The HER-2/neu oncogene: prognostic factor, predictive factor and target for therapy

Semin Cancer Biol. 1999 Apr;9(2):125-38. doi: 10.1006/scbi.1998.0083.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms, Male / therapy
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Genes, erbB-2 / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / analysis*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics


  • Receptor, ErbB-2