Her2 alterations in muscle-invasive bladder cancer: Patient selection beyond protein expression for targeted therapy

Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 16:7:42713. doi: 10.1038/srep42713.


Although the introduction of novel targeted agents has improved patient outcomes in several human cancers, no such advance has been achieved in muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). However, recent sequencing efforts have begun to dissect the complex genomic landscape of MIBC, revealing distinct molecular subtypes and offering hope for implementation of targeted therapies. Her2 (ERBB2) is one of the most established therapeutic targets in breast and gastric cancer but agents targeting Her2 have not yet demonstrated anti-tumor activity in MIBC. Through an integrated analysis of 127 patients from three centers, we identified alterations of Her2 at the DNA, RNA and protein level, and demonstrate that Her2 relevance as a tumor driver likely may vary even within ERBB2 amplified cases. Importantly, tumors with a luminal molecular subtype have a significantly higher rate of Her2 alterations than those of the basal subtype, suggesting that Her2 activity is also associated with subtype status. Although some of our findings present rare events in bladder cancer, our study suggests that comprehensively assessing Her2 status in the context of tumor molecular subtype may help select MIBC patients most likely to respond to Her2 targeted therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Drug Therapy / methods
  • Female
  • Gene Amplification
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Patient Selection*
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / genetics
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology


  • ERBB2 protein, human
  • Receptor, ErbB-2