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The Significance of Recognition of Human Epidermal Growth Factor 2 Low in Breast Cancer Therapy.

In response to recent clinical trials that demonstrate the clinical benefit of antibody-drug conjugate drug therapy in breast cancer (BC) with human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) immunohistochemical scores of 1+ or 2+ and negative in situ hybridization results, a new concept of "HER2-low BC" has emerged to describe this newly relevant therapeutic category of BC. Clinical recognition of HER2-low BC has caused a paradigm shift in the therapeutic landscape and management of patients with BC and resulted in rapid changes in clinical practice guidelines. In addition the American Society of Clinical Oncology-College of American Pathologists (ASCO-CAP) recently updated their HER2 Guidelines Recommendations to specifically address HER2-low BC. A literature search in PubMed of peer-reviewed articles, regulatory communications, and relevant practice guidelines pertaining to HER2-low BC was conducted. In this review, we have summarized current published knowledge regarding the clinicopathologic and molecular features, diagnostic criteria, and most current guideline recommendations regarding HER2-low BC, and also highlight ongoing practical and diagnostic challenges when identifying HER2-low BC in routine clinical practice.

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