Expression of C-erbB-2/HER-2 in patients with metastatic breast cancer undergoing high-dose chemotherapy and autologous blood stem cell support

M. Bewick, T. Chadderton, M. Conlon, R. Lafrenie, D. Morris, D. Stewart, S. Glück

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

C-erbB-2/HER-2 (designated HER-2) is overexpressed in both primary and metastatic breast cancer and predicts poor prognosis. We investigated the expression of HER-2 in patients with metastatic breast cancer undergoing high-dose chemotherapy (HDCT) with autologous blood stem cell (ABSC) support and correlated the presence (positive) or absence (negative) of HER-2 overexpression in these patients with response to treatment, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). The level of HER-2 expression was analyzed in 57 patients with metastatic breast cancer undergoing HDCT with ABSC support. Plasma from peripheral blood was taken at three different time points during the course of treatment and was analyzed using an enzyme immunoassay (EIA) to detect circulating levels of the extracellular portion of HER-2. HER-2 levels were elevated (> 0.2 U/mg protein) in 27/57 (47.4%) patients at one or more time points during treatment. The level of HER-2 varied during the course of treatment. Following induction chemotherapy (ICT), five patients who were negative initially, showed overexpression of HER-2. Three patients overexpressed HER-2 only after HDCT/ABSC. Response to treatment was similar in patients independent of plasma HER-2 levels. Overexpression of HER-2 was associated with a significantly shorter PFS (P = 0.004, log rank) and OS (P = 0.003, log rank) after HDCT/ABSC. HER-2 overexpression, patient age, estrogen receptor status, progesterone receptor status, and previous hormone treatment were assessed by univariate and multivariate analysis. Univariate analysis determined that only HER-2 overexpression correlated significantly with decreases in progression free survival (P = 0.005, Cox regression). Decreased overall survival correlated significantly with HER-2 overexpression (P = 0.004) and decreased expression of both estrogen receptor (P = 0.032) and progesterone receptor (P = 0.039). In multivariate analysis of these variables, only HER-2 expression levels proved to be of independent statistical significance inpredicting outcome for both PFS (P = 0.007) and OS (P = 0.002). These results suggest that overexpression of HER-2, measured by EIA in plasma may predict a shorter PFS and OS in patients with metastatic breast cancer treated with HDCT and ABSC support.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-384
Number of pages8
JournalBone Marrow Transplantation
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

Keywords

  • Advanced breast cancer
  • EGFR superfamily
  • Oncoprotein
  • Plasma levels
  • Prognostic factors
  • Retrospective analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Transplantation

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