Prognostic and predictive value of c-erbB-2 (HER-2/neu) gene amplification in human breast cancer

Breast Cancer. 2001;8(1):38-44. doi: 10.1007/BF02967476.


Amplification of the c-erbB-2 (HER-2/neu) proto-oncogene is detected in 10-30% of human breast cancers and has been shown to be accompanied by the overexpression of its protein in the cancer cell membrane. c-erbB-2 gene amplification is one of the first genetic alterations to be used clinically as a prognostic indicator, a predictive factor of response to doxorubicin (adriamycin) chemotherapy, and a test of patient eligibility for therapy with trastuzumab, a humanized anti-c-erbB-2 antibody. There are two types of tests to detect c-erbB-2 amplification/overexpression: immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Accurate identification of cases with c-erbB-2 amplification/overexpression requires an optimized combination of immunohistochemical and FISH tests.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Amplification*
  • Genes, erbB-2 / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Prognosis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism*
  • Survival Rate


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Receptor, ErbB-2