Journal of Pathology and Translational Medicine (2021-01-01)

Automated immunohistochemical assessment ability to evaluate estrogen and progesterone receptor status compared with quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in breast carcinoma patients

  • Taesung Jeon,
  • Aeree Kim,
  • Chungyeul Kim

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 55, no. 1
pp. 33 – 42


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Background This study aimed to investigate the capability of an automated immunohistochemical (IHC) evaluation of hormonal receptor status in breast cancer patients compared to a well-validated quantitative reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) method. Methods This study included 93 invasive breast carcinoma cases that had both standard IHC assay and Oncotype Dx assay results. The same paraffin blocks on which Oncotype Dx assay had been performed were selected. Estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) receptor status were evaluated through IHC stains using SP1 monoclonal antibody for ER, and 1E2 monoclonal antibody for PR. All ER and PR immunostained slides were scanned, and invasive tumor areas were marked. Using the Quant-Center image analyzer provided by 3DHISTECH, IHC staining of hormone receptors was measured and converted to histochemical scores (H scores). Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated between Oncotype Dx hormone receptor scores and H scores, and between Oncotype Dx scores and Allred scores. Results H scores measured by an automated imaging system showed high concordance with RT-qPCR scores. ER concordance was 98.9% (92/93), and PR concordance was 91.4% (85/93). The correlation magnitude between automated H scores and RT-qPCR scores was high and comparable to those of Allred scores (for ER, 0.51 vs. 0.37 [p = .121], for PR, 0.70 vs. 0.72 [p = .39]). Conclusions Automated H scores showed a high concordance with quantitative mRNA expression levels measured by RT-qPCR.