Background: Astrocytic tumors are the primary brain tumors, which often progress to glioblastoma, a highly malignant neoplasm of the central nervous system. There is much new data regarding to the formation and progression of these tumors; however, glioblastoma remains one of the most fatal neoplasms in humans. The aim of the study was to evaluate the role of c-erbB-2 protein expression in various groups of astrocytic tumors.
Material/methods: 65 cases of astrocytic tumors were divided into 3 groups: diffuse astrocytoma (group I; n=17 cases), anaplastic astrocytoma (group II; n=23 cases) and glioblastoma (group III; n=25 cases). C-erbB-2 protein expression was estimated semiquantitatively on immunohistochemically stained tissue sections using antibodies against c-erbB-2 protein. Statistical analysis was performed in all examined groups.
Results: The c-erbB-2 protein expression was observed in 15 out of 17 cases (88.3%) in group I, 22 out of 25 cases (88%) cases in group II, and in 19 out of 23 cases (82.6%) in group III. There were no statistically significant differences between the examined groups. The strongest c-erbB-2 immunoexpression was observed in low grade astrocytomas (diffuse astrocytomas G2); in the glioblastoma group the c-erbB-2 protein expression was weak and 17.4% of cases were negative.
Conclusions: C-erbB-2 protooncogene alteration is an early phenomenon in glial tumor development and progression.