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Cancer Research and Treatment > Volume 35(2); 2003 > Article
Cancer Research and Treatment 2003;35(2): 109-116. doi: https://doi.org/10.4143/crt.2003.35.2.109
The Prognostic Significance of the Overexpression of HER-2/ neu in Korean Gastric Carcinomas and the In Vitro Effects of Anti-HER-2/neu Antibody on Cell Growth in the Gastric Carcinoma Cell Lines
Seock Ah Im, Kyung Eun Lee, Eunmi Nam, Seung Hyun Nam, Do Yeun Kim, Chu Myong Seong, Hae Young Park, Woon Sup Han, Ju Young Seoh, Soon Nam Lee
1Department of Internal Medicine, Ewha Medical ResearchCenter, Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, Seoul,Korea. moisa@ewha.ac.kr
2Department of Biochemistry, Ewha Medical Research Center,Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
3Department of Pathology, Ewha Medical Research Center, EwhaWomans University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
4Department of Microbiology, Ewha Medical Research Center,Ewha Womans University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  Published online: April 30, 2003.
The HER2 gene encodes a 185-kd transmembrane glycoprotein receptor (p185(HER2)) that has partial homology with the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and shares intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity. The HER2 gene has been found to be amplified in various human cancers and to be associated with poor prognosis. The authors investigated the correlation between clinicopathologic factors and the overexpression of the p185(HER2) in Korean gastric adenocarcinoma patients, and determined whether the antiproliferative effects of anti- p185(HER2) antibody can also be observed on gastric cancer cell lines that overexpress this growth factor receptor.
We evaluated the relationship between p185(HER2) overexpression and clinicopathological features in 94 (M: F=52: 42) gastric adenocarcinoma patients (median age 59 years). Protein expression was analysed by immunohistochemical staining in paraffin embedded tissues with monoclonal antibody for p185(HER2). To explore the role of humanized anti-p185(HER2) monoclonal antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin ) in vitro, the growth curve of Korean gastric cancer cells that overexpress the p185(HER2) protein was studied and a cell cycle analysis was performed.
p185(HER2) overexpression correlates positively with lymph node metastasis (p=0.002), distant metastasis (p=0.01), AJCC classification (p=0.01), higher relapse rate p=0.001), and a tendential association with the pT stage (p=0.054). p185(HER2) overexpression was found to be more frequent in advanced gastric cancer than early gastric cancer (54.1% vs 24.2%, p=0.008). Patients with overexpression of p185(HER2) were found to have significantly lower relapse-free (p=0.003) and overall survival (p= 0.0004) than patients without overexpression. Among several Korean gastric cancer cell lines, SNU-1, SNU-5, and SNU-620 overexpress p185(HER2). Trastuzumab inhibited the proliferation of p185(HER2) overexpressed Korean gastric cancer cell line by 21% with down-regulation of p185(HER2) protein expression. DNA fluorescence flow cytometry of propidium iodide-stained nuclei showed a reduction in the fraction of the S phase following treatment with trastuzumab.
Taken together, our observations suggest the potential prognostic significance of p185(HER2) overexpression in Korean gastric adenocarcinoma patients and point to the need for further research on this mechanism. This suggests the possible use of p185(HER2) as a therapeutic target in gastric cancer.
Key words: p185(HER2);Prognostic factor;Stomach neoplasm;Trastuzumab
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