Gene Summary

Gene:ERBB2; erb-b2 receptor tyrosine kinase 2
Aliases: NEU, NGL, HER2, TKR1, CD340, HER-2, MLN 19, HER-2/neu
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) receptor family of receptor tyrosine kinases. This protein has no ligand binding domain of its own and therefore cannot bind growth factors. However, it does bind tightly to other ligand-bound EGF receptor family members to form a heterodimer, stabilizing ligand binding and enhancing kinase-mediated activation of downstream signalling pathways, such as those involving mitogen-activated protein kinase and phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase. Allelic variations at amino acid positions 654 and 655 of isoform a (positions 624 and 625 of isoform b) have been reported, with the most common allele, Ile654/Ile655, shown here. Amplification and/or overexpression of this gene has been reported in numerous cancers, including breast and ovarian tumors. Alternative splicing results in several additional transcript variants, some encoding different isoforms and others that have not been fully characterized. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:receptor tyrosine-protein kinase erbB-2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

The erbB-2 gene is a proto-oncogene that codes for the erbB-2 receptor ( RECEPTOR, ERBB-2), a protein with structural features similar to the epidermal growth factor receptor. Its name originates from the viral oncogene homolog (v-erbB) which is a truncated form of the chicken erbB gene found in the avian erythroblastosis virus. Overexpression and amplification of the gene is associated with a significant number of adenocarcinomas. The human c-erbB-2 gene is located at 17q21.2. (Source: MeSH)

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (10)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Breast CancerHER2 and Breast Cancer
About 1 in 5 breast cancers are 'HER2-positive', with the cancer cells making an excess of HER2 protein due to a gene mutation. HER2-positive breast cancers tend to be more aggressive compared to other types of breast cancer. They're also less responsive to hormone treatments used to treat some breast cancers. However, treatments that specifically target HER2 are more effective.
See: More details below...
View Publications816
Lung CancerERBB2 and Lung Cancer View Publications489
-anti-HER2 Monoclonal Antibody in Breast Cancer Treatment Therapy
See: Trastuzumab (Herceptin)
View Publications284
Ovarian CancerHER2 and Ovarian Cancer
See: More details below...
View Publications137
Uterine SarcomaERBB2 and Uterine Cancer View Publications84
Bladder CancerERBB2 and Bladder Cancer View Publications37
Prostate CancerERBB2 and Prostate Cancer View Publications27
OsteosarcomaERBB2 and OsteosarcomaPrognostic
A retrospective, single centre study of 53 patients (Gorlick, 1999) implicated ERBB2 in osteosarcoma. Higher levels of ERBB2 expression were seen in 43% of 47 initial biopsy samples analysed. Higher expression of ERBB2 correlated with metastatic disease, histological response, and event free survival.
View Publications14
MedulloblastomaERBB2 and Medulloblastoma View Publications5
Fallopian tube cancerERRB2 and Fallopian Tube Cancer View Publications3

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

HER2 and Breast Cancer

About 1 in 5 breast cancers are 'HER2-positive', with the cancer cells making an excess of HER2 protein due to a gene mutation. HER2-positive breast cancers tend to be more aggressive compared to other types of breast cancer. They're also less responsive to hormone treatments used to treat some breast cancers. However, treatments that specifically target HER2 are more effective.

See also: Breast Cancer - Clinical and Research information

Latest Publications

Chen JR, Chien HP, Chen KS, et al.
Amplification of HER2 and TOP2A and deletion of TOP2A genes in a series of Taiwanese breast cancer.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2017; 96(2):e5582 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The prognostic relevance of topoisomerase II alpha (TOP2A) copy number change remains not well established. This study is aimed to investigate the frequency and pattern of TOP2A aberrations; to correlate TOP2A alterations with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status and clinicopathological parameters, and further to explore prognostic value of TOP2A and HER2 status in breast cancer in Taiwan.
METHODS: We analyzed tissue samples from 311 invasive carcinomas in tissue microarrays for TOP2A and HER2 status by fluorescent in situ hybridization.
RESULTS: TOP2A copy number change is an infrequent genetic event (9.8% amplification and 2.7% deletion) and is present in both HER2-amplified and nonamplified tumors. TOP2A amplification is statistically associated with age >50 at diagnosis (P = 0.016) and HER2 amplification (P < 0.001). HER2 amplification, but not TOP2A amplification, is a predictor of unfavorable prognosis (P = 0.002). Univariate and multivariate analysis showed that higher histologic grading, positive nodal involvement, and HER2 positivity were associated with poorer overall survival. Cytogenetically, double minutes-type amplification is the predominant pattern for both genes (HER2: 64% and TOP2A: 93.1%). Homogeneous staining region-type signals of both genes are resistant to RNase digestion, supporting that these were not nuclear accumulation of mRNA transcripts.
CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate the prognostic value of tumor grading, nodal involvement, and HER2 status in Taiwanese breast cancer. TOP2A aberrations are an infrequent event independent of HER2 status, and TOP2A amplification carries no prognostic value. The predictive value of TOP2A aberrations in patients of breast cancer taking athracycline-containing treatment in Taiwan remains to be determined in prospectively well-designed clinical trials.

Phelps-Polirer K, Abt MA, Smith D, Yeh ES
Co-Targeting of JNK and HUNK in Resistant HER2-Positive Breast Cancer.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(4):e0153025 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Strategies for successful primary treatment of HER2-positive breast cancer include use of the HER2 inhibitors trastuzumab or lapatinib in combination with standard chemotherapy. While successful, many patients develop resistance to these HER2 inhibitors indicating an unmet need. Consequently, current research efforts are geared toward understanding mechanisms of resistance and the signaling modalities that regulate these mechanisms. We have undertaken a study to examine whether signaling molecules downstream of epidermal growth factor receptor, which often act as compensatory signaling outlets to circumvent HER2 inhibition, can be co-targeted to overcome resistance. We identified JNK signaling as a potential area of intervention and now show that inhibiting JNK using the pan-JNK inhibitor, SP600125, is effective in the HER2-positive, resistant JIMT-1 xenograft mammary tumor model. We also investigate potential combination strategies to bolster the effects of JNK inhibition and find that co-targeting of JNK and the protein kinase HUNK can prohibit tumor growth of resistant HER2-positive mammary tumors in vivo.

Ki J, Arumugam P, Song JM
TIRF high-content assay development for the evaluation of drug efficacy of chemotherapeutic agents against EGFR-/HER2-positive breast cancer cell lines.
Anal Bioanal Chem. 2016; 408(12):3233-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Elevated expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is reported to be associated with poor prognosis in breast cancer. EGFR subtype identification plays a crucial role in deciding the drug combination to treat the cancer patients. Conventional application of immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) produces more discordance results in EGFR subtype identification of cancer specimens. The present study is designed to develop an analytical method for simultaneous identification of cell surface biomarkers and quantitative estimation of drug efficacy in cancer specimens. For this study, we have utilized a total internal reflection fluorescence microscope (TIRFM), Qdot molecular probes and chemotherapeutic agent camptothecin (CPT)-treated breast cancer cell lines namely MCF-7, SK-BR-3 and JIMT-1. Highly sensitive detection signals with low background noise generated from the evanescent field excitation of TIRFM make it a highly suitable tool to detect the cell surface biomarkers in living cells. Moreover, single wavelength excitation of Qdot probes offers multicolour imaging with strong emission brightness. In the present study, TIRF high-content imaging system simultaneously showed the expression pattern of EGFRs and EC50 value for CPT-induced apoptosis and necrosis in MCF-7, SK-BR-3 and JIMT-1 cancer cell lines.

Gheybi MK, Baradaran A, Mohajeri MR, et al.
Validity of immunohistochemistry method in predicting HER-2 gene status and association of clinicopathological variables with it in invasive breast cancer patients.
APMIS. 2016; 124(5):365-71 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 is an important and prognostic factors and one of the most targeted proteins in breast cancer's therapy. There is no globally accepted method for determining its status. Here, we aimed to evaluate the immunohistochemistry method validity in predicting HER-2 status by Fluorescence in situ hybridization method and investigate some clinicopathological variables association with HER-2 amplification. A total of 190 HER-2 2+ and 3+ by immunohistochemistry (IHC) invasive breast cancer cases were enrolled in this study. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed for these cases using FDA criteria and the association between clinicopathological variables and HER-2 status evaluated. Study consisted of 190 invasive breast cancer patients (160 HER-2 2+ and 30 HER-2 3+). HER-2 FISH amplification according to FDA criteria was found 27.5% (44/160 patients) in HER-2 2+ patients and 83.3% (25/30 patients) in HER-2 3+ patients. Tumors with HER-2 amplification were more likely to be ER-negative (51.0% vs 31.2%, p = 0.013) and PR-negative (52.9% vs 27.0%, p < 0.001). This study showed that immunohistochemistry is not a good method for evaluating HER-2 status and decision-making about trastuzumab therapy even with 3+ score patients. However, this result may not be too strong for IHC 3+ cases due to the limited number of these patients in this study.

Creedon H, Balderstone LA, Muir M, et al.
Use of a genetically engineered mouse model as a preclinical tool for HER2 breast cancer.
Dis Model Mech. 2016; 9(2):131-40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Resistance to human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-targeted therapies presents a major clinical problem. Although preclinical studies have identified a number of possible mechanisms, clinical validation has been difficult. This is most likely to reflect the reliance on cell-line models that do not recapitulate the complexity and heterogeneity seen in human tumours. Here, we show the utility of a genetically engineered mouse model of HER2-driven breast cancer (MMTV-NIC) to define mechanisms of resistance to the pan-HER family inhibitor AZD8931. Genetic manipulation of MMTV-NIC mice demonstrated that loss of phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN) conferred de novo resistance to AZD8931, and a tumour fragment transplantation model was established to assess mechanisms of acquired resistance. Using this approach, 50% of tumours developed resistance to AZD8931. Analysis of the resistant tumours showed two distinct patterns of resistance: tumours in which reduced membranous HER2 expression was associated with an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and resistant tumours that retained HER2 expression and an epithelial morphology. The plasticity of the EMT phenotype was demonstrated upon re-implantation of resistant tumours that then showed a mixed epithelial and mesenchymal phenotype. Further AZD8931 treatment resulted in the generation of secondary resistant tumours that again had either undergone EMT or retained their original epithelial morphology. The data provide a strong rationale for basing therapeutic decisions on the biology of the individual resistant tumour, which can be very different from that of the primary tumour and will be specific to individual patients.

Carmona FJ, Montemurro F, Kannan S, et al.
AKT signaling in ERBB2-amplified breast cancer.
Pharmacol Ther. 2016; 158:63-70 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The PI3K/AKT pathway is the focus of several targeted therapeutic agents for a variety of malignancies. In ERBB2-amplified breast cancer, the hyperactivation of this signaling cascade is associated with resistance to ERBB2-targeted therapy. This can occur through gain-of-function alterations or compensatory mechanisms that enter into play upon pharmacological pressure. The strong rationale in combining anti-ERBB2 agents with PI3K/AKT inhibitors, together with the identification of genomic alterations conferring sensitivity to targeted inhibition, are guiding the design of clinical studies aimed at preventing the emergence of drug resistance and achieving more durable response. In the present review, we describe the involvement of this pathway in breast cancer pathogenesis, with an emphasis on AKT kinases, and provide insight into currently available targeted agents for the treatment of ERBB2-amplified breast cancer. Finally, we provide preliminary data on a novel AKT3 mutation detected in the context of resistance to anti-ERBB2 therapy as an example of genomics-based approaches towards uncovering novel actionable targets in this setting.

Watrowski R, Castillo-Tong DC, Wolf A, et al.
HER2 Codon 655 (Ile/Val) Polymorphism and Breast Cancer in Austrian Women.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(12):6667-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The overexpression of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) in breast cancer (BC) is associated with impaired prognosis. Data concerning the HER2 codon 655 polymorphism (Ile/Val) and BC risk are conflicting.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We studied the HER2 codon 655 (rs1136201) polymorphism in 80 Austrian patients with BC and 100 healthy volunteers by pyrosequencing and polymerase chain reaction. Associations between codon 655 allelic variants and clinicopathological variables (e.g. age, stage of disease, tumor type, grading, and receptor status) were studied with 2×2 tables.
RESULTS: The genotypic distributions in patients with BC (AA: 63.75%, AG: 32.5%, GG: 3.75%) and controls (AA: 63%, AG: 34%, GG: 3.7%) were virtually identical (odds ratio=1.03, 95% confidence interval=0.56-1.90). A non-significant link between carrying at least one G allele and more aggressive tumor type (estrogen receptor-negative p=0.08, G3 tumor p=0.19) was observed.
CONCLUSION: Genotypic variation within the codon 655 of HER2 does not alter the BC risk in Caucasian Austrian women. The association between the G allele and more aggressive tumor types requires further investigation.

Mehrazma M, Kalantari E, Rezvani H, et al.
Chromogenic In Situ Hybridisation Test for Breast Cancer Patients with Equivocal IHC Results--a Study from Iran.
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2015; 16(17):7695-700 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: HER2/neu overexpression on cell membranes of breast cancer cells is due to HER2/neu gene amplification and it is important to identify potential candidates for anti HER2 therapy with trastuzumab. IHC, FISH and CISH are standard FDA approved assays currently used to determine HER2 status in routine practice. The aim of this study was to determine HER2 gene amplification, using the CISH method in breast carcinoma samples which had IHC +2 reactions.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This study was conducted from 2008- 2010 using 334 consecutive breast carcinoma samples referred from local laboratories to Mehr Hospital. CISH assays were performed for all cases, and IHC tests were also done for determining efficacy and accuracy of local labs. HER2 status in local IHC tests was compared with central IHC and CISH results.
RESULTS: Of 334 breast cancer patients, 16 were negative for HER2 IHC (0, +1), 201 cases were equivocal (+2), and 31 positive (+3). Of 334 referral cases, 88 were CISH positive (26.3%) and 246 were CISH negative (73.7%). Of 201 IHC +2 cases, HER2 gene amplification was observed in 42 cases (kappa: 0.42). A 29.9% concordance was found between local IHC and central IHC. Sensitivity and specificity of local IHC were 90% and 53.8%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Low accuracy of IHC results in local labs was associated with the following factors: using former FDA-approved criteria for HER2 interpretation, utilizing non-validated kits, and lack of any quality assurance program. Therefore, following the new 2014 ASCO/CAP guideline and comprehensive quality assurance should be implemented to ensure accuracy of HER2 testing.

Müller P, Kreuzaler M, Khan T, et al.
Trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) renders HER2+ breast cancer highly susceptible to CTLA-4/PD-1 blockade.
Sci Transl Med. 2015; 7(315):315ra188 [PubMed] Related Publications
Targeted drug delivery with antibody-drug conjugates such as the HER2-directed ado-trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1) has emerged as a powerful strategy for cancer therapy. We show that T-DM1 is particularly effective in eliciting antitumor immunity in patients with early breast cancer (WSG-ADAPT trial) and in a HER2-expressing orthotopic tumor model. In the latter, despite primary resistance to immunotherapy, combined treatment with T-DM1 and anti-CTLA-4/PD-1 (cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein-4/programmed cell death protein-1) was curative because it triggered innate and adaptive immunity. Tumor rejection was accompanied by massive T cell infiltration, TH1 (T helper 1) cell polarization, and, notably, a substantial increase in regulatory T cells. Depletion of regulatory T cells resulted in inflammation and tissue damage, implying their essential role in protecting the host during therapy. This study provides insights into the mechanisms of T-DM1's therapeutic activity and a rationale for potential therapeutic combination strategies with immunotherapy.

Victorino VJ, Barroso WA, Assunção AK, et al.
PGC-1β regulates HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cells proliferation by metabolic and redox pathways.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(5):6035-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is a prevalent neoplastic disease among women worldwide which treatments still present several side effects and resistance. Considering that cancer cells present derangements in their energetic homeostasis, and that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor- gamma coactivator 1 (PGC-1) is crucial for cellular metabolism and redox signaling, the main objective of this study was to investigate whether there is a relationship between PGC-1 expression, the proliferation of breast cancer cells and the mechanisms involved. We initially assessed PGC-1β expression in complementary DNA (cDNA) from breast tumor of patients bearing luminal A, luminal B, and HER2-overexpressed and triple negative tumors. Our data showed that PGC-1β expression is increased in patients bearing HER2-overexpressing tumors as compared to others subtypes. Using quantitative PCR and immunoblotting, we showed that breast cancer cells with HER2-amplification (SKBR-3) have greater expression of PGC-1β as compared to a non-tumorous breast cell (MCF-10A) and higher proliferation rate. PGC-1β expression was knocked down with short interfering RNA in HER2-overexpressing cells, and cells decreased proliferation. In these PGC-1β-inhibited cells, we found increased citrate synthase activity and no marked changes in mitochondrial respiration. Glycolytic pathway was decreased, characterized by lower intracellular lactate levels. In addition, after PGC-1β knockdown, SKBR-3 cells showed increased reactive oxygen species production, no changes in antioxidant activity, and decreased expression of ERRα, a modulator of metabolism. In conclusion, we show an association of HER2-overexpression and PGC-1β. PGC-1β knockdown impairs HER2-overexpressing cells proliferation acting on ERRα signaling, metabolism, and redox balance.

Gray MA, Tao RN, DePorter SM, et al.
A Nanobody Activation Immunotherapeutic that Selectively Destroys HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Cells.
Chembiochem. 2016; 17(2):155-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We report a rationally designed nanobody activation immunotherapeutic that selectively redirects anti-dinitrophenyl (anti-DNP) antibodies to the surface of HER2-positive breast cancer cells, resulting in their targeted destruction by antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. As nanobodies are relatively easy to express, stable, can be humanized, and can be evolved to potently and selectively bind virtually any disease-relevant cell surface receptor, we anticipate broad utility of this therapeutic strategy.

Langa BC, Oliveira MM, Pereira SR, et al.
Copy Number Analysis of the DLX4 and ERBB2 Genes in South African Breast Cancer Patients.
Cytogenet Genome Res. 2015; 146(3):195-203 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is one of the main causes of cancer death among South African women. Although several risk factors can be attributed to the observed high mortality rate, the biology of the tumors is not extensively investigated. Copy number gain of the DLX4 homeobox gene has been observed in breast cancer in association with poor prognosis and specific racial groups. Therefore, we aimed to assess the copy number and prognostic role of DLX4 in breast cancer from South African patients. Due to the co-location of ERBB2 and DLX4 in the 17q21 region, its copy number was also evaluated. Our results in the analysis of 66 cases demonstrated copy number gains of DLX4 and ERBB2 in 24.1 and 29.7% of the cases, respectively. Linear regression analysis showed no dependency between the copy number alterations in these genes. Although not significant, patients with DLX4 and ERBB2 gains presented a higher frequency of advanced-grade tumors. In addition, copy number alterations of these genes were not significantly differently observed in the 3 main racial groups of the Western Cape population: Colored, White, and Black. These findings indicate that gains of DLX4 and ERBB2 occur in South African breast cancer patients irrespectively of their race and factors known to influence prognosis.

Scorilas A, Trangas T, Yotis J, et al.
Determination of c-myc amplification and overexpression in breast cancer patients: evaluation of its prognostic value against c-erbB-2, cathepsin-D and clinicopathological characteristics using univariate and multivariate analysis.
Br J Cancer. 1999; 81(8):1385-91 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
C-myc and c-erbB-2 amplification and/or overexpression as well as total cathepsin-D (CD) concentration have been reported to be associated with poor prognosis in breast cancer. The prognostic significance, however, remains somewhat controversial, partly because of discrepancies among the different methodologies used. We determined the amplification and overexpression of c-myc oncogene in 152 breast cancer patients and examined its prognostic value in relation to c-erbB-2 amplification and overexpression, high concentration of CD (> or = 60 pmol mg(-1) protein) and standard clinicopathological prognostic factors of the disease. High CD concentration, as well as c-myc amplification and overexpression, proved to be the best of the new variables examined for prediction of early relapse (ER; before 3 years). After multivariate analysis only CD remained significant, which suggests that the prognostic power of these variables is similar. Using univariate analysis we proved that c-myc amplification and overexpression were highly significant for disease-free survival (DFS) (P = 0.0016 and P = 0.0001 respectively) and overall survival (OS) (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0095 respectively), although by multivariate analysis c-myc overexpression was statistically significant only for DFS (P = 0.0001) and c-myc amplification only for OS (P = 0.0006). With regard to c-erbB-2, only its overexpression appeared to be significant for DFS and OS, although after multivariate analysis its prognostic power was weaker (P = 0.030 and P = 0.024 respectively). c-myc amplification and overexpression exhibited a tendency for locoregional recurrence (LRR) (P = 0.0024 and P = 0.0075 respectively), however, their prognostic value was lower after multivariate analysis and only CD remained significant.

Ménard S, Tagliabue E, Campiglio M, Pupa SM
Role of HER2 gene overexpression in breast carcinoma.
J Cell Physiol. 2000; 182(2):150-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
The HER2 proto-oncogene encodes a transmembrane glycoprotein of 185 kDa (p185(HER2)) with intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity. Amplification of the HER2 gene and overexpression of its product induce cell transformation. Numerous studies have demonstrated the prognostic relevance of p185(HER2), which is overexpressed in 10% to 40% of human breast tumors. Recent data suggest that p185(HER2) is a ligand orphan receptor that amplifies the signal provided by other receptors of the HER family by heterodimerizing with them. Ligand-dependent activation of HER1, HER3, and HER4 by EGF or heregulin results in heterodimerization and, thereby, HER2 activation. HER2 overexpression is associated with breast cancer patient responsiveness to doxorubicin, to cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil (CMF), and to paclitaxel, whereas tamoxifen was found to be ineffective and even detrimental in patients with HER2-positive tumors. In vitro analyses have shown that the role of HER2 overexpression in determining the sensitivity of cancer cells to drugs is complex, and molecules involved in its signaling pathway are probably the actual protagonists of the sensitivity to drugs. The association of HER2 overexpression with human tumors, its extracellular accessibility, as well as its involvement in tumor aggressiveness are all factors that make this receptor an appropriate target for tumor-specific therapies. A number of approaches are being investigated as possible therapeutic strategies that target HER2: (1) growth inhibitory antibodies, which can be used alone or in combination with standard chemotherapeutics; (2) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI), which have been developed in an effort to block receptor activity because phosphorylation is the key event leading to activation and initiation of the signaling pathway; and (3) active immunotherapy, because the HER2 oncoprotein is immunogenic in some breast carcinoma patients.

Xie D, Shu XO, Deng Z, et al.
Population-based, case-control study of HER2 genetic polymorphism and breast cancer risk.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2000; 92(5):412-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Alterations of the HER2 (also known as erbB-2 or neu) proto-oncogene have been implicated in the carcinogenesis and prognosis of breast cancer. A polymorphism at codon 655 (GTC/valine to ATC /isoleucine [Val(655)Ile]) in the transmembrane domain-coding region of this gene has been identified and may be associated with the risk of breast cancer. We evaluated this hypothesis in a subgroup of women who participated in a large-scale, population-based, case-control study of breast cancer in Shanghai, China.
METHODS: Genomic DNA from 339 patients with breast cancer and 361 healthy control subjects was examined for the Val(655)Ile polymorphism with a polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment-length polymorphism-based assay. All study subjects completed a structured questionnaire during an in-person interview. All P values are from two-sided tests.
RESULTS: We found that 25.1% of the case patients and 21.7% of the control subjects were heterozygous for the Val allele and 3.2% of the case patients and 0. 3% of the control subjects were homozygous for this allele (P =.005). Compared with women with the Ile/Ile genotype, women who had the Ile/Val or Val/Val genotype had an elevated risk of breast cancer (odds ratio [OR] = 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.0-2.0; P =. 05) after adjustment for age, educational level, study period, history of breast fibroadenoma, leisure physical activity, and age at first live birth. The risk was elevated even more among women who were homozygous for the Val allele (OR = 14.1; 95% CI = 1.8-113.4). The association was more pronounced among younger women (45 years). The adjusted OR associated with the Val allele was 1.7 (95% CI = 1.1-2.6) for younger women and 1.0 (95% CI = 0.5-1.9) for older women.
CONCLUSIONS: Results of this study suggest that polymorphisms of the HER2 gene may be important susceptibility biomarkers for breast cancer risk, particularly among younger women.

HER2 and Ovarian Cancer

Latest Publications

Watrowski R, Castillo-Tong DC, Schuster E, et al.
Association of HER2 codon 655 polymorphism with ovarian cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(6):7239-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) codon 655 (Ile655Val) polymorphism in ovarian cancer is not fully understood. Two studies indicated a possible association between the Val allele and elevated risk or reduced prognosis of ovarian cancer. We investigated the HER2 codon 655 (rs1136201) polymorphism in 242 Austrian women-142 ovarian cancer patients and 100 healthy controls-by polymerase chain reaction and pyrosequencing. Associations between Ile655Val polymorphism and clinicopathological variables (e.g., age, FIGO stage, grading, serous vs. non-serous histology) were evaluated. The genotype distributions in ovarian cancer patients and controls were: AA; 66.2 %, AG; 25.35 %, GG; 8.45 %, and AA; 63 %, AG; 34 %, GG; 3.7 %, respectively (OR 1.15, CI 95 % 0.67-1.96). We observed a non-significant trend toward elevated cancer risk in Val/Val genotype (OR 2.98, CI 95 % 0.82-10.87, p = 0.10). Of note, 11 out of 12 Val/Val homozygotes were postmenopausal. The link between the Val/Val homozygosity and age over 50 years at diagnosis (OR 0.15, CI 95 % 0.02-1.2) was barely significant (p = 0.056). Summarizing, our data indicated a non-significant trend toward increased ovarian cancer risk in the Val/Val homozygosity, especially in women aged above 50 years. Further large-cohort studies focusing on the role of the HER2 codon 655 Val allele are needed.

Qin DJ, Tang CX, Yang L, et al.
Hsp90 Is a Novel Target Molecule of CDDO-Me in Inhibiting Proliferation of Ovarian Cancer Cells.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0132337 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Synthetic triterpenoid methyl-2-cyano-3, 12-dioxooleana-1, 9(11)-dien-28-oate (CDDO-Me) has been shown as a promising agent against ovarian cancer. However, the underlying mechanism is not well understood. Here, we demonstrate that CDDO-Me directly interacts with Hsp90 in cells by cellular thermal shift assay. CDDO-Me treatment leads to upregulation of Hsp70 and degradation of Hsp90 clients (ErbB2 and Akt), indicating the inhibition of Hsp90 by CDDO-Me in cells. Knockdown of Hsp90 significantly inhibits cell proliferation and enhances the anti-proliferation effect of CDDO-Me in H08910 ovarian cancer cells. Dithiothreitol inhibits the interaction of CDDO-Me with Hsp90 in cells and abrogates CDDO-Me induced upregulation of Hsp70, degradation of Akt and cell proliferation inhibition. This suggests the anti-ovarian cancer effect of CDDO-Me is possibly mediated by the formation of Michael adducts between CDDO-Me and reactive nucleophiles on Hsp90. This study identifies Hsp90 as a novel target protein of CDDO-Me, and provides a novel insight into the mechanism of action of CDDO-Me in ovarian cancer cells.

Chen CK, Lee MY, Lin WL, et al.
A qualitative study comparing the assay performance characteristics between the 2007 and the 2013 American Society for Clinical Oncology and College of American Pathologists HER2 scoring methods in mucinous epithelial ovarian cancer.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2014; 93(27):e171 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The remarkable success of trastuzumab and other newly developed anti-HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) therapies in breast, gastric, or gastroesophageal junction cancer patients has supported us to investigate the HER2 status and its possible therapeutic implication in mucinous epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). However, there is currently no standardization of HER2 scoring criteria in mucinous EOC. In this study, we aimed to compare both the assay performance characteristics of the 2007 and the 2013 American Society for Clinical Oncology and College of American Pathologists scoring methods. Forty-nine tissue microarray samples of mucinous EOC from Asian women were analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) tests using the 2007 and the 2013 criteria, respectively. The overall concordance between IHC and FISH by the 2007 criteria was 97.92 % (kappa = 0.921), and that by the 2013 criteria was 100% (kappa = 1.000). The percentage of Her2 FISH-amplified cases showed an increasing trend significantly through their corresponding HER2 IHC ordinals by the 2007 and the 2013 criteria, respectively (P < 0.001, P < 0.001). After excluding equivocal cases, the specificity (100%) and positive predictive value (100%) were unchanged under either the 2007 or the 2013 criteria. The sensitivity (100%), negative predictive value (NPV) (100%), and accuracy (100%) of HER2 IHC were higher under the 2013 criteria than those (sensitivity 87.5%, NPV 97.6%, and accuracy 97.9%) under the 2007 criteria. Of the total 49 cases, the number (n = 4) of HER2 IHC equivocal results under the 2013 criteria was 4-fold higher than that (n = 1) under the 2007 criteria (8.16% vs 2.04%). Conclusively, if first tested by IHC, the 2013 criteria caused more equivocal HER2 IHC cases to be referred to Her2 FISH testing than the 2007 criteria. That decreased the false-negative rate of HER2 status and increased the detection rates of HER2 positivity in mucinous EOC.

Teplinsky E, Muggia F
Targeting HER2 in ovarian and uterine cancers: challenges and future directions.
Gynecol Oncol. 2014; 135(2):364-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
Targeting the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) has yielded major advances in breast cancer treatment. Accordingly, it has generated interest in targeting HER2 to treat gynecologic malignancies. Multiple studies have evaluated the rates of HER2 overexpression and/or amplification in ovarian and uterine cancers. HER2 has also been studied as a prognostic factor but resulting data has been contradictory. Moreover, clinical trials of HER2-directed therapies, including trastuzumab, pertuzumab, and lapatinib in ovarian and uterine cancers have been largely disappointing. Current research on HER2 in gynecologic malignancies has focused on identifying mechanisms of resistance and looking further into how HER2 signaling in gynecologic cancers differs from breast cancer. In this review, we highlight the existing data of targeting HER2 in ovarian and uterine carcinomas, many dating back more than a decade, and discuss future directions in pursuing HER2 as a potential target in these diseases.

Yu L, Wang Y, Yao Y, et al.
Eradication of growth of HER2-positive ovarian cancer with trastuzumab-DM1, an antibody-cytotoxic drug conjugate in mouse xenograft model.
Int J Gynecol Cancer. 2014; 24(7):1158-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Ovarian cancer is 1 kind of a highly malignant gynecologic tumor, and current treatments have not achieved satisfactory effects. Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-targeted therapies including trastuzumab and trastuzumab-DM1 (T-DM1) (antibody-cytotoxic drug conjugates) have been applied to treat HER2-overexpressing breast cancers in clinic. In the present study, we explored whether T-DM1 could effectively treat HER2-positive human ovarian carcinoma in vitro and in vivo.
METHODS: HER2 expressions of 6 ovarian cancer cell lines and 2 breast carcinoma cell lines were validated, and the binding capacity of T-DM1 to HER2-positive ovarian cancer SKOV3 cells were analyzed by flow cytometry. Nude mice bearing intraperitoneal and subcutaneous SKOV3 xenografts were used to investigate the antitumor effect of T-DM1.
RESULTS: High HER2 expressions in SKOV3 cell lines were detected. The binding capacity of T-DM1 to HER2-positive SKOV3 cells was in a similar manner comparing with trastuzumab. In vitro, T-DM1 showed strong growth inhibitory on SKOV3 cells, with IC50 values of 0.15 nmol/L. Nude mice bearing intraperitoneal and subcutaneous SKOV3 xenografts were used to investigate the antitumor effects of T-DM1 in vivo. In subcutaneous xenografts model, T-DM1 (30 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg) indicated significant anticancer effects. It is noteworthy that tumors were completely eradicated in the T-DM1 (30 mg/kg) group, and no regrowth was observed in a long time after the termination of the treatment. In the peritoneal xenograft model, tumor nodules in 3 of 7 mice were hardly observed in the abdominal cavity of mice after intraperitoneal injection of T-DM1 (30 mg/kg). At the same time, tumor nodules from the other 4 mice weighed on the average of only 0.07 g versus 1.77 g in control group.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data showed that T-DM1 possessed promising antitumor effects on HER2-overexpressing ovarian cancer in mouse model, which provided valuable references for the future clinical trials.

Gelao L, Criscitiello C, Esposito A, et al.
Dendritic cell-based vaccines: clinical applications in breast cancer.
Immunotherapy. 2014; 6(3):349-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent evidence suggests that the immune system is involved in the carcinogenesis process and the antitumor immune responses impact the clinical outcome, thus emphasizing the concept of cancer immune surveillance. In this context, dendritic cells (DCs) seem to play a crucial role, as they are the most potent antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and are able to stimulate naive T lymphocytes and to generate memory T lymphocytes. Immunotherapy with DC-based vaccines is a very attractive approach to treat cancer, offering the potential for high tumor-specific cytotoxicity. Although breast cancer (BC) is traditionally considered a poorly immunogenic tumor, increasing numbers of both preclinical and clinical studies demonstrate that vaccination with DCs is capable of inducing an antitumor-specific response, while being well tolerated and safe. However, clinical objective responses are still disappointing and many reasons may explain the difficulty of developing effective DC-based therapies for BC. In this review, we discuss the characteristics of DCs, and the major clinical indications for DC-based immunotherapy in BC with related drawbacks.

Chao WR, Lee MY, Lin WL, et al.
HER2 amplification and overexpression are significantly correlated in mucinous epithelial ovarian cancer.
Hum Pathol. 2014; 45(4):810-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
HER2 gene amplification and protein over-expression are important factors in predicting clinical sensitivity to anti-HER2 therapies in breast, gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancer patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between HER2 gene copy numbers and HER2 protein expressions in mucinous epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Of the 49 tissue microarray samples of mucinous EOC, we applied 2010 ToGA trial (Trastuzumab for Gastric Cancer) surgical specimen scoring criteria to analyze the HER2 protein expression by an immunohistochemistry (IHC) test with Dako (Carpenteria, CA), c-erb-B2 antibody, and the HER2 gene amplification by the fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) test with Abbott/Vysis PathVysion HER2 DNA Probe Kit (Abbott Molecular Inc., Des Plaines, IA). We achieved a high overall concordance of 97.56% between nonequivocal HER2 results by IHC and FISH tests. In addition, HER2 gene copies before chromosome-17 correction increased significantly in a stepwise order through the negative, equivocal and positive IHC result categories (P<.001), as did the HER2 gene copies after chromosome-17 correction (P<.001). On the other hand, HER2 IHC results correlated significantly with both chromosome-17-uncorrected HER2 gene copy numbers (ρ=0.630, P<.001) and chromosome-17 corrected HER2 gene copy numbers (ρ=0.558, P<.001). We concluded that both chromosome-17 corrected and uncorrected HER2 gene copies correlated significantly with HER2 IHC results. Tests for the HER2 gene copies per tumor cell either before or after correction of chromosome-17 can be applied as a potentially valuable tool to analyze the HER2 status in mucinous EOC.

Shanmughapriya S, Senthilkumar G, Arun S, et al.
Polymorphism and overexpression of HER2/neu among ovarian carcinoma women from Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India.
Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2013; 288(6):1385-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Alteration and overexpression of HER2 proto-oncogene have been implicated in the carcinogenesis and prognosis of ovarian cancer. We evaluated this hypothesis among women with ovarian carcinoma patients from Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, India.
METHODS: Genomic DNA was extracted from 72 case patients and 288 control subjects and was examined for I655V polymorphism by PCR-RFLP based assay. Immunohistochemistry analysis was carried out in order to study the overexpression of HER2 protein. The observed number of each genotype was compared with that expected for a population in the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. In analysing the relation between genotype and overexpression of HER2 protein, Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel statistics was used.
RESULTS: We found that 20.8% of the case patients and 16.3% of the control subjects were heterozygous for the Val allele and 10 case patients (13.8%) and 3 control subjects (1.1%) were homozygous for this allele (P < 0.001). Compared with women with Ile/Ile genotype, women with Val/Val genotype had an elevated risk of ovarian cancer. The genotype distributions were consistent with the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. The risk increased with the number of Val allele and women homozygous for the Val allele had 15-fold (OR = 15.3; 95%CI = 4.09-57.31) increased risk of cancer. The patients homozygous for the Valine allele showed strong HER2 protein expression.
CONCLUSION: The results showed that the valine allele may be an indicator of genetic susceptibility to ovarian carcinoma in the study population.

Zhang Z, Chen X, Chang X, et al.
Vaccination with embryonic stem cells generates effective antitumor immunity against ovarian cancer.
Int J Mol Med. 2013; 31(1):147-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
To date, only a few studies have suggested that human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) might effectively immunize against colon and lung cancer. The purpose of this study was to investigate the therapeutic potential of hESCs as a vaccine to induce widespread antitumor effects in different animal models and various types of cancer. C57BL/6 mice with ID8 ovarian cancer cell and Fischer 344 rats with NuTu-19 ovarian cancer cell models were used. Fifty-four mice were divided into six groups with nine mice in each group. Each mouse was immunized with pre-inactivated hESCs (H9) or mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs; IVP-ES1) or ID8 or phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). Twenty-four rats were divided into four groups with six rats in each group, each rat immunized with pre-inactivated hESCs (H9) or NuTu-19 or PBS. After the vaccination, each mouse was challenged with live ID8 cells subcutaneously, and each rat was challenged with live NuTu-19 cells intraperitoneally. We discovered that vaccination of mice with the hESC line H9 and the mESC line IVP-ES1 generated consistent cellular and humoral immune responses against ID8 ovarian cancer. H9 and IVP-ES1 vaccinated mice obtained antitumor immune protection, and H9 vaccinated rats had the longest survival time and least distant metastases. No evidence of side-effects was observed. We also compared the immunogenicity against ovarian cancer between the hESC line, H9, and the mESC line, IVP-ES1, that derived from the inner cell mass in different species. We found that there were no significant differences between them. Furthermore, immunohistochemical staining revealed that several oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, such as HER-2, C-myc, p53, and nm23, were expressed in H9, many of which were also shared by ovarian cancer. hESC vaccines can induce antitumor effects in two animal models and in ovarian cancer, indicating that the activity of the vaccine is universal, and, more importantly, it is safe.

Comprehensive molecular portraits of human breast tumours.
Nature. 2012; 490(7418):61-70 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We analysed primary breast cancers by genomic DNA copy number arrays, DNA methylation, exome sequencing, messenger RNA arrays, microRNA sequencing and reverse-phase protein arrays. Our ability to integrate information across platforms provided key insights into previously defined gene expression subtypes and demonstrated the existence of four main breast cancer classes when combining data from five platforms, each of which shows significant molecular heterogeneity. Somatic mutations in only three genes (TP53, PIK3CA and GATA3) occurred at >10% incidence across all breast cancers; however, there were numerous subtype-associated and novel gene mutations including the enrichment of specific mutations in GATA3, PIK3CA and MAP3K1 with the luminal A subtype. We identified two novel protein-expression-defined subgroups, possibly produced by stromal/microenvironmental elements, and integrated analyses identified specific signalling pathways dominant in each molecular subtype including a HER2/phosphorylated HER2/EGFR/phosphorylated EGFR signature within the HER2-enriched expression subtype. Comparison of basal-like breast tumours with high-grade serous ovarian tumours showed many molecular commonalities, indicating a related aetiology and similar therapeutic opportunities. The biological finding of the four main breast cancer subtypes caused by different subsets of genetic and epigenetic abnormalities raises the hypothesis that much of the clinically observable plasticity and heterogeneity occurs within, and not across, these major biological subtypes of breast cancer.

Worzfeld T, Swiercz JM, Looso M, et al.
ErbB-2 signals through Plexin-B1 to promote breast cancer metastasis.
J Clin Invest. 2012; 122(4):1296-305 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer is associated with a very poor prognosis. New therapeutic targets are urgently needed, but their development is hampered by a lack of understanding of the mechanisms leading to tumor metastasis. Exemplifying this is the fact that the approximately 30% of all breast cancers overexpressing the receptor tyrosine kinase ErbB-2 are characterized by high metastatic potential and poor prognosis, but the signaling events downstream of ErbB-2 that drive cancer cell invasion and metastasis remain incompletely understood. Here we show that overexpression of ErbB-2 in human breast cancer cell lines leads to phosphorylation and activation of the semaphorin receptor Plexin-B1. This was required for ErbB-2-dependent activation of the pro-metastatic small GTPases RhoA and RhoC and promoted invasive behavior of human breast cancer cells. In a mouse model of ErbB-2-overexpressing breast cancer, ablation of the gene encoding Plexin-B1 strongly reduced the occurrence of metastases. Moreover, in human patients with ErbB-2-overexpressing breast cancer, low levels of Plexin-B1 expression correlated with good prognosis. Our data suggest that Plexin-B1 represents a new candidate therapeutic target for treating patients with ErbB-2-positive breast cancer.

Yan B, Choo SN, Mulyadi P, et al.
Dual-colour HER2/chromosome 17 chromogenic in situ hybridisation enables accurate assessment of HER2 genomic status in ovarian tumours.
J Clin Pathol. 2011; 64(12):1097-101 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Ovarian cancer is a leading cause of gynaecological cancer-related morbidity and mortality. There has been increasing interest in the potential utility of anti-human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (anti-HER2) agents in the treatment of this disease, with the attendant need to identify suitable predictive biomarkers of response to treatment.
AIMS/METHODS: The authors studied the prevalence of HER2 genomic amplification and overexpression in 85 ovarian tumours in the local patient cohort of this study, as well as the concordance rate between immunohistochemistry, fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH) and a dual-colour HER2/chromosome 17 centromere chromogenic in situ hybridisation (CISH) assay.
RESULTS: The authors identified HER2 genomic amplification and protein overexpression in 35.3% (6/17) and 29.4% (5/17), respectively, of primary ovarian mucinous carcinomas. No other cancer subtypes displayed HER2 amplification or protein overexpression. The authors also found a perfect concordance between FISH and dual-colour CISH analysis (κ coefficient 1.0, p<0.001).
CONCLUSION: The results of this study support existing reports that HER2 genomic amplification and protein overexpression are predominantly found in primary ovarian mucinous carcinomas. Given the perfect concordance between the FISH and dual-colour CISH assays and the advantages of CISH over FISH analysis, future clinical trials investigating the use of anti-HER2 therapeutics in ovarian carcinomas should incorporate dual-colour CISH as part of the HER2 status assessment algorithm.

Meden H, Marx D, Roegglen T, et al.
Overexpression of the oncogene c-erbB-2 (HER2/neu) and response to chemotherapy in patients with ovarian cancer.
Int J Gynecol Pathol. 1998; 17(1):61-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study was designed to determine whether c-erbB-2 overexpression could be used as a marker to identify a subgroup of patients with ovarian cancer more likely than others to benefit from chemotherapy. Paraffin sections from tissue blocks from 208 patients with newly diagnosed untreated ovarian cancer were analyzed for c-erbB-2 overexpression. All patients underwent postoperative platin-based chemotherapy. Patients with c-erbB-2 positive tumors had a significantly worse prognosis as compared to patients with c-erbB-2 negative tumors (p = 0.0003). c-erbB-2 findings were not related to tumor stage or histologic findings. There was clear evidence of a dose-response effect with regard to survival in patients with c-erbB-2 negative tumors, which could not be seen in patients with c-erbB-2 positive tumors (p = 0.0341 vs p = 0.3775). We conclude that there is a significant total dose-response effect of platin-based chemotherapy in ovarian cancer patients without overexpression of c-erbB-2 but not in patients with c-erbB-2 overexpression. Overexpression of c-erbB-2 may be a useful marker to identify patients who are most likely to benefit from high-dose chemotherapy.

Latest Publications: ERBB2 (cancer-related)

Agosto-Arroyo E, Isayeva T, Wei S, et al.
Differential Gene Expression in Ductal Carcinoma In Situ of the Breast Based on ERBB2 Status.
Cancer Control. 2017; 24(1):102-110 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The molecular signature of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) in the breast is not well understood. Erb-b2 receptor tyrosine kinase 2 (ERBB2 [formerly known as HER2/neu]) positivity in DCIS is predictive of coexistent early invasive breast carcinoma. The aim of this study is to identify the gene-expression signature profiles of estrogen receptor (ER)/progesterone receptor (PR)-positive, ERBB2, and triple-negative subtypes of DCIS.
METHODS: Based on ER, PR, and ERBB2 status, a total of 18 high nuclear grade DCIS cases with no evidence of invasive breast carcinoma were selected along with 6 non-neoplastic controls. The 3 study groups were defined as ER/PR-positive, ERBB2, and triple-negative subtypes.
RESULTS: A total of 49 genes were differentially expressed in the ERBB2 subtype compared with the ER/PR-positive and triple-negative groups. PROM1 was overexpressed in the ERBB2 subtype compared with ER/PR-positive and triple-negative subtypes. Other genes differentially expressed included TAOK1, AREG, AGR3, PEG10, and MMP9.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study identified unique gene signatures in ERBB2-positive DCIS, which may be associated with the development of invasive breast carcinoma. The results may enhance our understanding of the progression of breast cancer and become the basis for developing new predictive biomarkers and therapeutic targets for DCIS.

Aitelhaj M, Lkhoyaali S, Rais G, et al.
First line chemotherapy plus trastuzumab in metastatic breast cancer HER2 positive - Observational institutional study.
Pan Afr Med J. 2016; 24:324 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer is the most common malignant disease and among the most frequent causes of cancer mortality in females worldwide. Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is conventionally considered to be incurable. In first-line treatment of HER-2 positive MBC, randomized trials have demonstrated that trastuzumab when combined with chemotherapy significantly improves progression free survival and overall survival. To evaluate survival and toxicity of chemotherapy with Trastuzumab as first line therapy of human epithermal growth factor receptor 2 positive metastatic breast cancer, in Moroccan population. It is a phase IV observational institutional monocentric study. Including patients with metastatic breast cancer HER2 positive, as first-line chemotherapy combined with Trastuzumab from March 2009 until March 2010. Primary end point: progression free survival, secondary end point response rate and overall survival. A total of 20 patients were enrolled between March 2009 and March 2010. The lung was the first metastatic site in 60% of the cases, followed by bone, liver, nodes, skin and brain. All patients received chemotherapy with Trastuzumab: 9 of them with Docetaxel, 8 with vinorelbine, and 3 with capecitabine. The progression free survival was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method, from the date of first cycle to the date of progression or at the last consultation, and the median was 12.8 months. Trastuzumab based chemotherapy was generally well tolerated; 5 patients (25%) presented cardiotoxicity. The results of this study join the literature and show the benefit of Trastuzumab to chemotherapy in first line metastatic breast cancer HER-2 positive.

Chen JR, Chien HP, Chen KS, et al.
Amplification of HER2 and TOP2A and deletion of TOP2A genes in a series of Taiwanese breast cancer.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2017; 96(2):e5582 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The prognostic relevance of topoisomerase II alpha (TOP2A) copy number change remains not well established. This study is aimed to investigate the frequency and pattern of TOP2A aberrations; to correlate TOP2A alterations with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status and clinicopathological parameters, and further to explore prognostic value of TOP2A and HER2 status in breast cancer in Taiwan.
METHODS: We analyzed tissue samples from 311 invasive carcinomas in tissue microarrays for TOP2A and HER2 status by fluorescent in situ hybridization.
RESULTS: TOP2A copy number change is an infrequent genetic event (9.8% amplification and 2.7% deletion) and is present in both HER2-amplified and nonamplified tumors. TOP2A amplification is statistically associated with age >50 at diagnosis (P = 0.016) and HER2 amplification (P < 0.001). HER2 amplification, but not TOP2A amplification, is a predictor of unfavorable prognosis (P = 0.002). Univariate and multivariate analysis showed that higher histologic grading, positive nodal involvement, and HER2 positivity were associated with poorer overall survival. Cytogenetically, double minutes-type amplification is the predominant pattern for both genes (HER2: 64% and TOP2A: 93.1%). Homogeneous staining region-type signals of both genes are resistant to RNase digestion, supporting that these were not nuclear accumulation of mRNA transcripts.
CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate the prognostic value of tumor grading, nodal involvement, and HER2 status in Taiwanese breast cancer. TOP2A aberrations are an infrequent event independent of HER2 status, and TOP2A amplification carries no prognostic value. The predictive value of TOP2A aberrations in patients of breast cancer taking athracycline-containing treatment in Taiwan remains to be determined in prospectively well-designed clinical trials.

Bartley AN, Washington MK, Ventura CB, et al.
HER2 Testing and Clinical Decision Making in Gastroesophageal Adenocarcinoma: Guideline From the College of American Pathologists, American Society for Clinical Pathology, and American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Am J Clin Pathol. 2016; 146(6):647-669 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: ERBB2 (erb-b2 receptor tyrosine kinase 2 or HER2) is currently the only biomarker established for selection of a specific therapy for patients with advanced gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (GEA). However, there are no comprehensive guidelines for the assessment of HER2 in patients with GEA.
OBJECTIVES: To establish an evidence-based guideline for HER2 testing in patients with GEA, to formalize the algorithms for methods to improve the accuracy of HER2 testing while addressing which patients and tumor specimens are appropriate, and to provide guidance on clinical decision making.
DESIGN: The College of American Pathologists, American Society for Clinical Pathology, and American Society of Clinical Oncology convened an expert panel to conduct a systematic review of the literature to develop an evidence-based guideline with recommendations for optimal HER2 testing in patients with GEA.
RESULTS: The panel is proposing 11 recommendations with strong agreement from the open-comment participants.
RECOMMENDATIONS: The panel recommends that tumor specimen(s) from all patients with advanced GEA, who are candidates for HER2-targeted therapy, should be assessed for HER2 status before the initiation of HER2-targeted therapy. Clinicians should offer combination chemotherapy and a HER2-targeted agent as initial therapy for all patients with HER2-positive advanced GEA. For pathologists, guidance is provided for morphologic selection of neoplastic tissue, testing algorithms, scoring methods, interpretation and reporting of results, and laboratory quality assurance.
CONCLUSIONS: This guideline provides specific recommendations for assessment of HER2 in patients with advanced GEA while addressing pertinent technical issues and clinical implications of the results.

El Hadi H, Abdellaoui-Maane I, Kottwitz D, et al.
Development and evaluation of a novel RT-qPCR based test for the quantification of HER2 gene expression in breast cancer.
Gene. 2017; 605:114-122 [PubMed] Related Publications
Accurate measurement of Human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2) gene expression is central for breast or stomach cancer therapy orientation and prognosis. The current standards testing methods for HER2 expression are immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). In the current study, we explored the use of quantitative real time reverse transcription-PCR (RT-qPCR) as a potential method for the accurate relative quantification of the HER2 gene using formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) breast cancer biopsy samples. The main aim of the current study is to measure the level of concordance of RT-qPCR based quantification of HER2 overexpression with both IHC and FISH. Accordingly, an endogenous control gene (ECG) is required for this relative quantification and should ideally be expressed equivalently across tested samples. Stably expressed ECGs have been selected from a panel of seven genes using GenEx V6 software which is based on geNorm and NormFinder and statistical methods. Quantification of HER2 gene expression was performed by our RT-qPCR-based test and compared to the results obtained by both IHC and FISH methods. HER2 gene quantification using RT-qPCR test was normalized using the two ECGs (RPL30 and RPL37A) that were successfully identified and selected from a panel of seven genes as the most stable and reliable ECGs. We evaluated a total of 216 FFPE tissue samples from breast cancer patients. The results obtained with RT-qPCR in the current study were compared to both IHC and FISH data collected for the same patients. In addition to an internal evaluation, an external evaluation of this assay was also performed in a recognized pathology center in Europe (Clinic Barcelona Hospital Universitari, Spain) using 116 FFPE breast cancer tissue samples. The results demonstrated a high concordance between RT-qPCR and either IHC (98%) or FISH (72%) methods. Accordantly, the overall concordance was 85%. To our knowledge, this is the first study using the specific combination of RPL30 and RPL37 as reference genes for an accurate HER2 gene quantification in FFPE biopsy samples. Although further clinical validation regarding evolution and therapeutic response using RT-qPCR for the quantification of HER2 expression are still needed, the present study constitutes definitely a factual element that the RT-qPCR based assay may constitute a valid complementary test to accurately measure HER2 expression for a better treatment orientation.

Hui L, Geiersbach KB, Downs-Kelly E, Gulbahce HE
RAI1 Alternate Probe Identifies Additional Breast Cancer Cases as Amplified Following Equivocal HER2 Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization Testing: Experience From a National Reference Laboratory.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2017; 141(2):274-278 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: -In 2013 the American Society of Clinical Oncology and College of American Pathologists updated the HER2 guidelines and changed the equivocal category for HER2 in situ hybridization testing to an average HER2 copy number of 4.0 to 5.9 with a HER2:CEP17 ratio of less than 2.0 and proposed retesting, with an option of using another control probe to avoid false-negative results. RAI1, located at band position 17p11.2, is a popular alternate probe locus for retesting equivocal changes.
OBJECTIVE: -To review experience with the RAI1 alternate probe in HER2 fluorescence in situ hybridization equivocal breast cancers.
DESIGN: -Primary and metastatic breast cancers with equivocal HER2 fluorescence in situ hybridization, retested with an alternate (RAI1) probe, were identified. HER2, RAI1, and CEP17 copy numbers, HER2 to control probe ratios, and genetic heterogeneity were recorded. Hematoxylin-eosin-stained slides were reviewed for type and grade of cancer.
RESULTS: -Of 876 cases tested with CEP17 as the reference probe, 97 (11.1%) had equivocal HER2 fluorescence in situ hybridization results. Additional testing with the RAI1 probe classified 39.2% cases (38 of 97) as amplified with a HER2:RAI1 ratio ranging from 2.0 to 3.2 (mean, 2.37); 3.1% (3 of 97) were still unclassifiable because of a deletion of RAI1.
CONCLUSIONS: -RAI1 identified close to 40% of original HER2 fluorescence in situ hybridization equivocal cases as amplified, making these patients eligible for targeted therapies. It is not known whether guidelines for US Food and Drug Administration-approved probes can be extrapolated to alternate probes when an alternate control probe shows losses or gains. Because of the lack of guidelines for reporting HER2 status with alternate probes, laboratories face challenges in interpreting results.

Sakaguchi K, Nakatsukasa K, Taguchi T
Phase I Study of Triweekly Nab-Paclitaxel Combined with S-1 in Patients with HER2-negative Metastatic Breast Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(12):6515-6519 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: We conducted a phase I study to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and recommended dose (RD) of triweekly nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel (nab-paclitaxel) and S-1 combination therapy in patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative metastatic breast cancer (MBC).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: This study was carried out with a 3+3 dose escalation design; patients with HER2-negative MBC received nab-paclitaxel at 180-260 mg/m(2) on day 1 and S-1 at 65-80 mg/m(2) daily on days 1-14, repeated every 3 weeks.
RESULTS: The MTD was level 3 (260 mg/m(2) nab-paclitaxel with 80 mg/m(2) S-1) and the RD was level 2 (260 mg/m(2) nab-paclitaxel with 65 mg/m(2) S-1). Dose-limiting toxicity was observed in two patients at level 3, who had grade 4 neutropenia and grade 3 myalgia, respectively.
CONCLUSION: The response rate was 66.7%. The clinical benefit rate was 77.8%. Our study shows the efficacy and the feasibility of this combination therapy.

Tanaka S, Iwamoto M, Kimura K, et al.
A Phase II Study of Adjuvant Chemotherapy of Tegafur-Uracil for Patients with Breast Cancer with HER2-negative Pathologic Residual Invasive Disease After Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(12):6505-6509 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: There is no consensus on the need for adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with pathological residual invasive breast cancer (non-pCR) after neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC). We evaluated the tolerability and safety of tegafur-uracil (UFT) as adjuvant chemotherapy for patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative breast cancer that resulted in non-pCR after NAC.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We treated patients with 270 mg/m(2) UFT per day for 2 years after definitive surgery and radiotherapy, if necessary. In cases with hormone-sensitive cancer, patients received concurrent endocrine therapy. The primary end-point was the rate of completion of scheduled UFT therapy. Secondary end-points included safety and disease-free survival.
RESULTS: Twenty-one out of 29 patients (72%) completed the scheduled therapy. Eight patients discontinued the study treatment because of disease recurrence, toxicities, and patients' wish. Excluding liver dysfunction, adverse events were quite mild.
CONCLUSION: Adjuvant UFT therapy after NAC was feasible and safe.

Tiainen L, Tanner M, Lahdenperä O, et al.
Bevacizumab Combined with Docetaxel or Paclitaxel as First-line Treatment of HER2-negative Metastatic Breast Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(12):6431-6438 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: The study evaluated the efficacy of bevacizumab combined with a taxane-based treatment for advanced breast cancer.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: In this non-randomized phase II study 65 patients received 10 mg/kg bevacizumab i.v. (days 1 and 15, q4w) plus either 50 mg/m(2) docetaxel (days 1 and 15, q4w) or 90 mg/m(2) paclitaxel (days 1,8 and 15, q4w) i.v. until disease progression, maximal response, unacceptable toxicity or the withdrawal of consent. Patients without progression continued bevacizumab at 15 mg/kg i.v. (q3w) alone, or with endocrine therapy. (NCT00979641).
RESULTS: Progression-free survival was 11.3 months (95% confidence interval=9.7-16.0 months) and overall survival was 35.1 months (95% confidence interval=22.2-50.3 months). More than half of the patients (62%) responded at least partially. Bevacizumab-related serious adverse events occurred in 10.8% patients and one patient died because of gastrointestinal perforation.
CONCLUSION: Treating advanced breast cancer with a bevacizumab-containing regimen as the first-line cytotoxic treatment resulted in excellent response rates and long survival.

Rugo HS, Barve A, Waller CF, et al.
Effect of a Proposed Trastuzumab Biosimilar Compared With Trastuzumab on Overall Response Rate in Patients With ERBB2 (HER2)-Positive Metastatic Breast Cancer: A Randomized Clinical Trial.
JAMA. 2017; 317(1):37-47 [PubMed] Related Publications
Importance: Treatment with the anti-ERBB2 humanized monoclonal antibody trastuzumab and chemotherapy significantly improves outcome in patients with ERBB2 (HER2)-positive metastatic breast cancer; a clinically effective biosimilar may help increase access to this therapy.
Objective: To compare the overall response rate and assess the safety of a proposed trastuzumab biosimilar plus a taxane or trastuzumab plus a taxane in patients without prior treatment for ERBB2-positive metastatic breast cancer.
Design, Setting, and Participants: Multicenter, double-blind, randomized, parallel-group, phase 3 equivalence study in patients with metastatic breast cancer. From December 2012 to August 2015, 500 patients were randomized 1:1 to receive a proposed biosimilar or trastuzumab plus a taxane. Chemotherapy was administered for at least 24 weeks followed by antibody alone until unacceptable toxic effects or disease progression occurred.
Interventions: Proposed biosimilar (n = 230) or trastuzumab (n = 228) with a taxane.
Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary outcome was week 24 overall response rate (ORR) defined as complete or partial response. Equivalence boundaries were 0.81 to 1.24 with a 90% CI for ORR ratio (proposed biosimilar/trastuzumab) and -15% to 15% with a 95% CI for ORR difference. Secondary outcome measures included time to tumor progression, progression-free and overall survival at week 48, and adverse events.
Results: Among 500 women randomized, the intention-to-treat population included 458 women (mean [SD] age, 53.6 [11.11] years) and the safety population included 493 women. The ORR was 69.6% (95% CI, 63.62%-75.51%) for the proposed biosimilar vs 64.0% (95% CI, 57.81%-70.26%) for trastuzumab. The ORR ratio (1.09; 90% CI, 0.974-1.211) and ORR difference (5.53; 95% CI, -3.08 to 14.04) were within the equivalence boundaries. At week 48, there was no statistically significant difference with the proposed biosimilar vs trastuzumab for time to tumor progression (41.3% vs 43.0%; -1.7%; 95% CI, -11.1% to 6.9%), progression-free survival (44.3% vs 44.7%; -0.4%; 95% CI, -9.4% to 8.7%), or overall survival (89.1% vs 85.1%; 4.0%; 95% CI, -2.1% to 10.3%). In the proposed biosimilar and trastuzumab groups, 239 (98.6%) and 233 (94.7%) had at least 1 adverse event, the most common including neutropenia (57.5% vs 53.3%), peripheral neuropathy (23.1% vs 24.8%), and diarrhea (20.6% vs 20.7%).
Conclusions and Relevance: Among women with ERBB2-positive metastatic breast cancer receiving taxanes, the use of a proposed trastuzumab biosimilar compared with trastuzumab resulted in an equivalent overall response rate at 24 weeks. Further study is needed to assess safety and long-term clinical outcome.
Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT02472964; EudraCT Identifier: 2011-001965-42.

Chavarri-Guerra Y, St Louis J, Bukowski A, et al.
Real world patterns of care in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer: Results of a survey of TEACH clinical trial investigators in 2011.
Breast. 2017; 31:197-201 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: HER2-overexpressing breast cancer (BC) is common among young patients and poses a public health burden. Adjuvant anti-HER2/neu therapy with trastuzumab reduces the risk of recurrence and improves survival.
METHODS: A web-based survey was sent to 386 physicians of the "TEACH" trial in 2011 to determine access to HER2/neu testing and treatment patterns for HER2-overexpressing BC.
RESULTS: There were 151 responders (39%) from 28 countries. Ninety-seven percent reported HER2/neu expression is routinely measured in their institutions by immunohistochemistry (85%), FISH (80%) and other methods (16%). Twenty percent of responders from Asia reported that the test was not routinely available. Forty-eight percent of participants reported instances when adjuvant HER2-directed therapy was recommended to a patient who eventually did not receive it. Reasons for not receiving trastuzumab was cost (73%, p < 0.0001) in low- and middle-income countries and co-morbidities in high-income countries (43%, p = 0.003).
CONCLUSIONS: This survey reflects the availability of HER2/neu testing and anti-HER2/neu therapy among physicians who participated in TEACH. A high proportion of women with HER2-overexpressing BC may not receive standard adjuvant therapy due to unavailability of the test and cost of therapy. Despite having some limitations, such as a possible selection bias of participating physicians, variable definitions of access to healthcare among respondents, and changes in trastuzumab availability since 2011, our results demonstrate that access to care and region of practice impact the implementation of cancer treatments.

Li G, Zheng J, Xu B, et al.
Simvastatin inhibits tumor angiogenesis in HER2-overexpressing human colorectal cancer.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2017; 85:418-424 [PubMed] Related Publications
Overexpression of the HER2 oncogene contributes to tumor angiogenesis, which is an essential hallmark of cancer. Simvastatin has been reported to exhibit antitumor activities in several cancers; however, its roles and molecular mechanismsin the regulation of colorectal angiogenesis remain to be clarified. Here, we show that colon cancer cells express high levels of VEGF, total HER2 and phosphorylated HER2, and simvastatin apparently decreased their expression in HER2-overexpressing colon cancer cells. Simvastatin pretreatment reduced endothelial tube formation in vitro and microvessel density in vivo. Furthermore, simvastatin markedly inhibited tumor angiogenesis even in the presence of heregulin (HRG)-β1 (a HER2 co-activator) pretreatment in HER2+ tumor cells. Mechanistic investigation showed that simvastatin significantly abrogated HER2-induced tumor angiogenesis by inhibiting VEGF secretion. Together, these results provide a novel mechanism underlying the simvastatin-induced inhibition of tumor angiogenesis through regulating HER2/VEGF axis.

Joensuu H
Escalating and de-escalating treatment in HER2-positive early breast cancer.
Cancer Treat Rev. 2017; 52:1-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
The current standard adjuvant systemic treatment of early HER2-positive breast cancer consists of chemotherapy plus 12months of trastuzumab, with or without endocrine therapy. Several trials have investigated modifications of the standard treatment that are shorter and less resource-demanding (de-escalation) or regimens that aim at dual HER2 inhibition or include longer than 12months of HER2-targeted treatment (escalation). Seven randomized trials investigate shorter than 12months of trastuzumab treatment duration. The shorter durations were not statistically inferior to the 1-year duration in the 3 trials with survival results available, but 2 of the trials were small and 1 had a relatively short follow-up time of the patients at the time of reporting. The pathological complete response (pCR) rates were numerically higher in all 9 randomized trials that compared chemotherapy plus dual HER2 inhibition consisting of trastuzumab plus either lapatinib, neratinib, or pertuzumab with chemotherapy plus trastuzumab as neoadjuvant treatments, but the superiority of chemotherapy plus dual HER2-inhibition over chemotherapy plus trastuzumab remains to be demonstrated in the adjuvant setting. One year of adjuvant trastuzumab was as effective as 2years of trastuzumab in the HERA trial, and was associated with fewer side-effects. Extending 1-year adjuvant trastuzumab treatment with 1year of neratinib improved disease-free survival in the ExteNET trial, but the patient follow-up times are still short, and no overall survival benefit was reported. Several important trials are expected to report results in the near future and may modify the current standard.

Bartley AN, Washington MK, Ventura CB, et al.
HER2 Testing and Clinical Decision Making in Gastroesophageal Adenocarcinoma: Guideline From the College of American Pathologists, American Society for Clinical Pathology, and American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2016; 140(12):1345-1363 [PubMed] Related Publications
CONTEXT: - ERBB2 (erb-b2 receptor tyrosine kinase 2 or HER2) is currently the only biomarker established for selection of a specific therapy for patients with advanced gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (GEA). However, there are no comprehensive guidelines for the assessment of HER2 in patients with GEA.
OBJECTIVES: - To establish an evidence-based guideline for HER2 testing in patients with GEA, to formalize the algorithms for methods to improve the accuracy of HER2 testing while addressing which patients and tumor specimens are appropriate, and to provide guidance on clinical decision making.
DESIGN: - The College of American Pathologists, American Society for Clinical Pathology, and American Society of Clinical Oncology convened an expert panel to conduct a systematic review of the literature to develop an evidence-based guideline with recommendations for optimal HER2 testing in patients with GEA.
RESULTS: - The panel is proposing 11 recommendations with strong agreement from the open-comment participants.
RECOMMENDATIONS: - The panel recommends that tumor specimen(s) from all patients with advanced GEA, who are candidates for HER2-targeted therapy, should be assessed for HER2 status before the initiation of HER2-targeted therapy. Clinicians should offer combination chemotherapy and a HER2-targeted agent as initial therapy for all patients with HER2-positive advanced GEA. For pathologists, guidance is provided for morphologic selection of neoplastic tissue, testing algorithms, scoring methods, interpretation and reporting of results, and laboratory quality assurance.
CONCLUSIONS: - This guideline provides specific recommendations for assessment of HER2 in patients with advanced GEA while addressing pertinent technical issues and clinical implications of the results.

Bonotto M, Gerratana L, Di Maio M, et al.
Chemotherapy versus endocrine therapy as first-line treatment in patients with luminal-like HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer: A propensity score analysis.
Breast. 2017; 31:114-120 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: According to current guidelines, endocrine therapy (ET) is recommended as first-line treatment of luminal-like metastatic breast cancer (MBC), whereas chemotherapy (CT) should be considered in presence of life-threatening disease. In daily practice, CT is often used outside of this clinical circumstance. Factors influencing first-line choice and the relative impact on outcome are unknown.
METHODS: A consecutive series of luminal-like HER2-negative MBC patients treated from 2004 to 2014 was analyzed to test the association of disease- and patient-related factors with the choice of first-line treatment (ET vs. CT). A propensity score method was used to estimate impact of first-line strategy on outcome.
RESULTS: Of 604 consecutive luminal-like MBC patients identified, 158 cases were excluded due to unknown or positive HER2-status. Among 446 HER2-negative cases, 171 (38%) received first-line CT. On multivariate analysis, the only factors significantly associated with lower CT use were old age (OR 0.25, 95%C.I. 0.13-0.49) or presence of bone metastases only (OR 0.26, 95%C.I. 0.13-0.53). In propensity score matched population, no differences were observed between CT and ET as first-line treatment either in terms of overall survival (37.5 months and 33.4 months respectively, log-rank test, P = 0.62) or progression-free survival (13.3 months and 9.9 months respectively, log-rank test, P = 0.92).
CONCLUSIONS: High percentage of patients with luminal-like MBC received CT as first-line therapy in real-life. The choice was mainly driven by age and site of metastases. With the limitations of a non-randomized comparison, no differences on patients' outcome were observed depending on the first-line strategy.

Zolata H, Afarideh H, Davani FA
Triple Therapy of HER2(+) Cancer Using Radiolabeled Multifunctional Iron Oxide Nanoparticles and Alternating Magnetic Field.
Cancer Biother Radiopharm. 2016; 31(9):324-329 [PubMed] Related Publications
By using radio-labeled multifunctional superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (SPIONs) and an alternating magnetic field (AMF), we carried out targeted hyperthermia, drug delivery, radio-immunotherapy (RIT), and controlled chemotherapy of cancer tumors. We synthesized and characterized Indium-111-labeled, Trastuzumab and Doxorubicin (DOX)-conjugated APTES-PEG-coated SPIONs in our previous work. Then, we evaluated their capability in SPECT/MRI (single photon emission computed tomography/magnetic resonance imaging) dual modal molecular imaging, targeting, and controlled release. In this research, AMF was introduced to evaluate therapeutic effects of magnetic hyperthermia on radionuclide-chemo therapy of HER2(+) cells and tumor (HER2(+))-bearing mice. In vitro and in vivo experiments using synthesized complex were repeated under an AMF (f: 100 KHz, H: 280 Gs). Instead of an intra-tumor injection in most hyperthermia experiments, SPIONs were injected to the tail vein, based on our delivery strategies. For magnetic delivery, we held a permanent Nd-B-Fe magnet near the tumor region. The results showed that simultaneous magnetic hyperthermia enhanced SKBR3 cancer cells, killing by 24%, 28%, 33%, and 80% at 48 hours post-treatment for treated cells with (1) bare SPIONs; (2) antibody-conjugated, DOX-free, surface-modified SPIONs; (3) (111)In-labeled, antibody-conjugated surface-modified SPIONs; and (4) (111)In-labeled, antibody- and DOX-conjugated surface-modified SPIONs, respectively. Moreover, tumor volume inhibitory rate was 85% after a 28 day period of treatment. By using this method, multimodal imaging-guided, targeted hyperthermia, RIT, and controlled chemotherapy could be achievable in the near future.

Vasista A, Stockler MR, West T, et al.
More than just the median: Calculating survival times for patients with HER2 positive, metastatic breast cancer using data from recent randomised trials.
Breast. 2017; 31:99-104 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To estimate worst-case, typical and best-case scenarios for survival as a communication aid for managing patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer (MBC) starting HER2-targeted therapies.
METHODS: We sought randomised trials of HER2-targeted therapies and recorded the following percentiles (representative scenarios) from each OS curve: 90th (worst-case), 75th (lower-typical), 50th (median), 25th (upper-typical) and 10th (best-case). We then tested whether we could estimate these percentiles for each OS curve by multiplying its median by four simple multiples: 0.25 (to derive the 90th percentile), 0.5 (75th), 2 (25th) and 3 (10th). Estimates were deemed accurate if within 0.75-1.33 times the actual value.
RESULTS: We identified 15 trials with 4798 patients. For first-line, single-agent HER2-targeted therapy (15 treatment groups), the median (interquartile range [IQR]) for median OS was 33.3 months (29.1-38.4), and for each percentile was: 90th 9.5 months (7.7-11.0); 75th 19.2 months (16.4-20.8); and 25th 50.6 months (47.1-63.3). The 10th percentile was unavailable for all treatment groups. For first-line dual HER2-targeted therapy (1 treatment group), the median OS was 56.5 months. Simple multiples of the median OS accurately estimated the: 90th percentile in 79%; 75th percentile in 100%; and 25th percentile in 89% of OS curves.
CONCLUSIONS: Surprisingly little is known of survival beyond the median for HER2-positive MBC. Longer trial follow-up is required to help clinicians estimate and explain the best-case scenario. Simple multiples of the median OS provide a reasonable framework for estimating then explaining survival times to patients.

Liu WR, Cao LR, Zuo GJ
Influence of chitosan nanoparticle-mediated C-erbB-2 gene silencing on invasion and apoptosis of Hep-2 cells.
Genet Mol Res. 2016; 15(4) [PubMed] Related Publications
We aimed to measure the invasion ability of Hep-2 laryngeal cancer cells after treatment with C-erbB-2-small interfering RNA (siRNA)-chitosan nanoparticles, and assess the applied value of chitosan nanoparticle-mediated C-erbB-2 interference in inhibiting laryngeal cancer invasion and metastasis. Nanoparticles of approximately 100 nm, comprising C-erbB-2 siRNA packaged with chitosan, were prepared and used to treat Hep-2 cells. Silencing of C-erbB-2 was detected by western blot and polymerase chain reaction. Cell invasion and apoptosis were estimated by transwell assay and flow cytometry, respectively. C-erbB-2-siRNA-chitosan nanoparticles significantly down-regulated C-erbB-2 expression in Hep-2 cells (P < 0.05), and cell invasion was noticeably decreased. Moreover, they significantly induced apoptosis of the Hep-2 cells (P < 0.05). Chitosan nanoparticle-mediated C-erbB-2 gene interference can inhibit the invasion of laryngeal cancer cells and induce their apoptosis.

Wang Y, Zhang X, Chao Z, et al.
MiR-34a modulates ErbB2 in breast cancer.
Cell Biol Int. 2017; 41(1):93-101 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is the second highest cause of carcinoma-related death caused by distant metastasis in women. Estrogen receptor (ER), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, (HER2) and progesterone receptor (PR) are three classified makers of breast cancer, which are defined as ER+, HER2+, and the most serious ER-PR-HER2- (triple-negative). It is well known that ErbB2 (V-Erb-B2 avian erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene homolog 2) plays an important part in breast cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying ErbB2 action needs to be well studied. In this report, we discovered that the decreased expression levels of miR-34a were inversely correlated with the increased ErbB2 levels in breast cancer. A luciferase reporter assay was done to understand the potential correlation between ErbB2 and miR-34a. Over-expression of miR-34a reduces ErbB2 expression and suppresses breast cancer cell invasion and growth in vitro. What's more, reduced expression of ErbB2 inhibits breast Cancer cell proliferation and re-expression of ErbB2 reversed miR-34a-dependent tumor suppression. Meanwhile, miR-34a levels were correlated inversely with breast cancer malignancy. Our study demonstrates that miR-34a, like ErbB2, might be a diagnostic target in breast cancer.

Koskas M, Depreeuw J, Moens S, et al.
Genomic Characterisation and Response to Trastuzumab and Paclitaxel in Advanced or Recurrent HER2-positive Endometrial Carcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(10):5381-5384 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) positivity is associated with a worse prognosis in endometrial cancer (EC). Trastuzumab as a single agent did not demonstrate activity in such cases but there are no reports on its combined use with taxanes. We report the outcome in patients treated simultaneously with trastuzumab and paclitaxel for advanced or recurrent HER2-positive endometrial carcinoma and compared it to their microsatellite instability (MSI) status and PIK3CA mutational profiles.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with advancedor recurrent endometrial carcinoma showing HER2 overexpression (2+ or 3+ immunohistochemical staining) or HER2 amplification (fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) HER2/chromosome 17 centromere (CEP 17) ratio >2.0) were treated with trastuzumab (8 mg/kg) and paclitaxel (90 mg/m(2)) every three weeks. Evaluation of the response was assessed according to the response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (RECIST) guidelines. Endometrial tumors, sampled before the beginning of trastuzumab, were genotyped for PIK3CA hot spot mutations using Sequenom iPLEX Assay technology.
RESULTS: Two uterine serous adenocarcinomas and one grade 3 endometrioid adenocarcinoma showing HER2 positivity were treated with trastuzumab and paclitaxel. Between three and seven months of treatment, the three cases showed progressive disease. The genomic analysis of the three cases showed different mutational profiles. One case was found to have MSI and had one PIK3CA mutation. The two others showed no hot spot mutation for PIK3CA.
CONCLUSION: Even associated with paclitaxel, HER2-positive endometrial carcinomas poorly responded to trastuzumab. This report underlines the low accuracy of HER2 positivity to predict response of endometrial cancer to combined targeted therapy using trastuzumab and paclitaxel.

Celli R, Colunga M, Patel N, et al.
Metabolic Signature on 18F-FDG PET/CT, HER2 Status, and Survival in Gastric Adenocarcinomas.
J Nucl Med Technol. 2016; 44(4):234-238 [PubMed] Related Publications
The human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2)-overexpressing (HER2-positive [HER2+]) gastric (GC) and gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinomas (GEJC) are felt to represent a more aggressive form of disease, which may correlate to increased metabolic activity. Whether tumor SUVmax measured by (18)F-FDG PET/CT could be a preoperative parameter used to predict HER2 status of GC/GEJC is unknown.
METHODS: Pathology reports of HER2+ GC/GEJC biopsies and resections from 31 patients were reviewed and compared with HER2-negative (HER2-) cases distributed evenly over the same time period. We analyzed their SUVmax intensity and then compared the HER2 status and SUVmax parameters and their association with survival.
RESULTS: After matching for age and sex, there was no difference in SUVmax between HER2+ and HER2- cases (9.7 and 8.4, respectively; P = 0.6). No difference was seen between HER2+ and HER2- cases in tumor histology (81% and 57% intestinal type, respectively; P = 0.11), size (2.6 and 3.8 cm, respectively; P = 0.12), differentiation (47% and 68% poorly differentiated, respectively; P = 0.06), or presence of lymph node metastasis (60% and 40%, respectively; P = 0.3). Although there was no difference in survival demonstrated by HER2+ and HER2- cases, there was a significant difference in survival between SUVmax above (12.2 mo) and below (30 mo) the median SUVmax (6.6, P = 0.01).
CONCLUSION: Our study shows that SUVmax is not associated with HER2 status of GC/GEJC. Independent of HER2 overexpression, patients with a high SUVmax demonstrate a worse overall survival, suggesting that metabolic signature is a better predictor of biologic tumor aggressiveness than its histologic signature.

Breyer J, Wirtz RM, Laible M, et al.
ESR1, ERBB2, and Ki67 mRNA expression predicts stage and grade of non-muscle-invasive bladder carcinoma (NMIBC).
Virchows Arch. 2016; 469(5):547-552 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pathological staging and grading are crucial for risk assessment in non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Molecular grading might support pathological evaluation and minimize interobserver variability. In this study, the well-established breast cancer markers ESR1, PGR, ERBB2, and MKI67 were evaluated as potential molecular markers to support grading and staging in NMIBC. We retrospectively analyzed clinical data and formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues (FFPE) of patients with NMIBC. Messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of the aforementioned markers was measured by single-step reverse transcription quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) using RNA-specific TaqMan assays. Relative gene expression was determined by normalization to two reference genes (CALM2 and B2M) using the 40(-ΔΔCT) method and correlated to histopathological stage and grade. Pathological assessment was performed by an experienced uropathologist. Statistical analysis was performed using the SAS software JMP 9.0.0 version and GraphPad Prism 5.04. Of 381 cases of NMIBC, samples of 100 pTa and 255 pT1 cases were included in the final study. Spearman rank correlation revealed significant correlations between grade and expression of MKI67 (r = 0.52, p < 0.0001), ESR1 (r = 0.25, p < 0.0001), and ERBB2 (r = 0.18, p = 0.0008). In Mann-Whitney tests, MKI67 was significantly different between all grades (p < 0.0001), while ESR1 (p = 0.0006) and ERBB2 (p = 0.027) were significantly different between G2 and G3. Higher expression of MKI67 (r = 0.49; p < 0.0001), ERBB2 (r = 0.22; p < 0.0001), and ESR1 (r = 0.18; p = 0.0009) mRNA was positively correlated with higher stage. MKI67 (p < 0.0001), ERBB2 (p = 0.0058), and PGR (p = 0.0007) were significantly different between pTa and pT1. In NMIBC expression of ESR1, ERBB2 and MKI67 are significantly different between stage and grade. This potentially provides objective parameters for pathological evaluation.

Nishimura R, Okamoto N, Satou M, et al.
Bright-field HER2 dual in situ hybridization (DISH) assay on breast cancer cell blocks: a comparative study with histological sections.
Breast Cancer. 2016; 23(6):917-921 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: HER2 testing for samples from recurrent or metastatic disease is recommended by the 2013 update of the American Society of Clinical Oncology/College of American Pathologists (ASCO/CAP) guidelines and cytological analysis can be applied to several types of metastatic lesions. However, the practical method to assess the HER2 testing of breast cancer cytology specimens has yet to be resolved. Therefore, we conducted the bright-field HER2 dual in situ hybridization (DISH) assay on cell blocks (CBs) prepared from breast cancer cell samples as a validation study before clinical use.
METHODS: CBs were prepared from tumor cell samples collected from 54 surgically excised breast tumors. The cells were fixed in 10 % buffered formalin for 16-28 h, and embedded in paraffin. The INFORM HER2/neu Dual ISH DNA Probe Cocktail was used for the DISH assay on the Ventana BenchMark ULTRA (Roche Diagnostics).
RESULTS: Successful results were obtained in 51 of 54 CB specimens, and the results from the CB specimens were in agreement with those from the histological sections in 48 of the 51 cases (concordance rate, 94 %; kappa, 0.846). The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) between the CB and histological specimens in the continuous HER2/CEP17 signal count ratio was 0.89 (95 % CI 0.81-0.93), and the Pearson's CC was 0.91 (95 % CI 0.85-0.94).
CONCLUSION: The HER2 DISH assay, utilizing 10 % buffered formalin-fixed CB, would be a reliable and ideal method to assess the HER2 gene status of breast cancer cytological specimens.

Endo Y, Dong Y, Kondo N, et al.
HER2 mutation status in Japanese HER2-positive breast cancer patients.
Breast Cancer. 2016; 23(6):902-907 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) gene amplification/overexpression is a major therapeutic target in breast cancer, and has been introduced as a predictive biomarker to identify patients who may benefit from therapy with anti-HER2 agents. HER2 somatic mutations have been reported, and these may influence the effect of HER2-targeted drugs.
METHODS: Here, we sought HER2 mutations in a group of 135 Japanese breast cancer patients with HER2-positive tumors. We analyzed HER2 mutations by direct Sanger sequencing of two major areas, the extracellular domain at position 309-310 and the kinase domain between 755 and 781.
RESULTS: Two patients with the HER2 somatic mutation S310F in the extracellular domain were found in this series. One patient with the S310F mutation had a node-negative invasive ductal carcinoma classified as HER2 2+ by the HercepTest and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) positive, and which was estrogen receptor (ER)-negative and progesterone receptor (PgR)-negative. Another patient with the S310F mutation had an apocrine carcinoma with seven lymph nodes positive for metastasis, classified as HER2 3+ by the HercepTest, but which was FISH-negative, as well as ER-negative and PgR-negative. Both patients had received adjuvant single-agent trastuzumab therapy, and had no local recurrence or distant metastasis for five and three years after surgery, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data show that HER2 mutations are rare in HER2-positive Japanese breast cancer patients. The two mutations found in this study were identical, S310F. We suggest that in vitro experiments to determine whether the S310F mutation could be involved in resistance to anti-HER2 drugs are worthwhile in future.

Yamashita H, Ogiya A, Shien T, et al.
Clinicopathological factors predicting early and late distant recurrence in estrogen receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer.
Breast Cancer. 2016; 23(6):830-843 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Most studies analyzing prognostic factors for late relapse have been performed in postmenopausal women who received tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors as adjuvant endocrine therapy for estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer.
METHODS: A total of 223 patients (108 premenopausal and 115 postmenopausal) with early distant recurrence and 149 patients (62 premenopausal and 87 postmenopausal) with late distant recurrence of ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer who were given their initial treatment between 2000 and 2004 were registered from nine institutions. For each late recurrence patient, approximately two matched control patients without relapse for more than 10 years were selected. Clinicopathological factors and adjuvant therapies were compared among the three groups by menopausal status and age.
RESULTS: Factors predicting early recurrence in premenopausal women were large tumor size, high lymph node category and high tumor grade, whereas predictors for late recurrence were large tumor size and high lymph node category. In postmenopausal women under 60 years of age, factors predicting early recurrence were bilateral breast cancer, large tumor size, high lymph node category, low PgR expression and high Ki67 labeling index (LI), while predictors for late recurrence were large tumor size and high lymph node category. On the other hand, in postmenopausal women aged 60 years or older, factors predicting early recurrence were bilateral breast cancer, large tumor size, high lymph node category, high tumor grade, low ER expression and high Ki67 LI, whereas predictors for late recurrence were high lymph node category, low ER expression and short duration of adjuvant endocrine therapy.
CONCLUSION: Predictors of early and late distant recurrence might differ according to menopausal status and age.

Singh A, Mishra PK, Saluja SS, et al.
Prognostic Significance of HER-2 and p53 Expression in Gallbladder Carcinoma in North Indian Patients.
Oncology. 2016; 91(6):354-360 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE: Proto-oncogenes (HER-2) and tumor suppressor genes (p53) are commonly deregulated in gallbladder cancer (GBC). Available literature discloses skewed data from endemic Asian countries, especially north India. This study evaluates the prognostic significance of HER-2 and p53 in GBC patients from two major hospitals.
METHODS: Sixty resectable tumor and control specimens were prospectively collected from December 2012 to January 2016. Immunohistochemical staining was done using monoclonal antibodies to semiquantitatively evaluate HER-2 and p53 protein expression. The criterion for HER-2 positivity was set at >30% tumor cells showing complete, membranous staining while p53 positivity was established at <50% tumor cells showing complete nuclear staining. Clinicopathological correlations were drawn with major clinical outcomes.
RESULTS: It was observed that 36.67% (22/60) tumor cases and 5% (3/60) control cases showed strong HER-2 overexpression significantly correlating with sex, T-stage, nodal spread and distant metastasis (p < 0.05), while 33.3% (20/60) positivity was observed for p53 in tumor cases and 1.7% (1/60) in control cases. Multivariate analysis showed HER-2 (p = 0.04; hazard ratio: 2.36; 95% confidence interval: 1.04-5.33) and p53 (p = 0.03; hazard ratio: 5.63; 95% confidence interval: 1.21-26.26) expression to be independent prognostic factors.
CONCLUSION: Our study thus suggests the plausible role of HER-2 and p53 expression in worse prognosis of GBC in a north Indian population.

Woo JS, Apple SK, Sullivan PS, et al.
Systematic assessment of HER2/neu in gynecologic neoplasms, an institutional experience.
Diagn Pathol. 2016; 11(1):102 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: HER2/neu overexpression and/or amplification has been widely studied in a number of solid tumors, primarily in the breast. In gynecologic neoplasms, determination of HER2/neu status has not been well studied as a predictive biomarker in anti-HER2/neu treatment.
METHODS: We systematically evaluated the HER2/neu reactions by immunohistochemistry and fluorescent in situ hybridization in malignant gynecologic neoplasms as experienced in our institution.
RESULTS: The HER2/neu overexpression or amplification occurred in 8 % of the cancers of the gynecological organs in our series. Majority of the HER2/neu overexpression and/or amplification occurred in clear cell (27 %) and serous (11 %) carcinomas. HER2/neu positivity was also seen in undifferentiated as well as in mixed clear cell and serous carcinomas. Discordant IHC and FISH results (positive by FISH but not IHC) was seen in 2 cases. Majority of the HER2/neu overexpression and/or amplification occurs in the endometrium rather than the ovary. Heterogeneity of the HER2/neu by IHC staining was in < 2 % of the tumors in our series.
CONCLUSIONS: We recommend the HER2/neu studies on Müllerian carcinomas of clear cell, serous, and undifferentiated types, particularly when they arise in the endometrium. Since there are some discordant IHC/FISH results, we also propose performing the HER2/neu testing by FISH when the IHC score is less than 3 + .

Farabaugh SM, Chan BT, Cui X, et al.
Lack of interaction between ErbB2 and insulin receptor substrate signaling in breast cancer.
Cell Commun Signal. 2016; 14(1):25 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: ErbB2 Receptor Tyrosine Kinase 2 (ErbB2, HER2/Neu) is amplified in breast cancer and associated with poor prognosis. Growing evidence suggests interplay between ErbB2 and insulin-like growth factor (IGF) signaling. For example, ErbB2 inhibitors can block IGF-induced signaling while, conversely, IGF1R inhibitors can inhibit ErbB2 action. ErbB receptors can bind and phosphorylate insulin receptor substrates (IRS) and this may be critical for ErbB-mediated anti-estrogen resistance in breast cancer. Herein, we examined crosstalk between ErbB2 and IRSs using cancer cell lines and transgenic mouse models.
METHODS: MMTV-ErbB2 and MMTV-IRS2 transgenic mice were crossed to create hemizygous MMTV-ErbB2/MMTV-IRS2 bigenic mice. Signaling crosstalk between ErbB2 and IRSs was examined in vitro by knockdown or overexpression followed by western blot analysis for downstream signaling intermediates and growth assays.
RESULTS: A cross between MMTV-ErbB2 and MMTV-IRS2 mice demonstrated no enhancement of ErbB2 mediated mammary tumorigenesis or metastasis by elevated IRS2. Substantiating this, overexpression or knockdown of IRS1 or IRS2 in MMTV-ErbB2 mammary cancer cell lines had little effect upon ErbB2 signaling. Similar results were obtained in human mammary epithelial cells (MCF10A) and breast cancer cell lines.
CONCLUSION: Despite previous evidence suggesting that ErbB receptors can bind and activate IRSs, our findings indicate that ErbB2 does not cooperate with the IRS pathway in these models to promote mammary tumorigenesis.

Martinello R, Genta S, Galizia D, et al.
New and developing chemical pharmacotherapy for treating hormone receptor-positive/HER2-negative breast cancer.
Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2016; 17(16):2179-2189 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Endocrine therapy is the mainstay of treatment for a substantial proportion of hormone receptor positive (HR+) breast cancer (BC). Indeed, patients with metastatic disease not immediately life threatening may experience long disease control across several lines of endocrine therapy. The major limitation of this therapeutic approach is primary or acquired resistance. A better understanding of endocrine resistance has resulted in newer targeted agents to be added to endocrine therapy. Areas covered: This review highlights new findings in the treatment of HR+/HER2- BC, with a particular focus on new drugs from phase 3 development onwards. Expert opinion: Combining endocrine therapy with agents targeting putative mechanisms of endocrine resistance is a newer treatment paradigm in HR+ BC. Adding a biologically targeted agent to endocrine therapy results in improved response rate, and clinical benefit rate, and prolonged progression-free survival. A clear advantage in overall survival has not yet been reported. Combination therapy allows to delay chemotherapy but increases toxicities and costs, which are critical factors in decision making in the clinical practice. Moreover, identification and validation of biomarkers of response are needed. Ongoing and future trials should elucidate the role of these compounds in the treatment of HR+/HER2- BC.

Poorolajal J, Nafissi N, Akbari ME, et al.
Breast Cancer Survival Analysis Based on Immunohistochemistry Subtypes (ER/PR/HER2): a Retrospective Cohort Study.
Arch Iran Med. 2016; 19(10):680-686 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We conducted this study to estimate the prevalence of biomarkers, including estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) among patients with breast cancer and to explore their effects on disease mortality.
METHODS: We conducted this registry-based retrospective cohort study in Tehran, in 2014, using the data on 1622 patients with breast cancer, diagnosed pathologically and registered with the Comprehensive Cancer Control Center from 1998 to 2013. The outcome of interest was the survival probability of patients with breast cancer based on receptor status along with other prognostic factors such as age, histopathology, stage/grade of tumor, metastatic status, and surgical procedures using the life table, Kaplan-Meier curves, and multivariate Cox proportional hazard model. We generated different subtypes based on expression of ER, PR, and HER2, positive (+) and/or negative (-).
RESULTS: ER+/PR+/HER2- subtype (51.5%) was the most common form of breast cancer cells. Compared to the ER+/PR+/HER- subtype, the hazard ratio (95% confidence interval) of cancer mortality was 2.14 (1.13, 4.03) for ER-/PR-/HER2- subtype, 1.92 (1.03, 3.59) for ER-/PR-/HER2+ subtype and 5.19 (1.51, 17.86) for ER-/PR+/HER2+ subtype.
CONCLUSION: In this study, breast cancer cases with ER-/HER2+ tumors had shorter survival than those with ER+/PR+/HER2- tumors. Triple negative tumors were the only other subtype with a statistically significant poorer prognosis. The results of this study in a middle-income country further indicate the importance of receptor status, in particular HER2 status, in the prognosis of breast cancer.

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