Introduction: The HER2/neu proto-oncogene encodes a transmembrane receptor protein involved in the development and progression of the majority of cancers. Prior studies have shown that HER2/neu oncogene is overexpressed in approximately 15-30% of ovarian carcinomas. However findings regarding the overexpression and prognosis are still conflicting.
Methods: Our retrospective study was performed on 194 ovarian carcinoma tissues obtained at the time of first surgery. The staining procedure for HER2/neu overexpression was performed using a polyclonal antibody.
Results: HER2/neu overexpression was found in 53 out of 194 (27.3%) investigated cases of which 26 (13.4%) carcinomas were weakly positive (score 1+) and 27 (13.9%) moderately (score 2+) to intensely positive (score 3+). No significant relationship was found between HER2/neu score and main clinical and pathological features. Significant difference in overall survival was evident between negative women (0/1+) and positive women (2+/3+): 48 and 29 months, respectively (p = 0.04). In multivariate analysis HER2/neu overexpression appeared to be the only variable significantly correlated with progression and death. CA125 normalization at 3 and 6 months appeared a strong predictor of progression and survival.
Conclusion: In this study HER2/neu overexpression was associated with an increased risk of progression and death, especially among women with FIGO Stage I and II ovarian carcinoma.
Copyright (c) 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.