Salivary duct carcinoma of the parotid gland: is adjuvant HER-2-targeted therapy required?

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2014 May;72(5):1023-31. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2013.11.014. Epub 2013 Nov 22.


Purpose: Salivary duct carcinoma (SDC) of the parotid gland is a highly aggressive and uncommon tumor. Overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2) is characteristic of SDC. HER-2 overexpression is considered a poor prognostic marker for SDC, and anti-HER-2 therapy has been suggested as a therapeutic option.

Materials and methods: Two patients with SDC were analyzed for HER-2 overexpression and gene amplification using immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization.

Results: In 1 patient, no expression of HER-2 was found. In the other patient, HER-2 was demonstrated. The patient with HER-2 overexpression had a worse prognosis, and trastuzumab proved to be an effective treatment.

Conclusions: The present results have also suggested that HER-2 overexpression is associated with a poor prognosis. Therefore, HER-2 status should be evaluated at least in the presence of advanced SDC, and targeted therapy should be considered in the adjuvant setting.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma, Ductal / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Ductal / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Ductal / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Male
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Mediastinal Neoplasms / secondary
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy*
  • Neck Dissection / methods
  • Neoadjuvant Therapy*
  • Parotid Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Parotid Neoplasms / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics
  • Salivary Ducts / pathology*
  • Salivary Ducts / surgery
  • Trastuzumab


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • Receptor, ErbB-2
  • Trastuzumab