Volume 75 - 2012 - Fasc.1 - Expert Point of View
Analysis of HER2 expression and gene amplification in adenocarcinoma of the stomach and the gastro-oesophageal junction : rationale for the Belgian way of working
The Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 (HER2) has been established as a key player in the development of certain human tumors. ToGA trial has demonstrated that the addition of the monoclonal antibody blocking HER2 receptor, trastuzumab (Herceptin®), to chemotherapy significantly improves overall survival of patients with HER2-positive advanced or metastatic adenocarcinoma of the stomach or gastro-oesophageal junction. Therefore, it is essential that pathologists guarantee an accurate testing of HER2 status in these tumours. Following the internation- al recommendations and the Belgian criteria for reimbursement of trastuzumab, a consortium of expert pathologists (Belgian Working Group Molecular Pathology) proposes an adaptation of the international guidelines in order to develop strategies for optimal performance, interpretation and reporting assays. (Acta gastroenterol. belg., 2012, 75, 9-13).