Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 as a prognostic indicator in osteogenic sarcoma
Prognostic biologic factors that can be assessed at the time of diagnosis for patients with osteogenic sarcoma have not been identified. The current study was designed to evaluate the prognostic significance of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 as it relates to histologic response to preoperative chemotherapy and event-free survival. A retrospective immunohistochemical study was performed on material from patients who were newly diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma who were treated according to the T12 protocol from the authors' institution between 1986 to 1993. Staining for HER2/erbB-2 was accomplished using standard monoclonal antibodies and methods. At the time of initial biopsy, 42.6% of the samples showed HER2/erbB-2 overexpression. Higher levels of expression were observed in samples from patients with clinically detectable metastases at initial presentation and at relapse. Expression of HER2/erbB-2 correlated with inferior event-free survival in patients with nonmetastatic disease (47% versus 79% at 5 years). In addition, HER2/erbB-2 expression was associated with significantly less tumor necrosis after preoperative chemotherapy as determined by the Huvos grading system. These data suggest that HER2/erbB-2 should be evaluated prospectively as a prognostic indicator and clinical trials using antibodies that target this receptor should be considered for the treatment of patients with osteogenic sarcoma.