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Overexpression of HER2/neu in solid tumours: An immunohistochemical survey

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alastair BurtORCiD


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Aims: Using a standardized immunohistochemical assay we have evaluated 575 primary neoplasms of different histogenesis to determine the incidence of HER2 overexpression in some of the most common categories of human solid neoplasms. This study addresses the variable incidence of HER2 overexpression previously published for some tumour types. Methods and results: The immunohistochemical staining was performed on paraffin sections of surgical specimens and a well-defined scoring system based upon numbers of HER2 receptors expressed on the cell surface was applied. Overexpression of HER2 as defined as a HER2 score of equal or greater than 2 was seen in breast cancer (22%), pulmonary adenocarcinoma (28%), colorectal adenocarcinomas (17%), pulmonary squamous (11%) and gastric adenocarcinomas (11%). As expected, the proportion of cases with a HER2 score of 3 was highest in breast cancer. Contrary to published results prostate and pancreas adenocarcinomas showed a very low incidence of HER2 overexpression. Conclusions: Overexpression of HER2 is detected immunohistochemically in a proportion of epithelial neoplasms of diverse histogenesis in addition to ductal breast cancer. The standardized format of the assay will allow comparative analyses of studies performed at different institutions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Burt AD; Koeppen HKW; Wright BD; Quirke P; McNicol AM; Dybdal NO; Sliwkowski MX; Hillan KJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Histopathology

Year: 2001

Volume: 38

Issue: 2

Pages: 96-104

ISSN (print): 0309-0167

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2559

Publisher: Histopathology


DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2559.2001.01084.x

PubMed id: 11207822


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