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Int J Cancer. 1993 Jan 2;53(1):75-9.

An immunohistochemical study of c-erbB-2 protein in gastric carcinomas and lymph-node metastases: is the c-erbB-2 protein really a prognostic indicator?

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Department of Pathology, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Kanagawa, Japan.


An immunohistochemical study of the c-erbB-2 protein was conducted on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue sections from 136 primary gastric carcinomas and 50 metastatic lymph-node tumors obtained at gastrectomy. Expression of the protein was detected in 35 of 136 primary gastric carcinomas (25.7%) and 22 of 50 metastatic lymph nodes (44%). The staining pattern of tumor cells was classified as membranous or cytoplasmic. An immunohistochemical study using serially diluted antibody demonstrated that 82.6% of positive cases in metastatic lymph nodes showed c-erbB-2 immunoreactivity stronger than that in the primary tumors. Membranous staining was stronger than cytoplasmic staining. c-erbB-2 protein of the cytoplasmic as well as membranous types was confirmed to be a 185-kDa whole molecule by immunoblotting. Correlation between the expression of c-erbB-2 protein and clinical and histological parameters was investigated. No significant correlation between 5-year survival rate of patients and expression of c-erbB-2 protein was found. In the poorly differentiated carcinoma group possessing c-erbB-2 protein, overall survival was significantly shorter than in cases without protein expression (p < 0.01). We conclude that c-erbB-2 protein is not a useful prognostic indicator in gastric carcinomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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