Breast Cancer: Targets and Therapy (Aug 2023)

Invasive Breast Cancer with HER2 ≥4.0 and <6.0: Risk Classification and Molecular Typing by a 21-Gene Expression Assay and MammaPrint Plus BluePrint Testing

  • Bai Q,
  • Lv H,
  • Bao L,
  • Yang Y,
  • Zhang X,
  • Chang H,
  • Xue T,
  • Ren M,
  • Zhu X,
  • Zhou X,
  • Yang W

Journal volume & issue
Vol. Volume 15
pp. 563 – 575


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Qianming Bai,1– 3,* Hong Lv,1– 3,* Longlong Bao,1– 3,* Yu Yang,1– 3 Xin Zhang,4 Heng Chang,1– 3 Tian Xue,1– 3 Min Ren,1– 3 Xiaoli Zhu,1– 3 Xiaoyan Zhou,1– 3,* Wentao Yang1– 3,* 1Department of Pathology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, 200032, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, People’s Republic of China; 3Institute of Pathology, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, People’s Republic of China; 4Department of Pathology, Fudan University Zhongshan Hospital, Shanghai, 200032, People’s Republic of China*These authors contributed equally to this workCorrespondence: Wentao Yang; Xiaoyan Zhou, Department of Pathology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Centre, 270 Dong’an Road, Shanghai, 200032, People’s Republic of China, Tel +86-18017312353 ; +86-18017312385, Email [email protected]; [email protected]: To investigate the HER2 status and clinicopathological features in invasive breast cancer with HER2 ≥ 4.0 and < 6.0, which has always been controversial.Methods: Forty breast cancer cases with HER2 ≥ 4.0 and < 6.0 by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) were collected and classified into two groups based on the HRE2/CEP17 ratio (Group A: ≥ 2.0, n=22; Group B: < 2.0, n=18). Clinicopathological characteristics, HER2 status, risk classification, and molecular typing were further analyzed and compared by 21-Gene expression assay and MammaPrint plus BluePrint test.Results: The majority of cases in both groups were invasive carcinoma (NOS), with histological grade II, HR+, Ki-67 ≥ 20%, HER2 2+, and a high risk of recurrence, although younger patients and lymph node metastases were more common in Group A. Surprisingly, all HR+ breast cancers in both groups were classified as luminal-type, HR− cases were all basal-type or unknown, and the index of HER2 in all cases was < 0.000 using the BluePrint test, which indicated that HER2 status should be negative. Furthermore, the level of HER2 mRNA expression in all cases of both groups was < 10.7, which was defined as HER2 negative by the 21-Gene expression assay. In addition, 10 patients of Group A received anti-HER2 neoadjuvant therapy; only one patient with HR- achieved Grade 5 based on the Miller-Payne system, whereas none of the patients achieved pathological complete response (pCR) based on the Residual Cancer Burden system.Conclusion: Group A breast cancer, which has always been unquestionably diagnosed as HER2 amplification, was more likely to be HER2 negative and derived less benefit from anti-HER2 neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Group A breast cancer should be distinguished from classical HER2-positive breast cancers when assessing HER2 FISH, and a larger cohort of Group A patients should be included in further studies.Graphical Abstract: Keywords: breast cancer, HER2, FISH, 21-gene expression assay, MammaPrint plus BluePrint