BMC Cancer. 2023 Jan 25;23(1):84. doi: 10.1186/s12885-023-10531-z.
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer patients of American Society of Clinical Oncology and the College of American Pathologists (ASCO/CAP) Group 2 were all HER2-negative according to the 2018 guideline, not HER2-positive as defined in the 2013 guideline.
METHODS: We aims to elucidate the unique clinicopathological features of ASCO/CAP Group 2 patients by comparing with classic HER2-nonamplified cancers, and reveal the efficacy of the former to anti-HER2 therapy. The clinicopathological features, treatment and prognosis information of 99 patients between 2014 and 2018 were collected. HER2 status was re-defined using the updated recommendations.
RESULTS: Of the 99 ASCO/CAP Group 2 tumors, 25.5% (25/99) tumors were immunohistochemical (IHC) 0/1+ and 74.7% (74/99) tumors were IHC 2+. According to the updated 2018 guideline, all of them were HER2 negative. When compared to ASCO/CAP Group 5, patients of ASCO/CAP Group 2 displayed higher ratio of histological grade 3 (P = .03), high Ki67 proliferation index (P = .03) and pN3 (more than 9 lymph nodes metastasis, P = .02), and lower estrogen receptor (ER) positivity (P = .04). There was no statistical difference in the survival of patients received anti-HER2 therapy and patients not received anti-HER2 therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients of ASCO/CAP Group 2 did not received apparent benefit from anti-HER2 treatment. Although according to the updated guidelines and latest reports, HER2 is negative, but when compared with classic HER2-nonamplified cancers, patients of this group seemed to be more aggressive. We suggest that this group still be regarded as an independent category, in order to accumulate more cases in the future to expand the scope of research.