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HER2 overexpression is well-established risk factor of worse prognosis in metastatic and early breast cancer. HER2 positivity can be determined from tumor tissue by immunohistochemical staining or by fluorescent in situ hybridization, or from serum by measuring concentration of HER2 receptor extracellular domain (HER2/ECD). HER2/ECD correlates well with worse prognosis in metastatic and locally advanced (stage III) disease if serum concentration is >15 ng/ml, but there are no consistent data for patients with early breast cancer. METHODS AND
41 patients with stage I and II breast cancer and 52 healthy controls were included into the study. HER2/ECD was determined before surgery and correlated with HER2/neu overexpression, Ki67, hormone receptor status and disease stage, and compared with value in healthy controls. Mean serum HER2/ECD concentration in patients was 8.62 ng/ml and 5.78 ng/ml in controls, and the difference was statistically significant (p = 0.000061). The best diagnostic cut-off value was 7.7 ng/ml, with 76.92% sensitivity and 72.92% specificity. Positive predictive value of the test was 69.77% and negative predictive value was 79.55%, with 74.71% of patients correctly classified. Serum HER2/ECD correlated with hormone receptors status, and no correlation with histological overexpression has been observed. CONCLUSION. Serum HER2/ECD concentration of ≥7.7 ng/ml has possible diagnostic value in stage I and II breast cancer. It should not be used as a determinant of HER2 positivity. Prognostic significance of HER2/ECD in early breast cancer, its correlation with hormone receptor status, and interconnection between hormone receptors and HER2 receptor signaling should be further analyzed, since it may have therapeutic implications.
Department of Oncology, University Hospital Center Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Wiener klinische Wochenschrift
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Carbohydrate antigen elevated in patients with tumors of the breast, ovary, lung, and prostate as well as other disorders. The mucin is expressed normally by most glandular epithelia but shows particularly increased expression in the breast at lactation and in malignancy. It is thus an established serum marker for breast cancer.
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Component of the NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH. Through basic and clinical biomedical research and training, it conducts and supports research with the objective of cancer prevention, early stage identification and elimination. This Institute was established in 1937.
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