Differential Expression of HER2 and SKP2 in Benign and Malignant Colorectal Lesions

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Pathology, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, Imbaba, Giza, Egypt.

2 Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, Imbaba, Giza, Egypt.

3 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Giza, Egypt.


Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the fourth most common cancer worldwide. Both HER2 and SKP2 have a carcinogenic role in CRC making them attractive targets for tailored treatment. This work aims to correlate HER2 and SKP2 protein expression as well as HER2 gene amplification with clinicopathological parameters aiming at identifying potential candidates for targeted therapy. Methods: This Study was conducted on 127 paraffin-embedded tissue samples of different colorectal lesions [controls, chronic colitis, ulcerative colitis (UC), hyperplastic polyps (HPs), adenomas and CRCs] to investigate HER2 and SKP2 expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC), Selected CRC cases [equivocal (2+) and positive (3+) by IHC] were further evaluated by ISH (CISH and SISH ) to assess HER2 gene amplification. Results: Chronic colitis, UC, HPs and adenomas were HER2-negative. HER2 positivity (scores 2+ and 3+) was found only in15% of CRCs. Both SISH and CISH showed the same results with high concordance as 66.7% of equivocal and 100% of positive cases showed amplification of HER2 gene. SKP2 positivity was detected in 26.7% and 45% of adenomas and CRCs respectively, while other studied groups were negative. A significant correlation was noted between HER2 and SKP2 expression. Conclusion: A small percent of CRCs exhibited HER2 gene amplification, which would be potential candidates for anti HER2 therapy whereas IHC could be a primary screening test for patient selection. A potential carcinogenic role of SKP2 was suggested by the findings that SKP2 expression was undetectable in normal colonic mucosa but significantly increases from adenoma to carcinoma, hoping adenoma patients to get benefit from targeted therapy.


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