Guidelines Developed for HER2 Testing in Gastroesophageal Cancer

Tumor specimens should be assessed for HER2 status before initiation of HER2-targeted therapy
Tumor specimens should be assessed for HER2 status before initiation of HER2-targeted therapy

(HealthDay News) — In guidelines published online Nov. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, recommendations are presented for optimal HER2 testing in patients with advanced gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (GEA).

Angela N. Bartley, M.D., from St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., and colleagues established an evidence-based guideline for HER2 testing in patients with GEA. The College of American Pathologists, American Society for Clinical Pathology, and the American Society of Clinical Oncology convened an expert panel that reviewed the literature to develop guidelines for optimal HER2 testing.

The panel proposed 11 recommendations, with strong consensus. These include recommendations that tumor specimens from all patients with advanced GEA be assessed for HER2 status before HER2-targeted therapy initiation. Combination chemotherapy and a HER2-targeted agent should be offered as initial therapy for all patients with HER2-positive advanced GEA. Guidelines are provided for pathologists for morphologic selection of neoplastic tissue, testing algorithms, scoring methods, interpretation and reporting of results, and laboratory quality assurance.

"This guideline provides specific recommendations for assessment of HER2 in patients with advanced GEA while addressing pertinent technical issues and clinical implications of the results," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

Full Text