Droplet digital PCR measurement of HER2 in patients with gastric cancer

H. Kinugasa, K. Nouso, T. Tanaka, K. Miyahara, Y. Morimoto, C. Dohi, T. Matsubara, H. Okada, K. Yamamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Background:Although there are some new criteria for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) expression with immunohistochemistry/fluorescence in situ hybridisation (IHC/FISH) in gastric cancer, the method is still ambiguous and is somewhat dependent on the subjective qualities of the evaluator.Methods:We used droplet digital polymerase chain reaction (ddPCR) to evaluate HER2 amplification in formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples and cell-free serum circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) in 25 patients with gastric cancer.Results:The concordance rate of HER2 amplification examined in FFPE samples with ddPCR and IHC/FISH was 92% (23 out of 25). The concordance rate of FFPE with ctDNA was not high (62.5%); however, patients who were HER2-positive by ctDNA had significantly shorter survival compared with HER2-negative patients.Conclusions:Our results demonstrated that this ddPCR method was as effective as IHC/FISH and therefore might become a standard method for analysing not only FFPE but also ctDNA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1652-1655
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - May 12 2015


  • Digital PCR
  • HER2
  • circulating DNA
  • circulating tumour DNA
  • ctDNA
  • gastric cancer
  • liquid biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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