TOP2A FISH Testing

Last Modified: February 17, 2008


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

What are your thoughts on the new genetic test TOP2A FISH pharmDx? For whom is the test appropriate?


Kevin R. Fox, MD, Assistant Director, Clinical Affairs and Associate Professor of Hematology/Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

TOP2A FISH pharmDx is a genetic test that is used to detect abnormalities in the TOP2A gene. The test uses technology known as fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) to detect these changes in the tumor tissue. The TOP2A gene plays a role in DNA replication.

Changes in the TOP2A gene in breast cancer cells mean that there is an increased likelihood that the tumor will recur or that long-term survival will be decreased. Despite that, the test does not affect the management of breast cancer, and currently has no role in clinical management.