HER2/neu Expression in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patients is not Significantly Elevated


Background: HER2/neu, a member of EGFR family, is over expressed in some tumors .The purpose of thisstudy was to determine the salivary level and tissue expression of HER2/neu in patients with head and necksquamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) and any correlation with clinicopathologic parameters.
Methods: An enzymelinkedimmunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to evaluate the salivary level and immunohistochemistry (IHC) toassess tissue expression of HER2/neu in 28 patients with HNSCC and 25 healthy controls.
Results: The salivarylevels of HER2/neu in HNSCC patients was not significantly higher than in the healthy controls (p>0.005). Therewas no apparent correlation in salivary HER2/neu level with clinicopathological features such as age, sex, grade,tumor size and nodal status. All HNSCC specimens were positive (membranous or/and cytoplasmic) for HER2/neu, except one sample. Only one HNSCC specimen was stained in cytoplasm purely. All control specimens weremembranous and cytoplasmic positive for HER2/neu. There was a significant difference between cytoplasmicstaining in case and control groups (p-value<0.05).
Conclusion: In our cases, no overexpression of HER2/neuwas observed. Thus, our findings suggested that the use of Her-2 as a salivary marker of HNSCC cannot berecommended.