Bethune GC, Mullen JB, Chang MC. HER2 testing of multifocal invasive breast carcinoma: how many blocks are enough? Am J Clin Pathol. 2013;140:588-92.





To determine the diagnostic yield of testing multiple blocks for HER2 in cases of multifocal breast carcinoma.


We identified 246 consecutive cases of multifocal invasive breast carcinoma in which HER2 was tested on more than 1 tumor focus. We performed an audit of all cases with respect to tumor size, grade, and histologic type.


HER2 status was concordant between multiple foci in 230 (93.5%) of 246 cases, with the largest focus having the most positive HER2 result in 242 (98.4%) of 246 cases. We did not find a single case in which a smaller focus demonstrated a more positive HER2 status unless this focus was either higher grade or different histologically.


Our findings support the evaluation of HER2 on the largest focus, with additional testing on smaller foci having a different histologic type or higher grade.