Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR or HER-1) and its analog c-erbB-2 (HER-2) are protein tyrosine kinases correlated with prognosis and response to therapy in a variety of human cancers. KRAS mediates the transduction of signals between EGFR and the nucleus, and its mutation has been identified as a predictor of resistance to anti-EGFR drugs. In human oncology, the importance of the EGFR/HER-2/KRAS signalling pathway in gastric cancer is well established, and HER-2 testing is required before initiating therapy. Conversely, this pathway has never been investigated in canine gastric tumours. A total of 19 canine gastric epithelial neoplasms (5 adenomas and 14 carcinomas) were retrospectively evaluated for EGFR/HER-2 immunohistochemical expression and KRAS mutational status. Five (35.7%) carcinomas were classified as intestinal-type and 9 (64.3%) as diffuse-type. EGFR was overexpressed (≥1+) in 8 (42.1%) cases and HER-2 (3+) in 11 (57.9%) cases, regardless of tumour location or biological behaviour. The percentage of EGFR-positive tumours was significantly higher in the intestinal-type (80%) than in the diffuse-type (11.1%, p = 0.023). KRAS gene was wild type in 18 cases, whereas one mucinous carcinoma harboured a point mutation at codon 12 (G12R). EGFR and HER-2 may be promising prognostic and therapeutic targets in canine gastric epithelial neoplasms. The potential presence of KRAS mutation should be taken into account as a possible mechanism of drug resistance. Further studies are necessary to evaluate the role of dog as a model for human gastric cancer.
Terragni, R., Casadei Gardini, A., Sabattini, S., Bettini, G., Amadori, D., Talamonti, C., … Ulivi, P. (2014). EGFR, HER-2 and KRAS in canine gastric epithelial tumors: A potential human model? PLoS ONE, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0085388