Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 61  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 313-318

Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 neu expression in head and neck squamous cell cancers and its clinicopathological correlation: Results from an Indian cancer center


1 Department of Musculoskeletal Pathology, Royal Orthopedic Hospital NHS, Robert Atiken Institute of Clinical Research, University of Birmingham, UK
2 Department of Surgical Oncology, Vydehi Institute of Medical Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
M S Ganesh
Department of Surgical Oncology, Vydehi Institute of Oncology, 82, EPIP Area, Whitefield, Mallya Hospital, Vittal Mallya Road, Bengaluru - 560 066, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0377-4929.236599

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Background: Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)/neuprotooncogene (neu) is a proven molecular prognostic marker in breast, ovarian, gastric, and ovarian cancers. In head-and-neck cancers, varied expression is documented and therefore its prognostic role is debatable. Aim of the Study: To find the rate of overexpression of HER2/neu in head-and-neck cancers and to understand its prognostic role by evaluating its association with nodal stage and overall stage of the patient. Methodology: A total of 70 surgically resected cases of head-and-neck cancers were evaluated for expression of HER2/neu by immunohistochemistry. Scoring was done according to the American Society of Clinical Oncologists/College of American Pathologistsguidelines for Her2/neu testing in breast cancer. Results: Of the 70 cases studied, 57 were of oral cavity and 13 were laryngeal squamous cell cancers and 14 (20%) were Her2/neu positive. On correlating the expression of HER2/neu in T1/T2 (41 cases) versus T3/T4 (27 cases), the P value was found to be 0.8273 which was statistically insignificant. Furthermore, no statistically significant difference in expression of HER2/neu was found in between node negative and node positive cases (49 vs. 19 cases, respectively), with P = 0.512. Conclusion: In the current settings, HER2/neu is not found to be a prognostic marker in head-and-neck cancers. Standard immunohistochemistry staining protocols need to be established like in breast cancers to aid uniform reporting and further evaluate the role of this important protooncogene in head-and-neck cancers.


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