Neuroblastic tumors (NT) are the most frequently occurring extracranial solid tumors during childhood. The overall 5-year survival is approximately 20% for patients with metastatic disease. Novel treatments are therefore intensively sought and tumor-targeted immuno- and chemotherapy appear promising. The HER2/neu oncogene, which is highly homologous to the EGF receptor, was initially isolated from rat neuroblastoma cells. HER2/neu over-expression is frequently detected in breast tumors and constitutes an important unfavorable prognostic factor. HER2/neu is a suitable target for antibody-based immunotherapy, as demonstrated by the clinical efficacy of the Herceptin monoclonal antibody (mAb), which reacts with its extracellular domain. Expression of HER2/neu has also been reported to be a negative prognostic factor in a small survey of NT tumors. Here, we have investigated HER2/neu expression in 14 human and 2 murine neuroblastoma (NB) cell lines by flow cytometric analysis and in 93 NT by means of a certified immunohistochemical system. HER2/neu over-expression was found in 2 human cell lines and 11 tumors (14% for both types of samples). No significant association was found between HER2/neu expression and stage, age, sex, ploidy, histological type or subtype. Moreover, log rank test indicated that overall and event-free survival was not significantly different in HER2/neu positive and negative patients. These data suggest that HER2/neu should not be considered as a relevant prognostic factor in NT, and that HER2/neu-based immunotherapy may be feasible only in a minority of NT patients.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 1 2003|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research