Human epidermal growth factor 2 status in gastric adenocarcinoma: a retrospective study to assess the susceptibility for trastuzumab treatment

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Abstract

Objective

We are aiming to study the expression of human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2) in gastric carcinoma (GC) to estimate the susceptibility for target therapy by trastuzumab hoping to improve the outcome especially in late stage cases.

Materials and methods

This is a retrospective study that included 50 cases diagnosed as GC in Benha University hospital. Our study included an examination of the endoscopic biopsies of 40 cases and the resection specimens of 10 cases. We assessed HER2 status by application of immunohistochemistry to all the cases. When cases were equivocal on immunohistochemistry, we applied fluorescence in-situ hybridization. The collected data were statistically analyzed.

Results

HER2 was positive in 17 (34%) cases. It was statistically significant (P<0.05) in the intestinal type of gastric cancer than in the diffuse type (94.1 and 5.9%, respectively). We found the HER2 positivity more in small biopsies than in the resected specimens, but it was statistically nonsignificant. Our data showed no difference in HER2 positivity in relation to the tumor site, differentiation, and tumor stage.

Conclusion

HER2 is overexpressed in the intestinal subtype of GC. So, this subtype of GC can be treated by target immunotherapy ‘trastuzumab’.

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