The HER-2/neu oncogene encodes a transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor with extensive homology to the epidermal growth factor receptor. HER-2/neu has been widely studied in breast cancer. The potential value of HER-2/neu status for the prediction of disease outcome and response to therapy in breast cancer is presented in the light of a series of recently published studies showing a range of impact on the outcome of patients treated with hormonal, cytotoxic and radiation therapies. This review includes the application of serum-based HER-2/neu testing and the use of antibody-based therapies directed against the HER-2/neu protein and their potential to become a new modality for breast cancer treatment.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.