Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) is an important prognostic factor in several types of solid tumours. Although HER2 seems not to influence survival in esophageal carcinomas, an impact of the HER2 status of disseminated tumour cells (DTCs) on survival has been shown. The aim of our study was to investigate the significance of the HER2 status in primary esophageal carcinomas and matched lymph node metastases.
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a tyrosine kinase (TK) involved in the tumour progression of many cancer types and may serve as an important therapeutic target (erlotinib, cetuximab). Heterogeneity of EGFR amplification and expression could represent a major drawback for anti-EGFR therapy. The aim of this study was performed to determine the potential impact of tumour heterogeneity on anti-EGFR therapy in Barretts adenocarcinoma (BAC).
This study aimed to determine the targeted efficacy of trastuzumab (Herceptin) on human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER-2)-overexpressing metastatic esophageal cancer in an orthotopic mouse model. HER-2 overexpression and amplification of human esophageal primary and metastatic tumors were shown with HER-2-fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis and HER-2 immunostaining. Following orthotopic implantation with the HER-2-overexpressing OE19 human esophageal cancer cell line, mice were treated with trastuzumab. Sequential magnetic resonance imaging was used to monitor primary tumor and metastasis during treatment. After six weeks, a significant inhibition of primary tumor development was imaged in trastuzumab-treated animals in comparison with the control group. Trastuzumab treatment also led to a reduction of lymphatic metastasis. Thus, HER-2 targeted therapy with trastuzumab resulted in a significant primary tumor growth reduction as well as a decrease of lymph node metastases in the orthotopic model of metastatic esophageal carcinoma. The results of the present study suggest the clinical use of trastuzumab for HER-2-overexpressing esophageal cancer, which is a significant fraction of the patient population. Treatment of this highly treatment-resistant disease with trastuzumab in the adjuvant setting to prevent lymph node metastasis after primary tumor resection is suggested by the data in this report.
Her-2 is the molecular target for antibody-based treatment of breast cancer (trastuzumab). The potential benefit of anti-Her-2 therapy is currently investigated in several other HER-2-amplified cancers including gastric cancer. Although HER-2 amplification occurs in more than 10% of gastric cancers, potential heterogeneity of HER-2 amplification and overexpression could represent a major drawback for anti-Her-2 therapy. To address the potential applicability of trastuzumab in gastric cancer, tissue microarray sections of 166 gastric adenocarcinomas and 69 lymph node metastases were analyzed for Her-2 overexpression and amplification using Food and Drug Administration-approved reagents for immunohistochemistry and fluorescence in situ hybridization. HER-2 amplification was seen in 27 (16%) of 166 gastric adenocarcinomas. Amplification was typically high level with more than 20 HER-2 copies per tumor cell and a HER-2/centromere 17 ratio >3. Amplification was associated with intestinal tumor phenotype but unrelated to survival, grading, pT, pN, or pM. Identical HER-2 status was found in primary tumor and their matched lymph node metastases. Moreover, HER-2 and Topoisomerase IIalpha coamplification analysis of 3 to 16 large sections from 8 Her-2-positive gastric cancers did not reveal any heterogeneity of the amplicon site. The high level of HER-2 amplification in combination with the homogeneity of its expression in primary and metastatic tumors argues for a possible therapeutic utility of trastuzumab in HER-2-amplified gastric adenocarcinomas.
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