We have investigated c-erbB-2 protein expression in a large cohort of well-characterized colorectal tumours, and in a subset of lymph node metastases. We have also evaluated a Val(655)lle single nucleotide polymorphism, which is associated with an increased risk of breast cancer, in a subset of the colorectal cancer patients and in healthy control subjects. Immunohistochemical studies revealed that while 81.8% of tumours expressed c-erbB-2, in the majority of cases equivalent levels of c-erb-B2 were seen in adjacent normal mucosa. Colon tumours were significantly more likely to express c-erbB-2 than rectal tumours (P=0.015). Only 52.4% of the metastases displayed staining patterns concordant with their primary tumour, indicating that determination of c-erbB-2 protein in colorectal tumours cannot predict the status of lymph node metastases, PCR-RFLP analysis of the Val(655)lle single nucleotide polymorphism demonstrated that allele Frequencies were identical between colorectal cancer patients and a control group of Caucasian subjects (lle=0.80 and Val=0.20 in each case), indicating that it is not related to the risk of developing colorectal cancer in this population. Furthermore, there was no relationship between c-erbB-2 protein expression and gene polymorphism (P=0.58). In terms of prognosis, no association was seen between either c-erbB-2 protein expression or the presence of the Val allele and patient survival (P > 0.05 in each case), suggesting that c-erbB-2 is not a prognostic marker in colorectal cancer. (C) 2002 Cancer Research UK.
- colorectal cancer
- HER2 GENETIC-POLYMORPHISM