Effect of HER2/neu expression on survival in non-small-cell lung cancer

V. Korrapati, M. Gaffney, L. G. Larsson, L. Di Nunno, M. Riggs, R. S. Beissner, J. J. Rinehart, Frank Edmund Mott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Major prognostic factors for early-stage non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are tumor size and nodal status. It has been suggested that HER2/neu overexpression may be related to poor prognosis in NSCLC. We evaluated the significance of HER2/neu overexpression on survival in patients with NSCLC. Data were collected on 239 patients treated surgically for stage I/II NSCLC between 1987 and 1996. None of the patients received adjuvant chemotherapy or radiation. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumor tissue samples were stained with p185/HER2 receptor antibody. Results were reported as positive (2+, 3+) or negative (0, 1+) (Group A). A separate analysis considered only 3+ as positive (Group B). HER2/neu overexpression was seen in 18% in Group A (43 of 239) and 6% in Group B (15 of 239). HER2/neu overexpression was highest in bronchoalveolar cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma. More stage I tumors were positive than stage II in both groups, but this was significant only in Group A (21% vs. 7%, P = 0.02). No difference was seen with age, gender, or grade for either group. In Group A, the relapse rate was 55% for HER2/neu-overexpressing tumors and 31% for HER2/neu-negative tumors (P = 0.003). Median time to relapse in patients with HER2/neu-positive tumors was 2.9 years; it was not reached in patients with HER2/neu-negative tumors. Median survival of patients with HER2/neu-positive tumors was 3.6 years compared to 5 years in patients with HER2/neu-negative tumors (P = 0.66). In Group B, the relapse rate was 60% for HER2/neu-overexpressing tumors and 33% for negative tumors (P = 0.036). Median time to relapse was 3.4 years in HER2/neu positive and had not been reached in negative tumors. There was no difference in 5-year survival rates for both groups (47% for HER2/neu positive and 50% for negative, P = 0.66.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-219
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Lung Cancer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2001


  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Bronchoalveolar cell carcinoma
  • HER2/neu expression
  • Prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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