Potential prognostic value of C-erbB-2 expression in medulloblastomas in very young children

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. Nov-Dec 1997;19(6):510-5. doi: 10.1097/00043426-199711000-00004.


Purpose: The expression of the c-erbB-2 oncogene was studied in childhood medulloblastoma to evaluate its prognostic value, which has been claimed previously.

Patients and methods: Tumor material from 45 patients < 15 years old at diagnosis was studied using 3 monoclonal antibodies against the internal and external domains of the c-erbB-2 oncogene product.

Results: Six of the 45 (13%) tumor specimens were found to be positive. C-erbB-2 expression was found more often in patients < 3 years old at diagnosis (4 of 15 patients, 27%) than in older patients (2 of 30, 6.6%). During the follow-up period (5.8 +/- 2.8 years) all patients with c-erbB-2 expression died of disease (after 1.2 +/- 0.7 years). Kaplan-Meier estimation revealed a highly significant correlation of c-erbB-2 expression and survival (p = 0.002). A further study of the expression of synaptophysin and the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in the 45 tumors revealed a negative correlation of the expression of c-erbB-2 and these proteins.

Conclusion: C-erbB-2, which may be predominantly expressed by less differentiated tumors, was found to delineate a poorer prognostic subgroup, especially when diagnosed in patients < 3 years old.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Cerebellar Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, erbB-2
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Medulloblastoma / metabolism*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / biosynthesis*
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Receptor, ErbB-2