An international study comparing conventional versus mRNA level testing (TargetPrint) for ER, PR, and HER2 status of breast cancer

Jelle Wesseling, Corrado Tinterri, Anna Sapino, F. Zanconati, Martijn Lutke-Holzik, Bichlien Nguyen, Kenneth B. Deck, P. Querzoli, Tiziana Perin, C. Giardina, Gerhard Seitz, J. M. Guinebretiere, Julie Barone, Laura Dekker, F. A. De snoo, L. Stork-sloots, Paul Roepman, Toru Watanabe, Pino Cusumano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To compare results from messenger RNA (mRNA)-based TargetPrint testing with those from immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ hybridization (ISH) conducted according to local standard procedures at hospitals worldwide. Tumor samples were prospectively obtained from 806 patients at 22 hospitals. The mRNA level of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) was assessed by TargetPrint quantitative gene expression readouts. IHC/ISH assessments were performed according to local standards at the participating hospitals. TargetPrint readout showed a high concordance with IHC/ISH of 95 % (kappa 0.81) for ER, 81 % (kappa 0.56) for PR, and 94 % (kappa 0.76) for HER2. The positive/negative agreement between TargetPrint and IHC for ER, PR, and HER2 was 96 %/87 %, 84 %/74 %, and 74 %/98 %, respectively. The concordance rate in IHC/ISH results between hospitals varied: 88–100 % for ER (kappa 0.50–1.00); 50–100 % for PR (kappa 0.20–1.00); and 90–100 % for HER2 (kappa 0.59–1.00). mRNA readout of ER, PR, and HER2 status by TargetPrint was largely comparable to local IHC/ISH analysis. However, there was substantial discordance in IHC/ISH results between different hospitals. When results are discordant, the use of TargetPrint would improve the reliability of hormone receptor and HER2 results by prompting retesting in a reference laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalVirchows Archiv - A Pathological Anatomy and Histopathology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jul 4 2016


  • Breast cancer
  • ER
  • Her-2
  • IHC/Fish
  • mRNA
  • PgR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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