BACKGROUND: Despite a typically good response to first-line combination chemotherapy, the prognosis for patients with advanced ovarian cancer remains poor because of acquired chemoresistance. The use of targeted therapies such as trastuzumab may potentially improve outcomes for patients with ovarian cancer. HER2 overexpression/amplification has been reported in ovarian cancer, but the exact percentage of HER2-positive tumors varies widely in the literature. In this study, HER2 gene status was evaluated in a large, multicentric series of 320 patients with advanced ovarian cancer, including 243 patients enrolled in a multicenter prospective clinical trial of paclitaxel/carboplatin-based chemotherapy. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The HER2 status of primary tumors and metastases was evaluated by both immunohistochemistry (IHC) and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analysis of paraffin-embedded tissue on conventional slides. The prognostic impact of HER2 expression was analyzed. HER2 gene was overexpressed and amplified in 6.6% of analyzed tumors. Despite frequent intratumoral heterogeneity, no statistically significant difference was detected between primary tumors and corresponding metastases. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show that the decision algorithm usually used in breast cancer (IHC as a screening test, with equivocal results confirmed by FISH) is appropriate in ovarian cancer. In contrast to previous series, HER2-positive status did not influence outcome in the present study, possibly due to the fact that patients in our study received paclitaxel/carboplatin-based chemotherapy. This raises the question of whether HER2 status and paclitaxel sensitively are linked.
Tuefferd, M., Couturier, J., Penault-Llorca, F., Vincent-Salomon, A., Broët, P., Guastalla, J. P., … Camilleri-Broët, S. (2007). HER2 status in ovarian carcinomas: A multicenter GINECO study of 320 patients. PLoS ONE, 2(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0001138