Digital Image Analysis Improves the Quality of Subjective HER-2 Expression Scoring in Breast Cancer

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AimTo compare HER-2 scoring reproducibility by subjective and digital image analysis (DIA) scores with each other and with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assessed HER-2 amplification.MethodsHerceptest-stained Tissue Micro Arrays of 219 breast carcinomas were scored (DAKO protocol) by 3 observers (both independent and as consensus), scored by DIA and both scores were compared with FISH amplification results.ResultsInterobserver subjective scores reproducibility was good (κ 0.82 to 0.86) but therapeutically important 3+/2+discrepancies occurred in 11% to 16% of all 3+ cases. Subjective scores and FISH results differed considerably. Consensus scores by 3 pathologists correlated better with FISH, reducing the number of both Immunohistochemical (IHC) negative/FISH positives and IHC 3+/FISH negatives. DIA scores were well reproducible and correlated better with FISH amplification than did subjective scores.ConclusionsDIA scores were comparable with consensus scores between 3 expert pathologists, were very well reproducible and performed better in classifying IHC 3+/FISH+ cases than did subjective scores.

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