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Med Sci Monit. 2011 Aug;17(8):BR216-220.

c-erbB-2 protein expression in astrocytic tumors of the brain.

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Department of Medical Pathomorphology, Medical University of Bialystok, Bialystok, Poland.



Astrocytic tumors are the primary brain tumors, which often progress to glioblastoma, a highly malignant neoplasm of the central nervous system. There is much new data regarding to the formation and progression of these tumors; however, glioblastoma remains one of the most fatal neoplasms in humans. The aim of the study was to evaluate the role of c-erbB-2 protein expression in various groups of astrocytic tumors.


65 cases of astrocytic tumors were divided into 3 groups: diffuse astrocytoma (group I; n=17 cases), anaplastic astrocytoma (group II; n=23 cases) and glioblastoma (group III; n=25 cases). C-erbB-2 protein expression was estimated semiquantitatively on immunohistochemically stained tissue sections using antibodies against c-erbB-2 protein. Statistical analysis was performed in all examined groups.


The c-erbB-2 protein expression was observed in 15 out of 17 cases (88.3%) in group I, 22 out of 25 cases (88%) cases in group II, and in 19 out of 23 cases (82.6%) in group III. There were no statistically significant differences between the examined groups. The strongest c-erbB-2 immunoexpression was observed in low grade astrocytomas (diffuse astrocytomas G2); in the glioblastoma group the c-erbB-2 protein expression was weak and 17.4% of cases were negative.


C-erbB-2 protooncogene alteration is an early phenomenon in glial tumor development and progression.

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