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Oncotarget. 2013 Oct;4(10):1662-72.

HER4 expression status correlates with improved outcome in both neoadjuvant and adjuvant Trastuzumab treated invasive breast carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Genomic Medicine, Houston Methodist, Houston, TX.


Prognostic and predictive markers utilized in invasive breast carcinoma are limited and include ER, PR, Ki67, and ERBB2 (HER2). In the case of HER2, over-expression or amplification serves as eligibility for anti-HER2 based therapy, including trastuzumab (Herceptin®, Genentech). While clinical trials have shown trastuzumab improves overall survival and time to progression, an individual's response to anti-HER2 based therapy is highly variable. This suggests that, in a "uniform" HER2 positive population, additional markers could help in predicting patient outcome to therapy. Here we utilized a recently validated high-specificity HER4 antibody (E200) and generated a standard clinical HER4 scoring algorithm (HER4 H-Score) utilizing two breast carcinoma cohorts: 1) patients receiving neoadjuvant trastuzumab (n=47) and 2) patients receiving trastuzumab for metastatic disease (n=33). Our HER4 H-Score showed significant correlation with high sensitivity RT-qPCR performed on matched patients (p=<0.0001). In addition, patients with HER2/HER4 co-over-expression status showed a significant delay in development of metastasis after neo-adjuvant trastuzumab therapy (p= 0.04) and showed a significant improvement in progression free survival after adjuvant trastuzumab therapy (p=0.03). These findings suggest HER4 IHC, used in conjunction with a standard HER2 testing algorithm, could aid in predicting clinical outcome and help identify patients likely to show improved response to trastuzumab therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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