Identification of HER-2/neu oncogene amplification by fluorescence in situ hybridization in stage I endometrial carcinoma

Mod Pathol. 1997 Aug;10(8):823-31.


Prognostic factors capable of detecting potential for aggressive disease in early stage endometrial cancer might be useful in selecting patients for early adjuvant therapy. Sixty-three patients with surgical Stage I endometrial carcinoma treated by hysterectomy with a mean follow-up of 55 months were evaluated for tumor type, grade, depth of myometrial invasion, presence of vascular invasion, DNA ploidy, and HER-2/neu overexpression by immunohistochemical techniques. These results were compared with HER-2/neu gene amplifications evaluated by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and their ability to predict disease survival. For FISH, sections 5 microns thick of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues were processed using the Oncor Chromosome In Situ Hybridization System. Automated hybridization using the Ventana Gen was performed with the Oncor unique sequence digoxigenin-labeled HER-2/neu DNA probe. Gene copy numbers were evaluated using the Zeiss Axioskop50 fluorescence microscope. HER-2/neu amplification was noted in 24 (38%) of 63 cases. By multivariate analysis, only aneuploidy (P = .04) and HER-2/neu amplification by FISH (P = .04) independently correlated with survival. Although we saw a relationship between HER-2/neu protein expression and gene amplification, this trend did not achieve statistical significance. HER-2/neu oncogene amplification can be assessed using automated FISH on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue. HER-2/ neu amplification predicts poor outcome in Stage I endometrial cancer. HER-2/neu amplification status has potential use in the identification of patients with high risk of disease recurrence who might benefit from intensified therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aneuploidy
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Endometrial Neoplasms / mortality
  • Female
  • Gene Amplification*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Prognosis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism
  • Survival Rate


  • Receptor, ErbB-2