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HER-2/neu extracellular domain (ECD) can be detected in blood as a soluble circulating protein. The aim of this study was to analyze the relationship between HER-2/neu extracellular domain in the serum and the prognosis in breast cancer patients. We also correlated HER-2/neu ECD with various clinicopathological factors including steroid receptor, HER-2/neu receptor coexpression. The serum from seventy nine patients with invasive breast cancer and twenty individuals without malignancy was analyzed using the enzyme-linked immune adsorbent assay method. The cut-off value was estimated by the ROC curve analysis (15.86 μg/L). HER-2/neu ECD values in the serum of patients with breast cancer were significantly higher than in control subjects. Circulating HER-2/neu ECD was significantly associated with the histological grade of tumors and the status of axillary lymph nodes. Negative correlation was observed between HER-2/neu ECD in the serum and estrogen receptor positivity. When we analyzed HER-2/neu ECD in relation with coexpression of steroid receptor and HER-2/neu receptor in tissue, statistically higher values were found in the subgroup of patients with steroid receptor negative, HER-2/neu negative tumors than in the other subgroups. HER-2/neu ECD was not an independent factor in the univariate and multivariate analysis. However, elevated HER-2/neu ECD levels were found in patients with breast cancer possessing more aggressive phenotype.


Marina Barić, Ana Kulić, Maja Sirotković-Skerlev, Natalija Dedić Plavetić, Marina Vidović, Gordana Horvatić-Herceg, Damir Vrbanec. Circulating Her-2/neu extracellular domain in breast cancer patients-correlation with prognosis and clinicopathological parameters including steroid receptor, Her-2/neu receptor coexpression. Pathology oncology research : POR. 2015 Jul;21(3):589-95

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PMID: 25367073

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