Experts' opinion: Recommendations for retesting breast cancer metastases for HER2 and hormone receptor status

Breast. 2013 Apr;22(2):200-202. doi: 10.1016/j.breast.2012.12.004. Epub 2013 Jan 24.


The human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) and hormone receptor status of recurrent breast cancer may change between the tumor and metastases from negative to positive and vice versa, potentially affecting the treatment regimen. Retesting of metastases may therefore be crucial to allow appropriate selection of patients for whom targeted therapy is indicated; however, retesting is not routinely performed. This article recommends that metastases be retested for HER2 and hormone receptor status and provides practical guidance on when and how to retest, as agreed by a panel of expert pathologists with extensive experience of HER2 and hormone receptor testing.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy, Fine-Needle
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / metabolism*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Progesterone / metabolism*


  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Receptors, Progesterone
  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • Receptor, ErbB-2