Breast Cancer

The Serum HER-2/neu Test and Metastatic Breast Cancer

Serum HER-2/neu testing monitors your HER-2 status in real time

  • Serum HER-2/neu is a simple blood test with reliable and easily interpreted results.
  • If you have metastatic breast cancer, your doctor can use the Serum HER-2/neu test to monitor changes in your HER-2/neu status.
  • If you are on a HER-2 treatment, your Serum HER-2/neu status can tell you and your doctor if your treatment is effective or not.


 What are the HER-2/neu tissue tests?

  • A HER-2/neu tissue test is required to qualify for HER-2 targeted therapies, such as Herceptin® and Tykerb®.
  • To establish HER-2/neu positivity, a biopsy is taken. The tissue sample is then evaluated using approved IHC or FISH testing methods to determine HER-2/neu status.

How is the Serum HER-2/neu test different from HER-2/neu tissue tests?

  • The Serum HER-2/neu test is a simple blood test for monitoring real-time HER-2/neu status after initial metastatic breast cancer diagnosis.
  • The Serum HER-2/neu test is used to monitor changes in HER-2/neu levels that reflect response to treatment or disease progression.
  • All patients diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer should have a baseline Serum HER-2/neu established, regardless of HER-2/neu tissue status.


Where is Serum HER-2/neu testing performed?

Your doctor will order the test from a lab, and may combine it with your routine blood work. The time it takes to get results can vary between laboratories.



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