Biology, prognosis and response to therapy of breast carcinomas according to HER2 score

Sylvia Ménard, A. Balsari, E. Tagliabue, T. Camerini, P. Casalini, R. Bufalino, F. Castiglioni, M. L. Carcangiu, A. Gloghini, S. Scalone, P. Querzoli, M. Lunardi, A. Molino, M. Mandarà, M. Mottolese, F. Marandino, M. Venturini, C. Bighin, G. Cancello, E. MontagnaF. Perrone, A. De Matteis, A. Sapino, M. Donadio, N. Battelli, A. Santinelli, L. Pavesi, A. Lanza, F. A. Zito, A. Labriola, R. A. Aiello, M. Caruso, F. Zanconati, G. Mustacchi, M. Barbareschi, M. Frisinghelli, R. Russo, G. Carrillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The standardization of the HER2 score and recent changes in therapeutic modalities points to the need for a reevaluation of the role of HER2 in recently diagnosed breast carcinoma. Patients and methods: A multicenter, retrospective study of 1794 primary breast carcinomas diagnosed in Italy in 2000/2001 and scored in HER2 four categories according to immunohistochemistry was conducted. Results: Ductal histotype, vascular invasion, grade, MIB1 positivity, estrogen and progesterone receptor expression differed significantly in HER2 3+ tumors compared with the other categories. HER2 2+ tumors almost showed values intermediate between those of the negative and the 3+ subgroups. The characteristics of HER2 1+ tumors were found to be in between those of HER2 0 and 2+ tumors. With a median follow-up of 54 months, HER2 3+ status was associated with higher relapse rates in node-positive and node-negative subgroups, while HER2 2+ only in node positive. Analysis of relapses according to type of therapy provided evidence of responsiveness of HER2-positive tumors to chemotherapy, especially taxanes. Conclusions: The present prognostic significance of HER2 is correlated to receptor expression level and points to the need to consider HER2 2+ and HER2 3+ tumors as distinct diseases with different outcomes and specific features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1706-1712
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • HeceptTest
  • HER2
  • Prognosis
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Hematology


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