Adjuvant trastuzumab with chemotherapy is standard treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer, defined as either HER2 IHC3+ or IHC2+ and FISH amplified. The aim of this study was to investigate the degree to which HER2 amplification in terms of HER2 gene copy numbers in HER2+IHC2+ cancers affected the outcome in a community setting. Case records of 311 consecutive patients with early breast cancer presenting between 1st January 2005 and 31st December 2008 were reviewed. Progression-free survival and overall survival were calculated with the Kaplan-Meier method using STATA 13. Among 3+ cases (n=230) 163 received T vs 67 no-T. Among 2+ cases (n=81) 59 received T vs 22 no-T. Among 59 IHC2+-treated cases n=28 had an average of >12, n=13 had >6 to <12, and n=18 had >2 to <6 HER2 gene copies, respectively. The time of progression and overall survival of high and low copy number patients was similar and better than the intermediate copy number and the untreated cohorts. High HER2 copy number (>12) appears to be associated with consistently better response compared with patients with intermediate HER2 copy numbers (6-12). In light of emerging data of patients showing insensivity to trastuzumab therapy, we propose that the HER2 gene copy number value should be included as an additional indicator for stratifying both the management and the follow-up of breast cancer patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research