Aim: To determine the HER2 status of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) of the breast. The increased prevalence of HER2 amplification and overexpression in DCIS is considered to be maintained in the intraductal component of IDC; however, HER2 amplification and overexpression are detected much less in IDC.
Methods and results: Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were performed to detect HER2 in 270 IDCs with an intraductal component and in 50 pure DCIS samples; IHC was also performed in 116 metastatic nodes. HER2 was found to be amplified in 77 cases (28.5%) and overexpressed in 79 (29.3%) of the 270 IDCs. HER2 amplification was similar between intraductal and invasive components of the same tumour. The concordance for HER2 status between invasive and intraductal components of individual tumours was 98.5% and 99.3% by FISH and IHC, respectively. HER2 was amplified in 25 (50%) of the 50 pure DCIS samples. HER2 overexpression in metastatic nodes resembled the HER2 status in the primary tumour for 108 (93.1%) of 116 cases (kappa =0.831).
Conclusion: Our study indicates that the intraductal component of IDC may differ biologically when compared with pure DCIS. HER2 appears to lack a critical role in the progression from DCIS to IDC and HER2 status is maintained in metastatic lesions.