Prognostic significance of HER-2/neu expression in breast cancer and its relationship to other prognostic factors

Int J Cancer. 1991 Aug 19;49(1):44-9. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910490109.


Archival surgical specimens from 1,210 female breast cancer patients treated between 1968 and 1971 and with a 19-year follow-up were reanalyzed with special reference to several parameters, such as size of the primary tumor, axillary nodal involvement, histologic grade, degree of inflammatory infiltrate (LPI) of the tumor and expression of the neu oncoprotein (p185) as detected by immunohistochemistry. In a multifactorial analysis the 4 former factors were found to be independent prognostic parameters. Over-expression of p185 was found to be related to tumor size and grade and to LPI but not to pathologic nodal status. Over-expression of p185 showed a negative impact upon survival in node-positive but not in node-negative patients. However, in the subset of node-negative patients without LPI, p185 over-expression showed the same correlation with a poor prognosis as in node-positive patients. In contrast, in node-negative and LPI-positive patients, p185 over-expression correlated with a good prognosis. Also, the prognosis of patients with positive nodes, presence of LPI and no p185 over-expression was similar to that of patients with negative nodes, absence of LPI and p185 over-expression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Menopause
  • Prognosis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Survival Analysis


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Receptor, ErbB-2