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J Korean Cancer Assoc > Volume 30(3); 1998 > Article
Journal of the Korean Cancer Association 1998;30(3): 450-456.
Overexpression of c-erbB2 and Its Relationship with Chemotherapy in Breast Cancer
Ja Yun Koo, Hy Do Lee, Woo Hee Jung
1Department of General Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine.
2Department of Pathology, Yonsei University College of Medicine.
c-erbB2 encodes 185 kDa oncoprotein with tyrosine kinase activity and has homology to the epidermal growth factor receptor. c-erbB2 proto-oncogene is found to be overexpressed in approximately 20 to 30% of primary breast cancer and has been associated with poor prognosis and lower response to conventional chemotherapy.
We perfonned a study on 40 infiltrating ductal breast cancers treated with primary surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy. We investigated c-erbB2 expression by immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded tissue using polyclonal antipeptide antibody(DAKO). We evaluated the relationships between its expression and the results after over 6 cycles of adjuvant chemotherapy including cyclophosphamide, methotrexate and 5-FU.
The median age at diagnosis was 43 years and the median follow-up time was 47.3 months. Thirteen(32.1%) of 40 patients showed the c-erbB2 overexpression in the external domains of protein. There were no correlations among c-erbB2 amplification and other prognostic factors such as hormonal receptors, histologic grade and tumor size. Estrogen receptor and progesterone receptor showed tendency of inverse correlation with c-erbB2 overexpression but it was not statistically significant(p>0.05). c-erbB2 positive patients showed shorter disease free survival compared to c-erbB2 negative patients in univariate analysis(p<0.05)(Kaplan Meire analysis). The patients without c-erbB2 overexpression seemed to survive longer but had no significant survival benefit(p>0.05).
These findings suggest that overexpression of c-erbB2 may be a marker of poor response to adjuvant chemotherapy with CMF regimen and may be an indicator of more aggressive therapy.
Key words: Primary breast cancer;Adjuvant chemotherapy;c-erbB2 overexpression
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