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What Is Her2 Neu Breast Cancer

What Is Vascular Lymphovascular Or Angiolymphatic Invasion What If My Report Mentions D2

Scientist-Survivor Story: HER2/neu Breast Cancer

If cancer cells are seen in small blood vessels or lymph vessels under the microscope, it is called vascular, angiolymphatic, or lymphovascular invasion. When cancer is growing in these vessels, there is an increased risk that it has spread outside the breast. If your report does not mention this type of invasion, it means it is not there. Even if it is there, it does not always mean that your cancer has spread. How this finding affects your treatment is best discussed with your doctor.

D2-40 and CD34 are special tests that the pathologist may use to help identify these types of vascular invasion. These tests are not needed in every case.

How Do Hormone Therapies Work

Hormone therapies slow or stop the growth of hormone receptor-positive tumors by preventing the cancer cells from getting the hormones they need to grow.

They do this in a few ways:

  • Some hormone therapies, such as;tamoxifen, attach to the receptor in the cancer cell and block estrogen from attaching to the receptor.
  • Some hormone;therapies, such as aromatase inhibitors and ovarian suppression, lower the level of estrogen in the body so the cancer cells cant get the estrogen they need to grow.

What Is My Estrogen Receptor And Progesterone Receptor Status

Your bodys hormones such as estrogen and progesterone may play a role in how your breast cancer progresses.;

Normal cells are equipped with receptors that allow them to receive information from circulating hormones, similar to the way your phone picks up satellite signals. Cancer cells may also have hormone receptors, letting them tap into your bodys normal cell growth-regulating system.

Your ER/PR status is determined by testing a sample of breast cancer cells removed during a biopsy. If your breast cancer cells have estrogen and progesterone receptors; if theyre;ER/PR-positive; then theyre capable of detecting estrogens signal and using it to fuel growth. If the cancer cells lack these receptors meaning theyre ER-/PR-negative they cant hear the growth-signaling message.;

About 70% of breast cancer patients have positive ER/PR hormone status.

While being ER/PR-positive sounds bad, theres actually a benefit. Doctors can take advantage of the receptors presence. They can use an anti-estrogen drug that blocks the receptors and blocks estrogens growth signal. Or they can use other drugs like aromatase inhibitors that lower your bodys estrogen levels to deprive the cancer cells of fuel.;

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Can Some Older Women With Early

Certain women age 70 to 80 may be able to skip chemotherapy after surgery for early-stage HER2-positive disease and be treated only with Herceptin , according to a study.

The research was published online on Sept. 16, 2020, by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read Randomized Controlled Trial of Trastuzumab With or Without Chemotherapy for HER2-Positive Early Breast Cancer in Older Patients.

Risk Of Recurrence: Early And Late

HER2 and Herceptin

Research has shown the HER2-positive early breast cancers are two to five times more likely to recur than HER2-negative tumors. Even;very small HER2-positive tumors; with negative lymph nodes have a much higher risk of recurrence relative to tumors that are HER2-negative. Treatment with Herceptin can cut this risk by half.

The pattern of breast cancer recurrence;may also differ. Small tumors are also more likely to have a metastatic recurrence if they are HER2-positive.

Despite the fact that HER2-positive and estrogen receptor-negative tuors are more likely to recur early on than estrogen receptor-positive and HER2-negative cancers, late recurrences are much less common.

With estrogen receptor positive breast cancers, the cancer is more likely to recur after 5 years than in the first 5 years, and the risk of recurrence remains steady each year for at least 20 years following the diagnosis. In contrast, those who have HER2 positive tumors and reach their 5 year mark are much more likely to be “in the clear” and remain recurrence free.

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More Aggressive Breast Cancers Are Often Her

Breast cancer tumors with a positive HER-2 status are usually fast-growing and aggressive. There tends to be a higher level of HER-2 expression in higher-grade tumors than in lower grade tumors.

HER-2 receptors and also epidermal growth factor receptors are stimulants to cancer cell growth. Other hormonal factors of a tumor can also make cancer more aggressive.

Some breast cancer tumors will have a decrease in the level of tumor-suppressor genes, such as p53, which make invasion beyond the breast ducts more likely. A decrease in the levels of metastasis-suppressor genes such as nm23 also make spread to the lymph nodes and other areas of the body more likely.

HER-2 positive breast cancers do appear to be more likely to spread early in the cancer course to major visceral sites such as the:-

  • axillary lymph nodes
  • adrenal glands

Will I Need Chemotherapy

Typically;chemotherapy;is a consideration for patients with high-risk breast cancers. Some factors that may indicate the need for chemotherapy are:

  • Lymph node involvement.
  • Tumors that are higher-grade, ER/PR-negative, HER2-negative or triple-negative .
  • Tumors that are HER2-positive.
  • Breast cancers in younger patients, especially those;below the age of 40.;

If you need chemotherapy, it will be given as an outpatient treatment every two to three weeks, delivered either directly into a vein or through a port.

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There are many treatment options available for. Ad Info about Brca Testing Cost on Seekweb. HER2 which stands for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 is one of the receptors whose positivity or negativity has been.

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Breast cancer cells with higher than normal levels of HER2 are called HER2-positive. Save Time and Find it Here. All the cells in the bodyhealthy and canceroushave HER2 receptors.

Your HER2 status helps determine the pathology of your specific breast cancer. HER2 is an established therapeutic target in a large subset of women with breast cancer. What Is HER2-Positive Breast Cancer.

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What Does The Test Result Mean

Updates on hormone receptor-positive HER2-negative breast cancer

Breast CancerHER2-positive breast;cancer means the individual tested is likely to have a;tumor;that is aggressive, will respond poorly to endocrine treatment, and will be resistant to standard chemotherapy. The person may be considered a candidate for HER2-targeted therapy, such as trastuzumab, lapatinib or pertuzumab.

If HER2 testing is negative or equivocal by one method , then the other method is performed. If the second test is positive, the person still may benefit from HER2-targeted therapy.

If the tumor is HER2-negative, then HER2-targeted therapy isnt expected to be effective and the individual tested will avoid unnecessary side effects from treatment that is unlikely to help.

Stomach and esophagus cancersAddition of HER2-targeted therapy in patients with HER2-positive advanced cancers of the stomach and esophagus can result in improved survival and quality of life.

If HER2 testing is equivocal or negative by IHC, then FISH may be performed. If FISH is positive, then the person still may benefit from HER2-targeted therapy.

If the tumor is HER2-negative, then adding HER2-targeted therapy is unlikely to be effective.

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What If My Report Mentions Margins Or Ink

When an entire tumor is removed, the outside edges of the specimen are coated with ink, sometimes even with different colors of ink on different sides of the specimen. The pathologist looks at slides of the tumor under the microscope to see how close the cancer cells get to the ink . If cancer cells are touching the ink , it can mean that some cancer was left behind, and more surgery or other treatments may be needed. Sometimes, though, the surgeon has already removed more tissue to help make sure that this isnt needed.

Sometimes, all of the invasive cancer is removed, but there may be pre-cancer or another serious condition at or near the margin, such as ductal carcinoma in situ ;or;lobular carcinoma in situ .

If your pathology report shows positive margins, your doctor will talk to you about what treatment is best.

Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor 2 In Cancers: Overexpression And Therapeutic Implications

Nida Iqbal

1Department of Medical Oncology, Dr. B. R. A. Institute Rotary Cancer Hospital, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi 110029, India

2Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Unit, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi 110076, India


Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 is a member of the epidermal growth factor receptor family having tyrosine kinase activity. Dimerization of the receptor results in the autophosphorylation of tyrosine residues within the cytoplasmic domain of the receptors and initiates a variety of signaling pathways leading to cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. Amplification or overexpression of HER2 occurs in approximately 1530% of breast cancers and 1030% of gastric/gastroesophageal cancers and serves as a prognostic and predictive biomarker. HER2 overexpression has also been seen in other cancers like ovary, endometrium, bladder, lung, colon, and head and neck. The introduction of HER2 directed therapies has dramatically influenced the outcome of patients with HER2 positive breast and gastric/gastroesophageal cancers; however, the results have been proved disappointing in other HER2 overexpressing cancers. This review discusses the role of HER2 in various cancers and therapeutic modalities available targeting HER2.

1. Introduction

2. Function

Figure 1 shows the main transduction pathways regulated by the four HER family membersEGFR, HER2, HER3, and HER4.

3. HER2 Overexpression in Cancers

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Will I Need To Do Anything To Prepare For The Test

You won’t need any special preparations if you are getting local anesthesia . If you are getting general anesthesia, you will probably need to fast for several hours before surgery. Your surgeon will give you more specific instructions. Also, if you are getting a sedative or general anesthesia, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home. You may be groggy and confused after you wake up from the procedure.

What Do The Test Results Mean

Treatments for HER2

The results of HER2 testing will guide you and your cancer care team in making the best treatment decisions.

It is not clear if one test is more accurate than the other, but FISH is more expensive and takes longer to get the results.;Often the IHC test is done first.

  • If the IHC result is 0 or 1+, the cancer is considered HER2-negative. These cancers do not respond to treatment with drugs that target HER2.
  • If the IHC result is 3+, the cancer is HER2-positive. These cancers are usually treated with drugs that target HER2.
  • If the IHC result is 2+, the HER2 status of the tumor is not clear and is called “equivocal.” This means that the HER2 status needs to be tested with FISH to clarify the result.

Triple-negative breast tumors dont have too much HER2 and also dont have estrogen or progesterone receptors. They are HER2-, ER-, and PR-negative. Hormone therapy and drugs that target HER2 are not helpful in treating these cancers. See Triple-negative Breast Cancer to learn more.

Triple-positive breast tumorsare HER2-, ER-, and PR-positive. These cancers are treated with hormone drugs as well as drugs that target HER2.

Our team is made up of doctors and;oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Revised: September 20, 2019

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What Happens During A Her2 Breast Cancer Test

Most HER2 testing involves taking a sample of tumor tissue in a procedure called a biopsy. There are three main types of biopsy procedures:

  • Fine needle aspiration biopsy, which uses a very thin needle to remove a sample of breast cells or fluid
  • Core needle biopsy, which uses a larger needle to remove a sample
  • Surgical biopsy, which removes a sample in a minor, outpatient procedure

Fine needle aspiration and core needle biopsies usually include the following steps:

  • You will lay on your side or sit on an exam table.
  • A health care provider will clean the biopsy site and inject it with an anesthetic so you won’t feel any pain during the procedure.
  • Once the area is numb, the provider will insert either a fine aspiration needle or core biopsy needle into the biopsy site and remove a sample of tissue or fluid.
  • You may feel a little pressure when the sample is withdrawn.
  • Pressure will be applied to the biopsy site until the bleeding stops.
  • Your provider will apply a sterile bandage at the biopsy site.

In a surgical biopsy, a surgeon will make a small cut in your skin to remove all or part of a breast lump. A surgical biopsy is sometimes done if the lump can’t be reached with a needle biopsy. Surgical biopsies usually include the following steps.

  • Once the biopsy area is numb or you are unconscious, the surgeon will make a small cut into the breast and remove part or all of a lump. Some tissue around the lump may also be removed.
  • Do Symptoms And Signs Of Her2

    The signs and symptoms for HER2-positive breast cancers are the same as for HER2-negative breast cancers, except for the fact that HER2-positive cancers are likely to grow faster and are more likely to spread. The following are possible signs of;breast cancer:

    • Thickening or;lump in the breast;that feels different from the surrounding area
    • Inverting of the;nipple

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    Different Drugs Same Target

    Breast cancers that are HER2-positive tend to be aggressive, with the excess HER2 protein on tumor cells fueling the cancers growth. In the late 1990s, trastuzumab was among the first targeted cancer therapies to be approved by FDA, after trials showed it could improve survival in women with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer.

    Over time, other HER2-targeted therapies emerged, some with alternative mechanisms for disrupting HER2 activity in cancer cells. Drugs like trastuzumab and pertuzumab are monoclonal antibodies that bind to the HER2 protein above the cancer cells surface, preventing it from acting or enlisting the immune system to help destroy cells that produce it.

    Tucatinib, on the other hand, is a member of a class of drugs known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors . These drugs work by binding to the part of the HER2 protein that is inside the cell and preventing it from sending signals that promote cell growth. Other HER2-targeted TKIs include neratinib ;and lapatinib .

    Some TKIs have multiple targets. But, compared with other HER2-targeted drugs, tucatinib appears to be relatively selective for HER2that is, its less likely to bind to related proteins, explained Stanley Lipkowitz, M.D., Ph.D., chief of the Womens Malignancies Branch in NCIs Center for Cancer Research. That selectivity limits the risk of side effects seen with other HER2-targeted TKIs that inhibit other targets, Dr. Lipkowitz said.

    What Does It Mean If My Report Mentions Microcalcifications Or Calcifications

    HER2-positive breast cancer explanation video

    Microcalcifications or calcifications are calcium deposits that can be found in both non-cancerous and cancerous breast lesions. They can be seen both on mammograms and under the microscope. Because certain calcifications are found in areas containing cancer, their presence on a mammogram may lead to a biopsy of the area. Then, when the biopsy is done, the pathologist looks at the tissue removed to be sure that it contains calcifications. If the calcifications are there, the doctor knows that the biopsy sampled the correct area .

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    When Is It Ordered

    HER2;tissue;testing is recommended along with other tests, such as;estrogen and progesterone receptor status testing,;as part of an initial workup of invasive;breast cancer. Testing is also done when breast cancer has spread to other parts of the body or when a person has been successfully treated but the cancer has come back . In its 2015 guidelines on biomarker testing of metastatic breast cancer, ASCO recommends offering HER2 testing to everyone with accessible metastases. However, there is not enough evidence to know if changing treatment based on the test will affect an individuals outcome in this setting.

    HER2 tissue testing is also recommended for patients with inoperable, advanced, recurrent, or metastatic adenocarcinoma of the stomach or esophagus who are candidates for HER2-targeted therapy.

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