Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Pathol. 2009 Nov;175(5):1802-9. doi: 10.2353/ajpath.2009.090204. Epub 2009 Oct 1.

Subcellular localization of the HER4 intracellular domain, 4ICD, identifies distinct prognostic outcomes for breast cancer patients.

Author information

Department of Pathology, University of Colorado Denver, Aurora, USA.


Conflicting reports of the prognostic value of HER4 in breast cancer may be explained by distinct activities of the HER4 intracellular domain, 4ICD. Here, immunohistochemical 4ICD staining of archival invasive breast cancers (n = 923) was scored separately for nuclear and cytosolic expression, and these data were tested for associations with clinicopathological markers, disease-free survival, and disease-specific survival. By univariate analysis, cytosolic 4ICD expression was independently associated with estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor expression and tumor cell apoptosis. Nuclear 4ICD inversely correlated with tumor grade and tumor mitosis. In multivariate analyses cytosolic, but not nuclear 4ICD, significantly correlated with disease-free survival (P = 0.035) and disease-specific survival (P < 0.004) in lymph node-negative patients. Our results demonstrate for the first time that cytosolic 4ICD has significant positive prognostic value in node-negative breast cancer patients. At present, tumor grade and size are the primary clinicopathological parameters commonly used to guide decision making in these patients. Our results suggest that cytosolic 4ICD has important pathological functions and may be used to identify node-negative breast cancer patients at low risk of relapse and an improved survival, thereby avoiding systemic overtreatment of these patients. Our results also suggest that pan-receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors, currently in clinical trials, or HER4 antagonists, which disengage 4ICD signaling, may have untoward activity in patients whose tumors express cytosolic 4ICD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center