Evaluation of: Bolenz C, Shariat SF, Karakiewicz PI et al. Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 expression status provides independent prognostic information in patients with urothelial carcinoma of the urinary bladder. BJUI 106, 1216-1222 (2010). The article under evaluation by Bolenz et al. reports on an association between human EGF receptor 2 (HER2) overexpression and aggressive urothelial carcinoma of the urinary bladder: more lymphovascular invasion, higher risk of recurrence and higher disease-specific mortality. These results add to the controversy regarding HER2 status and clinical outcome that is currently known. First, a consensus for the best technique and cut-off is needed. Only then can the relationship between HER2 overexpression and clinical outcome be investigated without current limitations. Although there are already trials ongoing on targeted therapy in bladder cancer, this should be viewed with caution, as patient selection is based on inconsistent definitions of HER2 overexpression. Selection of patients who might benefit from targeted therapy can only be carried out after consensus has been reached.
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