Is C-ERB B-2 a predictor for recurrent disease in early stage breast cancer?

Lori J. Pierce, Maria J. Merino, Teresa D'Angelo, Edward A. Barker, Lucy Gilbert, Kenneth H. Cowan, Seth M. Steinberg, Eli Glatstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose: To assess the prognostic importance of c-erb B-2 expression in early stage breast cancer. Methods and Materials: Immunohistochemical analysis for c-erb B-2 over-expression was retrospectively performed on 107 paraffin-embedded specimens of women with Stage I or II breast cancer entered in a randomized trial. Results were correlated with known prognostic factors such as pathologic axillary involvement, T-size, estrogen and progesterone receptor status, and nuclear grade. Immunohistochemical staining for c-erb B-2 protein expression was also correlated with breast/chest wall failure as well as survival without evidence of disease (NED) and overall survival. Results: C-erb B-2 overexpression was positive in 21% of the biopsy specimens. A significant association was found between c-erb-2 positivity and lesions containing an intraductal component, with 62% of lesions staining positively for c-erb B-2 having an intraductal component compared to only 36% of lesions with an intraductal component staining negatively for the c-erb B-2 protein (p2 = .031). A significant correlation between c-erb B-2 protein over-expression and axillary nodal status, primary tumor size, nuclear grade, and estrogen and progesterone receptor status was not identified. Cox proportional hazards model did not show a significant effect of c-erb B-2 expression for NED or overall survival. Conclusion: Our study did not find over-expression of c-erb B-2 to reliably predict for recurrent disease in early stage breast cancer. This data can be added to other series comparing erb B-2 expression and disease outcome among node-positive and node-negative women with carcinoma of the breast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • C-erb B-2 amplification
  • Protein over-expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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