The HR3 pathway as a potential target for inhibition in patients with biliary tract cancers

Angela Lamarca, Salvatore Galdy, Jorge Barriuso, Sharzad Moghadam, Elizabeth Beckett, Jane Rogan, Alison Backen, Catherine Billington, Mairéad G. McNamara, Richard A. Hubner, Angela Cramer, Juan W. Valle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Expression of human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER)2 and HER3 have been investigated in small BTC studies using variable scoring systems. Methods HER2 and HER3 overexpression/amplification were explored following internationally agreed guidelines using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescent in-situ hybridisation (FISH), respectively. Logistic regression and survival analysis (Kaplan Meier, Log rank test and Cox Regression) were used for statistical analysis. Results Sixty-seven eligible patients with Stage I/II (31.3%) or III/IV (68.7%) disease at diagnosis were included. Membrane HER2 overexpression/amplification was identified in 1 patient (1%). HER3 overexpression was predominantly cytoplasmic; the rate of overexpression/ amplification of HER3 in membrane and cytoplasm was 16% [ampullary cancer (AMP) (1/ 13; 8%), gallbladder cancer (GBC) (1/10; 10%), intra-hepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ICC) (6/ 26; 23%), extra-hepatic cholangiocarcinoma (ECC) (3/18; 17%)] and 24% [AMP (1/13; 8%), GBC (1/10; 10%), ICC (10/26; 38%), ECC (4/18; 22%)], respectively. Conclusions A significant subset of patients with BTC expressed HER3. Inhibition of HER3 warrants further investigation. A better understanding of the downstream effects of HER3 in BTC requires further mechanistic investigations to identify new biomarkers and improve patient selection for future clinical trials.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0206007
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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