Purpose: Uterine papillary serous carcinoma (UPSC) is an aggressive subtype of endometrial cancer characterized by early metastasis, resistance to therapy, and a high mortality rate. Little is known about the biology of these tumors. Smaller studies suggest that Her-2/neu may be involved in the tumorigenesis of this disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the protein expression and gene amplification of Her-2/neu in UPSC and to determine its prognostic value. Patients and Methods: Tumor tissue from 68 patients with UPSC treated at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center from 1989 to 2002 was available. Her-2/neu expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Overexpression was defined as complete membrane staining in greater than 10% of the cells. In tumors with overexpression of Her-2/neu by IHC, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed to assess gene amplification. Clinical and pathologic information was obtained from medical records. Results: Twelve (18%) of 68 tumors demonstrated Her-2/neu overexpression. Of these, only two showed gene amplification. When evaluating all 68 patients, Her-2/neu overexpression was associated with a poorer overall survival (OS; P = .008). In our multivariate Cox proportional hazards models, Her-2/neu IHC overexpression, lymph node status, and stage were each associated with OS (P ≤ .05). Conclusion: Positive IHC overexpression of Her-2/neu was seen in 18% of UPSCs but was rarely correlated with Her-2/neu gene amplification. Overexpression of Her-2/neu was associated with a worse overall prognosis. The use of trastuzumab (Herceptin; Genentech, South San Francisco, CA) in women with UPSC should be further evaluated in a clinical trial setting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research