The HER2 (c-erbB-2) oncogene is frequently amplified in in situ carcinomas of the breast

Oncogene. 1992 May;7(5):1027-32.


Amplification and overexpression of the HER2 (c-erbB-2) oncogene was assessed in paraffin-embedded specimens from 27 in situ carcinomas of the breast and from 122 stage II breast cancers. Gene amplification detected in these archival tissues by differential polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was found in 48% of in situ carcinomas and in 21% of stage II lesions (chi 2 = 7.62, p less than or equal to 0.01). In addition, the level of gene amplification correlated with the level of HER2 oncoprotein expression as measured by immunohistochemistry for both in situ cancers (p less than or equal to 0.025) and stage II cancers (p less than or equal to 0.0005). This high incidence of HER2 gene amplification with accompanying overexpression in non-invasive breast tumors suggests that perturbations of the HER2 oncogene are among the earliest and most common genetic lesions in human breast cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinoma in Situ / genetics*
  • Carcinoma in Situ / metabolism
  • Carcinoma in Situ / pathology
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Multigene Family*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptor, ErbB-2