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Small groups, big answers in HER2 testing

July 2018—Take the new ASCO/CAP guideline for HER2 testing. Since the first groundbreaking joint guideline appeared 11 years ago, the authors have made a habit of addressing cases that flummox pathologists, medical oncologists, and patients. Now, in 2018, they have clarified the diagnostic approach to in situ hybridization groups two, three, and four, rare cases that nonetheless cause an outsized share of headaches and worries. It also clarifies language from the 2013 guideline that had sent some labs astray, and it addresses the use of multiple alternative chromosome 17 probe assays. The previous guidelines turned out to be tough acts to follow—a bit like following Sean Connery in the role of James Bond—even as the new one benefits from new data.

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