ERBB2 status and benefit from adjuvant tamoxifen in ERalpha-positive postmenopausal breast carcinoma

Cancer Lett. 2001 Dec 28;174(2):173-8. doi: 10.1016/s0304-3835(01)00696-6.


We examined the relation between ERBB2 gene expression (as determined by a real-time quantitative RT-PCR assay) and the response to adjuvant tamoxifen therapy in a well-defined cohort of 125 ERalpha-positive postmenopausal patients with breast cancer. Although ERBB2 overexpression was associated with shorter relapse-free survival in univariate analysis (P=0.00029), ERBB2 did not persist as an independent prognostic factor in multivariate analysis. Nevertheless, when we analyzed the ERBB2 mRNA level as a continuous variable, the higher the ERBB2RNA level, the poorer the outcome (P=0.00036). The results point to the need for a quantitative ERBB2 expression assay for use in future studies of ERBB2-based clinical management of breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Drug Resistance
  • Estrogen Antagonists / therapeutic use*
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Postmenopause
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Neoplasm / metabolism
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Tamoxifen / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Hormonal
  • Estrogen Antagonists
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Neoplasm
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Tamoxifen
  • Receptor, ErbB-2