Purpose: To evaluate concordance between local and central laboratory HER2 testing results in patients from the North Central Cancer Treatment Group (NCCTG) N9831 adjuvant trial of trastuzumab. Patients and Methods: NCCTG N9831 is a randomized, phase III clinical trial comparing three drug regimens: doxorubicin/ cyclophosphamide followed by paclitaxel with trastuzumab added concurrently, sequentially, or not at all as adjuvant therapy for women with HER2-positive resected breast cancer. Originally, patients were eligible if their tumors were HER2 positive by either local laboratory immunohistochemistry (IHC) or fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). A protocol modification in 2002 made central laboratory testing mandatory, with additional testing of discordant cases conducted by a reference laboratory. Concordance between local and central laboratory, and level of agreement between central and reference laboratory HER2 findings in discordant cases were examined. Results: HER2 positivity was confirmed in 85.8% of 2, 535 patients registered since March 2002. When local and central evaluation used the same methodology, concordance was 88.1% for FISH and 81.6% for a diagnostic test for presence of the HER2 protein. Among discordant cases examined at the reference laboratory, there was 94.3% agreement for IHC (0, 1+, 2+) and 95.2% agreement for FISH (not gene amplified). Conclusion: There was a high degree of discordance between local and central testing for IHC and FISH, but a high degree of agreement between central and reference laboratories. These findings support the importance of using high-volume, experienced laboratories for HER2 testing to improve the process of selecting patients likely to benefit from trastuzumab therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research