HER-2--a possible target for therapy of metastatic urinary bladder carcinoma

Acta Oncol. 2002;41(3):282-8. doi: 10.1080/02841860260088836.


Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, HER-2, is overexpressed in various tumours, e.g. breast- and bladder tumours. The aim of this study was to predict the potential use of HER-2 receptors as targets in systemic treatment of disseminated bladder tumours. HER-2 expression was assessed in bladder carcinoma metastases and the corresponding primary tumours, and subsequently compared with the EGFR expression. HER-2 and EGFR expression was analysed by immunohistochemistry in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues from 21 patients with metastatic bladder carcinoma. HER-2 was overexpressed in 81% of the primary tumours and in 67% of the metastases. All HER-2-positive metastases were from HER-2-positive primary tumours. The results for EGFR were 71% of both primary and metastases-positive tumours. In 90% of the primary tumours and 86% of the metastases, at least one of the receptors was overexpressed. These results suggest that HER-2 targeted therapy can be considered as an alternative or a complement to other modalities in the treatment of metastatic urinary bladder carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • ErbB Receptors / analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / analysis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / therapy*


  • ErbB Receptors
  • Receptor, ErbB-2