Lack of Prognostic Significance of C-erbB-2 Expression in Low- and High- grade Astrocytomas


Background: Astrocytic tumors, the most common primary glial tumors of the central nervous system, areclassified from low to high grade according to the degree of anaplasia and presence of necrosis. Despite advancesin therapeutic management of high grade astrocytic tumors, prognosis remains poor. In the present study, thefrequency and prognostic significance of c-erb-B2 in astrocytic tumors was investigated. Materials and
Methods:Records of 72 patients with low- and high-grade astrocytic tumors were evaluated. The expression of C-erbB-2was determined immunohistochemically and intensity was recorded as 0 to 3+. Tumors with weak staining (1+)or no staining (0) were considered Her-2 negative, while tumors with moderate (2+) and strong (3+) stainingwere considered Her-2 positive.
Results: Of the 72 patients, 41 (56.9%) had glioblastoma (GBM), 10 (13.9%)had diffuse astrocytoma, 15 (20.8%) had anaplastic astrocytoma, 6 (8.3%) had pilocytic astrocytoma. C-erbB-2overexpression was detected in the tumor specimens of 17 patients (23.6%). Six (8.3%) tumors, all GBMs,exhibited strong staining, 2 (2.7%) specimens, both GBMs, exhibited moderate staining, and 9 specimens, 5 ofthem GBMs (12.5%), exhibited weak staining. No staining was observed in diffuse astrocytoma and pilocyticastrocytoma specimens. Median overall survival of patients with C-erbB-2 negative and C-erbB-2 positive tumorswere 30 months (95%CI: 22.5-37.4 months) and 16.9 months (95%CI: 4.3-29.5 months), respectively (p=0.244).
Conclusions: Although there was no difference in survival, C-erbB-2 overexpression was observed only in theGBM subtype.