Microwave Enhancement of CISH for HER2 Oncogene

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We describe a modification to the prescribed procedure for the Zymed Spot-Light HER2 chromogenic in situ hybridization kit (84-0146, Zymed Laboratories, San Francisco, CA) by substituting the heat pretreatment step with MW irradiation in citrate buffer 10 mmol/L at pH 6.0 at 98°C for 10 minutes and repeating the procedure afterenzyme digestion with time and temperature controlled in the Mega T/T oven (Milestone s.r.l., Sorisole, Italy). The subsequent procedure leading up to hybridized was as per manufacturer's instructions. Invasive breast carcinoma previously scored by immunohistochemistry for HER2, comprising 18 cases of 3+, 18 cases of 2+, and 12 cases of 1+, were examined by chromogenic in situ hybridization using this modified procedure, with a parallel set of cases examined by the prescribed Zymed method. The introduction of the “MW retrieval” steps resulted in consistently a greater number of hybridization signals in amplified tumor cells with benign epithelial cells and lymphocytes displaying 2 clear dots compared with the weaker and less consistent signals obtained with the standard procedure. MW exposed sections showed larger numbers of large and small clusters that often allowed identification of amplified tumors without having to count single dots with crisp staining and absence of background precipitation.

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