Category Archives: blog

Surveying Genomic Landscapes in the Clinical Laboratory: DNA Views of Tumor Terrain

A web search for the term ‘genomic landscapes’ brings up a surprising number of publications from esteemed journals such as Cell, Science, and Nature Genetics. At first glance it would seem that the words ‘genomic’ and ‘landscape’ do not belong together. However, review of the many ‘genomic landscape’ publications from the past decade reveals a…
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Guidelines to the Galaxy of HER2 Testing in GEA Cancers

Say the words “HER2 gene amplification” and what immediately comes to mind is breast cancer. But did you know other cancers, including those of the stomach and esophagus (collectively called gastroesophagel adenocarinoma or GEA) can have too many (> 6) copies of the HER2 gene? That’s right, an estimated 20% of GEA cancers harbor an…
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FISHing for HER2 Stability on a Turbulent Chromosome 17

Have you ever wondered why so many high-risk breast cancer cases have HER2 equivocal results by FISH? That’s right, in an estimated 20% of the over 200,000 breast cancers diagnosed in the US every year, the FISH classification of the tumor’s HER2 gene copy number is reported as “EQUIVOCAL.” For clinicians trying to make decisions…
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Equivocal is Not a Genomic Subtype

Per NCCN guidelines, all newly diagnosed, recurrent, and metastatic breast cancers are evaluated for HER2 positivity. Tumors highly amplified for HER2 receptor protein expression are predicted to respond to anti-HER2 therapies. Thus, accurate reporting of the HER2 genomic subtype of each and every breast cancer is of critical importance for treatment planning and the patient’s…
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