
  • cervical cancer
  • gynaecological pathology
  • gastrointestinal disease
  • molecular genetics
  • colon
  • haematopathology
  • ovarian tumour
  • endometrium

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  • Competing interests MS-T is a member of the Key Opinion Leaders Group of Ventana-Roche.

  • Ethics approval National University of Singapore Institutional Review Board.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.