Background: The prognostic value of c-erbB-2 expression in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)remains controversial. The prevalence of c-erbB-2 expression in NSCLC and relation to disease prognosis weretherefore investigated.
Methods: Eighty-nine patients with NSCLC diagnosed at Baskent University, AdanaHospital, Medical Oncology Department, between 2000-2005 were investigated. Expression of c-erbB-2 wasevaluated by immunohistochemistry in paraffin-embedded sections. Characteristics of patients, histology andstage of the disease were obtained from clinical records.
Results: C-erbB-2 expression was detected in 18 patients(20.2%). Median survival of the patients with c-erbB-2 negative was 13 months, as compared to 6 months for cerbB-2 positive cases (p=0.02), the relative risk of death being 1.96 times higher. No correlation was foundbetween c-erbB-2 positivity and stage of the disease or histology of the tumor (p>0.05).
Conclusions: C-erbB-2positivity may indicate shorter survival and can be regarded as an unfavorable prognostic factor in NSCLC.Immunohistochemistry seems to be a readily applicable, inexpensive methodology for determining c-erbB-2expression in NSCLCs.