13th Asia-Pacific Oncologists Annual Meeting
University of Sydney, Australia
Title: Introduction to HER2 testing in gastric cancer
Biography: Michael Bilous
Gastric cancer (GC) is the second most common malignancy aft er lung cancer and the third leading cause of death in Eastern Asia. As early gastric cancer is generally asymptomatic, patients oft en present with inoperable advanced or
metastatic disease. Importantly, the median survival time for patients with advanced or metastatic GC is less than a year. Given the above, exploring options that can help predict the prognosis and guide treatment of GC is of great importance. Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) overexpression has been correlated with poor outcome and a more aggressive
disease in patients with GC in several studies. Th e assessment of HER2 has also led to the development of targeted therapy for the treatment of GC with trastuzumab. Th e Trastuzumab for Gastric Cancer (ToGA) trial demonstrated that patients suffering from advanced GC with HER2 overexpression experienced an overall survival (OS) beyond one year following treatment with trastuzumab and chemotherapy. As HER2 is the only validated marker for predicting trastuzumab response, accurate detection of HER2 overexpression is essential. Enabling this, international recommendations for HER2 testing have been modifi ed to form APAC-specifi c HER2 testing guidelines. The guidelines contain recommendations that span the pre-analytic to postanalytic
stages of HER2 testing, emphasize the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration and account for the challenges of day-to-day testing faced by laboratories in APAC.