HER-2/neu Gene Amplification in Esophageal Adenocarcinoma and Its Influence on Survival

Sarah K. Thompson, Thomas R. Sullivan, Ruth Davies, Andrew R. Ruszkiewicz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Background. HER-2/neu (c-erbB-2, HER2) gene amplification and protein overexpression have been associated with poor prognosis in several solid tumors, including breast and gastric cancer. Its incidence and significance in esophageal adenocarcinoma is unknown. Materials and Methods. Tissue microarrays were successfully constructed from 89 paraffin-embedded archival specimens of esophageal adenocarcinomas for HER2 gene amplification by silver-enhanced in situ hybridization (SISH). No patients had undergone neoadjuvant therapy. Protein overexpression was tested with immunohistochemistry (IHC) using automated immunostaining (Ventana Benchmark). Incidence of HER2 positivity, correlation to clinicopathological variables in esophageal cancer patients, and concordance between SISH and IHC were determined. Results. True HER2 gene amplification was detected in 14 esophageal cancer specimens (16%), and 92% of those with high-level HER2 amplification showed positive HER2 protein overexpression. No significant associations were found among gene amplification and clinicopathological factors. The 5-year survival rates were 57% for esophageal cancer patients with HER2 amplification compared with 32% without, but the difference in overall survival was not significant (P = .37). The correlation between SISH and IHC was statistically significant (P<.0001).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2010-2017
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


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