Amplification of HER-2/neu gene in human gastric adenocarcinomas: correlation with primary site.
Adenocarcinomas of the proximal stomach including the gastroesophageal junction are extremely virulent cancers which are increasing rapidly in incidence. Stage-for-stage proximal gastric cancers have a worse prognosis than do tumors of the body or antrum of the stomach. To further explore biological differences based on site, we studied 80 patients with locally advanced primary tumours of the proximal (n = 40) and distal stomach (n = 40) for amplification of the HER-2/neu proto-oncogene. None of 40 patients with proximal lesions had overexpression of HER-2/neu, whereas four of 40 (10%) distal adenocarcinomas had a 16-24-fold gene amplification (P = 0.04). In the adenocarcinomas from two patients, gene rearrangements were found in addition to amplification. HER-2/neu gene product p185 over-expression was found only in the amplified cases. All four patients with distal tumors and amplification had rapid progression of disease (median survival: 4.3 months). While it is unclear why HER-2/neu amplification is seen only in distal tumors, these data further support the hypothesis that biological differences between proximal and distal lesions are present. As is the case for other tumours, HER-2/neu amplification is associated with a poor prognosis for the individual patient.
Albino, AP; Jaehne, J; Altorki, N; Blundell, M; Urmacher, C; Lauwers, G; Niedzwiecki, D; Kelsen, DP
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