A potential role for activated HER-2 in prostate cancer

Semin Oncol. 2000 Dec;27(6 Suppl 11):76-83; discussion 92-100.


The epidermal growth factor (also known as HER or ErbB) family of receptor tyrosine kinases are important mediators of cell growth, differentiation, and survival. At present there are 10 ligands that bind directly to epidermal growth factor, HER-3, or HER-4. Although none of these ligands bind directly to HER-2, it is recruited to these receptor complexes and also becomes activated. A monoclonal antibody directed against HER-2, 2C4, inhibits the association of HER-2 with other HER family members. Ligand-activated HER-2 may also play a role in cancers, particularly those that do not overexpress HER-2 at high levels. For example, when prostate cancers progress from an androgen-dependent to an androgen-independent phenotype, epidermal growth factor pathways are frequently activated. 2C4 will inhibit the growth of both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate tumors grown as xenografts in athymic mice.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Male
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms, Hormone-Dependent / metabolism*
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2* / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Receptor, ErbB-2* / physiology
  • Trastuzumab


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Ligands
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen
  • Trastuzumab