Common IHC Markers: Their Significance in Cancer Diagnosis

Cancer is one of the most dangerous diseases that affects millions of people worldwide. Although different types of cancers exist, finding the right diagnosis and treatment plan can be quite challenging. In recent years, immunohistochemistry (IHC) markers have become increasingly popular for cancer diagnosis. IHC markers are biomarkers used to detect the presence and distribution of specific proteins in cancer cells.


Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is a protein that is often observed in breast and gastric cancer. Research has shown that HER2-positive cancers are often aggressive, and patients with HER2-positive tumors have lower survival rates. HER2 inhibitors are currently used in combination with chemotherapy to treat HER2-positive breast cancers.

ER and PR

Estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) are proteins commonly associated with breast cancer. ER-positive and PR-positive cancers are hormone-sensitive and can be treated with hormone receptor inhibitors along with other treatments. The expression of these markers can be used to predict the prognosis of the patient.


Ki-67 is a protein associated with cell proliferation. It is often used to determine the growth rate of a tumor. The higher the Ki-67 expression, the more actively cells are dividing. High Ki-67 expression is associated with aggressive tumors and poor prognosis.


Programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) is an immune checkpoint protein commonly observed in lung, bladder, and kidney cancer. The PD-L1 protein allows tumor cells to evade the immune system by suppressing immune cell activity. PD-1 inhibitors are currently used to enhance the effectiveness of immune cells and improve outcome in PD-L1-positive cancers.


Cluster of differentiation 20 (CD20) is a protein used to diagnose B-cell lymphomas. CD20 is commonly expressed in B-cell lymphomas, and its expression level can be used to determine the severity of the disease. CD20 inhibitors are used in combination with chemotherapy to treat B-cell lymphomas.


In conclusion, IHC markers are important biomarkers used to diagnose and treat cancer. The expression of these markers plays a key role in predicting the progression and outcome of the disease. Knowing the significance of these markers can be vital in providing patients with the best possible treatment options. While there are several other IHC markers currently in use, studying their expression in different cancers can help improve early detection, prognosis, and the overall survival of cancer patients. Together with other diagnostic tools, IHC markers can help improve the accuracy of cancer diagnosis and help select the best treatment plan for cancer patients.

At Ampath we have comprehensive profile of IHC markers which can help in precise diagnosis of cancers and help oncologists in delivering personalized and targeted therapy.