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      Immunohistochemistry profiles of breast ductal carcinoma: factor analysis of digital image analysis data

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          Abstract

          Background

          Molecular studies of breast cancer revealed biological heterogeneity of the disease and opened new perspectives for personalized therapy. While multiple gene expression-based systems have been developed, current clinical practice is largely based upon conventional clinical and pathologic criteria. This gap may be filled by development of combined multi-IHC indices to characterize biological and clinical behaviour of the tumours. Digital image analysis (DA) with multivariate statistics of the data opens new opportunities in this field.

          Methods

          Tissue microarrays of 109 patients with breast ductal carcinoma were stained for a set of 10 IHC markers (ER, PR, HER2, Ki67, AR, BCL2, HIF-1α, SATB1, p53, and p16). Aperio imaging platform with the Genie, Nuclear and Membrane algorithms were used for the DA. Factor analysis of the DA data was performed in the whole group and hormone receptor (HR) positive subgroup of the patients (n = 85).

          Results

          Major factor potentially reflecting aggressive disease behaviour (i-Grade) was extracted, characterized by opposite loadings of ER/PR/AR/BCL2 and Ki67/HIF-1α. The i-Grade factor scores revealed bimodal distribution and were strongly associated with higher Nottingham histological grade (G) and more aggressive intrinsic subtypes. In HR-positive tumours, the aggressiveness of the tumour was best defined by positive Ki67 and negative ER loadings. High Ki67/ER factor scores were strongly associated with the higher G and Luminal B types, but also were detected in a set of G1 and Luminal A cases, potentially indicating high risk patients in these categories. Inverse relation between HER2 and PR expression was found in the HR-positive tumours pointing at differential information conveyed by the ER and PR expression. SATB1 along with HIF-1α reflected the second major factor of variation in our patients; in the HR-positive group they were inversely associated with the HR and BCL2 expression and represented the major factor of variation. Finally, we confirmed high expression levels of p16 in Triple-negative tumours.

          Conclusion

          Factor analysis of multiple IHC biomarkers measured by automated DA is an efficient exploratory tool clarifying complex interdependencies in the breast ductal carcinoma IHC profiles and informative value of single IHC markers. Integrated IHC indices may provide additional risk stratifications for the currently used grading systems and prove to be useful in clinical outcome studies.

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          The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/1512077125668949

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          Most cited references 40

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          Strategies for subtypes—dealing with the diversity of breast cancer: highlights of the St Gallen International Expert Consensus on the Primary Therapy of Early Breast Cancer 2011

          The 12th St Gallen International Breast Cancer Conference (2011) Expert Panel adopted a new approach to the classification of patients for therapeutic purposes based on the recognition of intrinsic biological subtypes within the breast cancer spectrum. For practical purposes, these subtypes may be approximated using clinicopathological rather than gene expression array criteria. In general, systemic therapy recommendations follow the subtype classification. Thus, ‘Luminal A’ disease generally requires only endocrine therapy, which also forms part of the treatment of the ‘Luminal B’ subtype. Chemotherapy is considered indicated for most patients with ‘Luminal B', ‘Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 (HER2) positive’, and ‘Triple negative (ductal)’ disease, with the addition of trastuzumab in ‘HER2 positive’ disease. Progress was also noted in defining better tolerated local therapies in selected cases without loss of efficacy, such as accelerated radiation therapy and the omission of axillary dissection under defined circumstances. Broad treatment recommendations are presented, recognizing that detailed treatment decisions need to consider disease extent, host factors, patient preferences, and social and economic constraints.
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            Pathological prognostic factors in breast cancer. I. The value of histological grade in breast cancer: experience from a large study with long-term follow-up.

            Morphological assessment of the degree of differentiation has been shown in numerous studies to provide useful prognostic information in breast cancer, but until recently histological grading has not been accepted as a routine procedure, mainly because of perceived problems with reproducibility and consistency. In the Nottingham/Tenovus Primary Breast Cancer Study the most commonly used method, described by Bloom & Richardson, has been modified in order to make the criteria more objective. The revised technique involves semiquantitative evaluation of three morphological features--the percentage of tubule formation, the degree of nuclear pleomorphism and an accurate mitotic count using a defined field area. A numerical scoring system is used and the overall grade is derived from a summation of individual scores for the three variables: three grades of differentiation are used. Since 1973, over 2200 patients with primary operable breast cancer have been entered into a study of multiple prognostic factors. Histological grade, assessed in 1831 patients, shows a very strong correlation with prognosis; patients with grade I tumours have a significantly better survival than those with grade II and III tumours (P less than 0.0001). These results demonstrate that this method for histological grading provides important prognostic information and, if the grading protocol is followed consistently, reproducible results can be obtained. Histological grade forms part of the multifactorial Nottingham prognostic index, together with tumour size and lymph node stage, which is used to stratify individual patients for appropriate therapy.
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              American Society of Clinical Oncology/College of American Pathologists guideline recommendations for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 testing in breast cancer.

              To develop a guideline to improve the accuracy of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2(HER2) testing in invasive breast cancer and its utility as a predictive marker. The American Society of Clinical Oncology and the College of American Pathologists convened an expert panel, which conducted a systematic review of the literature and developed recommendations for optimal HER2 testing performance. The guideline was reviewed by selected experts and approved by the board of directors for both organizations. Approximately 20% of current HER2 testing may be inaccurate. When carefully validated testing is performed, available data do not clearly demonstrate the superiority of either immunohistochemistry(IHC) or in situ hybridization (ISH) as a predictor of benefit from anti-HER2 therapy. The panel recommends that HER2 status should be determined for all invasive breast cancer. A testing algorithm that relies on accurate, reproducible assay performance, including newly available types of brightfield ISH, is proposed. Elements to reliably reduce assay variation (for example, specimen handling, assay exclusion, and reporting criteria) are specified. An algorithm defining positive, equivocal, and negative values for both HER2 protein expression and gene amplification is recommended: a positive HER2 result is IHC staining of 3 + (uniform, intense membrane staining of 30% of invasive tumor cells), a fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) result of more than six HER2 gene copies per nucleus or a FISH ratio (HER2 gene signals to chromosome 17 signals) of more than 2.2; a negative result is an IHC staining of 0 or 1 +, a FISH result of less than 4.0 HER2 gene copies per nucleus, or FISH ratio of less than 1.8. Equivocal results require additional action for final determination. It is recommended that to perform HER2 testing, laboratories show 95% concordance with another validated test for positive and negative assay values. The panel strongly recommends validation of laboratory assay or modifications, use of standardized operating procedures, and compliance with new testing criteria to be monitored with the use of stringent laboratory accreditation standards, proficiency testing, and competency assessment. The panel recommends that HER2 testing be done in a CAP-accredited laboratory or in a laboratory that meets the accreditation and proficiency testing requirements set out by this document.
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                Author and article information

                Affiliations
                [1 ]National Center of Pathology, affiliate of Vilnius University Hospital Santariskiu Clinics, P.Baublio 5, LT-08406 Vilnius, Lithuania
                [2 ]Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius University, M.K.Ciurlionio 21, LT-03101 Vilnius, Lithuania
                [3 ]Institute of Oncology, Vilnius University, Santariskiu 1, LT-08660 Vilnius, Lithuania
                [4 ]Faculty of Natural Sciences, Vilnius University, M.K.Ciurlionio 21, LT-03101 Vilnius, Lithuania
                Contributors
                Journal
                Diagn Pathol
                Diagn Pathol
                Diagnostic Pathology
                BioMed Central
                1746-1596
                2012
                16 March 2012
                : 7
                : 27
                3319425
                1746-1596-7-27
                22424533
                10.1186/1746-1596-7-27
                Copyright ©2012 Laurinavicius et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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                Research

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