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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 47  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 8-15

ErbB-2 expression and its association with other biological parameters of breast cancer among Indian women

1 Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore - 12, India
2 Department of Pathology, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore - 68, India
3 Department of Surgery, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore - 68, India

Correspondence Address:
K Somasundaram
Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore - 12
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Source of Support: KV is supported by a DBT post-doctoral fellowship. Infrastructural support by funding from ICMR (Center for Advanced studies in Molecular Medicine), DBT (Program support and Genomics program), DST (FIST) and UGC.,, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.58852

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Objectives: Overexpression of the epidermal growth factor receptor family genes, which include ErbB-1, 2, 3 and 4, has been implicated in a number of cancers. We have studied the extent of ErbB-2 overexpression among Indian women with sporadic breast cancer. Methods: Immmunohistochemistry and genomic polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were used to study the ErbB2 overexpression. ErbB2 status was correlated with other clinico-pathological parameters, including patient survival. Results: ErbB-2 overexpression was detected in 43.2% (159/368) of the cases by immunohistochemistry. For a sub-set of patients (n = 55) for whom total DNA was available, ErbB-2 gene amplification was detected in 25.5% (14/55) of the cases by genomic PCR. While the ErbB2 overexpression was significantly higher in patients with lymphnode (χ2 = 12.06, P≤ 0.001), larger tumor size (χ2 = 8.22, P = 0.042) and ductal carcinoma (χ2 = 15.42, P ≤ 0.001), it was lower in patients with disease-free survival (χ2 = 22.13, P ≤ 0.001). Survival analysis on a sub-set of patients for whom survival data were available (n = 179) revealed that ErbB-2 status (χ2 =25.94, P ≤ 0.001), lymphnode status (χ2 = 12.68, P ≤ 0.001), distant metastasis (χ2 = 19.49, P ≤ 0.001) and stage of the disease (χ2 = 28.04, P ≤0.001) were markers of poor prognosis. Conclusions: ErbB-2 overexpression was significantly greater compared with the Western literature, but comparable to other Indian studies. Significant correlation was found between ErbB-2 status and lymphnode status, tumor size and ductal carcinoma. ErbB-2 status, lymph node status, distant metastasis and stage of the disease were found to be prognostic indicators.


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