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Frequent overexpression of ErbB – receptor family members in brain metastases of non-small cell lung cancer patients

Authors

  • Anna Sophie Berghoff,

    1. Institute of Neurology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
    2. Comprehensive Cancer Center, Vienna, Austria
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  • Manuel Magerle,

    1. Comprehensive Cancer Center, Vienna, Austria
    2. Department of Medicine I, Clinical Division of Medical Oncology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
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  • Ayseguel Ilhan-Mutlu,

    1. Comprehensive Cancer Center, Vienna, Austria
    2. Department of Medicine I, Clinical Division of Medical Oncology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
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  • Carina Dinhof,

    1. Comprehensive Cancer Center, Vienna, Austria
    2. Department of Medicine I, Clinical Division of Medical Oncology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
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  • Georg Widhalm,

    1. Comprehensive Cancer Center, Vienna, Austria
    2. Department of Neurosurgery, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
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  • Karin Dieckman,

    1. Comprehensive Cancer Center, Vienna, Austria
    2. Department of Radiotherapy, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
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  • Christine Marosi,

    1. Comprehensive Cancer Center, Vienna, Austria
    2. Department of Medicine I, Clinical Division of Medical Oncology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
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  • Adelheid Wöhrer,

    1. Institute of Neurology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
    2. Comprehensive Cancer Center, Vienna, Austria
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  • Monika Hackl,

    1. Austrian National Cancer Registry, Statistics Austria, Vienna, Austria
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  • Sabine Zöchbauer-Müller,

    1. Comprehensive Cancer Center, Vienna, Austria
    2. Department of Medicine I, Clinical Division of Medical Oncology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
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  • Matthias Preusser,

    Corresponding author
    1. Comprehensive Cancer Center, Vienna, Austria
    2. Department of Medicine I, Clinical Division of Medical Oncology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
    • Matthias Preusser, Department of Medicine I and Comprehensive Cancer Center, CNS Tumours Unit, Medical University of Vienna, Austria Waehringer Guertel 18-20, Vienna 1090, Austria. e-mail: Matthias.preusser@meduniwien.ac.at

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  • Peter Birner

    1. Comprehensive Cancer Center, Vienna, Austria
    2. Clinical Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
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Abstract

The ErbB receptor family has been implicated in brain metastases (BM) formation in various cancer types and specific targeted therapies are available. We investigated the overexpression of EGFR, HER2 and HER3 in BM of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients to get a better insight on pathobiology of BM and potential drugable targets. We performed immunohistochemical analysis of EGFR, HER2 and HER3 on tissue microarrays of 131 NSCLC-BM. Fifty-one of 131 (38.9%) specimens were considered as positive for EGFR overexpression, 12/131 (9.2%) for HER2 and 27/131 (20.6%) for HER3 respectively. Sixty-nine of 131 (52.7%) of the cases showed overexpression of at least one marker. Four of 131 (3.1%) were positive for all three markers. Strong correlation was observed between HER2 and HER3 overexpression (p = 0.009; Chi-square test after Bonferroni-Holmes correction). No statistically significant correlation of EGFR, HER2 or HER3 overexpression with clinico-pathological parameters including overall survival times was observed. We observed overexpression of ErbB receptor family members, which represent established therapeutic targets in various primary tumours, in approximately half of NSCLC-BM. Further studies should investigate the role of the ErbB pathway in development of and as a therapeutic target in BM of NSCLC patients.

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