Associations between ERBB2 amplification and progression-free survival and overall survival in advanced stage, suboptimally-resected epithelial ovarian cancers: a Gynecologic Oncology Group Study

Gynecol Oncol. 2009 Jun;113(3):341-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ygyno.2009.02.009. Epub 2009 Mar 9.


Objective(s): The Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) examined the association between ERBB2 amplification and clinical covariates, tumor response, disease status post-chemotherapy, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).

Methods: Women with suboptimally-resected, advanced stage EOC who participated in GOG-111, a multi-center randomized phase III trial of cyclophosphamide+cisplatin versus paclitaxel+cisplatin, and provided a tumor block through the companion protocol GOG-9404 were eligible. ERBB2 amplification was examined using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with probes for ERBB2 and the centromere of chromosome 17 (CEP17).

Results: ERBB2 amplification, defined as >2 copies of ERBB2/CEP17, was a rare event in EOC with 7% (9/133) of women exhibiting between 2.2 and 33.7 copies of ERBB2/CEP17, and was not associated with patient age, race, GOG performance status, stage, cell type, grade, measurable disease status, volume of ascites, tumor response or disease status post-chemotherapy. Women with >2 verses < or =2 copies of ERBB2/CEP17 did not have a reduced risk of disease progression (hazard ratio [HR]=0.56; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.27-1.16; p=0.120) or death (HR=0.57; 95% CI=0.26-1.23; p=0.152), and ERBB2 amplification was not an independent prognostic factor for PFS or OS. ERBB2 amplification, defined as >4 copies of ERBB2/nuclei, was observed in 9% (12/133) of women with levels ranging from 4.2 to 49.2 copies of ERBB2/nuclei, and was associated with older age and volume of ascites, but not with the other clinical covariates or outcome.

Conclusion(s): ERBB2 amplification is a rare event and has no predictive or prognostic value in suboptimally-resected, advanced stage EOC treated with platinum-based combination chemotherapy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Disease Progression
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Gene Amplification*
  • Genes, erbB-2*
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Middle Aged
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Prognosis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Young Adult