Endometrial serous carcinoma is an aggressive subtype of endometrial cancer with the highest rate of recurrence and mortality among all histotypes. A recent clinical trial showed prolonged progression-free survival in advanced-stage and recurrent human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)–positive endometrial serous carcinoma when trastuzumab was added to the standard chemotherapy regimen. This targeted therapeutic approach was recently endorsed by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network clinical guidelines. There is a growing interest among clinicians to obtain HER2 testing in endometrial serous carcinoma, and pathologists need to be prepared to recognize the unique characteristics of HER2 protein expression and gene amplification in these tumors and apply specific HER2 scoring criteria.
To provide a historical overview of targeted HER2 therapy in endometrial serous carcinoma and to summarize key findings from recent studies on the specific features of HER2 protein expression and gene amplification relative to other tumor types. Endometrial carcinoma–specific HER2 testing criteria are proposed based on evidence in the existing literature.
Sources comprise review of the literature and personal experience of the author.
HER2 protein overexpression and/or gene amplification is present in approximately 25% to 30% of endometrial serous carcinomas, providing an opportunity for targeted therapy. Pathologists play a key role in tumor HER2 testing and scoring to ensure appropriate patient selection and successful clinical outcome.
The author has no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.