HER-2 Amplification in Uterine Serous Carcinoma and Serous Endometrial Intraepithelial Carcinoma

Natalie Banet, Maryam Shahi, Denise Batista, Raluca Yonescu, Edward Tanner, Amanda N. Fader, Ashley Cimino-Mathews

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) targeted therapy shows promising results in HER-2-positive uterine serous carcinoma (USC). HER-2 scoring criteria for USC and its associated noninvasive lesion, serous endometrial intraepithelial carcinoma (SEIC), are not well-established. Here, we compare the breast and gastric (GI) HER-2 immunohistochemistry (IHC) scoring criteria for HER-2 with HER-2/neu fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in 68 tumors (17 USC with SEIC, 30 USC, 18 SEIC, 3 metastatic USC). The majority (97%) of lesions displayed intratumoral HER-2 IHC heterogeneity. Breast or GI IHC scoring criteria were performed equivalently. The breast and GI IHC criteria classified 51% and 47% USC as HER-2 negative (IHC 0/1+), 40% and 45% as equivocal (IHC 2+), and 9% each as HER-2 positive (IHC 3+). A quarter of USC classified as HER-2 negative or positive with the breast (25%, n=7/28) or GI IHC criteria (23%, n=6/26) was discordant by FISH. Specifically, 13% to 14% of IHC 0/1+ USC were FISH amplified; 50% of IHC 3+ USC were FISH negative. The majority (77% to 83%) of SEIC were HER-2 IHC 0/1+, and no SEIC was HER-2 IHC 3+. A minority (4% to 7%) of IHC 0/1+ SEIC were FISH positive. Discordant HER-2 status was observed between half (47%,bn=7/15) of synchronous SEIC and USC. In conclusion, USC displays HER-2 intratumoral heterogeneity, a high IHC/FISH discordance rate, and variation in HER-2 status between the SEIC and invasive components. Caution is required when evaluating HER-2 in small biopsies, which should be repeated on excisions. Both IHC and FISH should be performed on USC until clinical trials correlate HER-2 status with clinical response to HER-2-targeted therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)708-715
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • HER-2
  • serous endometrial intraepithelial carcinoma
  • uterine serous carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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