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Cancer Res. 1995 Dec 1;55(23):5693-8.

Amplification and overexpression of HER-2/neu (c-erbB2) in endometrial cancers: correlation with overall survival.

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Department of Pathology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033, USA.


Few molecular genetic alterations have been identified in endometrial cancers that are associated with poor clinical outcome. Overexpression of HER-2/neu, transforming growth factor alpha, and p53 proteins have all been associated with poor prognosis in women with endometrial cancer. In this study, the level of HER-2/neu gene amplification and expression was characterized in 92 endometrial cancers. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was used to characterize HER-2/neu gene copy number, and immunohistochemistry was used to characterize expression. Forty-seven of the 90 (52%) endometrial cancers were characterized as showing moderate or high immunostaining. HER-2/neu gene amplification was detected in 17 of 81 (21%) cases. Immunohistochemical staining and FISH results were both available for 80 cases. Fourteen of these cases showed both moderate or high immunostaining and gene amplification. Clinical follow-up information was available for 76 women in this study. Women whose endometrial cancer exhibited HER-2/neu gene amplification by FISH had a shorter overall survival than women whose endometrial cancer lacked amplification (P = 0.018). Likewise, tumors with moderate or high HER-2/neu immunostaining were associated with a lower cumulative overall survival than tumors with low immunostaining by log rank analysis (P < 0.0001). Multivariate analysis of survival rates revealed HER-2/neu overexpression to be an independent predictor of overall survival (P = 0.0163). Among those patients with HER-2/neu overexpression, adjuvant chemotherapy or radiation therapy was associated with an improved overall survival (P = 0.039). However, among those women whose tumor lacked overexpression, overall survival was not improved by adjuvant treatment.

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