Expression of the ERBB2 protein in benign and malignant salivary gland tumors

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 1991 Mar;3(2):128-35. doi: 10.1002/gcc.2870030208.


Fifty-two primary human salivary gland tumors were analyzed for expression of the p185ERBB2 protein using immunohistochemical and immunoblotting techniques. About 63% (33/52) of the tumors expressed the ERBB2 protein. The highest expression levels were detected among the carcinomas, where 32% of the tumors showed intense membrane staining in 25-100% of the tumor cells. In benign pleomorphic adenomas, the corresponding figure was only 12%. Clinical follow-up data available for 18 of the 19 patients with carcinomas suggested an association between high ERBB2 protein levels and poor prognosis as measured by recurrence of disease and/or the appearance of metastases. These results indicate that ERBB2 activation and overexpression could be an important genetic event with possible prognostic implications in a subset of malignant salivary gland tumors.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / genetics*
  • Adenoma / pathology
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinoma / genetics*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Cell Line
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics*
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics*
  • Proto-Oncogenes*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Salivary Gland Neoplasms / pathology
  • Salivary Glands / cytology


  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptor, ErbB-2