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Demonstration of Her-2 Protein in Cervical Carcinomas

Heller, Debra S.1; Hameed, Meera1; Aisner, Seena1; Cracchiolo, Bernadette2; Skurnick, Joan3; Scott, Diana2; Settembre, Dana1

Journal of Lower Genital Tract Disease: January 2003 - Volume 7 - Issue 1 - p 47-50
Original Articles

Objective. Recently, an immunohistochemical test for her-2-neu has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for evaluation of breast cancer patients who might benefit from treatment with Herceptin (HercepTest). This study was undertaken to evaluate the immunohistochemical staining patterns in cervical cancer and correlate with clinical parameters.

Materials and Methods. A total of 24 cases of invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the cervix were evaluated. Cases were stained using the HercepTest kit according to protocol. Results were graded from 0 to 3+, using the standards set for breast lesions.

Results. A total of 17 cases (70.8%) were negative, 3 cases (12.5%) showed 1+ staining, and 4 cases (16.7%) showed 2+ staining. No cases showed 3+ staining. Higher her-2 staining grade correlated strongly with vaginal margin status. A weak positive correlation was seen between her-2 staining and tumor stage. There was no correlation with tumor grade or histological lymph node status.

Conclusions. A subset of invasive squamous cell carcinomas of the cervix overexpress her-2 protein. Further studies are needed to correlate with clinical outcome and determine if overexpression of her-2 protein is a marker of cervical carcinoma aggressiveness.

Departments of 1Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, 2Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health, and 3Preventive Medicine & Community Health, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ

Reprint requests to: Debra S. Heller, MD, UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School, Department of Pathology-UH/E158, 185 South Orange Avenue, Newark, NJ 07103. E-mail:

©2003The American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology