HER-2/neu amplification predicts poor survival in node-positive breast cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


HER-2/neu protooncogene amplification and protein expression were analyzed with slot blot and Western blot techniques, respectively, in more than 300 invasive primary breast tumors of all stages. Amplification (2- greater than 30 copies) was found in 17% of these tumors and high expression was seen in 19%. There was a striking coincidence between gene amplification and high expression. Tumors associated with many involved axillary lymph nodes or with Stage IV disease were more often HER-2/neu amplified or overexpressed. Furthermore, gene alteration was strongly correlated with the absence of steroid receptors and with larger tumor size. High expression without gene amplification was seen in a minor subset of tumors of less aggressive character. Neither amplification nor overexpression was correlated with disease outcome for patients with negative axillary lymph nodes. For node-positive patients, however, HER-2/neu amplification was a significant predictor of early relapse and death (median follow-up = 45 months), and a similar trend, although not significant, existed for high gene expression. Multivariate analyses indicated that HER-2/neu alterations were not independent predictors of patient outcome.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Lund University
  • University of Texas Health Science Centre
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology


  • Amino Acid Sequence, Biomarkers, Tumor/analysis, Blotting, Western, Breast Neoplasms/analysis, Female, Gene Amplification, Gene Expression, Humans, Immune Sera, Lymphatic Metastasis, Menopause, Molecular Sequence Data, Peptides/chemical synthesis, Prognosis, Protein-Tyrosine Kinases/genetics, Proto-Oncogene Proteins/analysis, Proto-Oncogenes, Receptor, ErbB-2, Receptors, Estrogen/analysis, Receptors, Progesterone
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4332-7
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 1990 Jul 15
Publication categoryResearch