Association of c-erbB2-gene amplification with poor prognosis in non-inflammatory breast carcinomas but not in carcinomas of the inflammatory type

Int J Cancer. 1994 Sep 15;58(6):763-8. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910580602.


It is now accepted that c-erbB2-gene amplification is correlated with poor clinical outcome for patients, mainly when axillary nodes are invaded. We have confirmed this result by multivariate analysis in 178 patients with non-inflammatory breast cancer followed up for a mean period of 6.8 years (SD, 1.6 years). In addition, we have shown that c-erbB2 amplification, found in 30 (17%) specimens, was associated with a high risk of multiple metastases developing simultaneously. In contrast, for the 67 patients with inflammatory breast carcinoma, the most aggressive type of breast carcinoma, the c-erbB2 amplification detected in 24 (36%) specimens was not found to be associated with a higher risk of death, suggesting that the c-erbB2 gene plays a different role in the progression of these 2 types of breast cancer. Furthermore, our data stress the importance of the methodological approach used to determine gene amplification. Although Southern blot hybridization is a tumour- and time-consuming method not easy to adopt in routine clinical practice, this method remains a reference quantitative method.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics*
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gene Amplification*
  • Humans
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / genetics*
  • Risk Factors


  • Receptor, ErbB-2