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Int J Cancer. 1995 Oct 20;64(5):291-7.

ERBB2 gene amplification detected by fluorescent differential polymerase chain reaction in paraffin-embedded breast carcinoma tissues.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Heinrich-Heine University, Düsseldorf, Germany.


For quantificative determination of ERBB2 gene amplification in archival human carcinoma specimens we have developed a rapid, non-radioactive approach, which is based on the differential polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and fluorescent DNA technique. Sequences from the ERBB2 gene and from a single-copy reference gene were amplified simultaneously by PCR, in which one of each primer pair was fluorescently labelled. PCR products were separated by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in an automated DNA sequencer and directly quantified after laser activation and emission scanning using appropriate software. This fluorescent differential polymerase chain reaction (fd-PCR) method was used for quantificative determination of ERBB2 gene amplification in 195 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded breast carcinoma tissues. ERBB2 gene amplification was found in 52 (26%) of these tumors and correlated significantly with tumor size, absence of estrogen receptor (ER) and pS2 expression, but not with absence of progesterone receptor (PR) or presence of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) expression, lymph-node metastases or grading. In univariate analysis, ERBB2 gene amplification showed no significant correlation with clinical outcome, either in the whole population or in the subgroup defined by positive axillary lymph-node metastases. However, within the node-negative subgroup, patients with ERBB2 gene amplification had significantly decreased relapse-free survival and overall survival (p < 0.05). The fd-PCR assay is a valuable tool for determination of amplification of ERBB2 gene as well as further oncogenes. In this way, more detailed information about individual tumor biology may be acquired by a routine assay.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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