HER-2 expression and cell proliferation: Prognostic markers in patients with node-negative breast cancer

Annalisa Volpi, Oriana Nanni, Franca De Paola, Anna Maria Granato, Annita Mangia, Franco Monti, Francesco Schittulli, Mario De Lena, Emanuela Scarpi, Paola Rosetti, Manlio Monti, Lorenzo Gianni, Dino Amadori, Angela Paradiso

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Abstract

Purpose: We analyzed the clinical relevance of HER-2 expression, widely investigated in breast cancer but with contradictory results, in the largest case series of node-negative breast cancer patients investigated to date. Patients and Methods: The pure prognostic value of HER-2 expression was investigated in 529 patients treated with locoregional therapy alone until early relapse. Proliferative activity was evaluated as [3H]thymidine labeling index and HER-2 expression by immunohistochemistry. All biologic determinations were conducted within the context of an intra- and interlaboratory National Quality Control Program. Results: HER-2 expression was not related to relapse-free survival in the overall series but was a significant discriminant of prognosis in the subgroup of patients with rapidly proliferating tumors. Six-year rate of relapse was 40% for patients with highly (≥30%) positive tumors and 26% for those with weakly HER-2-expressing tumors (P = .039). Conclusion: HER-2 expression in association with proliferative activity identifies a subgroup of node-negative breast cancer patients with the worst prognosis, who are candidates for specific intensive adjuvant therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2708-2712
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Volume21
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2003

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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