ORIGINAL ARTICLESHer2/neu is not a commonly expressed therapeutic target in melanoma – a large cohort tissue microarray studyKluger, Harriet M.a; DiVito, Kyleb; Berger, Aaron J.b; Halaban, Ruthc; Ariyan, Stephand; Camp, Robert L.b; Rimm, David L.bAuthor Information Departments of aMedicine bPathology cDermatology dSurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA Sponsorship: Dr Kluger is supported by the C.J. Swebilius Award for Translational Research. Mr Berger is supported by NIH/NIGMS Medical Scientist Training Program Grant GM07205 (AB). Dr Halaban is supported by NIH grant CA44542 (RH). Dr Camp is supported by NIH Grant K0-8 ES11571. Dr Rimm is supported by a grant from the Patrick and Catherine Weldon Donaghue Foundation for Medical Research and grants from the DOD and NIH including NIH R21 CA100825-01. Correspondence and requests for reprints to Dr Harriet M. Kluger, Section of Medical Oncology, Yale Cancer Center, Yale University School of Medicine, 310 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06510, USA Tel: +1 203 785 6221; fax: +1 203 7857531; e-mail: [email protected] Received 25 November 2003 Accepted 27 February 2004 Melanoma Research: June 2004 - Volume 14 - Issue 3 - p 207-210 doi: 10.1097/01.cmr.0000130874.33504.2f Buy Metrics Abstract Melanoma is among the most chemotherapy-resistant malignancies. Numerous new agents have been developed that target specific molecules on cancer cells, including the monoclonal antibody trastuzumab, which targets Her2/neu and has been very beneficial in the treatment of breast cancer. There are conflicting reports in the literature about Her2/neu expression in melanoma specimens, but all of the cohorts studied have been small. We therefore examined Her2/neu expression in a very large cohort of melanoma specimens in order to determine the value of exploring trastuzumab therapy for melanoma patients. Immunohistochemical staining was performed on two tissue microarrays, together containing 600 intact specimens. Expression was evaluated semi-quantitatively and correlated with tumour stage and other clinicopathological data. Of the 600 specimens in the cohort, 31 patients (5.2%) had positive Her2/neu expression. Among the primary cutaneous specimens (n=269), 7% had positive Her2/neu staining, while 3.6% of the recurrent or metastatic specimens (n=331) had positive Her2/neu staining (P=0.06). Among the primary lesions there was no significant correlation between Her2/neu expression, Clark level and ulceration; however, Her2/neu expression was associated with lesions with a Breslow depth of <2 mm (P=0.05). Using this very large cohort of melanoma specimens, we found only a few cases with aberrant Her2/neu expression, many of them being primary cutaneous lesions rather than recurrent or metastatic lesions. Our findings suggest that drugs that specifically target Her2/neu are not likely to be useful for the treatment of metastatic melanoma or as adjuvant therapy for melanoma patients at high risk for recurrence. © 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.