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Amodio R.,University of Palermo | Zarcone M.,Palermo Breast Cancer Registry and Experimental Oncology | Zarcone M.,Fondazione IRCCS Instituto Nazionale per Lo Studio e la Cura Dei Tumori | Cusimano R.,University of Palermo | And 6 more authors.
OMICS A Journal of Integrative Biology | Year: 2011

The development of new therapeutic strategies, such as monoclonal antibodies directed against human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2), has offered new hopes for women with early breast cancer whose tumors overexpress HER2. We retrospectively analyzed the population-based data of Breast Cancer Registry of Palermo in 2004-2006, and selected 1401 invasive breast cancer cases, nonmetastatic at diagnosis, having HER2/neu oncogene expression determined. We have correlated this information to age, tumor stage at diagnosis (TNM), nodal involvement, and receptor status (ER and PgR). Survival analysis was conducted dividing the patients in two different groups according to date of diagnosis: one group diagnosed in 2004 and a second group in 2005-2006. In the 460 cases of 2004, nodal involvement, receptor status, age at diagnosis and TNM maintained a strong predictive value (p<0.0001). In this group of patients, overall survival was significantly different according to the HER2 expression levels (p=0.001). In the second group of patients (941 incident cases in 2005-2006) there was a statistically significant survival difference comparing patients with high levels of HER2 expression treated with trastuzumab versus those untreated (p=0.006). Our data show that elevated levels of HER2 are a negative prognostic factor. In addition, patients overexpressing HER2 show a significant increase of overall survival when treated with trastuzumab. © 2011 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

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