HER-2/neu overexpression detected by immunohistochemistry in soft tissue sarcomas

Heidi Foster, Stacey Knox, Apar Kishor Ganti, Brian J. Hebert, Michael Koch, Ketki Tendulkar, Ralph Levitt, Anil Potti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Sarcomas currently represent 1% of adult malignancies and 15% of pediatric malignancies. To determine the prevalence of HER-2/neu overexpression by the histologic type and to identify a possible predictive role in patients with sarcoma, we performed a retrospective study on subjects with a biopsyproven diagnosis of a soft tissue sarcoma. HER-2/neu overexpression was evaluated using immunohistochemistry (IHC) performed on paraffin-embedded specimens. An IHC score of 2+ or greater was considered positive for overexpression. Two hundred seventy-three patients with soft tissue sarcoma were identified (164 females, 109 males) with a mean age of 56 (range: 1-93). The most common tumors identified were malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) (18.3%), dermatofibrosarcoma (DFS) (16.1%), leiomyosarcoma (13.2%) and carcinosarcomas (CS) (7.3%). Of the 273 specimens, 29 (10.6%) revealed HER-2/neu overexpression. CS, MFH, and DFS specimens showed the highest incidence of HER-2/neu overexpression (40%, 26%, and 18.2%, respectively). The incidence of HER2/neu overexpression was found to be significantly higher in patients with a survival of less than 8 months (p = 0.035). This demonstrates that HER-2/neu overexpression is preferentially seen in certain soft tissue sarcomas, and when present is associated with a poorer prognosis in patients with sarcoma. Further studies would delineate whether HER-2/neu overexpression renders sarcomas chemoresistant and thus adversely affects outcome. In addition, there may be a role for Herceptin (trastuzumab) alone, or in combination with conventional therapy, in patients with CS, MHF, and DFS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-191
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003

Fingerprint

Sarcoma
Immunohistochemistry
Dermatofibrosarcoma
Carcinosarcoma
Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma
Neoplasms
Leiomyosarcoma
Incidence
Paraffin
Retrospective Studies
Pediatrics
Survival

Keywords

  • Carcinosarcoma
  • Dermatofibrosarcoma
  • Her-2/neu overexpression
  • Malignant fibrous histiocytoma
  • Soft tissue sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

HER-2/neu overexpression detected by immunohistochemistry in soft tissue sarcomas. / Foster, Heidi; Knox, Stacey; Ganti, Apar Kishor; Hebert, Brian J.; Koch, Michael; Tendulkar, Ketki; Levitt, Ralph; Potti, Anil.

In: American Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials, Vol. 26, No. 2, 01.04.2003, p. 188-191.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Foster, Heidi ; Knox, Stacey ; Ganti, Apar Kishor ; Hebert, Brian J. ; Koch, Michael ; Tendulkar, Ketki ; Levitt, Ralph ; Potti, Anil. / HER-2/neu overexpression detected by immunohistochemistry in soft tissue sarcomas. In: American Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials. 2003 ; Vol. 26, No. 2. pp. 188-191.
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AB - Sarcomas currently represent 1% of adult malignancies and 15% of pediatric malignancies. To determine the prevalence of HER-2/neu overexpression by the histologic type and to identify a possible predictive role in patients with sarcoma, we performed a retrospective study on subjects with a biopsyproven diagnosis of a soft tissue sarcoma. HER-2/neu overexpression was evaluated using immunohistochemistry (IHC) performed on paraffin-embedded specimens. An IHC score of 2+ or greater was considered positive for overexpression. Two hundred seventy-three patients with soft tissue sarcoma were identified (164 females, 109 males) with a mean age of 56 (range: 1-93). The most common tumors identified were malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH) (18.3%), dermatofibrosarcoma (DFS) (16.1%), leiomyosarcoma (13.2%) and carcinosarcomas (CS) (7.3%). Of the 273 specimens, 29 (10.6%) revealed HER-2/neu overexpression. CS, MFH, and DFS specimens showed the highest incidence of HER-2/neu overexpression (40%, 26%, and 18.2%, respectively). The incidence of HER2/neu overexpression was found to be significantly higher in patients with a survival of less than 8 months (p = 0.035). This demonstrates that HER-2/neu overexpression is preferentially seen in certain soft tissue sarcomas, and when present is associated with a poorer prognosis in patients with sarcoma. Further studies would delineate whether HER-2/neu overexpression renders sarcomas chemoresistant and thus adversely affects outcome. In addition, there may be a role for Herceptin (trastuzumab) alone, or in combination with conventional therapy, in patients with CS, MHF, and DFS.

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