BACKGROUND: This study assessed the impact of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status on the outcomes in an unselected population of breast cancer patients who did not receive HER2-targeted therapy.
METHODS: HER2 status by immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridisation was compared with clinicopathological data, overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) for all patients presenting with breast cancer over 3 years.
RESULTS: In 865 patients (median follow up 6.02 years), HER2 positivity was identified in 13.3% of all cancers and was associated with higher tumour grade (P<10(-8)), lymphovascular invasion (P<0.001) and axillary nodal metastasis (P=0.003). There was a negative association with oestrogen-receptor (ER) and progesterone-receptor expression (P<10(-8)), but the majority (57%) of HER2+ tumours were ER+HER2 positivity was associated with poorer OS (P=0.0046) and DFS (P=0.0001) confined to the lymph node-positive (LN+) and ER+ subgroups.
CONCLUSION: HER2-positive cancers were less common in this population-based cohort than most selected series. The association of HER2 positivity with poor prognosis was confined to the ER+ and LN+ subgroups. The survival deficit for the 7.5% of patients with ER+/HER2+ cancer compared with ER+/HER2- patients points to a significant subgroup of women who may not (currently) be considered for HER2-directed therapy. British Journal of Cancer (2010) 103, 475-481. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6605799 www.bjcancer.com Published online 27 July 2010 (C) 2010 Cancer Research UK
- breast cancer
- oestrogen receptor
- IN-SITU HYBRIDIZATION
- ADJUVANT CHEMOTHERAPY
- PROGNOSTIC FACTORS
- POOR SURVIVAL
- NEU ONCOGENE