Breast cancer immunohistochemistry (IHC) biomarker testing is limited in low-resource settings, and an alternative solution is needed. A point-of-care mRNA STRAT4 breast cancer assay for ESR1, PGR, ERBB2, and MKi67, for use on the GeneXpert platform, has been recently validated on tissues from internationally accredited laboratories, showing excellent concordance with IHC.
We evaluated STRAT4/IHC ESR1/estrogen receptor (ER), ERBB2/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) concordance rates of 150 breast cancer tissues processed in Rwanda, with undocumented cold ischemic and fixation time.
Assay fail/indeterminate rate was 2.6% for ESR1 and ERBB2. STRAT4 agreement with ER IHC was 92.5% to 93.3% and 97.8% for HER2, for standard (1x) and concentrated (4x) reagent-conserving protocols, respectively. Eleven of 12 discordant ER/ESR1 cases were ESR1- negative/IHC-positive. These had low expression of ER by IHC in mostly very small tumor areas tested (7/12; <25 mm2). In two of three discordant HER2 cases, the STRAT4-ERBB2 result correlated with the subsequent fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) result. STRAT4-ERBB2 results in 9 of 10 HER2-IHC equivocal cases were concordant with FISH.
The STRAT4 assay is an alternative for providing quality-controlled breast cancer biomarker data in laboratories unable to provide quality and/or cost-efficient IHC services.

© American Society for Clinical Pathology, 2021.