Send to

Choose Destination
Br J Cancer. 2012 Apr 10;106(8):1367-73. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2012.85. Epub 2012 Mar 27.

Increased signalling of EGFR and IGF1R, and deregulation of PTEN/PI3K/Akt pathway are related with trastuzumab resistance in HER2 breast carcinomas.

Author information

Department of Pathology, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.



Trastuzumab resistance hampers its well-known efficacy to control HER2-positive breast cancer. The involvement of PI3K/Akt pathway in this mechanism is still not definitively confirmed.


We selected 155 patients treated with trastuzumab after development of metastasis or as adjuvant/neoadjuvant therapy. We performed immunohistochemistry for HER2, ER/PR, epidermal growth factor 1-receptor (EGFR), α-insulin-like growth factor 1-receptor (IGF1R), phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN), p110α, pAkt, pBad, pmTOR, pMAPK, MUC1, Ki67, p53 and p27; mutational analysis of PIK3CA and PTEN, and PTEN promoter hypermethylation.


We found 46% ER/PR-positive tumours, overexpression of EGFR (15%), α-IGF1R (25%), p110α (19%), pAkt (28%), pBad (22%), pmTOR (23%), pMAPK (24%), MUC1 (80%), PTEN loss (20%), and PTEN promoter hypermethylation (20%). PIK3CA and PTEN mutations were detected in 17% and 26% tumours, respectively. Patients receiving adjuvant trastuzumab with α-IGF1R or pBad overexpressing tumours presented shorter progression-free survival (PFS) (all P≤0.043). Also, p110α and mTOR overexpression, liver and brain relapses implied poor overall survival (OS) (all P≤0.041). In patients with metastatic disease, decreased PFS correlated with p110α expression (P=0.024), whereas for OS were the presence of vascular invasion and EGFR expression (P≤0.019; Cox analysis).


Our results support that trastuzumab resistance mechanisms are related with deregulation of PTEN/PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway, and/or EGFR and IGF1R overexpression in a subset of HER2-positive breast carcinomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center