Evaluation of real-time immunohistochemistry and interaction map as an alternative objective assessment of HER2 expression in human breast cancer tissue

Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2013 Dec;21(6):497-505. doi: 10.1097/PAI.0b013e318281162d.


Immunohistochemical study (IHC) is a critical tool in the clinical diagnosis of breast cancer. One common assessment is the expression level of the HER2 receptor in breast cancer tissue samples with the aim of stratifying patients for applicability of the therapeutic antibody Herceptin. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether a novel assay, real-time IHC combined with Interaction Map analysis, offers the possibility of objective assessment of HER2 expression. Interaction Map presents real-time interaction data as a collection of peaks on a surface, and it was performed on 20 patient tissue samples previously scored for HER2 expression. The result shows that the relative weight of the peaks in the maps contains novel information that could discriminate between high and low HER2 expression in an operator-independent manner (P<0.001). We conclude that the real-time IHC assay has a promising potential to complement conventional IHC and may improve the precision in the future clinical diagnostics of breast cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Heterografts
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Immunohistochemistry / statistics & numerical data*
  • Kinetics
  • Mice
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics*
  • Research Design
  • Time Factors
  • Trastuzumab


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Trastuzumab